How to Make Your Food Stretch Further

With lockdowns a part of our reality at the moment, and the advice on limiting our movement as much as possible, how can we still eat healthily and make our fresh ingredients go the distance?

Plan your meals to make your fruit and vegetables go further:

  • Having a plan for your meals helps to make sure you use up your fresh ingredients. Plan your meals for the week based on what stays fresh for longer
  • Use the same base ingredients to make a variety of different meals: try using different herbs and spices (dried are fine) to give the same core ingredients a different flavour. Also try using different cooking techniques to make meals more interesting
  • Cut up leftover veg and add it to whisked up eggs for an easy frittata
  • Other things to consider:
    • Are there leftover fruit or veggies that you can cut up and freeze to use in smoothies?
    • Can you add additional vegetables to stews, pasta sauces or casseroles?

Use shelf-stable items to your advantage:

  • Add legumes to meals where you’d usually use meat such as Bolognese sauces, casseroles, stews and curries. You can either reduce the amount of meat you use or replace it all together to make dishes like chickpea curries or lentil Bolognese
  • Roast chickpeas with different spice mixes to have as a savoury snack
  • Why use legumes:
    • The fibre and protein in legumes will help keep you full for longer
    • Legumes are a good source of B group vitamins and other minerals
    • BONUS: the water footprint (how much water is needed to produce the food) is really low for legumes (4,000 L per kg vs 5,000-20,000 L for 1 kg of meat), so you’re doing the environment a favour too!
  • Frozen and tinned vegetables are a good alternative if fresh ones aren’t going to go this distance

Focus on your hunger and appetite cues:

  • For many people, being home all the time can lead to excess snacking out of boredom, so reconnecting with hunger and appetite cues can help us recognise boredom eating
  • Once you recognise this, coming up with a list of “boredom busters” can help you find other ways to engage your mind, rather than mindlessly snacking

Food safety and leftovers:

  • Make sure you use up any cooked leftovers within three to four days, otherwise freeze them for another time. Any food that has been between 5 and 60 degrees for more than 4 hours must be discarded, so always pack away your leftovers straight away


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