Take time to eat healthy - even on busy days

By Elizabeth Holmes on

When you’re rushed, you can end up choosing processed foods to put into the microwave or eat on the run. Try to limit how often you eat them – they often contain hidden fat, calories, sugar and salt.

If ready-to-eat meals, frozen foods or pre-packaged foods are the only option,  check the nutritional label. Choose items that are low in saturated fats, salt and sugar. Try to avoid any product with ingredients you don’t recognize. These foods often contain fillers and other things that have no nutritional value. 

These tips for healthy eating on busy days can help with Sugar-Free September and all year round.

When you’re rushed for time

  • Buy pre-cut vegetables to add to your plate rather than forgetting them altogether. They make stir-fries and curries easier to put together too.
  • Pick up a BBQ chicken and bagged salad at your local grocery store. Add a whole-grain roll or multi-grain tortilla with salsa on the side.
  • Keep a couple of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. Add one to pre-mixed salad for a quick lunch.
  • Pre-cut meats (such as chicken already cut into strips for stir-frying) can speed up putting meals together.
  • Try breakfast for dinner. Buy pre-cut fruit and add to a wholegrain cereal with milk for a quick pick-me-up until the next morning.

When you’ve got the time

  • Make double batches of recipes to easily reheat.
  • Cook a roast and add vegetables to leftover meat for a stir-fry the next day.
  • Grill a couple of extra chicken breasts and cut up into bite-sized chunks for wraps, tortillas, burritos or a salad.
  • Throw in an extra handful of pasta or rice at dinner and use it for the next day’s lunch.
  • Cut up a large bowl of fresh fruit. Add some lemon juice to keep it fresh. Add to yogurt or cereal, and you’ve got breakfast for the whole week.
  • Cut up fresh vegetables and toss them into a crisper bag. They’re great for snacking on any time or adding to leftovers to make a quick meal.
  • Cook a whole chicken with potatoes, celery, carrots and seasonings in a crockpot. You’ll have ready-to-use stock and vegetables to make into soup – just add some rice or pasta.
  • Get friends to gather in a community kitchen to prepare a few meals together.