By Lorena Asebedo Kaplen, Dietitian, HEB, and Andie Gonzalez, Dietitian, HEB
Communication and love are built around the mesa (table), and they’re a vital way of keeping healthy, physically and emotionally. Research shows that involving family and kids in the kitchen strengthens family ties by fostering togetherness and spurring cooperation. With today’s technology and jam-packed schedules, this simple integration can help re-establish some traditional home dynamics.
Embracing the skill of cooking, passing down favorite traditional recipes, connecting and lifting each other’s spirits—all have the potential of increasing your quality of life and keeping your corazón saludable (heart healthy). Here’s how to tap “el poder de concinar con mamá.”
Learn to cook like Mamá. Do you cook at home? Consider starting by asking your mom to teach you how to make your favorite dishes, whether they’re fresh corn tortillas or delicious sopas. You’ll be motivated to learn, plus you’ll pick up her cooking tricks, too.
Be sure to include sabores tradicionales (traditional flavors). Think about some of your favorite wholesome Latino dishes and their rich vegetable “fix-ins” such as pico de gallo or salsas. If you find that your family doesn’t have the recipes written down, take the time to capture them so that they can be passed on to future generations.
Make cooking a habito saludable (healthy habit). It will help you reduce calories, sugar and fat, which are usually found in prepared or restaurant meals and are linked to obesity and heart disease. What’s more, cooking at home can help to relieve stress, boost confidence and give you control of your health.