Easy meal options

Easy meal options

There may be times when it’s harder or not possible to make it to the shops to buy fresh food. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be able to reach out to a friend or family member for help, order groceries online or order takeaway food to be delivered. However, there are other things that you can do to ensure you always have a few easy meal options on hand.

1. Keep some longer-life ingredients in your pantry, fridge and freezer

Our handy foods fact sheet has a list of longer-life food options. There’s no need to panic buy! Add a couple of items on to your grocery shop to be sure you have a few different meals on hand. For example:

  • Rice (raw or in a microwave bag), tinned tuna and frozen vegetables
  • Bread (this can be kept in the freezer), baked beans and cheese
  • Rolled oats, milk (fresh, long-life or powdered) and tinned or frozen fruit
  • Tinned soup and bread

It is also worth keeping some longer-life snacks in your pantry. For example:

  • Nuts, seeds and nut butter
  • Tinned rice pudding
  • Custard powder
  • Dried fruit

2. Make an extra meal or two and freeze

The next time you or a family member cooks, try packaging up an individual meal or two into a small container and freezing it. When you’re ready to eat it, either defrost it in the fridge and then reheat it on the stove or in the microwave, or defrost it and heat it in the microwave. Either way, heat it until it is steaming hot. See our food safety fact sheet for more information.

3. Buy some pre-made frozen meals

Almost all supermarkets and grocers now stock a range of frozen meals. These can be a good option for times you need something easy. Look for meals that include meat or a meat alternative, such as lentils, beans or legumes. Avoid buying ‘diet’ meals, these are usually lower in energy and may not have the nutrients you need. You may also be able to ask around your community to see if community organisations near you, such as a Neighbourhood House or day centre, are selling frozen meals. These are often sold at affordable prices.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the packet to reheat safely.