Could You Give Up Takeaway Food For Life?

Could You Give Up Takeaway Food For Life?

Most of us love to cook. But life tends to get in the way of us doing more of it. And when we’re tired, running late, and surrounded by hungry kids, a takeaway delivered to the door in under 30 minutes sounds ideal. Even with our best intentions, these little takeaway slips can occur. We want the kids to eat well. We want healthy choices in our own diet. But most importantly, we want to eat something when we’re really hungry! Could you really give up takeaway food?


There are lots of reasons why you might want to avoid takeaway food, especially for your kids. Portion control is one of the biggest problems you have when you choose fast food. Big chains and independent take out stores offer you huge amounts to encourage you to come back time and again. This means you can accidentally eat more calories, fat, sugar, and carbs than you intended. After all, we’re raised not to waste food.

The other problem with fast food and takeaways is that it’s difficult or impossible to know exactly what goes in there. For anyone on a calorie controlled diet, this can be pretty hazardous. While more and more companies are publishing their nutritional data online, it’s still a bit of a chore to get to it. You’ve usually eaten it before you’ve found out what you’ve actually consumed.

Excess food and high fat and sugar content can cause obesity. We all know that obesity causes serious health conditions. Even as a one-off, it can take a serious amount of exercise to burn off the extra calories you consumed. The figures are pretty frightening! Perhaps the biggest problem with takeaway food is what it doesn’t give you. Nutritious vegetables and fruits are often lacking in convenience foods. And yes, it is possible to be both obese and malnourished at the same time.

Do you ever venture into the kitchen area of a fast food place? Nobody does. That means we have no idea how foods are prepared, handled or cooked. At home, you may have a range of 100% safe cookware. In restaurants and takeaway outlets, you have no idea what type of pots and pans are used. You can’t be sure where the produce was sourced from or how it was grown. And you’ve no idea what methods were used to prepare your meal.


So what are the alternatives to a take out when the kids are screaming about starvation? Preparation can be helpful in these circumstances. There are several ways to prepare for those days when things get on top of you. 

If you know you may be home late, you could start early. Pick a tasty slow cooker recipe, throw in your ingredients and switch it on. Dinner will be ready and delicious whenever you arrive home. You might choose something simple like a beef casserole. Seal the beef in the pan with a dash of sunflower oil. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and about a cup of passata. Throw in two to three teaspoons of gravy granules. Some tomato puree can help produce a thicker consistency. A couple of drops of Tabasco and some dried basil can bring the flavor out. Add two or three crushed garlic cloves too. Pop in three or four button mushrooms per person, two sliced large carrots, and you’re done. When you’re ready, serve with some mashed potato for a lovely meal for four.

There are hundreds of different meals you can do in a slow cooker. Some complete meals can be cooked this way. This offers you a healthy meal full of wholesome ingredients that you have handled yourself. The food will be ready in about four hours and will stay delicious in the cooker for up to eight. This makes it perfect for when you’re running a little late getting home. Older kids could even serve themselves if they get home before you.

Preparing the meal in the morning can be a really good habit to get into. It can certainly help prevent you from picking up the phone and dialing for a delivery! Even if you don’t cook any part of it until you get home, you may have saved yourself valuable minutes and effort later in the evening. Knowing what you will be having for your main meal that day can also help you balance your activity requirements if you are calorie counting.

Of course, you can even prepare your meal for tomorrow by batch cooking it today. Instead of cooking one portion per person, cook three or even four portions each. The extra portions can be divided into freezable pots and stored for up to a month in the freezer. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave to heat it back up into a healthy and delicious meal. As it is stored in portions, the older kids can manage this themselves if they get home first. A piping hot meal from frozen usually takes about 8 minutes with a stir in the middle. Always check it is boiling hot throughout. Denser meals like meat may take longer. 

The best thing about batch cooking is that it saves you money. You are using the same amount of gas to cook all the meals in the first place. Reheating takes only a small amount of extra electricity for the microwave. It’s best to have batches of several different meals stored away to avoid boredom! Microwave cooking was very popular decades ago. Nowadays more people tend to use it in this way.


When you are tempted by the type of food that a takeaway offers, it can be very difficult to say no. However, there are many delicious recipes offering the same style of dishes. These are worth hunting down and keeping to hand. After all, when you really fancy eating something particular, it’s almost impossible to choose something else. Chinese food, pizzas, and burgers are the most common foods we pick up at the takeaway restaurant. Find all your favorite dishes at top recipe websites. That way you can add your own preferred ingredients, and save you the delivery charge!

It is thought that we may be tempted by junk food and sweet things more at certain times of the month. Hormones may well play a part in our cravings. If you think you could be swayed, then why not prepare a healthier alternative to satisfy that craving in advance? If you know the kids always want fried chicken after soccer practice, prepare some at home the night before. And if you know you’re going to need a big bar of chocolate after your dentist appointment, why not make a healthy snack with dark chocolate chips?

Giving up takeaway food is difficult to do. It may require lifestyle changes, better organization and planning skills, and even a new recipe book. But it is possible. And the rewards from quitting the junk are numerous. You could be financially better off, healthier, and less hungry at the end of the day too! As parents, there will always be that feeling of guilt when we give in and pick up something convenient for the kids. Avoiding the takeaway can help them avoid relying on this option when they grow up too.

Alternative foods are always a good idea. Finding out what will satisfy a craving without resorting to foods that are unhealthy can take time, though. Of course, it’s always fun to mix up your diet. But could you really give up take away food for life?

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Darla T. Polk
Feb 5, 2017 at 15:03:19
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May 11, 2017 at 12:53:11
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