Whether sheltering inside your home or you just want to avoid eating out, there are plenty of ways to eat healthy while at home. There are also several additional benefits too, including spending less money and the opportunity to cook with your family.
Types of Food to Keep in the House
- Shelf-stable foods (peanut butter, rice, dried beans)
- Frozen fruits or vegetables
- Lean meats, fish or poultry
- Foods that have been minimally processed
- Aim for a balance of food groups: Proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy or dairy alternatives
- Try a variety of protein sources, such as salmon and other fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, nuts and beans
Planning is Key
Before you go to the grocery store, think through your meals for the next several days and make a list. Include items you can stretch into multiple meals. For example, if you have a small family, a plump rotisserie chicken can work for two different dinners that week. Planning ahead also keeps you focused on certain areas of the grocery store where you know you’ll need to shop, helping you avoid unnecessary aisles like those that have junk food that may not be on your list.
Make the Most of the Items You Have on Hand
Batch cooking and freezing some of your meals is a great way to make food last. Cooking in larger quantities wastes less food and gives you the bonus of having meals in the freezer that are ready, so you aren’t left wondering “what’s for dinner?” each night. If you are making tacos for example, you may want to make more than enough taco meat so you can re-purpose it for a meal later in the week, such as a taco salad. This also saves you time down the road since that cooking is already done and you don’t have to dirty more dishes.
Resist the Urge to Snack
We know snacking is so tempting for many, especially when spending more time at home than usual. (It’s not always about feeling full – snacking is often something people do just because they’re bored). Avoid spending more time in or near the kitchen than necessary and keep foods in cabinets rather than in eye sight such as on top of the counter.
If mindless munching is a shortfall of yours, then at least snack on healthy items such as cottage cheese and fruit, peanut butter and apple, veggie cups with dip or hummus, etc. Stock your fridge with such snacks at the start of the week so they’re available whenever you truly are hungry between meals.
Edward-Elmhurst Health has a number of other tips for how to eat healthy while at home, such as heart-healthy eating on a budget and planning healthy meals without even leaving your home.
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