Healthy Eating during #Corona Lockdown

Honestly, the last thing I want to see right no is another picture of the perfect mom who has her children’s timetables completely full and color coordinated per child, per hour and per activity. I’m completely overwhelmed with this Corona business and homeschooling five kids of all different ages (I now realize why I didn’t become a teacher), trying to work when possible, and making an attempt at staying sane (who am I kidding…).

But.

I am a dietician by trade. Which means I’m more than happy to dispense health-related advice to anyone who wants to hear it — because I think there are so many different elements of health (mental, physical…) that are affecting us during this very challenging time and there are ways that we can definitely try or make ourselves feel better by trying to be a bit healthy… (nothing is picture perfect when it comes to eating especially during times of stress, but we can always try our best

So here are a few pointers that could be helpful — feel free to use them 🙂

  1. Healthy food. Make sure you are eating balanced meals with:
    Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables — (high in fibre, minerals and vitamins-especially vitamin C).
    Complex carbohydrates — wholegrain carbs are especially good because they keep us full for longer, give us fibre and help us with good digestion.
    Good sources of protein — eggs, milk products, fish, poultry, legumes (don’t forget to soak the legumes first).
    Healthy fats – olive/canola/sunflower oils, nuts and seeds, techina, avocado, olives… .
  2. It’s always a good idea to cut up or have one of the kids cut up fruit or veggies before a meal or for a snack time so that they are readily available to munch on
  3. When you go shopping don’t buy junk food and that way you won’t have it at home.
  4. This is a time to experience new tastes and to get the kids involved in the kitchen. Include the family in your meal decisions that way they will be more likely to participate in the prep, eating and clean up (hopefully…). Fun ideas to make with the kids can be-
    Shakes, freshly squeezed juice, an Israeli break-fast with eggs and salad, pretzels, sushi, stirfry, muffins, soups… I have found that when the kids are involved in helping to make the meal they will be more likely to taste it.
  5. Make a meal timetable (it doesnt need to be color co-ordinated… ) and try your best to stick to it.  I generally find that if you make a schedule with something to eat every 3-4 hours you know that you are going to eat a meal soon, so  you’ll probably snack less. What’s more- include the snack or treat that you want into your meal plan- and you’ll probably eat less of it if it is a planned meal and you will probably feel better about your food choices if you feel in control.Many people have been telling me that they are so stressed that they are eating a proper meal and then grazing on junk food after the meal. Not because they are hungry but because that’s their emotional go to, Which does and can happen during stressful times- but right now we don’t need any more stressful or guilty feelings. So making a timetable with a meal plan can definitely help to get us on track.An example of a timetable could look like this-

    8am Breakfast
    10.30/11am Snack
    1.30/2pm Lunch
    4.30/5pm Snack
    7.30/8pm Dinner
    Alternatively you could opt for bigger meals and scrap the snacks- up to you- but the idea is to try and plan before so you don’t get caught eating unaware.

    6- Exercise– we need to move and so do our kids. They are used to break time at school, stretching their legs and not being at home all day. Walking and running are always great ideas but with the new restrictions another idea could be to put on YouTube and watch an exercise video and do it together, put on a dance mix, yoga or play games that involve jumping, hopping, running on the spot or whatever works! Dance/ Work the stress out!

    7- WHEN WE EAT WE SIT. My golden rule. Try to make sure that you sit when you eat with a plate in front of you and put the food on your plate. This way you are making yourself aware and mindful of what you are eating and probably will be less likely to overeat.

    8- Family meals. Studies have shown that when kids eat at family meals, they are less anxious, less likely to suffer from obesity and have higher self esteem. This is a great opportunity to put our phones away and actually have family meals and talk about the day or anything really.

    9-  Be kind to yourself. A positive word to yourself goes a long way. Giving ourselves words of encouragement and remembering that we are trying our best during this crazy time is a small gift that can sometimes give us the strength to continue smiling and getting through our day in a healthy way..

    Good Luck! (I’ll definitely need it 😉 )
About the Author
Tova Kramer is a registered clinical dietician specializing in the fields of pediatrics, eating disorders and weight loss. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and five children.
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