Using Shelter-In-Place to Change Your Family’s Eating Habits
With the shelter-in-place and the temporary closure of non-essential businesses, like fast-food chains and restaurants, homemade meals are making their comeback as one positive outcome from the COVID-19 crisis.
Shelter in place is an excellent opportunity to develop healthy eating habits for ourselves and our loved ones.
Keep on reading to learn more about how to introduce simple, healthy, and delicious meals to develop and maintain a healthy diet.
Mindful eating: Planning your meals ahead of time
Mindful eating consists of being aware of foods that are best to nurture your body while keeping a balance with your food cravings.
Time plays a big role in developing mindful eating. Take, for example, the success of fast-food chains. They became a big part of the American culture since it takes only 15 minutes to be at your plate. Naturally, with most Americans living and working in fast-paced environments, these foods became a very practical — but unhealthy — solution.
By all means, without planning your meals ahead of time, it is easier to fall for unhealthy foods.
Planning your meals will help you to:
- Avoid quick-unhealthy meals. For example, having sugary cereals low in fiber for breakfast.
- Save time and mental energy by avoiding to plan your meals on the spot.
- Be more efficient while grocery shopping.
Getting all the family involved in cooking
Healthy rituals lead to healthy eating habits. Getting your kids or teens involved in food preparation is the perfect opportunity to encourage them to eat healthier. This way, cooking will become a fun and meaningful family bonding activity.
Here are some easy and tasty snacks for kids to help around in the kitchen:
- Toast. Spread almond butter and add sliced bananas on top, finish off with chocolate sprinkles.
- Fruit smoothies. Our favorite: A mango smoothie made with milk, one fresh mango, and one frozen banana.
- Overnight oats. Mix equal parts of rolled oats and milk. Add almond butter and honey; leave it on the refrigerator overnight. Serve it with sliced bananas on top.
- Sliced apples with almond butter.
Implementing Fruits and Veggies into your diet
If your goal is to eat healthy in the long run, consistency is key to success. We recommend starting by slowly implementing small portions of fruits and vegetables to all your meals. Here are a few tips on how to do it:
- Start the day with a small portion of fruit before breakfast. Usually, kids tend to be quite hungry in the morning, which increases the chances for them to agree to eat fruit.
- Switch from chocolate milkshakes to fruit smoothies.
- Opt for snacks where you can implement vegetables or fruit.
- Implement salads to your diet, but don’t make them the main dish.
Over time, once your family is happy with the new diet style, try and increase the fruit and vegetable portions.
Store-Bought Healthy Snacks
Keeping up with a household is hard work — especially if you are also working from home. There will be some days that you simply don’t have the time to cook. We recommend the next store-bought healthy snacks:
- Organic instant popcorn
- Veggie chips (sweet potato, kale, beetroot, spinach)
- Dark chocolate
- Nuts (pistachios, almonds, dark chocolate dipped almonds, cashews)
- Sun-dried tomatoes in Olive Oil (super tasty on top of fresh bread).
- Low carb and sugar cookies
- Trail mix
Z.E.N. Foods offers a great variety of delicious and healthy meal plans — snacks included! Get a free consultation from our consultant, who will help you build a diet plan that adjusts to your needs. We are here to help, even during the shelter-in-place orders.