By Atlanta Mahanta
As countries take stronger measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, auto-quarantine and the temporary closing of companies can have an impact on normal food practices. Healthy people are asked to stay home as well as those who show symptoms of acute respiratory diseases. Restaurants and taking offers are limited in some countries and some fresh products are less available.
Good nutrition is vital for health, especially in times of fighting the immune system. Limited access to fresh foods can compromise the chances of a healthy and diverse diet continuing to eat. The danger may be that highly processed foods, likely to be high in fats, sugars and salt, are eaten more frequently. However, you can continue to eat a diet which promotes good health even in the form of few, limited ingredients.
It is also important to be physically active for optimal health. WHO/Europe developed specific guidance for quarantine periods, including tips and examples of home-based exercises, to support healthy persons in staying at home physically active.
Strategic ingredient use-priority for fresh products: Using new and shorter shelf lives products first. If fresh products continue to be available, especially fruits, vegetables and fats-reduced dairy products, give priority to non-perishable products. Frozen fruit and vegetables can also be used easily over long periods of time and are also similar to fresh foods in terms of nutrients. You may consider freezing the remains for another meal to avoid food waste.
Prepare homemade food: Many people still do not have the time to cook homemade food during their busy everyday lives. Now it would be possible for you to spend longer times at home to create the recipes you did not have time to make before. Many tasty and balanced recipes are available online. Make the most of the richness of the free information available and experiment with the ingredients that you can access, but remember to remember the healthy eating principles in this guide. Some examples can also be found below of safe recipes with accessible ingredients.
While home-cooked meals should be given priority, some cities and countries have advanced ingredient delivery systems and are now beginning to offer this service to many enterprises. Many alternatives provide “contactless” options that do not allow any human interaction, promoting self-quarantine and isolation. These should be a priority, especially for reliable companies following strict requirements on food hygiene. It is important to maintain food at safe temperatures for food delivery and transportation (below 5 ° C or above 60 ° C). With these services overwhelmed, you might want to explore what is available in your area.
Know the portion dimensions: Portion sizes may be difficult to obtain correctly, especially in scratch cooking. Being at home for prolonged periods can also result in overeating, especially without a business or limited business. Check the guidance on what constitutes healthy portions for adults through your national dietary guidelines and be aware that young children will need smaller portions.
Follow safe food handling practices
For food security and a healthy diet, food safety is a prerequisite. Only healthy foods are safe. It is important to follow good food hygiene practices to prevent food contamination and foodborne diseases when preparing food for yourself and others. Good food hygiene core principles include:
- keep your hands, kitchen and utensils clean
- separate raw and cooked food, especially raw meat and fresh produce
- cook your food thoroughly
- keep your food at safe temperatures, either below 5 °C or above 60 °C; and
- use safe water and raw material
Inputs from WHO
|TO DO LIST DURING SELF-QUARANTINE |
Limit your salt intake Limit your sugar intake Limit your fat intake Consume enough fibre Stay hydrated Avoid alcohol or at least reduce your alcohol consumption Enjoy family meals Long-lasting fresh fruits and vegetablesFresh fruits and vegetables Dried and canned pulses Whole grains and starchy roots Dried fruits, nuts and seeds Eggs Fresh fish and meat for proteinReduced-fat, shelf-stable milk
Adequate nutrition and hydration are essential. A healthy diet appears to be safer for people with better immune systems and lower risk of chronic diseases and infectious diseases. So eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to take your body’s vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants. Get plenty of water to drink. Avoid sugar, fat or salt to decrease your overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer significantly.