If you’re struggling with food availability near you at the moment and are trying to do fewer food shops in the name of social distancing, it’s worthwhile thinking about how your meal planning routine may change over the coming weeks. You might be less likely to plan ahead and get all the ingredients you want, and so may need to focus less on planning all your meals BEFORE your food shop and instead get creative with meal planning AFTER you see what is actually available.
That being said, it is good to have a rough idea of more convenient & versatile ‘store-cupboard essentials’ to stock up on if you can get your hands on them, such as dried, tinned and frozen/freezable foods that will last longer e.g.
- DRIED: pasta, spaghetti, rice, cous cous, porridge oats, cereals, flour, beans & pulses, dried fruit, nuts & seeds, tea bags (!)
- TINNED: chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, coconut milk, beans & pulses, fish e.g. tuna, mackerel, sardines; veg e.g. sweetcorn, peas, carrots; tinned fruit e.g. peaches, pineapple, pear
- FROZEN/FREEZABLE: veg e.g. peas, sweetcorn, broccoli, onions, peppers or mixed veg; bread, pitta & wraps; milk & cheese (yes you can freeze these!); meat, fish & veggie protein alternatives e.g. mince or sausages
It helps if your cupboards are already stocked with herbs, spices & condiments as these will add the finishing touch to your culinary creations, but if you don’t have these, here are a few main suggestions:
- Salt & pepper
- Bay leaves
- Mixed Italian herbs
- Spices e.g. curry powder, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, cinnamon
- Stock powder or cubes
- Worcester sauce
- Soy sauce
- Peanut butter
- Sweet chilli sauce
- Hot/chilli sauce
This is not an exhaustive list. You may not need all of these but pick & choose as per your preferences and what you think will go best with what you’ve got.
Everyone Health in Staffordshire can help support you. We provide health trainers to help you manage your weight with the power of a healthy diet and exercise. Take a look at our website, take the online assessment or call: 0333 005 0095 to find out more. We are currently providing virtual services so you can still access support without the worry.