Healthy eating during COVID-19: Meal planning, snacking and more
Just because novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed a lot of things doesn’t mean your healthy eating habits should go down the drain. Our dietitians Tiana Carey and Erica Trimble have some easy steps to help you eat healthy during COVID-19:
Stick to meal planning each week
Make a list of your favorite or go-to meals (aim for 20-30 meals). Next, look at your week to see which days you may or may not have the time to cook certain meals. Start with one meal a day, and plan meals for the length of time that works for you – and be realistic. When you’re ready to shop, take a glance to see what you already have and if you can use any leftover meats, veggies or other ingredients.
Grocery shop with a plan
Use a list when grocery shopping. It’s helpful to organize your list by the layout of the grocery store. Remember to never shop when you’re hungry. You’ll be much more tempted to reach for those potato chips or other unhealthy snacks.
Snack smart at home
Maintaining regular mealtimes can help curb unnecessary snacking. Step away from your workspace to snack and be sure to take a break to enjoy meals. Don’t eat out of the box, bag or carton, but instead, serve yourself a small amount and put the rest away. Keep healthy snacks in your home for when you just want a little something to much on.
Stocking the pantry
It’s a good idea to keep go-to items stocked in your pantry and freezer. Here are some examples:
Dry pantry staples
- Dried and/or canned beans
- Canned/dried fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and nut butters
- Canned meats (ex: tuna, chicken, etc.)
- Spices, sauces and dressings
- Soups and broths
- Starches (ex: rice, pasta, crackers, etc.)
- Frozen fruits and vegetable
- Quick cook rice
- Bread, tortillas, buns, etc.
- Frozen leftovers/entrees
Produce with a long shelf life
- Broccoli and cauliflower
Get creative with your cooking
Dig through the pantry and find a fun way to use that item you’ve been avoiding. Try a new style or buy something you’ve never cooked with before. Challenge yourself to one new recipe a month, one new food a week, or use that kitchen gadget you’ve never taken out of the package.
Tip: If you’re cleaning out the fridge, a stir fry is your best friend – just pick a protein, slice up a veggie and make a sauce. Simple, easy and healthy!