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The New Way to Cook Healthy Meals for One

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When cooking for just one or two people, supermarket convenience meals can be alluring shortcuts. But these prepackaged options can also be loaded with salt, fat, and preservatives (not to mention more expensive). Whether you’re trying to lose weight or eating for overall wellness, remember these tips to make preparing smaller portions simple and healthy and keeping your bad habits at bay.

Reject the Recipe

A balanced meal can take shape around a simple salad, cooked beans or grains when you add grilled chicken, turkey, fish, or lean beef or even marinated grilled vegetables. Try exploring different cuisines to spice things up—for example, one pot of brown rice can be paired with chicken kebabs on Monday, stir-fry on Tuesday, and tacos on Wednesday.

Make Friends with Your Freezer

Alternatively, prepare normal recipes and freeze leftovers in individual containers. In addition to storing leftovers, freezing gives you the option of thawing one portion at a time, which helps with portion control. Freezing also extends the life of food that you can’t purchase in small quantities, such as a loaf of multigrain bread.

Shop Smart

Buy fresh produce at farmers’ markets, where vendors sell varied quantities of ingredients and may be willing to negotiate splitting their produce into smaller quantities. Stock up on multipurpose foods like onions, garlic and dried spices to add a variety of flavors to meals. Keep low-sodium soup, dried pasta, and other nonperishables on hand for busier evenings when you don’t have time to cook.

Find more health and wellness information from UnitedHealthcare for managing your busy life. Also discover online seminars, expert blogs, and take the healthy challenge.