Healthy winter foods: what to eat to power through cold weather

When the nights start to draw in and the clocks go back, all most people want to do is stay indoors, get cosy and indulge with some warming food and drink.

Close up of a tea cup with a cake on the saucer, and a woman's feet up relaxing

There’s nothing wrong with hunkering down for the winter. It’s important, however, to keep an eye on your health over the long, cold months. If you’re exercising less and eating more, it’s easy to put on a few pounds without even noticing it. While there's nothing wrong with this, over time bad eating habits can lead to unhealthy weight gain which can impact the health of both our bodies and our minds.

This article gives a few simple options for healthy food that will also satisfy those cold-weather cravings. To get motivated about your health, it can also help to get checked out for things like normal cholesterol levels, blood pressure and sugar levels. Finding out how you’re doing can be a good motivator for change and it’s always helpful to know basic healthcare information, like what should normal cholesterol levels be. Luckily all these office lunch ideas will help you pack in veggies and wholegrains, a key part of a healthy, filling diet!

1. Hearty winter stews

What better way to stay warm when it's cold outside than to make a winter stew? The best thing about stew is that you can make up a huge batch and then freeze it in portions to take to work for lunch each day. As long as you have some good, liquid-secure containers, this is an ideal option for those working in an office. Just be sure to have a microwave to hand for re-heating – no one wants cold stew!

2. Slow-cooked soups

Another great option for dark nights is a piping hot soup. Why not serve with some wholegrain bread and olive oil? Pack out your soups with lots of healthy vegetables and protein-packed lentils or other grains. One great option for those out at work during the day is to get a slow-cooker. Simply put all the ingredients into the pot first thing and by the time you get home from work a delicious, flavourful soup will be waiting for you.

3. A veggie-packed sandwich

If you don’t have too much time for meal, prep or your office is lacking a microwave, sandwiches can still be a good option during winter. Opt for chunky, healthy fillings like braised cabbage, carrot salad, fish, or hummus and serve with a hearty bread like rye or wholegrain spelt. Tasty fillings like avocado, walnuts and oily fish - when replacing saturated fats like butter - can also help maintain normal cholesterol levels.

Those are our top three winter foods to get you through the frosty weather. Remember, if you want to improve your long-term health, making small changes to your diet can make a real – and delicious – difference.