General Hints & Tips
When difficulties arise there are many different approaches we can take to improve the choices available to us. Simple changes can make all the difference. Here you can find some general hints and tips that can be applied across a wide range of situations.
Planning and Shopping
Food Planning – Planning what you are going to eat daily, weekly or monthly may not be your usual way of doing things. However making plans will make your food shop go further, be more efficient with your preparation time and help to make your diet as well balanced as possible. Use our downloadable weekly planner to help you with this.
Activity Diary – By keeping a diary of your plans, out and about, you will be able to see where you might have to make arrangements to help you eat the foods you want. Cross referencing your diary when planning your food shops can save you money and ensure you don’t go without when you are away from home.
Shop in Season – Where you can try to buy foods that are in season; they are generally better quality, better value and have more nutritional value than foods stored over time. Download our Seasonal Foods calendar to help.
Look out for Quality – When you shop for food use your senses to check that the food is of good quality before you buy it. Look, smell, touch and taste when you can and if it doesn’t seem right don’t buy it. This will save you money in the long run and make your meals delicious. Watch out for our blog on shopping for the best quality to help you learn how to choose the best ingredients.
Shop Local – Where you can, do your food shopping at local bakeries, butchers, fishmongers and markets. Supermarkets are convenient and are useful for many items – online delivery services are excellent. However to really improve the food you eat buy your meat, fish, bread and vegetables from the experts. You can ask them what is in season, what is the best quality and value and they will show you how to check for quality.
Preparation, Cooking and Storage
Equipment – Try to buy the best quality equipment you can afford. It is a false economy, generally, to buy the cheaper items. Look out for our blog on equipment which will show you how to put together an all round kitchen ‘tool kit’. This will increase what you can achieve in your kitchen and ultimately improve the quality of your cooking.
Adapted Tableware– There are some fantastic designs now available to help with dexterity, grip strength and co-ordination. Look out for our reviews on the pieces of equipment we think will make your life easier when preparing food and at mealtimes.
Pre-prepared Ingredients – If preparation gets difficult there are many solutions you can find. You can find vegetables, meat and fish ready to use. If you are using a butchers or fishmongers they will prepare the produce as you want it. You can find stocks, sauces and a whole host of other precooked aids to help you produce good meals. Look out for our recipe ‘hacks’ to make your life easier.
One Pot Wonders – A whole host of delicious meals can be created using just one pot. Meat, fish, vegetarian, and ethnic dishes can be created using very simple techniques that can be applied across the board. The beauty of these dishes are that they use the same skill set and the cooking process retains much of the nutrition. Slow cookers have really helped at home to safely produce these types of dishes whether in or out. These dishes can usually make more than you need so are great for cutting down your work throughout the week.
Fridges, Freezers and Microwaves – Use your larger kitchen appliances to your advantage. Make large batches where you can and portion what you have made in food bags or plastic containers. Then plan when you want to eat them and put them in you fridge or freezer depending when that is:
Fridge – 2-3 days
Freezer – Longer than 3 days
Label and date the items and put them straight into the fridge or freezer once they have cooled. Then you can just microwave straight from the fridge or freezer when you need them.