Many of you will be spending more time at home than ever before amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s important to ensure that you’re properly nourishing your bodies and getting the right daily nutrients.
Below are some handy tips to help guide towards eating a balanced diet whilst in lockdown. Given that many people all have more time at home than normal, this is the perfect opportunity to explore food and get creative in the kitchen, by experimenting with flavour combinations and cooking delicious, nutritious meals for you and your family.
Colour is key
It’s important to make sure you are getting as many nutrient groups into your diets as possible, an easy way to do this is by eating a variety of different coloured foods. The colours in fruit and vegetables can tell us a lot about their nutritional value, when making meals try and aim for at least half of the plate to be made up of vegetables.
Utilise proteins and healthy fats to stay full and stop snacking
When spending more time at home it’s very easy to graze throughout the day and not stick to a routine. Make sure you keep to your usual mealtime routines and avoid excessive snacking. Foods high in healthy fats like avocado and nuts are more satisfying alongside foods naturally high in protein and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you do want to have some snacks, try opting for healthy options such as mixed nuts, fruit or even some crispy baked chickpeas to keep you going until your next meal.
Cut down on processed foods where possible
Lockdown is the perfect time to avoid processed foods, why not make your own from scratch? This helps cut out any unnecessary preservatives and ingredients such as resins and emulsifiers. If you don’t have the time to make your own, don’t worry, try checking ingredients on products and aim for simple, non-processed food as often as possible.
Drink plenty of water
It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated when you are at home, a handy tip is to set yourself a target to drink by the end of the day. Everyone should be drinking around 2 litres of water a day which works out between 6-8 glasses. If water isn’t your favourite drink, try adding fresh fruits like lemon, cucumber or strawberries to give it some flavour!
The freezer is your friend
If you are unable to get to the shops, it’s handy to have the freezer stocked with nutritious food. You can buy lots of pre-frozen fruit and vegetables than can be added to a huge range of dishes, including smoothies. When preparing meals, try batch cooking and setting some aside for freezing simply pop the meals into reusable storage containers and freeze until you’re ready to eat.
Alongside the above tips, there are lots of apps that you can download to your smartphone that can help you achieve your health goals. Whether you need a helping hand at tracking what you eat or to get moving with some home workouts, check these apps out. My Fitness Pal is ideal for home workout inspiration and tracking your calorie intake, a great way to help you become more mindful in what you are consuming. Another great app is the Change 4 Life Food Scanner, this is a fantastic option for families and allows you to scan product barcodes to check sugar, calorie and fat content!