When it comes to food while hunkering down at home, a little prep can go a long way. Here are a few tips to help stay nourished and healthy.
Stick to planned meal and snack times
If you are at home throughout the day, you may have noticed the constant access to your pantry. Just because you have access to food all day doesn’t mean the kitchen is open all day. Write down your preferred meal/snack times and stick to them.
Spend this extra time cooking
Bringing more ingredients home instead of prepackaged, processed foods means you’ll be cooking more. Bring out the crockpot, or get some more use out of the Instant Pot gift. Use extra time at home for cooking.
Use cooking as daily activity for kids
What a great time to include kids — they need something to do. Include kids in the rituals of eating — setting the table, etc. Add in an extra baking session of homemade cookies. This is a much healthier alternative to store-bought cookies with unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.
Cook in bulk
In the planning process, you may want to think about cooking in bulk, so that one cooking session leaves you with meals for several days. This can be very important if you are still going into your workplace and need to take meals with you. Think chili, soups, lasagnas, enchiladas, etc.
It doesn’t need to be fancy. Pack a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread and piece of fruit if going to work.
Buy things you will eventually eat
We won’t be social distancing forever. When shopping, be mindful of staples that will last beyond this time. Think about whole-wheat dried noodles; jarred marinara sauce; canned tuna; no-sugar-added cereals like Cheerios; canned or frozen fruits and vegetables; and frozen meats and seafood.
Be prepared to make your own coffee and tea at home
Don’t forget honey, creamer, etc., for your at-home beverages.
Refrigerate your grains
Refrigerate breads, tortillas, buns, etc., to help them last.
Have sick-day items
Be sure to have the things you need if anyone gets sick — crackers, soups, sports drinks, pain relievers, etc.
Avoid snacks you can’t resist
This is not an excuse to eat large amounts of processed foods throughout the day. Avoid bringing snacks with low nutritional value into the house. Grab healthier snacks like microwave popcorn or baking items for an afternoon activity.
Carryout and delivery
Remember that carryout and delivery is still available, so plan ahead, think healthy and remember those whose jobs depend on you.