Based on the guidance of WHO on home/self quarantine, here are some guidelines on eating healthy during these testing times.
1. Prioritize fresh foods –
Use fresh ingredients and those that have a shorter shelf life first. If fresh products, especially fruits, vegetables and reduced-fat dairy products continue to be available, prioritize these over non-perishables. Frozen fruits and vegetables can also conveniently be used over longer periods of time and often have a similar nutrient profile to fresh foods. To avoid food waste, you may consider freezing any leftovers for another meal.
2. Home-cooked meals –
During regular daily life, many individuals often do not have the time to prepare home-cooked meals. Spending longer periods of time at home may now offer the possibility to make those recipes you previously did not have time to make. Many healthy and delicious recipes can be found online. Take advantage of the wealth of freely available information, and experiment with the ingredients you can access, but remember to keep in mind the principles for healthy eating offered in this guidance.
3. Take advantage of food delivery options –
Although home-cooked meals should be prioritized, some cities and countries have rather advanced delivery systems for ingredients and ready meals, and many businesses are now starting to offer this service. Some solutions include “contact-less” options, where no human interaction is required, thus supporting self-quarantine and isolation measures.
4. Follow safe food handling practices
Food safety is a prerequisite for food security and a healthy diet. Only safe food is healthy food. When preparing food for yourself and others, it is important to follow good food hygiene practices to avoid food contamination and foodborne diseases. The key principles of good food hygiene include:
- keep your hands, kitchen and utensils clean
- separate raw and cooked food, especially raw meat and fresh produce
- cook your food thoroughly
- keep your food at safe temperatures, either below 5 °C or above 60 °C; and
- use safe water and raw material.
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