The Coronavirus outbreak has quickly and drastically affected every aspect of our lives. In only a matter of weeks, schools shut down, jobs became remote, and all non-essential businesses were temporarily closed.
As we all seek to slow the spread of the virus by adhering to stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, sticking to a healthy diet can seem like a daunting task. However, eating clean, and boosting our immunity during this time is more essential than ever.
Luckily, while sourcing and preparing healthy foods at this time may take a little more creativity and planning, it’s completely doable! Keep reading for some simple tips on making clean eating work for your family.
1. Shop Less Frequently by Planning Ahead
We all have seen how panic buying and hoarding have caused shortages and major issues for producers and consumers in response to Coronavirus. The first few weeks of the pandemic resulted in empty shelves, a lack of goods, and only added to the panic. However, buying supplies and groceries to last your family around one week is very helpful when it comes to social distancing, and staying stocked up on healthy foods.
Whether you choose to use a food delivery service or opt to make grocery runs yourself, planning out meals and snacks in advance can help eliminate grocery runs, and keep your kitchen stocked with nutrient-dense, easily accessible food.
2. Be Willing to Make Swaps
Elaborating on tip #1, although shortages and panic buying have decreased, many items are still difficult to find and are low in stock.
This is especially true for fresh fruits and vegetables. While it is best to buy fresh, there is still a lot of nutrition in frozen, canned, or dried alternatives. During a time when options are limited, it’s important to let go of perfectionistic thoughts, and do your best with what is available.
Buy fruits and vegetables in whatever forms you can access, while being sure to check labels for pure, and safe ingredients for your family.
3. Prioritize a Colorful Plate
Referencing the last point, working with a limited supply of food means that we have to use what we can find. Prioritize diverse colors when shopping for fruits and vegetables to ensure a wide array of antioxidants and nutrients. This also helps to build our body’s immune system.
With a limited selection, this is also a great time to experiment with new fruits and vegetables you may have normally skipped over!
4. Drink More Smoothies
Although fresh fruit may be hard to find, frozen fruit seems to be more accessible. Smoothies make a great breakfast or snack and are an amazing way to pack in your daily servings of fruit. If you have adaptogens or superfoods on hand, throwing these into the mix is a great way to supercharge the benefits even more.
5. Set Aside a Weekly Snack Prep Day
While trying to boost our immune systems, it’s especially helpful to avoid added sugar and processed foods.
Instead of buying store-bought snacks that are often filled with sugar, and empty calories, stay full between meals by taking one day a week to prep easy, clean snacks!
Finding and making simple recipes like homemade granola, coconut yogurt, and protein balls can keep you and your family energized and full throughout the day.
Although this outbreak has challenged us to think outside of the box in nearly every aspect of life, healthy eating does not have to be something we sacrifice. With some creativity and planning, cooking at home during this time can be a great way to destress, and spend extra time with family. Happy clean cooking!