How to gain confidence in the kitchen

Lacking cooking skills can hold us back from eating the food our body will love. If you find a recipe that looks delicious and nutrient-rich, but it feels too complicated, you may decide to skip that one and go for something else. 

Close-up of a woman cooking a healthy meal

While there are lots of balanced, nutritious and easy recipe ideas out there, for many of us, it’s a mindset thing. We lack confidence and belief in our abilities, so we opt for the easy option. If this is something you’re looking to change, there are several things you can do, from trying a cooking class to working with a nutritionist.

Working with someone who has training in nutrition can be beneficial if you have particular health goals. As well as helping you with cooking skills, they’ll be able to support you in creating a diet plan tailored to your needs. Here are some examples of how working with a nutritionist can help you feel more confident in the kitchen.

Understand the basics of a balanced diet

With so much conflicting information online about what foods are ‘good for you’, it can be hard to know what to include in your diet. A nutrition professional can help you get back to basics here, telling you what a varied and balanced diet looks like, the importance of different food groups and how to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals. 

They will also be able to consider your individual circumstances, for example, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, or if you have a particular health condition or goal you want to address. 

Get to grips with portion sizes

Knowing what portion sizes are appropriate for you and your family is a big help in the kitchen. It can help reduce food waste and ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals.

Whether it’s learning what constitutes one portion of fruit or veg (for example, did you know fruit juice contributes to your 5 a day?) or how much pasta is enough for your kids – a nutritionist can help. 

Learn basic cooking skills

Not all nutritionists will offer this as part of their service, so it’s worth asking if they can help with this if it’s an area you want support with.

If they can help, they might arrange a session on cooking with you where they’ll chat with you about the level you’re at and what you would like support with. This may include knife skills, understanding food combinations and how to prepare food.

Know how food affects you

This is where working with a nutritionist is particularly beneficial. As well as learning more about food in general and building your confidence in the kitchen, they’ll be able to teach you how the food you eat affects your body and mind

If you want more energy, for example, your nutritionist can suggest recipes to help and advise what types of foods can help. If you’re looking to build confidence outside of the kitchen as well, a nutritionist will be able to talk you through confidence-boosting foods. 

Come up with new meal ideas

This is something a lot of us struggle with – inspiration! Once you have learnt some of the basics and your nutritionist knows what your goals are with your diet, they’ll be able to suggest recipes or even recommend books, podcasts and websites to find inspiration from. 

Gaining confidence in your abilities in the kitchen is a great way to take control of your health. Hopefully, by feeling more confident, you’ll be encouraged to make more meals from scratch and develop more awareness of what goes into your meals, rather than relying on pre-packaged meals. 

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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Content Producer for Memiah and writer for Nutritionist Resource and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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