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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has turned our routines upside down. With imposed lockdowns, many families find themselves caring for their children, taking care of house chores while maintaining their full time jobs from home. All of a sudden, a day at home in lockdown involves juggling many competing responsibilities and knowing what to cook everyday can become difficult.
Generally our busy lifestyles mean we frequently opt for the fastest solution, with the least effort required, so we can get on with what we need to be doing. Being in lockdown can be an opportunity to reimagine our diet, we will share some tips to help you make your meals enjoyable both to make and eat! Below are 5 simple suggestions, which will ensure you are keeping healthy with a varied and nutritious diet while lockdown continues.
- Use your freezer to keep up the fruit and vegetable consumption
At the moment, buying, storing and cooking fruits and vegetables can be difficult. These produce tend to perish quickly and with the government asking us to minimise trips to the store, while others bulk buy their foods, stores are running low in stock.
Do your best to get a hold of fresh fruits and vegetables. These contain a lot of essential nutrients and you can freeze them as they retain most of their nutrients and taste.
In fact, while you’re in lockdown, schedule a day or two a week where you cook a big stew with lots of vegetables or a soup or any other meal rich in healthy vegetables. This will allow for a few healthy meals that you can simply take out of the freezer and heat up, while knowing you and your family are consuming nutritious meals.
- Keep hydrated
Make sure you are drinking a lot of water and keeping hydrated. Adding fruits, lemon, ginger, cucumber slices or berries is a great way to add a little twist to your water.
You should always avoid drinks that are high in sugar.
Drink at least one cup of green tea every day, it truly is the healthiest beverage on the planet! It is very rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that are scientifically proven to hold many health benefits. In fact, green tea’s benefits can be so significant they are observed at the DNA level. It contains compounds that can alter our epigenetic DNA-methylation, helping us silence unwanted gene expressions.
- Avoid highly processed foods
Processed foods include foods that have been altered from their natural state. Ready-made meals, packed snacks and deserts are all processed and usually contain high amounts of saturated fat, sugar and salt. When you buy processed foods take the time to read the ingredients label and select those with lower levels of these substances. However, you should avoid processed foods as far as possible, while favouring fresh produce.
- Make cooking time fun and meaningful
Make sure you make cooking time a fun time for you and your family. A simple chore can be turned into an opportunity to bond and create memories with your loved ones.
Sticking to strict meal times will help reduce anxiety for children. Children can take part in meal preps by sorting the items needed for cooking, setting the table etc. While on your own, you can listen to podcasts or music as you are cooking or practice mindfulness.
- Pay attention to food hygiene during COVID-19
While we know the highest threat of contamination is from human to human interactions, it is also possible to touch a surface that the virus sits on, then touch your face resulting in an infection. In these times, and while you still go grocery shopping during lockdown be extra careful with the way you handle your purchases.
As soon as you are back from your groceries, remove any unnecessary packaging and dispose of these in a bin. For every other packaging such as tins, boxes, which you cannot dispose of, wipe them down with disinfectant. For all unpacked produce, such as fruits and vegetables, wash them down with running water.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for a minimum of 20 seconds.
While the world is in lockdown, that home chores multiply and we adjust to knew routines, keeping healthy is essential. What we eat plays a fundamental role in our wellness and we can use the fact that we are home more as an opportunity to eat healthy and discover new recipes.