The pandemic outbreak that is Corona Virus (COVID-19) is upending life for all the people around the globe. As everything is closed, people have found themselves stuck at home most of the day. Along with the responsibilities like working from home, taking care of children, and exercising; deciding what to make for dinner can be yet another daily challenge. This task has become even harder due to the scarcity of food supplies and panic buying almost everywhere around the world. Also, because of the loss of income and unemployment, food and grocery shopping has been affected due to financial issues that people are going through.
While all of us are mostly looking for readymade and processed foods because of their availability and low cost, there are however a lot of foods that are affordable, healthy, and convenient alternatives. In this blog, we are going to describe ways to feed your family and yourself a nutritious diet that would support your healthy-being and also your children’s growth and development.
FIVE HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS.
● Have fruits & vegetables daily.
Buying and storing fruits and vegetables in an ongoing lockdown can be difficult. Especially when all of us bound to stay at home and outings are limited. But we need to ensure that we should take fruits and vegetables in our diet as much as possible and also encourage our children to do the same.
Another way of storing fruits and vegetables is to buy them in bulk on your next outdoor trip and freeze them in the deep freezer. This would not only make the fruits last longer but also preserve their flavor and nutrients. Use fresh vegetables to cook soups and stews that make them last longer. These can also be frozen and eaten whenever you want after a quick reheat.
● Go for canned food when there is no fresh produce.
Freshly made food is always the top priority but when it is not readily available, there are other alternatives that are affordable and convenient to prepare and store for later use.
Canned chickpeas and beans are a good source of nutrients that can be stored for months. They can be cooked in different ways and also can be included in a lot of meaty dishes as well. Protein-rich foods include canned fish like salmon and sardine. These foods are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
One can also find canned fruits and vegetables in the supermarket but they are not as beneficial as the fresh produce is. You can also get lentils, peas, rice, and dairy in cans that are much more long-lasting, tasty, and affordable. Canned oats with milk can be a great option for breakfast and can be customized by adding raisins, fruits, or yogurt.
● Stock some healthy snacks for mini-munching.
This is especially for homes where children are there. Kids often have a desire to eat a snack or two during the day. Rather than offering your children candies or chips; you can provide them with options that are nutritious and healthy at the same time. Some of the healthy snacks include popcorns, nuts, dry fruits, cheese, frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, chopped fruits, and egg sandwiches. All these foods have some nutritional value that would your kids in building a healthy lifestyle that would last forever.
● Avoid high-processed foods.
Since you won’t find freshly produced foods every time, you should avoid adding highly processed foods in your shopping cart. Ready to eat foods, snacks like chips and biscuits, and desserts like cakes are high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. You should also avoid soda drinks because they have a large amount of sugar in them. Instead, you can have low-sugar juices and the best thing; that is water. Adding cucumber, lemon and berries is a great way to customize the water that would add flavor to it and also help in detoxing the body. Making fruit juices and smoothies at home (without sugar) is also a very good alternative to limit oneself from sugary drinks.
● Make cooking a fun part of your daily routine.
Cooking and having meals together can be helpful in adapting healthy routines, having fun together, and creating great family bonds. Involving your kids in the preparation of food - like mixing, beating, or setting the table; would help them adopt good habits during the quarantine. Such small structures can help children as well as adults to overcome anxiety and mood swings during these difficult times.
ADVICE FOR MOTHERS AND THEIR BREASTFEEDING CHILDREN.
Undoubtedly, breast milk is the best food for infants between 6-24 months. Mothers who have been tested positive for COVID-19 can still continue to breastfeed their children if they wish to. But they should practice proper respiratory hygiene during breastfeeding. Wearing the mask properly, washing hands before, and also after touching the infant and disinfecting everything they touch is recommended.
HERE IS HOW YOU SHOULD MAINTAIN FOOD HYGIENE DURING COVID-19.
Currently, there is no evidence that food packaging or food is associated with any kind of virus transmission. The only thing possible is that infected people may touch the food surface and then it is touched by other people. However, the higher risk is when people come in close contact w while grocery shopping or getting the food delivered at home. Therefore, proper hygiene is essential in order to avoid food-borne transmissions. So, whenever you buy something from the store, make sure that you dispose of all the unnecessary packing in the bin. Canned foods can be wiped properly with a disinfectant before opening. Fruits and vegetables can be washed under running water before putting it to use.
TIPS FOR GOOD HYGIENE.
● Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before coming in contact with food when cooking.
● Separate chopping boards are encouraged to use when cutting vegetables and meat.
● Cook food at a recommended temperature.
● Make sure that you check the expiry dates of the canned foods before storing them for later use.
● Adopt a habit of disposing of unwanted packaging and food waste in an appropriate manner and avoid build-up of waste in order to prevent pests attack.
● Wash your hands for twenty seconds before eating.
● Proper hygiene for utensils and crockery is also essential and recommended.
Is there anything we are forgetting to add? Let us know in the comment section below!