Easy Tips to Prepare Healthy Meals at Home by The Diabetes Food Hub Team

COVID-19 is causing closures, quarantine, and “social distancing” protocols across the nation. For many, this means cooking more meals at home, and possibly limited access to grocery stores. The good news is that homemade meals are often healthier than eating out—you can control exactly how much butter, salt, etc. goes into your meal. Read on for more tips making healthy meals at home. 

Easy Tips to Prepare Healthy Meals at Home

Related: Tips and Recipes for Staying Healthy While Staying Home

When you can’t find exactly what you need at the store, it’s important to find flexible recipes where you can easily sub in different vegetables, proteins, and grains, depending on what you have on hand. 

Things like stir-fry, soups, stews, frittatas, and meatloaf are versatile dishes that can use almost any combination of vegetables, protein, and grains.
 
When putting together a meal, use the Diabetes Plate Method to build balanced meals with appropriate portion sizes.

Filling half your plate with vegetables will provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need to stay healthy. Any vegetables will do—fresh, frozen, or canned.  

A small portion of protein in one quarter of your plate is all you need to stay full and satisfied. Choose lean proteins that are low in saturated fat like chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef and pork. 
 
Finish off your meal by filling one quarter of your plate with a carb-rich food like whole grains, beans, starchy vegetables like potatoes or corn, or fruit. Limiting carb foods to one quarter of your plate helps keep portions in check to prevent spikes in blood glucose.
 
You can use this same formula when putting together mixed dishes like soup or casserole—it should be made up of mostly vegetables, one quarter protein, and one quarter carb foods.

COVID-19: What Can I Eat? from American Diabetes Association on Vimeo.

Browse our collection of Easy Pantry Recipes for ideas and inspiration. Get creative in the kitchen and test out subbing different vegetables, grains, proteins, and flavoring depending on what you have on hand. 

Related Articles

  • 10 Ways to Flavor Food That are Better Than Salt

    10 Ways to Flavor Food That are Better Than Salt

    If your doctor has advised you to ease off the salt shaker, you might be wondering why. The answer is sodium, a mineral found mainly in salt. “Too much sodium in a person’s diet can increase their blood pressure, raising their risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease,” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, author of Diabetes Cookbook & Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed.

  • Tips and Recipes to Stay Healthy While Staying Home

    Tips and Recipes to Stay Healthy While Staying Home

    COVID-19 is causing closures, quarantine, and “social distancing” protocols across the nation. For many, this means eating more meals at home, and possibly limited access to grocery stores. Eating healthy in this situation can be challenging, but it is possible! We’ve got tips on what to buy at the grocery store, and easy recipes that you can prepare with low cost groceries that you may already have in your pantry.

    We'll be updating this article with more tips and recipes over the coming days, so please check back often. You can also visit the ADA's primary COVID-19 information page here to see FAQs, sick-day tips, and diabetes-related updates.

  • Safe Grocery Shopping Tips for People with Diabetes

    Safe Grocery Shopping Tips for People with Diabetes

    Staying home and limiting your contact with other people is the most effective way to stay safe and avoid COVID-19. However, some trips outside are essential, like shopping for groceries. Read on for simple tips to make grocery shopping safer.

  • 6 Expert Tips for Healthy Lunches at Home

    6 Expert Tips for Healthy Lunches at Home

    If you’re used to going to the office every day, your lunch routine has changed thanks to COVID-19. Whether you were taking a homemade bagged lunch or in a groove with the nearby salad spot, you’re approaching lunchtime differently now.

  • Healthy at Home: Snacking with Diabetes

    Healthy at Home: Snacking with Diabetes

    With social distancing and mandates to stay at home, many people are having to get creative with eating and cooking more meals at home. When you're cooped up inside with easy access to the kitchen, it's easy to start grazing all day and lose the structure of planned meals. How can you enjoy snacks and still keep it healthy?

  • Diabetic One-Pot Recipe Roundup

    Diabetic One-Pot Recipe Roundup

    Looking for a way to eliminate difficulty, time, and cleanup from dinnertime? May we suggest the venerable one-pot dish. These simple, savory recipes eliminate extra pans and techniques by relying on low-and-slow cooking, technology (hello, Instant Pot!), or just the right combination of savory ingredients to deliver hearty meals with minimal fuss. Not only are these recipes perfect for any skill level, but they are also often budget friendly. Check out these diabetes-friendly one-pot dishes for your own inspiration.

Recommended for You