How house cooking (and baking) promotes wellbeing


In the first part of a new series of articles, ex-nurse Linda Ford examines the importance of nutrition as a basic principle of care

The art of cooking and baking is an acquired foundational skill that has developed over time and passed down through generations.

Nutrition is important from both a socio-economic and cultural point of view and is a crucial part of our health and development.

For those of us who love this art, there are the added benefits to our wellbeing.

The oldest furnace, discovered in Croatia in 2014, is believed to be around 6,500 years old.

Baking flourished in the Roman Empire. It eventually spread from East Asia and became and established an art form around the world.

My love for cooking is rooted in my childhood watching my mother.

“The joy of sharing my cooking … absolutely improves my well-being”

Times were difficult for a post-war family of four. Papa had returned home aboard the Atlantic convoys after serving six years in the Royal Navy. It is believed that it was these damp conditions that caused him to develop lung problems. As a trained bricklayer, he spent many weeks sick in the winter, which only resulted in low sick pay.

Mom could cook anything and believed that good food would feed her family through illness and health. Papa was able to keep supplying local produce from his garden and parcel.

The importance of food was probably rooted in our origins. The focus of work was on leaseholder breeding, gardening, horticulture and game keeping. This would have allowed easy access to food even in the most difficult of times.

In late 1968, I left home to begin my nursing education. The importance of nutrition was one of the basic principles of care.

As a former nurse, Linda Ford understands the importance of diet to health

“There is no more important element in nursing preparation than the study of nutrition” (Virginia Henderson, 1961).

My love of cooking has never waned during my full-time nursing career and nearly 48 years of marriage.

The current Covid pandemic has seen a resurgence of this art. For me, the joy of sharing my kitchen is a gift, a thank you, a simple thought for others in difficult times and for those who live alone, it absolutely improves my well-being.