As Summer draws to an end and the kids head back to school, we find our schedules returning to their usual hectic pace. Unfortunately the juggling of work, family and friend commitments means that nutrition and eating well often takes a back seat.
Despite what you may think, eating well does not have to involve hours slaving away in the kitchen making meals from scratch. While the term ‘convenience food’ has a bad reputation there are actually many nutritious packaged foods available in supermarkets these days.
Spend 15 minutes each week making a rough plan of the meals you will eat and use this to write your shopping list. A large part of eating well is simply good planning to ensure you have nutritious foods available at home.
When cooking a meal, increase the quantity to ensure you have leftovers to either freeze or to eat the next day. Saucy meals such as soups and casseroles tend to freeze best.
Microwaves are a perfectly safe and healthy way to cook or reheat food. It only takes a few minutes to reheat leftovers, steam vegetables or steam a packet of rice – perfect for when you come home ravenous after a long day.
In most supermarkets you will find an array of prepared fresh vegetables which can save you loads of prep time. Look out for salad bowls, packets of salad leaves, peeled and diced vegetables, mixed stir fry vegetables, steamer bags and ‘ready to roast’ vegetables. Don’t forget that frozen vegetables are also highly convenient and just as nutritious as fresh.
While some canned food is high in salt, there are many canned foods that are highly nutritious and convenient. Canned beans, legumes, tomatoes and fish are some handy staples to keep in stock in your cupboard.