COVID-19 Cooking: 30 Healthy Meal Ideas for Your Home
Dietitian approved healthy meals for your family during the pandemic
One of the few positive things that may come from the COVID-19 pandemic is that families are actually home cooking together more. I’m crossing my fingers as a Dietitian that social distancing is forcing more families to be eating around the dinner table. But the next question is what type of meals could you make?
If you are looking for some healthy meal ideas on what to make while you and your family are working and schooling from home, this list could help. Here are some ideas to try and make with the kids:
Breakfast Ideas for the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Baked oatmeal cups. These are more like oatmeal but in the shape of a muffin. Try this recipe for Apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups or this variation of Blueberry pecan baked oatmeal cups.
2. Superpower green smoothie served with toast and peanut butter or nut butter.
3. Overnight oats: Rolled oats with milk or dairy-free milk, fresh/frozen/dried/canned fruit and nuts or seeds. Try this simple recipe: Dairy-free overnight oats
4. Egg-wich: Whole wheat English muffin (keep in the freezer and pull out as needed) with cheese, fresh tomato (or jarred roasted red peppers) and back bacon/bacon/ham (optional).
5. Oatmeal with frozen berries and milk (and if you run out of milk stir in canned evaporated milk, powdered milk or top with yogurt).
6. Pumpkin porridge: stir in canned unsweetened pumpkin, raisins and pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to rolled oats you are cooking on the stove. Try this variation also with added nut butter: Rise and shine pumpkin porridge.
7. Whole wheat cinnamon pancakes served with fresh or thawed frozen fruit, maple syrup and yogurt, cottage cheese or breakfast sausages.
8. Vegetarian blueberry protein smoothie bowl with no-bake granola.
9. Breakfast bento box: dried cereal, dried fruit, nuts/seeds and a latte, London fog, chai tea latte or hot cocoa made with milk or dairy-free milk .
10. Learn to make perfect poached eggs, a killer omelette or a soufflé with your kids by watching a video on YouTube. Serve with toast and fresh/frozen/canned fruit or tomato and avocado slices.
Lunch Ideas for the COVID-19 Pandemic
11. Make this recipe for Edamame guacamole recipe with either fresh or frozen avocado and serve with taco chips, pita bread, crackers or a variation on avocado toast.
12. Your favorite homemade, canned or boxed vegetable soup or chili served with sliced cheese and crackers (or instead of crackers serve with this recipe for Oatmeal drop scones).
13. Enjoy this simple and tasty recipe for Cheesy broiled eggs on toast and serve with cucumber or carrot sticks.
14. Layered Mexican bean dip served with taco chips or use up wraps nearing the expiry date by cutting them up with scissors and brushing/spraying with oil, adding a pinch of salt and baking in the oven until crunchy.
15. Tonight when you are cooking supper roast a fresh butternut squash (or instead use frozen cubed butternut squash) so that it is ready for lunch tomorrow to make this soup in a flash: Butternut squash and apple soup. Serve with hard cooked eggs or cottage cheese and crackers.
16. Grilled cheese with raw veggies. Of course you could get fancy and make gourmet grilled cheese with brie cheese and fig jam, blue cheese and sliced apple or pear or prosciutto and swiss cheese and the list goes on!
17. Scrambled vegetarian breakfast burrito.
18. You can use fresh or frozen spinach in this yummy recipe for Crustless spinach and feta quiche served with toasted rye or sourdough bread.
19. Pizza bagels: whole grain bagels, tomato sauce, grated mozzarella. Optional – toss in any of your favorite extra toppings such as green/red peppers, sundried tomatoes, olives, jarred roasted red peppers, canned artichokes, ham, back bacon, leftover grilled/roast chicken, canned pineapple and more!
20. 5 Minute vegetarian tostadas. These are one of my favorite lunches, give them a try!
Supper Ideas for the COVID-19 Pandemic
21. Learn how to make a chef worthy homemade mac and cheese with your kids by watching a video on YouTube and having fun in the kitchen. Serve with raw veggies, a salad or frozen veggies.
22. Make this recipe for Asian pork vegetable stir-fry with ANY vegetable you need to use up in your fridge drawer or any vegetable you have in the freezer. You can substitute the pork for chicken, beef or tofu as well.
23. Use fresh or frozen cauliflower for this tasty vegetarian recipe for a Roasted tomato and cauliflower pasta bake.
24. This recipe for Mango Shrimp Skewers sounds gourmet but it is really simple and since you can use frozen shrimp and frozen mango for this recipe it works great when your fresh food inventory may be dwindling. Serve with any veggies you have and rice, quinoa, barley, orzo or pesto pasta as a side.
25. Quinoa black bean salad. This makes a great supper meal and also works great leftover for lunch the next day.
26. While you are homeschooling, teach your kids how to make some of the staples they may want to make when they move out. Try this recipe for Chili con carne that you can serve with rice, whole grain buns or on top of baked potatoes.
27. This is one of our family favorites for a healthy meatless Monday recipe. We like to call this recipe for a Black bean tortilla stack a “Mexican pie.”
28. Enjoy this recipe for Breaded Cajun style fish and if you have family members that don’t like spicy foods you can swap out the Cajun spice with Italian seasoning instead. Serve with rice and any fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand.
29. Try this recipe for an Easy chickpea burger and serve with a cabbage salad (cabbage lasts a long time in your fridge so once you’ve eaten your lettuce them move on to coleslaw).
30. Skip the packaged taco seasoning mixes and go for a healthier and tastier version for your upcoming beef or chicken tacos using this recipe for Homemade taco seasoning.
Do you have another healthy meal idea for the COVID-19 pandemic that should be on the list? Link to a favorite recipe or share a family meal planning idea that works for you in the comments below.
Looking for more COVID-19 meal planning ideas, nutrition tips and fitness and mental health support?
WATCH my interview on Global Morning News here for simple nutrition tips for common eating issues:
Check out these other articles on our blog:
Healthy Pantry Snacks and Staples for COVID-19 and Beyond
COVID-19 Mental Health Awareness: Are you an Over-Responder or Under-Responder?
Re-defining the Joy of Movement During High Stress Times
COVID-19 Nutrition: Coronavirus Home Eating Guide
Free Fitness Apps, Yoga and Meditation Resources for Adults and Kids
Where can I find more Online Nutritionist Support?
If you are looking for nutrition support on healthy pantry snacks and staples as well as family meal planning for your household from the comfort of your home, we can help!
We’ve been offering virtual online nutritionist support by our Virtual Dietitian team for some time and can hand hold you through the process. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to use even if you are not technologically savvy. Read more about our Online Nutritionist services here: Our Practice is Open but we are working entirely Virtually for public health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic
PS: Don’t forget to check with your insurance provider, health spending account or private health services plan and see if you are covered for Registered Dietitian services.
About Andrea Holwegner
CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker
Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more
Just checked out some of your recipes – love the squash soup – definitely will make it.
Thanks for the note Carol-Ann! Happy covid-cooking.
My cooking went to next level during the pandemic. I’m also trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle and started to mine for healthy recipes like yours. Also, I’m training online and I managed to get rid of some pounds. Your blog posts are super inspiring for me in this phase, thanks!
Thanks for letting us know you are finding our recipes helpful – best wishes for your healthy eating journey!
Great Initiative, loved all recipes, will must try some of them .
I’m glad to hear you enjoyed our ideas here. Best wishes for health during this uncertain time.