Eating healthy during quarantine

April 22, 2020

Lots of time at home plus added stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Clark Memorial Health dietitian Terri Simonton shares her strategies for healthy eating during the stay-at-home order.

Prevent stress eating or snacking throughout the day.
Keep yourself busy. Don’t allow yourself to lounge all day watching marathons of your favorite TV show. This will most likely cause you to want to eat or snack while watching, and the time and calories add up quickly!

When you do snack, have healthy choices on hand.
Keep fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and cheese sticks readily available for yourself and the kids to snack on. If meat is harder to come by, other ideas for protein-rich foods include yogurt, cottage cheese, dried beans, nuts, eggs, peanut butter, veggie burgers, and tofu.

Set an example for your kids.
Many children love to eat, and since we have to stay at home, they may want to eat constantly. Have those healthy fruits, veggies, and yogurt waiting for them. Try to get them off their phones and active around the house.

When the time comes for an indulgent but unhealthy snack choice, tell your child that this is not an everyday food but a sometime food. This way you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself or your child. Be an example for your children. Let them see you making healthy choices.

Take the opportunity to teach kids about enjoying healthy food.
Since we have more time to spend together as a family, be creative in making dinner. Enjoy the togetherness and family conversations.

Allow your child to help create a healthy meal and make sure to include a protein source, fruit and vegetable. Try a themed meal such as baked potato night. This could include a baked potato topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms, steamed broccoli, maybe some diced turkey or chicken, or even some salsa and shredded cheese.

With many shelves empty at grocery stores, this could also be a good time to talk about portion control and cutting back if needed. During mealtimes, if you already know that your children are going to ask for seconds, then give them half of what you’d normally give them for the first go-around. When they ask for that second serving, give them the other half. This way their mind believes that they are eating enough to get full when in all actuality, they’re eating one healthy serving.

Here’s to staying #HealthyAtHome!