Eating healthily isn’t complicated. The main ingredient is organisation, and cupboard staples are real life-savers.
All mums have experienced that moment when the kids are hungry, the fridge is empty, and we end up with a sad frozen pizza on the dinner table. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, but stacking your cupboard with a few healthy ingredients can prevent this from happening again.
Here are eight foods you should always have in hand to make your life easier and your family healthier.
A can of chickpea goes a long way! This versatile legume can be turned into falafels, hummus, or added to a salad or a curry. Rich in fibre and protein, chickpeas are a nutritious and delicious staple for your family.
One of the world's most popular health foods, quinoa can be used as a base for a salad or a casserole, or just as a delicious side. It cooks in 15 minutes, but you can also cook it in bulks at the beginning of the week so it is always available.
Pasta suffers from a bad reputation, but a bowl of pasta with a few tablespoons of passata and a sprinkle of cheese is healthier than pretty much any processed, ready-made food.
The epitome of a cupboard essential, oats are a real Irish mum's favourite, and we totally concur to this. There is nothing wrong in giving your kids a bowl of porridge for dinner once in a while.
This oily fish is a healthy, cheap and delicious source of protein and good fats. Added to a salad, on some crackers, or in a pasta sauce, sardines are very versatile and have all it takes to be a cupboard essential.
Mix quinoa, black beans and a can of corn, and you have a delicious dish to serve up to your family in just a few minutes. If you are feeling it, add some feta from the jar you keep in the fridge, some dried coriander, and a squeeze of lime.
Passata and chopped tomatoes
As the base of a tomato sauce, in a chilli, or in a curry, tomato passata and chopped tomatoes are healthy alternatives to a ready-made sauce that often contains a lot of sugar. They can be counted as one of your five-a-day and provide loads of nutrients.
This plant-based food makes a delicious creamy base for many dishes (mix chickpeas, potatoes, frozen spinach, coconut milk and a few spices for the easiest and most delicious curry) and you should always keep a few cans on hand.