There are six common unhealthy eating habits that people of all ages fall into when living alone, warns Emma Groves, the WA Heart Foundation's public health nutrition manager.
·Thinking that it is not worth cooking just for one.
·Wrongly believing it's too expensive to cook for one and leftovers will just go to waste.
·Relying on processed foods such as take-away and packaged foods.
·Not getting enough fruit and vegetables, worrying they may go off before being eaten or thinking they are too expensive.
·Thinking they don't have time to cook a proper meal.
·Not being confident about cooking a proper meal.
*Tips to feed one:
·Master a few quick, easy recipes such as jacket potato with beans and salad, frittata, steak or fish fillet and salad.
·Use processed foods such as pre-prepared, washed and cut vegetables to save time. Fresh, frozen and canned varieties are also available - choose no added salt versions.
·Stock the pantry and freezer with key ingredients, so that you can always make a quick meal - have on hand tinned beans (baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas), tinned or frozen vegetables (peas, tomatoes and green beans), pasta, rice, couscous, bread, cheese, eggs and individually portioned chicken, steaks and mince.
·Share with friends and invite them around and take turns cooking for each other.
·Freeze leftovers in individual containers for when you are busy.
·If you are having take-away or processed foods, choose the healthier option and include some vegetables. Ask for foods grilled or baked instead of fried and choose a salad instead of chips.
Foodcents, a healthy eating program overseen by Cancer Council WA and Diabetes WA, provides a step-by-step guide to cooking basics such as eggs, pasta, rice and vegetables.
There are also guides to more advanced recipes and tips on how to use natural flavour enhancers such as nuts, herbs, lemon, parmesan cheese and onions.
For more information, visit foodcentsprogram.com.au.