5 Healthy, Easy, and Affordable eating tips during COVID-19

1. Take up fruit and vegetable intake

Purchasing, storing, and cooking fresh vegetables are challenging in a lockdown, but ensure that children are still getting fruit and vegetables in their diet.

If not available fresh, fruits and vegetables can be used frozen and will retain most of their nutrients and flavor. Fresh vegetables cooked in 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 reheated.smoothie 3697014 6402116686145


2.  Try dried as alternatives when fresh produce is not available

Fresh produce is almost always the best option, but when it is not available there are a bunch 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 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 the best source of nutrition, they are long-lasting options because they 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. Maintain stock of healthy snacks

Children often need to eat a snack or two during the day to keep themselves going.

Rather than giving kids sweets or salty snacks, opt for healthier options like nuts, cheese, yogurt (preferably unsweetened), chopped or dried fruits, boiled eggs, or other locally available healthy options.
These foods are nutritious, more filling, and healthy eating habits for a lifetime. 


4. Limit highly processed foods 

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, which can be caused by health problems.

Whenever purchase processed foods, look at the label and try to choose healthier options and containing less salt, sugar, and saturated fat.

Try to also avoid sugary drinks and try to drink lots of water with fruits or vegetables like lemon, lime, cucumber slices or berries to water is a great way to add an extra twist of flavor.


5. Take cooking and eating fun and meaningful part of your life routine

Cooking and eating is a great way to create healthy routines, and it strengthens family bonds and has fun.

You can involve your children in food preparation – they can help in 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 routines can help reduce anxiety for children in these stressful situations.
 


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