It’s hard enough to provide your child with nutritious meals under normal circumstances, but throw in the changes associated with a pandemic and quarantine, and it can seem downright impossible.
Whether you’ve got a picky eater or two in your home, find yourself getting groceries less often or finding your options are limited, there are things you can do to promote healthy eating during the quarantine. Let’s take a look.
Dealing with picky eaters
Having a picky eater can be difficult in the easiest of times, but throw in the lack of structure from no school or regular social activities, and you may find your child digs in their heels even further. After all, in a time where there’s not much to control, eating is something they can control.
To give more control to picky eaters, try allowing them to choose what they put on their plate. They can pick between an apple or banana or green beans or peas.
You can also help your picky eater by:
- Reading books about food and eating: "D.W. the Picky Eater," "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," or "Gregory, the Terrible Eater" are good options
- Getting more involved in food prep. More and more families are cooking during quarantine thanks to the closure or limited service of many restaurants. Allow your child to stir food, wash produce or, if age appropriate, chop produce.
- Giving your child smaller tastes of new food. Give them smaller portions or allow them to use a baby spoon to try new foods.
Be smart about groceries
If you find yourself making fewer trips to the grocery store, focus on high calorie, lost cost foods. If your family eats meat, opt for chicken thighs instead of breasts. Or, try making a few meals vegetarian. Try including things like beans, rice, pasta or veggies like avocado in meals for high calorie, protein options.
If you have a limited number of snacks on hand or simply want to avoid fighting, ration snacks into individual bags. Write each child’s name on the bag to make snack time simple.
Don’t forget about water
The World Health Organization notes that staying hydrated is crucial for optimal health. Give your child water instead of bottled sweetened drinks.