Updated on 12 August 2020
Following a healthy, balanced diet as outlined in the UK’s Eatwell Guide will help you to stay well and feel your best.
As this BBC article says, "... food can be a source of comfort and connection during turbulent times" so you might be finding it harder to stick to healthy eating at the moment. Being at home all day means you have to prepare more meals rather than eating at work or school or in a café or restaurant. If you’re feeling stressed about coronavirus, you might also find that you’re turning to high-calorie, high-sugar meals and snacks.
The Good Thinking team has put together some tips to help you shop for and prepare healthy and nutritious meals at this time. In line with the official advice, you should only leave your house for essential items and you should try to do this as infrequently as possible.
- Write a shopping list that you update as you go along so that you can try to get everything you need in one weekly shop.
- Plan your meals in advance – there are lots of healthy recipes available on the NHS and BBC websites. You could also download the free One You Easy Meals app.
- Be considerate of other people and don’t buy more than you need. The supermarkets are working hard to get more supplies on the shelves so there is no need to stockpile food.
- Look for alternatives – for example, if you can’t find fresh fruit and vegetables, go for tinned, frozen or dried equivalents. They all count towards your 5 A Day!
- Avoid going to the supermarket when you feel hungry as you might be tempted to buy more unhealthy and non-essential foods.
- Order your food online if you can. Be aware that delivery slots might be limited due to high demand and that most UK supermarkets are prioritising deliveries to vulnerable people. Choosing to ‘click and collect’ helps to open up delivery slots for those who are more vulnerable. If you can’t get your groceries in the usual way online, see if a local business (e.g. a café or wholesaler) is now delivering in your area.
- If you have a vulnerable neighbour who can’t leave their house, ask if they need anything from the supermarket. You might also like to donate some food or make a financial contribution to your local food bank.
- Stick to social distancing rules at all times while you’re shopping (there might be 2m markers at the tills or one-way aisles to help you and other shoppers). Use contactless payment whenever you can (the minimum spend has recently been increased to £45).
- If you have hand sanitiser gel, use this when you leave the supermarket, and wash your hands thoroughly when you get home. It’s recommended that you also wash them again after unpacking your groceries.