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Healthy Diet Tips during Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19)

The coronavirus disease outbreak is upending life for families around the world. As schools and childcare centers close, many parents are funding themselves stuck at home for most of the day juggling childcare, full time work and other competing responsibilities. Figuring out " What's for dinner?" can be yet another daily challenge.
Make cooking and eating a fun and meaningful part of your family routine
To make things even harder, panic buying and disruptions to food supply systems mean some foods can now be difficult to find. And for many people, unemployment and lost income are making food shopping an additional financial challenge.
While many parents are understandably looking to ready meals and processed foods as a quick and low-cost way to feed the family, there are convenient, affordable and healthy alternatives. Here are five ways to help feed your children a varied, nutritious diet that will support their growth and development, all while building healthy habits.

Five Healthy Eating Tips 

1. Keep up fruit and vegetable intake 

Purchasing, storing and cooking fresh vegetables can be challenging in a lock down, especially when parents are advised to limit trips outside of the home. But wherever possible, it's important to ensure children are still getting plenty of fruit and vegetables in their diet.
Whenever it is possible to get hold of fresh produce, do so. As well as being eaten fresh, fruits and vegetables can be frozen where possible and will retain most of their nutrients and flavor. Using fresh vegetables to cook large batches of soups, stews or other dishes will make them last longer and provide meal options for a few days. These can also be frozen where possible and then quickly.

2. Swap in healthy dried or canned alternatives when fresh produce is not available

Fresh produce is almost always the best option, but when it is not available there are plenty of healthy alternatives that are easy to store and prepare.
Canned beans and chickpeas, which provide an abundance of nutrients, can be stored for months or even years, and can be included in meals in many ways. Canned oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon are rich in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and a range of vitamins and minerals. These can be used cold in sandwiches, salads or pasta dishes, or cooked as part of a warm meal.
Canned vegetables, such as tomatoes, do tend to contain lower quantities of vitamins than fresh produce, but they are a great fallback option when fresh produce or frozen vegetables are hard to come by.
Dried goods like dried beans, pulses and grains such as lentils, split peas, rice, couscous or quinoa are also nutritious, long-lasting options that are tasty, affordable and filling. Rolled oats cooked with milk or water can serve as an excellent breakfast option, and can be spiced up with yogurt, chopped fruits or raisins.

3. Build up a stock of healthy snacks

Children often need to eat a snack or two during the day to keep them going. Rather than giving kids sweets or salty snacks, opt. for healthier dried fruits, boiled eggs, or other locally available healthy options. These foods are nutritious, more filling and help build healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

4. Limit highly processed foods

While using fresh produce may not always be possible, try to limit the amount of highly processed foods in your shopping basket. Ready to eat meals, packaged snacks and desserts are often high in saturated fat, sugars and salt. If you do purchase processed foods, look at the label and try to choose healthier options containing less of these substances. Try to also avoid sugary drinks and instead drink lots of water. Adding fruits or vegetables like lemon, lime, cucumber slices or berries to water is a great way to add an extra twist of flavor.

5. Make cooking and eating a fun and meaningful part of your family routine

Cooking and eating together is a great way to create healthy routines, strengthen family bonds and have fun. Wherever you can, involve your children in food preparation―small children can help with washing or sorting food items while older children can take on more complex tasks and help to set the table.

Try as much as possible to stick to fixed mealtimes as a family.
Such structures and routine can help reduce anxiety for children in these stressful situations.


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14 Comments

  1. Very informative...Thanks for sharing

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  2. Good work keep posting stuff like this.....

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  3. Love these tips! Thank you! I always forget to add fruit or cucumber to water to spice it up. :)

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  4. Good tips, we are always applying those usually, but I have to say that in quarantine we are buying more chocolate ^^

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  5. These are great reminders. It's really important for our immune system to eat healthy foods and not too much sugar or processed food!

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  6. Frozen fruit has been our lifesaver since I can't keep fresh fruit that lasts between shopping trips.

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  7. These are great tips. I find it hard to control my kids diets as they are old enough to fix their own food and they may grab something unhealthy while I am working.

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  8. Great information. I think we're eating a lot of processed snacks lately because of so-called convenience but it's not the healthiest. Thanks for the guidance.

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  9. Very informative post...
    Mske sure to post continuously such a nice piece of information

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  10. These are all great! :) I love having some of my meals/snacks prepped. It's easier and convenient!

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  11. Such cool tips! A much needed post

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  12. Kristine Nicole AlessandraWed Apr 15, 05:23:00 PM 2020

    It is difficult to keep fruit fresh when the weather is hot and humid, so we have opted to purchase dried fruit packs instead. We also bought nuts and seeds as an alternative protein source. It is so important to be mindful of our diets, especially with a pandemic like this.

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  13. Very important tips to keep in mind, thank you. Now is the time to eat healthy in order to boost ones immune system.

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  14. Thanks for the reminder. I'm kinda out of control with eating junkfoods lately.

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