Written by: Shinta Galej, Sodexo Dietetic Intern at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
Precepted by: Afaf Qasem, MS, RDN, LDN, Director of Quality of Life Services at TMH
As many of us adjust to the new normal during COVID-19, whether you are cooking for a family of two or even six, family meals are becoming a part of the new routine.
Dig in the OLD, During the NEW:
Looking back at old ways during the new norm, post COVID-19
It is important to take a little time to plan your meals ahead. By doing this, it can help you and your family choose healthier meal options. This is a good time to dig into original family recipes or cook your favorite meal from a cookbook that you’ve been saving, and wanting to do.
Once you’ve planned your meal, create a grocery list. Now is the time to choose healthier options such as:
- Use a low-sodium soup base if you are making casseroles.
- Choose a light mayonnaise and maybe swap butter with margarine or use healthier fats such as olive oil or canola oil while cooking.
- Try cooking with a non-stick cooking spray instead of frying with solid fat.
- Incorporate more plant-based ingredients such as beans, legumes, or chickpeas into your vegetable soups or even tacos.
Try Takeout Meals or Food Delivery
Even with the time available to cook most meals at home, it is okay to take a break from cooking. While we are all practicing social distancing and avoiding crowding in stores and ordering from local restaurants and businesses during the COVID-19 is one way we can support our community. Many local eateries are offering great deals on takeout orders.
You can get creative with your choices by doing a themed dinner party meal (with the members of your household only) such as Taco Tuesday, or Game-Day Sunday where your family members can dress up and order takeout meals from their favorite restaurants. This is a great opportunity for families to bond and have fun.
A Clean Kitchen is a Healthy Home:
It’s time to spring clean your refrigerator and organize your pantry so you can start the season fresh with these tips:
- Spring Clean Your Refrigerator
- Toss Everything Old: dig in your fridge and throw away any old leftover, expired yogurt and other old items.
- Clean Out Your Produce Drawers: Remove drawers and wash them with warm soapy water. Make sure the drawers are dried well before you place the produce back in it.
- Clear Bins: Use clear bins to help you organize your condiments and other small items.
- Organize Your Pantry: Use a clear container and a labeler especially for bulk-bin items such as rice, grains, and nuts. A well-stocked pantry allows you to make less trips to the grocery and may help you create meal ideas out of what you already have in your pantry and help reduce food waste.