Here at IDEAL we believe that everyone should spend more time cooking up a storm in the kitchen and eating with their family and friends. There are so many reasons why preparing, cooking and eating meals at home is so important. Not only does food connect people (why else do you think so may people go on dinner?) it can also save you money and potentially help you to lose weight. With this in mind, we’ve asked Victor Stoica, Managing Director at ElectrIQ to share his thoughts on why we should be spending more time in the kitchen.

It may help you lose inches off your waist

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According to new research by ElectrIQ, manufacturer of affordable kitchen gadgets and household appliances, those who spend more time preparing food are healthier than those who merely dash in and out. Of the UK adults surveyed, 39% of those who had a healthy BMI (of 18.5 – 24.9) on average spent 45 minutes or more preparing meals per day.

It saves you money

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We love eating out but we know as well as sparing us those hidden calories, preparing meals at home and dining in saves money too. Many of the famous chefs we know and love can show you how to serve up meals that cost next to nothing. What’s more with all the money you’ve saved throughout the year, you can soon treat yourself to that new sofa or an extra holiday!

It encourages family time

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Food brings people together and after busy days at work or school, sitting together around the table is one of the few occasions where everyone can catch up and spend some quality time together before the hustle and bustle of the next day.

 You can lose calories

You can lose calories in the kitchen much faster than you can at the gym. As odd as it sounds, it’s actually easier to eliminate calories in the kitchen than it is to do so exercising in the gym. You can reduce your daily calorie consumption in seconds through careful meal choices whilst it can take you over an hour to burn the same amount of calories during exercise.

Learn how to create culinary gifts

Reduce what you spend on those last minute gifts which aren’t always thoughtful. Make a pate, some artisan chocolate or a cake. Unique, individual and delicious!

It encourages creativity

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Whether you’re best known for cooking up a storm or making a bit of a mess, cooking and trying out new recipes is a great way to encourage creativity. With a little bit of imagination, some trial and error and a good set of tools, you’ll be pushing those boundaries and surprising yourself in no time. Forget about the fact that too many cooks can spoil a broth, get a partner or your little ones to give you a hand, it’s great to work on a culinary masterpiece together and you might even learn a trick or two from each other.

Make the most of your investment

If you own you’re house, the kitchen has probably been one of your biggest household investments. You might not have realised it at the time, but by the time you’ve finished adding all your nifty gadgets and gizmos, the kitchen is probably where much of your hard earned cash has been invested. It’s been worth it as it does get noticed (remember it’s where people are always found at parties), however you need to make sure you’re using it as much as your guests.

It’ll encourage you to discover other cultures

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Sizzle up some South American steaks, try your hand at tapas or whip up a classical French feast. Whatever tickles your fancy, your nearest and dearest won’t be able to get enough of your cultured cooking and you’ll enjoy learning more about the delicacies of your favourite places.

To chill out

Preparing meal or baking can actually be quite therapeutic. When you’ve had a busy day and your mind feels frazzled, separate the day from the evening by focussing your energy into creating your favourite dish, smoothie or cocktail! Light some candles, put on your favourite tunes and zone out for the night.

It brings people together

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Whether it’s cooking, working or playing, the kitchen can usually house it all. Sometimes these tasks need to happen simultaneously, so mum or dad need to do some work or make the tea, while the children want to do crafts or play games. The great thing about the kitchen is the kids can get crafty at the kitchen table, away from the cream carpets and upholstery, and the parents can cook or work while still keeping a watchful eye!