Richard Powell, occupational health adviser at BHSF, on how people can get joy from cooking whilst at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

The coronavirus pandemic has us stuck at home and looking for ways to cope. One of the ways could be through cooking.

Although we are living in difficult times, I believe there is a silver lining to be found in this, and it might be found in the kitchen.

You only have to look at the hashtag #coronaviruscooking on Instagram and Twitter to see the mouthwatering dishes people are serving up.

Whenever I have baked or cooked, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment and pride. There’s no reason why you can’t incorporate cooking into your lockdown schedule, ensuring the meals you cook are fun, keep you active, maintain nutritional health and above all, are tasty!

Store cupboard

You may have food and ingredients in your cupboard you haven’t used for some time. Now might be a good time to utilise those items. By doing this, you could save money and avoid having to go to the shops regularly.

What if you can’t get to the shops? Or maybe, like me, you walked to the shop and the shelves were empty? Help is at hand with Jamie Oliver’s series ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On.’ I’ve been addicted to this and there are YouTube videos as part of his series.

You will get some great hints and tips from Jamie on making use of leftovers.

One recipe I’ve had a go at is homemade deep pan pizza. This only took around 15 minutes to cook and the great thing is you can add any ingredients you like.

Adding in mixed herbs and oregano helped to add flavour to the pizza which tasted great. If I can make it, anyone can.

Wartime dishes

If you have kids, get them involved with the cooking and why not include a history lesson whilst making wartime dishes. It’s one way to add fun into their education whilst they are at home.

Potato Pete was one of the most popular cartoon characters in Britain’s ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign during the Second World War. Potato Pete had his own recipe book published by the Ministry of Food which you can view online. As part of the campaign, Potato Pete and Doctor Carrot were created to encourage people to eat vegetables.

The Ministry of Food started publishing Food Facts pamphlets in 1940. Magazines, newspapers and daily radio programmes were full of ideas and recipes to help families make the most of their weekly rations.

I’m a big fan of soup and one of the soups I’ve tried making is Oxford potato. Oxford potato soup contains four of your five-a-day with the recipe being taken from one of Potato Pete’s wartime Ministry of Food leaflets.

It would make a comforting supper dish when served with homemade bread. The recipe can be found here.

I’ve also had a go at making potato piglets. This recipe originates from a Ministry of Food leaflet. When served with a seasonal salad, this easy and nutritious meal can be made using British or homegrown potatoes.

I think kids will love this potato alternative to a sausage roll.


Almost always, tinned or frozen vegetables contain just as many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and can sometimes be even healthier1. You wouldn’t want to rely on them forever but they certainly count towards your five-a-day.

Also, try adding pulses and beans to recipes. They’re cheap, nutritious and packed with energy. You can’t go wrong with that.

Just remember to keep an eye on the salt, sugar and saturated fats you are consuming. It all adds up and eating right is vital to maintain your body’s immune system.

Keep cooking everyone!


If you need any nutritional advice, we’re here to help. Call us today on 0800 622 552.

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