5 meal preparation tips to help you in isolation


Written by accredited dietitian Themis Chryssidis

From Sprout Cooking School & Health Studio

Posted: Feb 07 2022

If there’s one positive from COVID-19 it’s that more people have spent time at home, with family and friends (sometimes too much time!) and more time in the kitchen!

Isolation meal prep

We often discuss the importance of freezing home-cooked meals and planning ahead for people cooking for one, people who are expecting a child and just generally for time poor individuals. Now we can throw COVID lockdowns in the mix too, as you never know when you’re going to get struck down by COVID or become a close contact, forced to isolate. During these times it’s important to have meals ready to go, or at least items ready to use during your in-home isolation.

If you do get stuck in the unfortunate position of self-isolation, this is not a holiday comprised of expensive dinners, afternoon cheeseboards and Champagne before dinner. You may be sick and need to rest. You may not be sick but need to continue working. You may even be a partner, parent, entertainer, educator, employee, cook and cleaner… it’s not a holiday.

So, how can you steer clear from the meal delivery services and local takeaway joints?

It’s simple – be prepared and maybe a little thrifty…

5 meal tips to prepare for the unexpected:

  1. Freeze a few family favourites
    If you’re sick and stuck inside, you may as well get some comfort from food… Lasagne, curries, casseroles, soups all freeze well. Being dishes that have more liquid and full of flavoursome spices and herbs, our feel-good favourites are perfect to help manage some COVID symptoms such as change in taste and a sore throat.
  2. Prepare a few key elements
    There are only so many meals you can freeze until you run out of freezer space!
    So, prepare some key elements that will make your “iso life” a lot easier. Freeze a curry paste, pasta sauce, marinades and even make your own smoothie cubes (a great way to condense all the fruit and vegetables required to make a smoothie into one ice cube). Then all you need to do is add a grain, vegetables and protein (or milk in the case of the smoothies), and dinner or brekkie will be on the table in no time at all.
  3. Vacuum sealed meat
    Next time you purchase meat, ask your butcher to vacuum seal it for you. It will last a lot longer in the fridge and even longer in the freezer, without reducing quality.
  4. Pantry and freezer staples
    Make sure you always keep a few key items in your kitchen. Frozen and tinned vegetables, frozen fruits, stock, spices, pasta, rice, beans and maybe even some long-life milk.
    Read more about how you can use your pantry staples for healthy family meals >
  5. Use your pantry
    No doubt there are corners of your pantry you haven’t seen in a very long time… Perhaps next time you’re looking for meal inspo, start in your pantry rather than your fridge! Consider how you can use what you have, think outside the square, base your meals around a pantry item rather than, as most Australian’s do, meat. Think Mexican beans, vegetarian curries using tinned tomatoes, lentils and spices or pasta bake and tuna mornay with tinned corn and tuna.

With these tips in mind, it’s important to stay calm. We don’t encourage you to panic-buy or over-stock your pantry ‘just in case’. Rather, take advantage of the easy ways you can be prepared for the unexpected and continue eating healthy and nutritious meals, with less stress. You’ll get through this!

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Posted: Feb 07 2022


The information contained here is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal medical situation. The information is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or used for therapeutic purposes. Should you require specific medical information, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. Health Partners does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them.

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