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Think Healthy Thursday: Eating at Home

It's 5:00. You've just walked in the door to the usual greeting - "What's for dinner?" Except nothing is for dinner. Your meeting ran late, so you didn't have time to go to the grocery store. Forgot to thaw anything this morning. Calling for a pizza, heading to the local burger joint or café sounds pretty good, but what's the cost? Anyone who keeps a budget knows that those quick trips to the restaurant, fast food, or order-in joints can wreak havoc on a budget. But recent research indicates that the real cost comes later...

People who eat a home-cooked meal at least five times a week have longer life expectancy than those who opt to eat out, according to a study published recently in Cambridge University's Public Health Nutrition journal.

The 10-year study of 1,888 men and women over age 65 in Taiwan showed that subjects who cooked at home frequently were 47 percent more likely to still be alive after 10 years.

Dining at home is better for children, too, in a variety of ways, as the New York Daily News reports. Children are more likely to excel in school and foster healthy relationships when they have regular meals at the family table, according to research. They're also less likely to drink, smoke cigarettes, or dabble with marijuana.

Food for thought. So next time you find yourself in a quandary - forget about the quick trip to the burger joint and think about what you can do with the food you have on hand - or what could you pick up at a nearby grocery store to make a quick and healthy meal for everyone. Maybe in those added years, you'll find your crew making a few meals for you in gratitude.

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