During the summer holidays with more time away from the family home it can be difficult to spend time cooking from scratch. An analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008-12) found that more than a quarter of adults and a fifth of children ate out once or more a week, and one fifth of adults and children ate takeaway meals at home once per week or more. While a takeaway every now and then is absolutely fine over the last 20 years portion sizes have increased, consumers are exposed to high levels of fats and salt and the price can add up.
Everyone enjoys a meal out and a night off from cooking but you might find yourself choosing takeaway because you feel like you don’t have enough time or energy to cook. Here are some of our top tips to help you swap the takeaway for a fakeaway:
- As long as you’ve got healthy ingredients in your fridge and cupboards, you can make quick, healthy meals at home in the time it takes to order and collect a takeaway
- Preparing and cooking your own meals is generally cheaper than buying a takeaway or a ready meal, and because it’s easier to control what goes into your dish, it can be healthier
- Shop online and search for supermarket price comparisons that let you select a basket of products and then choose the cheapest supplier. The price differences can be significant and unlike going to the shops yourself, you’ll know how much you have spent before going to the till, which can make it easier to stay within budget
- You can find a range of healthy recipes on-line offering ideas for cheap eats and ways of using leftover ingredients. Change4Life’s Meal Mixer is a great way to get tasty, healthy recipe with easy to follow instructions, and a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need to cook a healthy meal . There are also a number of apps to try like ‘One You Easy Meals’ with lots more inspiration for family mealtimes
- Did you know the average family with children throws away almost £60 of good food every month! Planning meals can help to ensure that all your ingredients are used or make sure to freeze any unused food. Food storage bags and boxes will come in handy
- You might also want to cook extra portions for your evening meal so you can have the leftovers either for lunch the next day or freeze for another day. Eventually, you’ll have a freezer full of homemade ready meals on tap and you wont have to rely on takeaways.
We also love the idea of cooking together as a family! For example, you and your child could make a pizza together. You can choose to make the base or use pitta/tortilla wraps which can be topped with chopped tomato puree and any variety of your favourite toppings. We have put together our favourite pizza recipe for our #EATINWITHEARLYSTART series, visit our YouTube channel to check it out now. This dishes is more healthy than your normal takeaway choice, but just as delicious!