Stock Up for Success: How to Build a Healthy Store Cupboard for Busy Work-at-Home Mums

Work-at-home mums- let's talk about the unsung hero of your kitchen: the store cupboard! It's the place where you can find all the goodies you need to whip up a healthy and delicious meal in a pinch, perfect when you're forever stretched when it comes to your time and energy. Meal planning and cooking or baking fresh food from scratch is always the goal, but some days that's just not going to happen and having a well stocked store cupboard means you always have ingredients on hand and there's no need to resort to unhealthy and expensive takeaways and convenience foods. Here's how to stock a healthy store cupboard with long-lasting items that are always there when you need them and can be used in so many ways. 

Choose Whole Grains and Legumes
When it comes to grains and legumes, go for whole varieties where you can. Whole grains like brown rice, wholemeal pasta, quinoa, and oats are packed with fibre, protein, and essential nutrients that keep you full and energised throughout the day. Plus, they're super versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Legumes like lentils and chickpeas are also great options for adding some plant-based protein to your meals.

Tinned Goods
Who says tinned food has to be boring? Tinned vegetables like tomatoes, beans, and lentils are fantastic sources of fibre, protein, and vitamins. You can use them as a base for soups, stews, and curries, or as a topping for salads and sandwiches. Just make sure to choose tins with no added sugar or salt, and steer clear of those with preservatives or artificial flavourings.

Jars and Packaged Goods
Jars and packaged goods are your best friends when you need a quick meal or snack. Nut butter, canned fish, and dried fruits are all great sources of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins. Nuts and seeds, when stored in an airtight container, can last for months and make for a great snack or salad topper. Canned fish like tuna and salmon are perfect for when you need a quick protein fix.

Herbs and Spices
Spice up your life (and your meals) with some herbs and spices! Not only do they add flavour to your dishes, but they also come with a host of health benefits. Basil, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic, and ginger are just a few examples of herbs and spices that can take your meals to the next level. Plus, they're low in calories and high in antioxidants!

Oils and Vinegars
Cooking oils and vinegars are essential ingredients for adding flavour to your meals. Olive oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil are great for cooking, while balsamic, apple cider, and red wine vinegar are perfect for dressings and marinades. Make sure to store these items in a cool, dark place to prolong their shelf life.

Let's face it, we all need a snack or two (or three) throughout the day. Instead of reaching for unhealthy options, stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Whole grain crackers or rice cakes are also great options for when you need something crunchy.

Stocking a healthy store cupboard is the key to being able to make healthy meals in a pinch. You can buy items when they're on offer to build your store cupboard over time, and as long as you go through everything now and again to keep an eye on the dates of things, most items last for years so they're right there when you need them.