No one expected 2020 to look like this. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our routine and introduced uncertainty into our lifestyle.
As the novel coronavirus forces a global change to consumer priorities, habits and diets, we are all adjusting to the new normal that includes getting to know our home space a lot better. From remote work to homeschooling to live-streaming happy hours, life has slowed down considerably as we all settle into quarantine.
To help keep nutrition at the forefront, Nikken Foods presents 5 healthy food habits to employ while stuck at home and stockpiling food in lockdown. Proper nutrition is critical for your health, your entertainment and especially for bolstering your immune system during this pandemic.
5 Healthy Food Habits for Quarantine
1. Meal Plan Regularly
Now that meal prepping is a necessity rather than something you hope to get to amidst a busy workweek, make the most out of your home-cooked meals with a good plan. Now’s the time to dig up those healthy, exciting recipes you always wanted to serve, and the internet is filled with incredible challenges. Simple works too – just keep it healthy. In fact, if you’re under stay-at-home restrictions, your ingredients can be delivered via your favorite grocery delivery app to reduce your contact with others. Make a meal plan for the week and place it on the refrigerator so the whole family can eagerly anticipate (and participate) in bringing it to life.
2. Choose Ingredients Wisely
The more meals you make from scratch, the more you can control what goes into your recipe. All-natural, powdered ingredients help add important flavors to any dish. To keep each meal healthy, be sure to limit your salt, sugar and fat intakes. Use good fats, no added sugars and replace the salt with your favorite savory umami flavor to get the best mouthfeel. You can even shed some of that sodium from your canned beans and vegetables by rinsing them carefully before adding to the dish. And don’t forget fiber – it’s a key way to serve up a healthy digestive system and create that feeling of fullness.
3. Practice Safe Food Handling
We’re all washing our hands more than ever, but have those hygienic habits translated to your meal planning and diet? Food contamination and foodborne illnesses are unwelcome in any situation, but anything that keeps you out of the hospital is critical at the moment. Follow these simple steps to keep your kitchen clean:
- Wash those hands.
- Keep surfaces and utensils clean.
- Use separate cutting boards for raw foods and everything else.
- Cook your food to the proper temperature listed in the recipe.
- Store food safely and securely.
4. Pay Attention to Portion Size
This starts with how you plate your dish. Your entrée and the accompanying greens should take up the same space. Let’s face it: Overeating is easy at home – especially when cooking meals becomes the highlight of your evening. Follow the dietary guidelines for adults, seniors and children – and don’t worry about leftovers – that just brings us to our next point.
5. Freeze Home-Cooked Meals
Leftovers never tasted so good. Even though you have more time now than ever before, it can be difficult to prepare fresh, in-depth recipes every day. As you explore new, home-cooked meal recipes, make enough to feed the family twice. You don’t have to eat it the next night – freeze it for when the craving hits again. Since COVID-19 is keeping us all at home, it’s important to prioritize spending time with each other and leave some nights meal prep free so there’s more time for game night or movie night.
During these uncertain times, seize this unprecedented opportunity to employ new, healthy diet options for your family. Involve the whole family in the process and educate children on the nutritious food habits that can have a lasting, positive impact on their lives. Plus, cooking is an incredible talent that too many wait too late in life to learn.
At Nikken Foods, we send our love to all first responders and those affected by COVID-19. If there is a way we can help you or your business, please contact us today.