Eating Well while Staying at Home

Mayor Jim Watson: “I’m finding I’m eating a lot more because I’m here at home, nothing going on for the next half hour, I’ll go down and get something to eat.”

With everyone spending more time at home these days, it can be challenging to know what to eat – stress, a change in routine, boredom, easy access to the fridge – any of these factors can impact the way we eat and what we eat. 

Sound familiar? If so, don’t be too hard on yourself because these are unprecedented times and it can take some time to adjust. That said, take this time at home to explore new recipes or make favourite recipes that you enjoy cooking. By cooking at home you’re already accomplishing one of the Heart Institute’s 10 Tips for Healthy Eating. Cooking at home may also help you create some structure in your day and reduce stress.


Planning is an important part of healthy eating. Grocery shop once a week as recommended by public health officials. Try to plan your meals ahead and make a list so you don’t forget anything or buy things you don’t need. If you live with others, try to enjoy mealtimes with them.  Avoid reading or watching the news while eating. Consider picking a few recipes you’ve been meaning to try and make sure to stock up on more fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks. Wash and pre-cut your vegetables and fruit in advance and keep them in accessible containers in the fridge, making them easier to grab and snack on right away.


Some healthy snack ideas:

  • Celery with peanut butter
  • Sliced fruit and cheese
  • Hardboiled egg on toast with mayonnaise
  • Homemade trail mix or a few unsalted nuts with fruit
  • 1 medium banana spread with nut butter
  • Frozen ripe banana pulsed and then blended in a food processor with 2 tbsp peanut butter

  • Whole grain pita or crackers with hummus
  • Homemade popcorn
  • Sliced apples with almond butter
  • Steamed edamame
  • Raw vegetables with tzaziki dip
  • Whole grain crackers with guacamole
  • Cucumber slices and hummus
  • Frozen berries with plain yoghurt

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be all or nothing – set one or two small concrete goals based on where you are now to make changes to your eating habits, and work towards them. For example, plan to eat two vegetables at each dinner or commit to a fish or legume recipe as one of your meals this week. You might be surprised to find yourself feeling energized and motivated by achieving one small objective, and this could fuel you to work on the next challenge. Remember that eating well also includes enjoying some of your favourite foods or comfort foods.  This can be a stressful time for many reasons – do your best and enjoy the food you eat!

Looking for more information? Read the Eating Healthy section of the UOHI’s COVID-19 resource and information page or the Cardiac Rehabilitation Nutrition Guide.

This article was inspired by this Globe and Mail article and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Nutrition Guide.