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Healthy eating tips from VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio

15 Feb 2021
News 3 min read

What to eat while you stay at home

Author: VicHealth, a Victorian Government Agency that works with experts, evidence and research in health promotion.

Any coronavirus information mentioned is accurate at the time this article was first published (9 June 2020). For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus restrictions, please visit the source:


From the checkout to the kitchen cupboard, for many of us, the way we’re shopping and eating food has changed due to the coronavirus.

And while a lot of us are already trying to stay physically active and look after our mental health and wellbeing, it’s also important to eat a balanced diet full of delicious, healthy food.

So whether you’re tempted by your new 24/7 proximity to the fridge, preparing more meals for the family at home, or simply trying to get what you need from the shops, here are some tips to make things a bit easier.

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio recently spoke to NIB about why eating healthy food at home is critical during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Eating a healthy diet helps keep our immune system strong, and that’s really important right now. While supplies of packaged foods like pasta and rice have been low, there are plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available to enjoy,” Sandro explained.

How to keep physically healthy while staying at home

Sandro shared five simple tips for eating well during the pandemic.

Sandro’s top 5 healthy eating tips for a balanced diet at home

  1. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables – Most supermarkets have plenty of fresh produce available, so make the most of it. If you’re after healthy, simple meal ideas, check out the Recipes page on The Check Up
  2. Get creative – Don’t panic if you can’t find a food item at the supermarket. Pasta and rice can often be replaced with potato, bread or wraps. Mince can be replaced with mushrooms, lentils, chickpeas or tofu
  3. Put down the processed packets – Keep ultra-processed and sugary foods like biscuits, muesli bars and sugary cereals to a minimum
  4. Fibre is your friend – Choose high-fibre foods, such as fruit and vegetables and wholegrain cereal and bread, to keep your digestive system regular. For more information on the importance of fibre, check out Sandro’s article: Why fibre should be on your shopping list
  5. Avoid over-snacking – Try to stick to a normal eating pattern (like three meals and two snacks per day) and avoid too much snacking from the cupboards

So the next time you’re writing your shopping list, walking the supermarket aisles, or standing in front of your open fridge, use these to help ensure you get the health benefits you need from all your mealtimes at home.

And remember, you can try a couple to start with, and then build in more when you’re ready.

We hope these tips helps you stay healthy at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times.


Have a coronavirus question?

For all coronavirus questions visit or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.

How to manage Coronavirus


Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
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VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.