Today’s post comes from Audrey St-Laurent. Audrey is a PhD student in the department of kinesiology at Laval University of Quebec City. She is also the communications director of the OC-SNP National Executive.
Have you been recommended or required to self-quarantine or isolate?
Do you need tips to maintain or improve your eating habits during this time?
If you answered “yes” to those two questions, you should definitely read the following blog post based on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO)1 and from the Government of Canada2.
Here are 10 tips to support you in eating healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- To make a plan of our eating intakes and take only what we need
- In this way, our visits to grocery stores are less frequent, thus contributing to reducing the risk of virus contamination.
- This food structure can also help to reduce mealtime anxiety, reduce food waste, save money and avoid compulsive shopping.
- To be strategic about the use of ingredients and consumption of food
- One strategy could be to use fresh produce with a shorter shelf life and freeze leftover fresh vegetables for another meal.
- To eat a variety of foods, but not too much2
- How can we not eat too much? Well, there are lots of possible answers such as enjoying our food, taking time to eat, being aware of our feelings, emotions, thoughts and behaviors while eating, etc.3
- To prepare healthy home-cooked meals and try out new recipes!
- Examples of healthy recipes can be found here.
- It can be fun to involve our partner and/or children in the preparation and cooking of healthy meals
- To be aware of portion sizes
- Being at home for long periods of time can lead to overeating; Did you know that there are national nutrition recommendations?2 Why not consult them if necessary!
- Did you know that there are safe food handling practices?
- This includes five key recommendations: 1) to keep our hands, kitchen and utensils clean, 2) to separate raw and cooked food, especially raw meat and fresh produce, 3) to cook our food thoroughly, 4) to keep our food at safe temperatures (either <5°C or >60°C), and 5) to use safe water
- To ensure an adequate fibre intake
- These nutrients would reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and more!2
- Fiber is mostly found in vegetables, fruits and whole-grain foods such as oats, brown pasta and rice, and quinoa.
- Moderation tastes so much better
- Did you know that our risk of developing health problems can be increased by a frequent or excessive alcohol consumption?
- Moreover, drinking alcoholic beverages does not protect us against the COVID-194
- To stay hydrated
- Tap water is the healthiest and cheapest drink; It is possible to enhance its taste by adding fresh or frozen fruits such as berries, slices of citrus fruits or cucumber, pieces of cantaloupe or pineapple, fresh or dried herbs (e.g., mint, lavender, rosemary, basil, etc.) and/or spices (e.g., ginger, cardamom, etc.)
- It is important to thoroughly wash each ingredient/food before adding it to the water.
- To enjoy meals with family and friends
- You can’t be physically surrounded by your family and/or friends, but you miss their presence? Why not organize online meetings with them and enjoy meals altogether via web platforms available (e.g. Zoom, Messenger, Microsoft Teams, etc.) – I tried it with some friends, and it worked great! We each had our electronic devices (laptop, tablet, etc.) in our respective kitchen and prepared the same meal. We then savoured it all together. It was a lot of fun and we laughed so much, nothing better!
- EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE!
- We are here for you! Email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
1 World Health Organization regional office for Europe (2020). Food and nutrition tips during self-quarantine. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-technical-guidance/food-and-nutrition-tips-during-self-quarantine/_recache?fbclid=IwAR0iJXSepDYLimjde-gG1WCvdWnS53XCW5C43iJIOq8gCkihAoK2-PzWKX4 (consulted on April 2, 2020).
2 Government of Canada (2020). Canada’s food guide. Retrieved from https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/ (consulted on April 2, 2020)
3 Lemieux, S. & Larochelle, R. (2020). Un peu de tout, mais pas trop! ULaval nouvelles (March 30th, 2020). Retrieved from https://nouvelles.ulaval.ca/chroniques/contact/un-peu-de-tout-mais-pas-trop-43e5459f99e9293da7452bf3c51ffa2c?sourceOrganizationKey=ulaval (consulted on April 2, 2020)
4 World Health Organization (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters (consulted on April 2, 2020)
Images retrieved from https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/breakfast-healthy-products-vector-29586596 (consulted on April 2, 2020) and https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/heart-shape-of-red-fruits-and-vector-17659073 (consulted on April 2, 2020)