Canada’s New Food Guide – Cook More Often

Cooking more often at home rather than going out to eat is defiantly better for your overall health.

Cooking and preparing food can support healthy eating habits.

Cooking allows you to:

  • learn new skills
  • rely less on highly processed foods
  • control the amount of sauces and seasonings
  • make foods that you and your family like and will eat
  • save money by avoiding extra money spent on meals eaten out

Choose healthy ingredients like:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grain foods
  • protein foods
  • choose protein foods that come from plants more often

How to cook more often

Use these ideas to help make cooking part of your daily routine.

  • Cook once and eat twice
  • Cook enough for another meal. This doesn’t mean that you need to eat the same meal twice.

Get creative with leftovers to make a whole new meal:

  • Cook double the rice for your stir-fry and use the extras for rice pilaf.
  • Cook twice the chicken or ground turkey you need and keep extras to make chicken salad, enchiladas, chili or spaghetti sauce.
  • Keep flavours simple so foods can be used for many meals. Chilli one night turns into tacos the next and a topping for spaghetti another night.
  • When preparing meals, chop or cook extra vegetables and fruits so you have some for snacks and meals the next day.

Become a big batch cook

Batch cooking simply means making meals and snacks in bigger batches and freezing them in meal-size portions for convenient week-day meals. This can save you time and money.  You can now buy portioned containers for your freezer.

These healthy homemade options are ideal for batch cooking:

  • chili
  • soups
  • stews
  • casseroles
  • pasta dishes
  • spaghetti sauce

Use time-saving tools

Make home cooking easier by using time-saving tools.

Try a:

  • mini-chopper to quickly dice up various veggies
  • hand blender to make quick and easy soups and sauces
  • slow cooker to cook food while you are busy during the day
  • pressure cooker to reduce cooking times and make meals in a hurry

Keep healthy options on hand.

Healthy meals and starts by keeping your kitchen stocked with ingredients like:

  • soup broth to add flavour
  • bagged leafy greens to make an easy salad
  • your favourite herbs and spices to add flavour
  • pre-cut vegetables to use for snacks and stir-fries
  • canned tuna or salmon to add to a salad or sandwich
  • frozen or canned vegetables to make a quick side dish
  • canned chick peas and lentils to toss into soups, salads or main dishes

Healthy cooking methods

Experiment with different ways to cook food. Try using little to no added fat.

This includes:

  • baking
  • grilling
  • broiling
  • roasting
  • steaming
  • stir-frying and sautéing

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