Simple Meal Ideas - CAN toolkit update

Simple Meal Ideas - CAN toolkit update featured image
2015-09-22_56012b5814ca4_croppedtoolkitcase.JPGOur NHS Ayrshire and Arran CAN (Cheap and Nutritious) Food and Health Toolkit was produced in partnership with Community Food and Health Scotland in 2008.

Initially it was developed for those passing on budget cooking skills to low income groups and it was shared across Scotland. Others have found this toolkit useful too including anyone with limited food skills, those with low literacy, learning disabilities services and children and young people.

Last year the games section was reviewed and updated to reflect the reductions in fat, sugar and salt in some processed foods. In addition more one pot recipes and additional games provided by NHS Tayside have been added to the Toolkits.

With the increase in Foodbanks our Nutrition and Dietetic Health Promotion team began looking at devising Simple Meal idea cards using commonly used store cupboard /food bank ingredients. The purpose of these ideas was to produce a range of tasty, nutritious meals based around the Eatwell plate which could be quickly made using store cupboard/food bank ingredients.

All the meals were tried and tested by our team and piloted within local community projects. Tips were added where necessary to improve the flavour but all the finalised ideas were rated as “tasty”. Instead of fresh meats in recipes tinned varieties were included and compared in terms of taste and nutritional analysis. On both counts the tinned meats rated favourably (though we do recommend tinned mince with 75% meat content in our recipes). A variety of ingredients from a range of supermarkets were used and average costings done per portion, with meals ranging from 50p-92p /portion. As part of our regular CAN (Cheap and Nutritious ) Toolkit Training we incorporate some of these Simple meal ideas; as well as cooking CAN toolkit recipes from scratch using fresh ingredients. All those who have attended the training feel these meal ideas may be the first step for some of their clients, before they move on to cook with fresh ingredients.

In Ayrshire and Arran we have now added these Simple meal ideas to our CAN toolkits; again as a photocopiable hard copy and in a poster format so Food banks can display these to the public when collecting donations. We are also making them available as a download via PDF on our NHS Ayrshire and Arran Health improvement resource service catalogue so health, local authority and third sector partners can easily access them.
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