Adapting to stay at home orders. Managing new family routines – or the lack of them. And worrying about the state of our world. The unfolding COVID-19 crisis is putting everyone under a lot of stress.
If you’re like most people, food is a true comfort and a welcome distraction in these trying times. And you’re in good company if you’ve found yourself “stress eating” recently. One study by the American Psychological Association shows that in response to stress, about 40 percent of adults reported consuming junk food or overeating. 1
But eating, especially bingeing on a favorite junk food, only delivers a temporary boost. In times like these, it’s more important than ever to think long term and focus on things you can do to maintain – and even boost -- your health. A nutritious diet helps protect you by supporting your immune system so you stay healthy. 2 If you do get sick, your system is better prepared to fight.
Tip 1: Start by buying smart
These days, running to the grocery store to pick up a few items isn’t that easy. Even with grocery shopping services, you have to take time to plan, shop online, find what’s available, and then go pick it up. So, now’s a great time to practice the time-honored tradition of meal planning. While you’re at it, make good choices ahead of time. If you’ve shopped smart (or had someone else do it for you), it will be easier to eat smart too!
Create a meal plan that includes healthy favorites and select nutritious snack choices so you’re less inclined to grab a bag of chips when you’ve got down time to watch a show. These shelf stable products are healthy starting points:
- Whole wheat pasta
- Low sodium canned beans
- Canned fish
- Canned vegetables
- Dried fruit
Tip 2: Stay on schedule
Normal schedules have been upended due to changing work demands, home schooling, and a lack of social outings and activities. That can impact meal times too. Even if your schedule is more open-ended, it’s still best to try to stick with regular meal times. And, with so many families at home together, it’s easier to take advantage of the health benefits of family meal time. Not only is it more fun, one study shows that having three daily meals with family is linked to fewer symptoms of depression. 3
Tip 3: Focus on the future
This too shall pass. And when the COVID-19 crisis is over, you’ll want to feel your best and be at your healthiest when it’s time to get back out there. All of that depends on the choices you make now. Keep your long term goals in mind when you grab a snack or prepare a meal – the healthier the better.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Mom’s Meals continues to deliver refrigerated, nutritionally tailored meals across the country. We’re fully prepared to continue meeting our customers’ needs including those who have limited ability to leave their homes in the coming months. Here’s more information about how we’re meeting the COVID-19 challenge.