Several countries have taken strong measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by establishing self-quarantine and nation-wide lockdown. Healthy individuals, as well as people suffering from various ailments, have been strictly advised by the govt. to stay at home and this step has majorly affected the management of food and nutrition for every individual. In some countries, restaurants are offering home delivery by stopping their take-away and dining services. Thus in times of this crisis, how to manage our health with good food practices amidst limited access to resources? Do not worry! We have got your back and although this, in fact, has a positive side of decreasing the consumption of processed food, here’s some food and nutrition management tips for the COVID-19 lockdown.
1. Make a Plan and Buy Just the Necessary Stuff
Over-purchasing consumables had been seen during the early days of lockdown in developed countries like the UK and the USA but this panic buying is exactly the opposite of what we should follow. This practice of panic buying has several negative effects on the socio-economic front like unequal distribution of food and household necessities to the mass, increase in food prices, etc.
Therefore, we need a sustainable way of functioning by buying what is optimally needed and leaving the rest for others to buy for their survival and health. Make a plan of what is present in your stock and assess what food varieties and quantities should be sufficient in the coming days for survival. In this regard, one should importantly consider the shelf life of the foods being bought as large quantities of lower shelf life foods might lead to wastage and spoilage.
2. Prioritize Fresh Products
Fresh food ingredients like fruits or vegetables and foods with a shorter shelf life must be consumed on a first-priority basis over non-perishables like canned foods. In case of a refrigerator being available, try keeping the leftovers for the next days as we should be responsible enough not to waste our food during this crisis.
3. Eat Home-Cooked Meals
In our daily living, most busy working individuals often do not have the time to prepare or cook meals. During the lockdown, as people are stuck at home with their ‘work from home’ routines, it is the best time to gear up and start cooking or eating home-cooked meals. Healthy fruits and vegetables are available in the market to cook delicious and healthy meals to keep your body fit and healthy instead of buying processed or junk food items. Online sites are flooded with recipes and healthy cooking tips that take care of food and nutrition. Eat healthily, be healthy!
4. Use Grocery Delivery Options
Many food delivery companies have now shifted to delivering everyday veggies and groceries online and during this lockdown, these services should be utilized in order to avoid a crowd at the marketplace. This is a good way to prevent COVID-19 infection as no-contact deliveries are booming! Thus you can sit at home and order your necessary items or healthy meals online without the risk of coming in contact with a crowd, thus supporting self-quarantine and isolation measures. But for these food deliveries, strict guidelines have to be followed and transportation should be carefully planned. Although I would still opt for home-cooked meals rather than ordering cooked meals online, groceries, vegetables and fruits can be procured through these online delivery services in a safe manner.
5. Follow safety practices
As unanimously agreed, “Food safety is a prerequisite for food security and healthy diet”. It is very important to follow good hygiene practices while preparing food to avoid food-borne diseases and infection. Some tips may include:
- Keep your hands, kitchen and utensils clean.
- Separately maintain raw and cooked food.
- Cooking should be thorough using clean water.
- Maintain safe temperatures for your food.