College place – now you’re cooking!

Congratulations to all those who have received a college course place. Hopefully, it will lead you on another step on the way to your ‘dream career’. Now you have a few weeks until you actually set off on this great adventure - for anyone who will be leaving home it’s a great time to learn a few basic recipes that will not only help you survive leaving the ‘family nest’ but will help you stick within your budget.

Usually it is much better value to cook some simple recipes, such as pastas or casseroles, especially where meat or fish can be made to go further by combining them with less expensive pulses and vegetables. Here are a few simple ideas to help students eat well without breaking the bank.

Try to plan your meals, make a list for shopping and stick to it.

If you are living in shared accommodation how about getting together and planning your meals for the week – that way you won’t have to cook each night!

Have a stock cupboard with essentials like pasta, rice, tinned vegetables, tinned tomatoes etc.

Beans, lentils and pulses are cheap and nutritious, as they contain protein they are a good cheap substitute for meat in a dish (or can make meat go further ).

Buy fruit and vegetables in season when they are usually cheaper.

You have a few weeks now before getting to college. Get a few cookery lessons or demonstrations from a mum/dad/sister/ brother/passing friend. Knowing how to make a few simple tasty recipes such as soups, curries, pasta meals, bean chilli, cottage pies and stir fries, is invaluable. Everyone should have a few ‘signature’ dishes that they can cook easily when away from home. You will definitely be a welcome addition to any student house!

A great simple cookery book produced by MABS called 101 square meals is a great addition to any student off to college, it can be downloaded from: http://www.mabs.ie/en/publications/educational/ Best of luck to all those off to college - enjoy the adventure!

For more information on any of the issues discussed above or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at;

The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster by telephone on (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].

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