5 Ways Time at Home has Helped People Focus on Food With Benefits

Family eating habits are leveling up!

Father and daughter enjoying a healthy breakfast together.

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Social distancing has been part of life for quite a while now, and despite the many challenges, it’s brought some positives. Introverts have basked in the more limited social interactions, as have homebodies and bookworms. Families have been able to bond more, and working from home is now common. What has changed too is the way people relate to food, with healthier food choices and eating habits now more welcome.

At times it hasn’t been clear if certain items would be available, which has promoted creativity and the necessity for communities to come together for problem solving. Some families have had to spend more time preparing meals and eating together, since, depending on where people live, going out with friends hasn’t always been possible. 

Some of the food-related changes have the potential to become the norm or evolve into long-term habits. Here are five ways that social distancing has bettered people’s relationship with food and nutrition.

A family that eats together, stays together 

For most people, family dinners are something they read about in books or see in movies. Children may not be accustomed to eating together with their parents or with the family members they live with. Studies have found that eating as a family can benefit kids in multiple ways, leading to more success in school, better self-esteem among other positive health and wellness impacts. 

As people have been staying home, they’ve been able to enjoy eating other meals together as well, such as breakfast and snacks in between online classes, meetings or just quick, impromptu kitchen-table gatherings. These small interactions can become valuable memories for all.

Young family enjoying a meal at home.

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Building up a stock of healthy food options

As people have tried to limit their outdoor excursions, some families have chosen to build up a stock of food in their homes. This can be done by buying in bulk, ordering heavy objects online, cooking and baking in advance and having a designated area in the home, fridge and freezer to store the items. For families that are able and willing to do this, having a stock of healthy food options is a great way to promote healthy eating. Having easy-to-grab snacks on hand is something that not only promotes health but can also help keep the home organized. 

Children need to eat snacks during the day, says Unicef, and this is a great opportunity to create good habits that can last a lifetime. Some households have a designated snack drawer with nutritious and filling options such as little bags of nuts and dried fruit and crackers, which is a great way for kids to know where to go and what to choose from. It also helps promote independence in children and gives their caregivers a bit of a break too!

Pantry full of healthy foods.

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Meal planning together

Unless a family orders its groceries online, avoiding grocery stores is impossible. What some families have been able to do is to limit their amount of store visits and in-store time. How? By meal planning!

Meal planning is an efficient and, for many, an enjoyable activity, Some families even plan meals together! There are lots of benefits to it, including the ability to choose healthy meal options in advance, explains meal planning platform, Athletics fit. Knowing exactly which ingredients are needed in advance allows people to create a detailed shopping list. 

Something else to keep in mind while meal-planning is the option of food that could be grown in the garden. Gardening is a fun and relaxing activity that can help reduce stress while producing healthy food, says Minnesota’s Department of Health

Meal planning with healthy foods.

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Kids are learning to cook

For families with kids, there have been so many opportunities to involve them in the kitchen. Cooking and baking does much more than entertain kids. Research shows that it leads to healthier food habits as adults. And this is true for kids of all ages it’s never too late to teach kids how to do things around the kitchen. It is a skill that will last them a lifetime.

Happy kids enjoying baking cookies in their home kitchen.

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Eating for wellness 

Eating is one of the most important and basic ways a person takes care of themselves. While so many things have been changing in the world, it is important to ensure that people continue to care for themselves in all ways, including via their food and eating habits, and the feelings they have towards them. 

Some may have a hard time making healthy choices, and the list above can be helpful. It is important to keep promoting wellness and self care, as so many have, and to have self compassion. That, above all, can nourish and better a person’s body as well as their soul.  

Girl eating fresh vegetable salad.

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