Eating Healthy During the Pandemic
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How do I prepare for meals during these times?
- Buy foods that last – try stocking up on non-perishable food items so that you do not need to make multiple trips to shop for supplies & have items on hand if you become sick.
- Avoid panic buying – think about what will last and what items you can use for a variety of meals.
- Make a plan – include shopping for food that you can have on hand at all times. This will ensure you do not need to leave your home if you are sick or busy caring for an ill family member.
- Make a list – even if you do not typically make a shopping list, now is a good time. This will help you quickly find the items you planned for without spending a long time in the store and help to prevent confusion and anxiety.
- Check in with your local store – Many grocers are offering pre-ordering and pick-up services or do your grocery shopping at off-peak hours.
- When ordering take out from restaurants try to make healthy choices.
- Visit the website https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19 for more information on being prepared.
Good food options to have at home:
- Fresh vegetables with a longer shelf life like, carrots, parsnips, turnip, potatoes, sweet potato, cabbage, squash, onions
- Fresh fruit with a longer shelf life: apples, melon, oranges, grapefruit
- Frozen vegetables and fruit, canned vegetables and fruit, dried fruit, applesauce, tomato sauce, 100% vegetable juice
- Grains like rice, couscous, quinoa, bread, tortillas, pasta, dry and hot cereals, crackers
- Frozen and canned meat and fish, soup, stews
- Yogurt, eggs, hard cheese, non-refrigerated milk and plant-based beverages, milk powder, canned milk
- Canned and dried beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, seeds, nut butters
- Flour, oil, butter or margarine, coffee, tea, jam, honey, sugar, granola bars, bouillon cubes, spices, condiments.
Can I boost my immune system through my diet?
Simply put, you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet. No specific food, supplement or natural health product will prevent you from catching COVID-19.
Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others.
Selling unauthorized health products or making false or misleading claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada.
There are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system and therefore we encourage eating a variety of healthy foods each day in order to support immune function.
You can find more information on nutrition and healthy eating at unlockfood.ca or Health Canada’s, Canada’s Food Guide.
How do I find a Dietician?
At this time we recommend staff to use Dial-a-Dietitian. Use the online email option www.811healthline.ca/healthy-eating for questions due to the 811 telephone service being busy handling calls regarding COVID-19 related queries.
It is important to receive information on healthy eating from credible, trustworthy sources during this time. Dietitians are regulated health professionals committed to providing evidence-based advice and information that is tailored to your personal needs and challenges.
We encourage staff to follow the advice issued by the Government of Canada , the provincial government www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19
Any other tips?
- Wash hands before preparing and eating food.
- Use this time to experiment with new recipes
- If you live with one or more persons, aim to eat at least one meal together daily.
- Get kids in the kitchen. They can help with cooking meals.
Source: adapted from Dietitians of Canada, Health Canada, March 27, 2020