Eating well and having enough healthy food is a priority for many people at the moment. While it is always important to eat well, it is especially important during this time of uncertainty. The Heart Foundation has put together five great tips to help you eat well during home isolation.
Five tips for eating well during home isolation:
1. Prepare ahead, but don’t hoard
Stocking up on a few extra staples is sensible but there is no need to hoard as supermarkets will stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Plan your meals ahead and shop with a list to ensure you’re getting the right ingredients for a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to minimise food wastage and cost.
2. Fresh, canned or frozen – it’s about the mix
Frozen veggies can be just as healthy as fresh options. Canned vegetables, beans or fruit have an extra-long shelf life, so they are perfect for your pantry. When choosing canned vegetables and legumes (like beans or lentils), buy “no added salt”, “low-salt” or “salt-reduced” versions and choose fruit canned in juice rather than in syrup. Check out our eating more fruit and eating more vegetables webpages for more tips on how to enjoy more fruit and vegetables every day.
3. Choose a variety of lean meats and alternatives
Proteins like fish or seafood are an excellent source of omega-3s, which our bodies need but cannot produce. If you can’t get fresh fish, choose canned salmon or tuna in spring water rather than salty brine. You could also choose legumes, beans, lean chicken or eggs, but if choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and try to limit it to 1-3 meals a week. To learn more about lean meats and alternatives and how much you need, check out our five food groups webpage.
4. Set routine mealtimes and cut the couch snacking
Now the couch and fridge are in easy reach, avoid unnecessary snacking by establishing a mealtime routine to keep work and play separate. If you do snack, go for a handful of unsalted nuts, a cup of veggie sticks, or a small plate of cut up fruit to curb that afternoon craving. Opt for this instead of sometimes foods like chips, biscuits, chocolate or flavoured sugary drinks. While sometimes foods can be enjoyed sometimes and in small amounts, they can be tempting if they are always in the pantry, so try to avoid stocking them in your pantry in the first place.
5. Brush up your home cooking skills and get inspired
Staying at home for long periods of time is the perfect opportunity to either learn to cook or brush up on your skills. If you’ve stocked up on pantry essentials like tinned tomatoes or lentils and need inspiration on how to turn them into a meal check out our budget friendly recipes webpage or watch our cooking videos.
If you’re wondering what to do with your canned beans or lentils, why not try the Heart Foundation’s Kid-friendly lentil stew, Indian chicken and lentil tray bake or Spiced pumpkin and black bean patties.
Content kindly provided by National Heart Foundation of Australia.