The COVID-19 pandemic in Australia has meant that most of us are having to cook and eat at home more than ever during these unprecedented times of isolation. However, ordering in meals can be a way to still enjoy a date night, family night, or simply to have a break from cooking. When we think of ordering in food we tend to think of the higher calorie/fat/salt meal options such as fast food. However, keeping most of our meal choices nutritious, even when ordering in, can help support our bodies and minds during such stressful and challenging times.

Tips on Choices

Here are some helpful tips of what to look for when choosing a nutritious and healthy meal to order in:

  • Choose a dish based largely on vegetables – this will not only help you get closer to achieving the recommended intake of a minimum of 5 serves of vegetables a day, but it will also help to fill you up and provide lots of important nutrients for our health. The more variety of vegetables the better!
  • Look at the method of cooking – is it grilled? Is it deep fried? By looking at the method of cooking and choosing an option that uses less oil you can help reduce the unnecessary intake of high amounts of fats. For example, choosing a grilled based dish over a deep fried dish, or choosing a steamed rice over a fried rice.
  • Keep an eye on the sauce – sauces can easily add extra fat and calories to our meals. So instead of always going for the creamy based pasta or coconut based curry, have a go at trying tomato based sauces. You could even try a meal where the sauce is served on the side rather than mixed in, that way you can choose how much of the sauce you want to add into your meal.

What to Order

Below are some examples of dishes that you can order in using some of the main food delivery services (Deliveroo/Uber eats/Menulog) that also fit in with the above tips for a nutritious and healthy meal:

Meal Why? Restaurant example
Salads Lots of vegetables, try some that include healthy fats (feta, extra virgin olive oil) and/or lean protein (chicken breast, seafood) Zeus Street Greek, McDonalds Classic Chicken or Garden salad, most restaurants
Pita /Kebab Vegetables, choice of sauce and how much Zeus Street Greek, your local Greek restaurant
Simple hamburger Choose a hamburger made with a grilled patty, lots of salad and limit the amount of sauce. Limit adding extra patties, cheeses etc. Grill’d (Nick the Green, Simply Grill’d), Betty’s Burgers (Bare Betty – wrapped in lettuce instead of the bun), your local hamburger restaurant
Fish Choose a grilled fish and add a salad on the side. Try garnishing with lemon. Your local fish and chip shop
Steamed rice based main meal Choose a steamed rice to go alongside a protein and vegetable based dish such as Calamari with ginger, Beef/Chicken fillets with vegetables, a lentil/chickpea vegetarian based curry Your local Chinese/Indian restaurant

Talk to your LifeShape Dietitian for further guidance on how to include more healthy and nutritious meals into your day.

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