In times of stress or uncertainty, or when your regular routine is disrupted, healthy eating habits can be difficult to maintain.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have found yourself slipping into poor eating habits, particularly if you’re working from home. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to ensure you’re eating healthy.
Q. I am currently working from home when I normally work in an office setting, and find myself eating more often. What can I do to resolve this?
A. If you’re one that normally packs breakfast and/or lunch to eat at work, it can certainly be tempting to snack more often if you’re working from home or in a location that you aren’t used to. One simple tip is to keep to your regular schedule as much as possible. If you normally eat breakfast, a snack and lunch, try to keep to eating those same meals at around the same times each day. This will help cut back on unnecessary snacking.
Q. Now that we are being asked to limit trips to the grocery store, what are some ways to ensure my family and I are still eating healthy?
A. The best thing you can do is meal planning and prepping. Pick one day each week to plan out what meals you’d like to cook and eat during the week, and make a list according to what ingredients you’ll need to have on hand. After you grocery shop, determine the best way for you to meal prep. For some, what works best is to prepare food for the week on one day, and for others, choosing two or three days to prep food works better.
Q. If I am feeling stressed or anxious, I often turn to unhealthy foods. How can I fix this?
A. It’s very common to turn to comfort foods when feeling unsure, anxious or stressed, and it’s also common for some of these foods to be unhealthy. It’s certainly okay to indulge in your favorite comfort food now and then, but eat in moderation and be mindful of portion control when doing so. Again, meal prepping healthy foods and having a meal plan in advance will be very helpful.
Q. What are some other healthy eating tips?
A. If you live alone or with roommates, find an accountability buddy to help keep you on the right track. You can share recipe ideas, have video calls to check in and help each other with grocery lists. If you’re cooking for your family, and you have children, have them get involved in the process. Let them help pick out healthy recipes that they can help you cook, so everyone can feel as though they are part of the meal planning process.
Jill Chambers, R.D., C.D.E. is a registered dietitian and diabetes educator at MidMichigan Health.