Even when we stay home it is important to have healthy options to maintain routine as much as possible without adding damages due to unhealthy diet during this unusual situation.
Remember the labels? “Red - stop”? “Green - go!” Let us try to eat green to strengthen our immune systems.
Here are some guidelines to improve our health:
- The important guidelines of a healthy home diet become even more relevant when we are forced to stay at home:
- Avoid snacks, candy and red-labeled foods.
- Drink water exclusively; if possible and only if you want to - tea or coffee, too. Even if you are at home, it is possible to avoid sugar-sweetened drinks of any kind, including natural ones.
- Diversify: different sorts and colors of fresh or cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grain cereals.
- Prefer cooking (especially over ready-made food or instant meals) and use fresh and raw foods as ingredients.
- Buy food products in accordance with national dietary recommendations.
- Keep eating at regular intervals, set a new daily routine when you are quarantined at home.
- In any case, even if you are alone - when eating, you should concentrate on eating and turn off all screens.
- It is vital to maintain low quantities when staying home; we are not expending the same energy we used to previously. It is advised to ask household members to serve you food with small dinnerware.
- True, it is not easy to stay at home all the time; it is clear and obvious, same as the intention to search for “comfort” in food, snacks and sweets. It is worthwhile to get comfort by other means: a good book, crosswords, dancing, learning something new, re-adopting an old hobby or listening to your favorite music.
- Do not be ashamed to get help from family members and friends. You can ask family members or friends to bring healthy foods and fresh fruits and vegetables to your door. You can go shopping online; a recommendation for a healthy home shopping list (Hebrew).
- If supermarkets do not have the product or item you are accustomed to or intended to buy, you can become creative, since many foods have tasty and healthy alternatives:
- Legumes: you can buy frozen, dried (raw) or canned.
- Fresh fruits can be temporarily substituted by dried fruits. Just make sure they do not have any sort of additives.
- Vegetables: if there are no fresh vegetables, you can buy frozen and/or canned ones as well.
- Instead of dairy products, you can vary with tahini, legumes pastes (like hummus or lentil paste), nuts and/or almonds.
- Instead of bread you can cook corn, rice or sweet potato, or to choose whole cereals crackers.
- Chicken can be replaced with fresh, frozen or canned fish (including tuna), legumes or various nuts.
- If you are not alone in home anymore, you may turn cooking time into family quality time. For instance, cooking and eating together. Visit “you can cook healthy” for recipes of easy to cook dishes. Social cooking may become a family experience and create a good atmosphere.
- If, for example, other family members are be forced to stay at home or if going to a supermarket is not allowed, it is worthwhile to arrange a small buffet in advance, where you can keep nutritious and healthy products with long shelf life that will not get spoiled in two weeks, including:
- A variety of vegetables and fruits, crackers, bread (better to be kept in a freezer), and canned corn, vegetables and peas.
- Legumes, such as beans, hummus grains, lentils, peas - dried (raw) or canned. During home quarantine, there is plenty of time to plan soaking and cooking according to many new recipes.
- Tahini, various kinds of nuts, grains and almonds, peanut butter without additives, olive or canola oil and dairy products or substitutes, like tofu.
- Canned fish, eggs and raw chicken in the freezer.
- People with chronic medical conditions and diseases (diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, dialysis, heart failure, cardiovascular diseases, post-surgery, various other diseases and conditions that damage the digestive system etc.) have to adhere to the instructions of their attending physician and dietitian.
- In exceptional cases, such as a need for a special diet, baby food formulas and if there is a nutritional limitation, for instance if you have a medical condition or allergies/sensitivities to food, it is important to change the buffet and foods to suit these conditions, according to the dietitian's recommendations.
Video: eating healthy with the entire family in isolation or lockdown (in Hebrew)
What is worthwhile to buy and eat to maintain your health and immune system during the coronavirus outbreak:
Explanation and what to pay attention to
- Below you can find a table with information on what foods are best to have in your home. Check if you have them at home and if they can be bought.
- It is important to remember that those are not custom made diets.
- It is important to cook the right amount of food, not large quantities, to reduce waste.
- It is important to try and diversify, when appropriate, all food types in a row/category during different meals.
- The table contains a list of recommended foods to incorporate in meals throughout day. Change them and switch between them.
Table of healthy foods, best to keep at home in a quantity suitable for an adult, taking into account reserves.
In order to make planning, organization and buying easier - the specified quantity is for one week.
|Definition and explanation||Item||Weekly quantity|
|Vegetable and fruits are the basis of a healthy nutrition. Therefore, it is recommended to eat them daily and in a variety of colors; they are a source of vital nutritional ingredients, such as minerals, vitamins etc.||Various vegetables and fruits (tomato cucumber, carrot, apple red sweet pepper, bananas and more), fresh or frozen||About 7 kg of vegetables and fruits, including frozen|
|Tomato paste / canned tomatoes / crushed tomatoes||350 grams per week, 3 large or 7 small boxes.|
|Whole cereals constitute a rich and satisfactory nutritional base that has ample vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates||Cereals and alike, such as: whole wheat crackers, rice crackers / bread, preferable from a whole grain / pita etc.||1 - 2 loafs of bread, preferable from a whole grain|
|Rice, quinoa, pasta, buckwheat, bulgur, oatmeal, wheat, cornmeal, whole wheat couscous / frozen or canned corn / potato / sweet potato and more||1 pack of 500 grams / It is advisable to diversify - buy a variety of cereals and combine them to your liking|
|Legumes constitute a good source of protein and are an alternative to meat. They have large quantities of minerals and dietary fibers||Dry legumes of all kinds, such as: lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas, fava beans, cowpeas, raw, canned or frozen hummus||1 pack of 500 grams raw / uncooked legumes. It is advisable to diversify - buy a variety of legume packages and combine them to your liking|
|Rich protein sources||Raw tahini / natural peanut butter without additives / other nut spreads / various kinds of unsalted nuts||Half a can of half kg tahini and/or a bag of unsalted nuts|
|Recommended oils||Olive / canola oil||Add to taste. You should have an olive / canola oil bottle at home|
|Dairy products and their substitutes constitute a good protein and calcium source and enrich the meal||Dairy products and substitutes - cream cheese / cottage cheese / yogurt with no added sugar / tofu / soy delicacy with no added sugar / tahini / legumes spread, like hummus||For instance: 7 yogurt / soy substitute + tofu (200 grams) + 4 cups of cream cheese and/or cottage cheese or soy|
|UHT milk / fresh milk / soy milk||1 - 2 boxes or bags of 1 liter|
|Rich protein sources||Tuna / frozen fish / chicken or turkey / minced or fresh / tofu / meat substitutes||For instance: 7 cans of tuna and half kilogram of chicken / turkey|
|Eggs||5 - 7 eggs|
|Babies and Toddlers||Fruit or vegetable puree,
baby formula for babies that are not breastfeeding
|According to daily consumption multiplied by 7|
|Flour for cooking and baking||Choose whole grain flour||1 kg|
|Can be varied with||Sugar / honey / date honey / dried fruits without additives||Set that amount according to family preferences. Approximately 1-2 dry fruits per day|
|Unsalted peanuts / almonds / walnuts.
Not allowed for children older than of 5 years of age.
|You can buy a variety and consume approximately 40 grams per day|
|Spices and herbs, according to family preference||As customary to your family for one week|