Cooking for One: July 18, 2019

From shopping to chopping, studies show cooking at home is healthier than eating out. “We have a lot of people out there who are single, and the sad thing is they don’t think they are worth it, but they are. They are the most important person they can be cooking for,” said Jeanne Struve, a clinical dietitian with Lee Health.

Clinical dietitian Jeanne Struve says there are benefits to cooking for one. “The great thing about cooking for one person is you don’t have to take care of anybody else. Their likes, their dislikes, their special dietary needs, you can cook whatever you want, and have exactly what you want,” said Struve.

But for many, the time and effort to cook for themselves doesn’t seem worth it. “So what they do is they’ll get frozen foods, they go out to eat a lot, they end up with oatmeal or cereal or popcorn for supper, nothing very nutritious,” she said.

Instead, she suggests having a meal plan for the week. Not only will this save you time and money, but it will also eliminate the stress of having to decide what to eat each night. “As much as possible, just buy what you’re going to use. And then if you find that you do overbuy a little bit, your freezer,” Struve said.

Most foods freeze very well, so even if you overcook, freeze what you don’t eat and have it another night. “Frozen vegetables are fabulous because you can take out just what you need and put it back in,” she said.

If you have a friend or neighbor who lives alone—try dinner nights together where you alternate the cooking — a few tips to help you create a healthy and enjoyable meal.