Coronavirus Northern Ireland: 8 top tips on healthy eating during lockdown

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editor@newrytimes.com
Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Coronavirus

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is offering tips on healthy eating and meal planning for the time ahead to spark ideas about how to eat well, keep busy and make the best use of food.

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There are over 80 tasty, simple recipes on the Choose to Live Better website which can be easily rustled up at home to provide variety across the week.

 

 

“COVID-19 is having an impact on all aspects of life and there is a lot to get used to,” said Caroline Bloomfield, the PHA’s lead on Nutrition and Healthy Eating.

“People are cooking more at home and there is an increased need to plan meals.

“Food shopping has become particularly important as we plan what we need for the days and weeks ahead, particularly given the requirement to keep shopping trips to a minimum.

She added, “However, this offers the opportunity to be creative, try new recipes and bring variety into our weekly diet as we think more about what we eat.”

 

 

The Choose to Live Better website has a variety of recipes, including starters, mains, desserts, vegetarian dishes and snacks.

“Each recipe has a step-by-step guide, taking you through the preparation and cooking process for the meals, and it a great resource for individuals and families to explore,” said Caroline.

“These recipes offer tasty ideas which will make mealtimes more interesting and are ideal for people who want to improve their diet and get on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

“Most dishes take around 20-40 minutes to prepare and cook, for example chicken tikka masala and fish chowder.

“For those days when there’s a bit more time, there are some recipes that take a bit longer, including a beef stroganoff casserole and a slow-cooked Sunday roast chicken,” she added.

 

 

 

 Top tips

1. Plan ahead. Plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week ahead. What will you serve? What do you need? Consider the foods your family likes, your food preparation methods and the time and energy you will have for preparing meals. Working from home may not mean there is more time to cook – especially if you are now responsible for teaching your kids and doing the work your employer expects.

2. Have children at home? Include children in meal planning, preparation, and clean up while teaching them writing, maths, reading, and science. Get the kids to draw up a list of their favourite meals and foods and come up with meal ideas. Download a kids’ recipe book online and let them read through it and pick their favourite recipe and then give it a go together at the weekend.

3. Consider low cost alternatives – supermarket own brands are often the same product as the high end brands but packaged differently.

4. Write a shopping list and stick to it. Supermarkets use clever marketing techniques to entice you to buy certain products that you may not have planned to buy. With the need to keep trips to the supermarket to a minimum to reduce the spread of coronavirus, planning ahead and having a list is more important than ever.

5. Try a meatless meal, like chili with beans instead of beef or a vegetable based lasagna using lentils and vegetables.

 

 

6. Soups are a great lunchtime option – they are cheap to make and there are so many varieties to choose from. They are great way to get 1-2 portions of your 5 a day.

7. If fresh fruits and veggies are too costly, remember that canned and frozen fruits and vegetables provide the same nutrients as fresh. Go for canned vegetables in water and fruits canned in juice or water – if these are in short supply, buy regular canned fruits and veggies-drain and rinse before use.

8. As well as pasta, don’t forget rice and potatoes are a great base for dishes for example one pot rice dishes like risottos and paella, frittata, baked potatoes, loaded sweet potatoes or wedges as a main or side.

 

Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE

 

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