In this fast-paced life, it’s hard to find the time to cook, especially if you’re feeding a family. Sure, baking for other people can be fun (and beneficial, it turns out), but cooking meals can feel more like a chore. People are always looking for ways to make it easier to fit cooking into their busy schedules, and that’s why the popularity of easy recipes like one-pot dinners, sheet pan meals and two-ingredient recipes has soared.
Easy recipes can help, but maybe what we’ve been missing all this time is some real inspiration. Because it turns out that cooking, especially when done for others, comes with some positive psychological benefits. And these positive effects could be enough to get us into the kitchen.
Cooking for others is an altruistic act, but also so much more.
Performing an act for another human being, like cooking for them, is a form of altruism. And altruism can make people feel happy and connected to others.
“There’s a tremendous amount of confidence-boosting and self-esteem boosting, performing an act like cooking for others,” explained Julie Ohana, a licensed medical social worker and culinary art therapist. “And that’s part of what lends itself to those psychological effects about being able to do something that you feel really good about.”
But when it comes to cooking there’s this other element of actually feeding someone, which is necessary for survival, that comes into play. Cooking for others is nurturing, it is sustenance, it is helping keep them alive.
Cooking is a form of nurturing.
“Giving to others fills us in so many ways,”explained Michal Avishaii, a culinary arts therapist who has an MA in art therapy from Lesley College. “And even more so when it’s cooking because feeding fulfills a survival need, and so our feeling of fulfillment comes not only from the good of the act of giving, but also the fact that we have ‘helped’ in some very primal way. We have…