Food and nutrition tips during quarantine

Monday April 6 2020

With children at home, giving them these foods

With children at home, giving them these foods is ideal as they promote growth. They will also aid in body restoration in case of illnesses. NET PHOTO 

By Joan Salmon

The coronavirus pandemic is here and it has caused several changes in everyone’s life as children are out of school, and parents are forced to work from home. On a whole, the way we live has totally changed and we do not know for how long this will go on.

So while the adjustments continue, there is a crucial area that needs to be considered, our diet. Taking a close and critical look at what comprises what we eat is crucial in the days during and after the virus to ensure you maintain a healthy body.

Keep hydrated
A human body is made up of approximately 75 per cent of water. It is, therefore, recommended that one drinks as much water as possible to keep this composition in balance.

However, according to World Food Programme (WHO) experts, seeing that we are less active, one is less likely to feel thirsty. Hence the need to be intentional about hydrating oneself. Many are not funs of drinking but I have seen a friend add cucumber and lemon slices to their water.

That not only adds flavour but also nutrients such as a Vitamin C.

While we are hydrating, Jane Migisha, a nutrition consultant at International Hospital Kampala, says while you may add fresh homemade juice to your list of drinks, avoid processed drinks such as soda because sugary drinks are the easiest and most common way to consume excessive amounts of fructose.

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Carbohydrates
These go-foods are important for energy generation and help fend off diseases as the body is not found to be weak.

However, Migisha advises against eating a lot of starch. “Many of us are only seated at home and not doing much. Therefore, eating lots of starch will only be putting a lot of sugars in our bodies hence increasing our weight. Rather than have a buffet of cassava, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and matooke, pick one of these starches for one meal and spread the rest out to other meals,” she says.

She also suggests that one goes for whole grain foods since they are healthier than processed grains. These, according to the World Food Programme experts, also release energy in a slower manner hence helping to keep your weight in check.

Proteins
With children at home, giving them these foods is ideal as they promote growth. They will also aid in body restoration in case of illnesses. Isaac Kimeze, a nutritionist, says while they are essential and must be consumed daily, they need not be taken in large amounts.

“These include eggs, meat, milk, and diary products such as yoghurt. In this time of quarantine, buying UHT milk, tinned yoghurt, freezing fish and meats is ideal for longer use.”
Rather than go for canned foods which are high in salt, Kimeze advocates for dry plant proteins such as beans, peas.

Fruits and vegetables
Rather than lots of starch, Migisha advises people to consume fruits and vegetables. “Apart from making you glow, they also ease digestion.”

These may wither fast, more so leafy vegetables, therefore, making an effort to plant your own vegetable patch will help, even in future, for you to have a constant supply of vegetables.

Exercise
With a lot of time on our hands, it is an opportunity to start inculcating exercising in our daily life.
WHO recommends 30 minutes of daily physical activity for adults, and one hour for children.
With limited movement, Moses Mukasa, a fitness trainer, says you can work out in your house using a fitness app, or a fitness video to keep your body active in a time where our physical activity has been drastically reduced.

jsalmon@ug.nationmedia.com

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