Beginning to cook at home does not have to be an overnight switch that is perfected right away:
- Start small while you’re learning
- Grow your recipe collection over time.
- Start with foods that you enjoy.
- Ensure that you buy and develop staple pantry items if you cannot frequent your grocery store.
- Read the full 10 steps on how to work towards cooking more days each week. (Medium, 9 minute read).
Avoid fast-food, prepare your meals ahead of time:
- Between balancing school, work, volunteering, etc. it can be hard to cook every single meal. If you know you won’t have time to make food, prepare ahead of time.
- Set time aside after you grocery shop to cook meals in batches.
- Try cooking dinner for two portions, one for right then and one for lunch the next day.
- Try to create a meal prep schedule for when you do have time to cook in big batches.
Get to know some essentials for preparing your own meals:
The Canadian Food Guide on Nutrition:
- Make it a habit to eat a variety of healthy foods, like vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods. Choose protein foods that come from plants more often.
- Drink water! Staying hydrated allows your body to function and makes sure that you don’t overeat.
- Use food labels. Be aware that food marketing can influence your choices.
- Be mindful of your eating habits. Notice when you are hungry and when you are full.
- Cook more often. Plan what you eat, involve others in planning and preparing meals.
- Enjoy your food. Culture and food traditions can be a part of healthy eating.
- Everyone’s bodies are different. Avoid comparing your diet to others. Eat enough to satisfy yourself.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Enjoying food or treats that aren’t necessarily considered ‘healthy food options’, is okay. Having healthy food habits includes being able to enjoy our favourite treats every so often.
Cheap and healthy food can go together, after some practice in forming healthy food habits. Meal prepping and quick weeknight meals can become second nature to you.
Local Grocery Store Discount:
- Food Basics and Fortinos – Get 10% off your groceries every Tuesday with your student ID.
- Mustard Seed Co-op – Get 10% off your groceries every day with your student ID.
- Bulk Barn’s – 10% discount for students on Wednesdays with your student ID.
- Cooking terms can be technical and can be a barrier when you first look at recipes. UofT’s Food Services has compiled a written list of common culinary terms that you might see in recipes.
- Finding reliable recipes Good and Cheap cookbook, SimplyRecipes, and BudgetBytes are all great sources of recipes.