“From now on, many of us will be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at home, so a bit of meal planning can minimize food wastage and help reduce cost. It’s also a great time to audit your pantry or freezer to use any foods you already have before they go out of date,” says Julie.
“We’re encouraging Aussies to adopt a heart healthy eating pattern by filling their plates with a good mix of veggies, fruits and wholegrains, together with some healthy proteins like fish, legumes or smaller amounts of lean chicken or eggs. If you’re choosing red meat, make it lean and have less than 350 grams a week.”
Ms Mitchell also recommends people with heart disease or high cholesterol choose reduced fat unflavoured milk, cheese or yogurt and those with Type 2 Diabetes should limit eggs to fewer than seven per week.
Five meal prep tips for home isolation
#1 Prepare ahead, but don’t hoard
Plan your meals and shop with a list to ensure you’re getting only what you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner that week to minimize food wastage and costs. Grab one or two extra staples each shop – but never hoard food. Supermarkets will remain open in the event of a lockdown.
#2 Mix up fresh, canned or frozen food
Frozen veggies are just as healthy as fresh options, canned vegetables, beans or fruit have an extra-long shelf life, so they are perfect for your pantry, too. Choose canned goods with “no added salt”, “low-salt” or “reduced-salt” on the label and choose fruit canned in juice rather than syrup.
#3 Choose heart-healthy proteins over red meats
Heart healthy proteins such as 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. Lean chicken or eggs are also heart-healthy proteins, but only choose lean red meat and limit it to 1-3 meals a week.
#4 Set routine mealtimes
Unfortunately, as everyone is working from home the snacks and fridge are always within easy reach. Set routine meal times and if you do snack, go for a handful of unsalted nuts, a cup of veggie sticks or a small plate of fruit to curb afternoon sugar cravings.
#5 Brush up your home cooking skills and get inspired
Having more time at home is a great opportunity to learn how to cook, or improve the skills you already have. Look for recipes that use canned or frozen goods, rice or pasta for meal ideas using long-life products.