Share The Health

Eat Well, Live Well

06-05-2020

If you’re looking for ways to make the best out of your extra time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s never a better time to make healthier choices. Sure, it’s easy to get chips and other snacks delivered to your door, but allowing yourself to start or continue unhealthy eating habits while stuck at home can lead to weight gain, stress, fatigue, and long-term health issues.

To avoid gaining the “Quarantine 15,” there are plenty of ways for you and your family to eat and live better. Who knows, you may even discover your new favorite healthy dish! To begin your journey, check out our partner LiveWell Frederick for useful resources on eating better, being more active, and taking care of yourself.

Begin Your Healthy Eating Journey

Start out with a personalized MyPlate plan that determines what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. This plan is based on your age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. It takes less than a minute to input this information and learn how many calories you can eat per day to maintain your current weight. For additional information, visit choosemyplate.gov.

Strive for Five

Are you getting the recommended 5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day? Eating more fruits and veggies has been shown to improve heart health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and encourage overall good health. So, what counts as a cup?

  • 2 cups of salad greens: Since greens are airy, you need twice as much.
  • 1 cup of 100% fruit of vegetable juice: Avoid juice that is not labeled 100% fruit or vegetable juice, which is filled with added sugars.
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit or veggies: Dried fruits and veggies are concentrated, so you need half as much.
  • 1 cup raw, cooked, canned, or frozen fruit or veggies
  • 1 cup beans, peas, or lentils

Check out some more tips on adding more vegetables to your day.

Readily Accessible Goodness

Snack foods like cookies and chips are usually easily accessible—how many times have you opted to tear open a bag of chips rather than coring and slicing an apple? However, there are a few tips to increase your fruit and veggie intake:

  • Buy prepared produce: If the mere thought of slicing and chopping your produce is enough to make you opt for a microwave dinner instead, look for already-prepped produce like bagged salads, pre-cleaned and peeled veggies, sliced fruits, steam-in-bag veggies, and more.
  • Grab and Go: Keep a readily accessible bowl of fruit on the counter or cut-up veggies in the fridge for a quick, easy snack. Taking a few minutes to prep some produce can help you and your family opt for healthier snacking choices.
  • Involve the Kids: Teach your little ones the importance of eating healthy and get them involved in food prep. Have your child help wash fruits and veggies, use a plastic pizza cutter to cut bell peppers, or use fingers to snap the ends off beans and asparagus. For extra fun, cut and arrange the slices into shapes and serve with a tasty dip.

Grocery Game Plan

Having a grocery game plan not only can help you save time at the store, it can also help you commit to eating healthier. Get the whole family involved in planning your next grocery list, considering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Check out new healthy recipes and take note of the new ingredients you’ll need.

Have your family help take an inventory of your pantry, cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer to see what ingredients you already have.

When writing your grocery list, try to think of versatile ingredients—like onions and potatoes— that can be used for multiple dishes so you can buy in bulk and get the most out of your trip.

Make sure to follow health and safety guidelines while at the grocery store, and designate one person from your household to make the trip. For tips on cleaning your groceries during COVID-19, check out this video.

Want more advice on eating healthier? Check out LiveWell Frederick’s list of resources to help you and your family eat well and live well.