It’s important that we all continue to take care of our physical health by eating healthy, nutritious food while we’re staying at home.

The supermarkets will stay open throughout the coronavirus outbreak and there will be plenty of food to go round if people don’t buy more than they need.

We’ve got some tips and resources to help you maintain a healthy diet:

  • Plan meals in advance – it’s important we keep shopping trips to a minimum and prevent food waste, so meal planning is a must. Make a list of what you need and what will keep. Remember some fresh foods like bread, milk and cheese can also be frozen. Follow Jamie’s Ministry of Food Leeds on Facebook for ideas and tips.
  • Organise deliveries if you’re self-isolating – arrange a contact-free delivery from a supermarket, friend or family member.
  • Be flexible – some favourite foods may not always be as available as we are used to. Think flexibly about the way you cook. Try some new food combinations and new recipes. Jamie Oliver has been hosting a new cooking programme, Keep Cooking and Carry On, to inspire us with a new flexible way of cooking.
  • Eat your five a day – to make sure you get a range of nutrients, try to eat vegetables and fruit of different colours such as berries, peppers, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes. Frozen fruit and vegetables can be a good alternative when fresh is not available. The NHS has tips for healthy eating.
  • Stay hydrated – drink 6 to 8 glasses each day.
  • Keep to regular meal times – this can help you keep to a plan and avoid mindless snacking.
  • Eat healthy snacks – it’s easy to turn to sugary snacks and crisps when you’re staying or working from home. Prepare some healthy snacks in advance for when you feel those hunger pangs such as cheese and apple, berries, nuts or carrots.
  • Use your freezer – cook batches of chillis, curries or stews and freeze portions and freeze leftovers to reduce food waste. Some raw vegetables like onions, peppers and carrots can be chopped and frozen.
  • Make use of your store cupboard – dried spices, nuts, cans of beans and tomatoes can enrich and inspire many meals. Tinned oily fish is a great store cupboard staple as well. Jack Monroe runs a blog with lots of ideas to help you produce cheap, healthy food from your store cupboard. Jamie Oliver has ideas for 14 store cupboard meals.
  • Cook for less – you can cook for yourself and eat well on a budget with the Cooking on a Shoestring recipe book from Zest Leeds.

Support for people in Leeds

One You Leeds is a free local health service designed to support Leeds residents to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle. One You Leeds are delivering a limited service at this time but continue to provide support for stopping smoking, weight management, healthy eating support, physical activity and health coaching. Clinics are delivered either virtually or by telephone where clients do not have internet access. People can self-refer to the service either via the website or by calling 0800 169 4219.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food restarts its 8-week cookery courses in Leeds Kirkgate Market on 6 July. There will be a maximum of four students to allow two-metre social distancing. They are also offering a free online live course on Tuesdays. See their Facebook page for more information or contact them by calling 0113 242 5685.