Ideas to make healthy eating easy for new parents

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Ideas to make healthy eating easy for new parents

Ideas to make healthy eating easy for new parents

There are lots of healthy meals and snacks that you can make that are quick and easy to prepare.

Healthy meal ideas

Try to base your meals on a starchy food, choosing wholegrains or higher fibre varieties where possible, such as potatoes with their skins, wholegrain breads, brown rice or wholewheat pasta, and then add different vegetables and a source of protein (e.g. beans, pulses, fish, eggs or lean meat). Keep a list of healthy meal ideas that you like. This will make it easier when you shop. If you are struggling to find time to go to the supermarket, why not try shopping online?

Here are some healthy meal ideas to get you started:

  • Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with reduced salt soya sauce, and boiled brown rice or wholewheat noodles. Why not add garlic, ginger and plain cashew nuts.
  • Grilled or steamed fish with lemon and some pepper. Serve with steamed potatoes and vegetables.
  • Lentil and vegetable soup, served with crusty bread.
  • Spaghetti Bolognese with added vegetables and lentils in the sauce (see recipe).
  • Fishcakes made with mashed potatoes, tinned salmon and herby low-fat cream cheese (to save time you could use fresh ready-made mash). Serve with peas and sweetcorn.
  • Baked potato with baked beans and a small portion of grated cheese, with a side salad.
  • Eggs, scrambled with chopped onion, peppers and mushrooms, on wholemeal toast.

When it feels like you don’t have any time between feeds and nappy changes to think about cooking, here are some tips to make healthy eating easier:

  • Frozen fruit and vegetables can contain just as many nutrients as fresh varieties and are quick and easy to prepare. They can also be good low-cost alternatives, and can help to reduce waste as you tend to only use what you need. You can add frozen vegetables to pasta sauces, soups, stews, stir fries and curries, and use frozen fruit in smoothies (maximum of 150ml of smoothie a day) or defrost them to use on top of plain yogurt or porridge.
  • Try steaming vegetables and fish for a quick and healthy way to cook.
  • Some meals (e.g. cottage or fish pie, and bolognese sauce) freeze well, so when you do have time consider doubling recipes and freezing them in meal-sized packs for a quick meal at dinner time.
  • Invest in a slow cooker – a slow cooker is a great way to save time and still prepare a healthy meal. Prepare the ingredients in the morning when your baby is having a nap, put it in the slow cooker, and at the end of the day, dinner is ready.

Information reviewed November 2016

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Please note that advice provided on our website about nutrition and health is general in nature. We do not provide any personal advice on prevention, treatment and management for patients or their family members.

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