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Fancy cooking healthy food from scratch but worried that you’re not a gourmet chef? Fear not, creating nutritious, tasty meals at home needn’t be a terrifying prospect.

Research shows that people who cook at home generally have a better quality diet than people who regularly eat takeaways or ready meals.

Families eating together are more likely to eat smaller portions and consume fewer calories, less fat, less salt, and less sugar.

Try to get everyone involved in planning meals – children and fussy eaters might be happier to try new things if they’ve had a hand in planning them.

You might think it’s too difficult or expensive to cook from scratch or you might lack the confidence to just give it a go.

To combat that, here’s some tips on how to get started:

  • Do an inventory. Check your cupboards and see what ingredients are in there. This will give you an idea of staple foods that you have or may need to buy. Good store cupboard essentials include dry pasta, herbs, flour, black pepper, rice, soy sauce, tinned tomatoes, stock cubes and vegetable/ olive oil
  • Plan your weekly meals in advance. Then you can write out a list of ingredients to focus your mind when you’re shopping
  • Look in the freezer aisle for pre-prepared vegetables. These are as high in nutrients as fresh veg and can make preparing a meal much quicker
  • Keep it simple. Some of the best meals are made with few ingredients. Think of a jacket potato with beans – it might not be a gourmet meal, but it’s good value and nutritious

Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive. Try looking for food in season as these are often the fruits and vegetables on deals at the supermarket. Try your local market if you have one, fruit and veg is often cheaper here too

Look out for recipe cards in supermarkets and magazines for inspiration. You can also find some tasty, healthy recipes at

A final important tip is to learn to make the freezer your friend. Freezing leftovers straight away (if advisable to do so) means you avoid waste and are making your own ready meals.

Visit the Love food hate waste website for more tips waste free recipes, ideas on how to reduce food waste and how to safely store your leftovers.