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In Uganda today, women have to take care of the household even when they’re working eight hours a day. They have to struggle through the 5 pm traffic jam so they can make it home two hours early, get the kids ready for school the next day, help out with their homework and whip up a meal.

There are very few husbands who will help their wives in the kitchen regularly, however, most men have stayed away from the kitchen, constantly providing excuses in the pretext of another. “Cooking requires patience and I am not patient” Nicholas Kwizera, a father of two says. Even when some men are willing to help their wives out with the chores, women are afraid men will make a big mess. As a result, this has put a big strain on most marriages. So how can we get our men into the kitchen?

We asked 50 women to find out what could be done to increase men’s involvement in kitchen duty.

Make Simple Repeatable Meals

Except for chefs, it is rare to find men that want to show off and cook big meals. Learning to cook simple repeatable meals should, therefore, be adopted by men who want to help out and eat healthily but are still shy in the kitchen. By doing this they find a middle ground. Research has also shown that more dietary choices are associated with increased body weight. Therefore repeating meals or using the same ingredients for some time can help you lose weight.

  1. Embrace planned leftovers
  2. Store prepped food by type, then assemble later
  3. Cook up one protein and use it in different ways
  4. Cook one side, turn it into multiple side dishes
  5. Add more vegetarian options
  6. Cook different meals at the same time
  7. Freeze individually portioned meals for quick variety later

Do the prepping for him

Nakibuka Jane says her husband hates the smell of onions on his hands. Same goes for garlic. The smell of onions and garlic can be overwhelming but this should not be an excuse for a man to help out in the kitchen. Cut the onions, garlic, tomatoes and peppers, keep them in a ziplock bag in the fridge and text him directions. All he has to do is follow the instructions so dinner will be ready by the time you are back from work.

Praise them!

Give men a lot of compliments. Human beings love to be complicated especially when they start a new set of behavior, to encourage more involvement in the future. Tell him you loved his eggs or how much you loved the pancakes he made. It is okay to make mistakes especially when you’re a learner so don’t quickly get mad. You don’t want him to stop helping in the kitchen, remember.

Cook together

It is true that couples that cook together, stay together because there is satisfaction in knowing that you and your partner can work together towards a common goal. Ask him to cut the vegetables as you marinate the chicken. Be present to monitor and direct him. Spending time in the kitchen creates an experience for the two of you and the two of you alone.

Lastly for the unmarried or single men out there, you should note that it is important to eat properly and to eat well. People need to get away from buying already processed food. Food processing strips food of its fibres, nutrients and vitamins. The Harvard Medical School found that men run the risk of heart disease and other nasties like cancer, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, than women. The manifestation of this prevalent disease strikes men at age 65, and for women, the average age for a first heart attack is 72. This is why men must get into the kitchen and prepare healthy meals instead of buying processed food that will kill you in the long run.

Article by Christen Atim (Hello fresh Uganda)

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