To help you stay healthy during lockdown here are some of my go-to tips and resources to help keep great food on the table.
I find a little planning goes a long way when it comes to maintaining healthy eating, and it’s great to know you always have something healthy and delicious to eat. Before you brave the shops try deciding on a few meals in advance and write a shopping list, so you know exactly what to buy. Getting everyone onboard and creating a list of healthy family favourites really helps.
Start with the fresh ingredients you already have in the fridge to avoid any food waste. There are now some great apps to help you find recipes using the food you already have, no matter how random the collection of items might be! Click here for ideas and to find one that works for you.
Get a wide range of nutrients
Vitamins and minerals are essential to support your immune system, so make sure you’re stocking up on boosters such as Vitamin A, C and Zinc from foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, berries, tomatoes, peppers and shellfish. Aim for a wide variety of fresh foods in a range of colours for maximum nutrient benefit. I aim to add in as much good stuff as possible at every opportunity!
In these stressful times, it’s also good to focus on foods that increase your feel-good hormone - serotonin. So, go for fish, nuts, dark green vegetables, seeds, oats, yoghurt, eggs and poultry for a lift. Read the latest NHS guidelines on the best food sources of vitamins and minerals.
Bake at home
We all love a sweet treat, so why not try baking your own? Home-baked cakes and biscuits often have significantly less refined sugar, salt and fats than shop-bought, making them a potentially healthier option. The process of baking can also be super relaxing in addition to making the house smell fantastic! Don’t be put off if you’re missing an ingredient; there are loads of recipes which work without flour, eggs or butter. Click here for ideas.
Try something new
Now with more time on my hands and occasional limited options in the shops, it’s been a great time to get inventive in the kitchen and challenge myself to prepare something new. Try browsing recipes online or your cookery book collection for inspiration. Don’t forget to raid the back of your cupboards, as now is the perfect time to find a recipe for that ‘interesting’ ingredient lurking there. You might just come up with a new classic. My current favourites are Jamie Oliver for his great family meals and Food Matters for when a health kick is needed!