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How to eat well during the coronavirus lockdown

Chris Cashin, Registered Dietitian and a lecturer in Nutrition at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

With the whole country affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, having a healthy diet is vitally important.  People need to continue to eat well but many are worried about staying healthy and are concerned they won’t be able to buy the food they normally eat.

Here, Chris Cashin, Registered Dietitian and a lecturer in Nutrition at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David outlines what we can all do to continue eating well during these difficult and unprecedented times

Start by having a good look at your cupboards and freezers – there is probably quite a lot in there that you could make meals from – tinned tuna, half used packets of rice and pasta, beans and pulses.

In your freezer you may have quite a few saved meals – does it matter if everyone eats a different meal by using up what you have already frozen?

Getting your 5 a day is still important but also includes fresh, frozen and tinned vegetables.  Try not to waste any of your vegetables by putting any left-over in a casserole, a chilli, bolognaise or make some soup – this might even have a positive effect on your food waste.

You could also plan a menu for the week – it could be a good exercise for children on what is a healthy diet in practice.

Look too at portion sizes of meat or fish or eggs or cheese – take a look at the Food Portions fact sheet from the British Dietetic Association:


Keep an eye on your fridge and your food cupboard so that you try not to waste food but also if make a one-pot meal like a chilli, freeze what you haven’t used.  

There are no supplements that can boost your immune system – some people are really taking advantage of our fears around the virus.

The Government Guide – the Eatwell guide – outlines the food groups we need to include.  Try not to eat too many treats either! You can read the guidance by visiting:


Public Health England’s One You Easy Meals is another very useful app.

You also need to watch your alcohol intake – the guidelines state no more than 14 units a week. Think about the additional calories in alcohol as well!

Second year students on the BSc Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle course that I teach at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David also think it is a good time to cook from scratch. There are plenty of online sites such as BBC Good Food that have guides to many recipes. Why not involve the children too?  This could be part of a biology lesson. Take a look at the British Nutrition Foundation website – they have some excellent resources for parents and children to use.