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Food shopping made simple

During this lockdown, for the most part I have found it relatively easy to find the things I need in the shops. I have changed my way of shopping from a large grocery delivery once a week to several trips to smaller local stores, and have been pleased to find that generally I have been able to continue making my usual meals, with the odd substitution here or there.

However, I know that for many people their reality is different. For many people who are shielding at home and not able to get out, relying on the kindness of family or neighbours, it is not possible to get all your usual groceries, so in this piece I have listed healthy foods that are relatively cheap, nutritious and widely available.

Potatoes – often shunned because they are a white vegetable, but potatoes are full of fibre, potassium and vitamin C, and can be made into lots of different meals from the humble jacket to Shepherd’s pie

Lentils – cheap, plentiful and can be stored for months. Lentils are a vegetarian source of protein and iron, and also contain fibre. They can be used in soups and to bulk out meals like stews or meat dishes. They can also be boiled then cooled and added to salads

Carrots – a cheap source of beta carotenes and vitamin C, both of which are thought to be supportive of the immune system. Carrots can be used in a multitude of dishes like soups and salads, or just eaten raw as a snack

Tinned mackerel – mackerel is an oily fish and contains protein, beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Tinned mackerel are a store cupboard essential, and can be served on toast, with a salad or a baked potato

Eggs – versatile and inexpensive, eggs can be made into a range of quick meals such as omelette, scrambled, poached or fried. They are a source of protein, B-vitamins, vitamins D and K

Frozen spinach – chock full of vitamins, spinach is loaded with goodness and low in calories. It can be simply steamed and served as an accompaniment to fish or chicken, or even featured in a main dish such as lasagne or stew

Beef mince – red meat contains protein, iron and vitamin B12. Mince beef is a great way to serve red meat economically to families. Red meat can be a healthy part of a balanced diet but its intake should be limited to no more than a couple of times a week

Tinned mandarins – whilst fresh fruit is generally better for you, it’s not always easy to get hold of fresh fruit right now. Tinned fruit can be a great cupboard standby. Citrus fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C which is supportive for the immune system. It also contains fibre, B-vitamins, carotenes and potassium

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