Managing the snack attacks in lockdown: My top five tips
Now that most of us are spending so much time at home it can be hard to avoid those snack attacks. So here are my top five tips for managing the munchies in lockdown.
One: eat regularly
With our usual routines up in the air it’s easy to miss meals, but eating regularly gives a steady supply of fuel to the body and helps avoid the need for snacks. Even if you’re busy homeschooling and working from home, the absence of the dreaded school run and commute should free up some time for a healthy, creative breakfast.
For plenty of gut-loving fibre with loads of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants try making pancakes with different types of fruit and serve with yoghurt and seeds. Whip up an omelette or scramble some eggs and have with some rye bread and avocado. If the kids have been playing up and you need to keep things more simple try porridge or fat-free natural yoghurt with berry fruits and a few nuts and seeds.
If you’re working at home and juggling homeschooling it might be tempting to skip lunch. Instead, see if you can sit down together as a family and enjoy a balanced meal in the middle of the day. You can make use of leftovers from dinner or keep it simple with soups, sandwiches, wraps and salads but do try to make it interesting.
In lockdown, meals are such a focal point in the day. If you have an online group for your local community then get everyone to share creative lunch ideas. People might want to share classic family favourites or if your community includes people from mixed backgrounds it's a great way to find out about different ways of eating from around the world.
When it comes to your evening meal make the most of the fact that you are no longer rushing about with clubs and after school activities. Enjoy the luxury of being able to eat your meal at a time that works for the whole family rather than being dictated to by all the usual pressures of life. We are finding that it's easier to eat earlier which suits our digestion.
Two: reduce temptation
There is no need to banish treats completely but make sure you’re not endlessly picking. Make yourself a snack box and a list of snack items you enjoy. Put two items from the list in the box each day and put the rest out of reach. Use the boot of the car for things that do not need refrigeration or try a sealed box in the shed or garage. Include a couple of treats each week but otherwise, keep what you’re having as healthy as possible.
Three: snack well
High fibre and high protein snacks are positive choices. You might like a handful of nuts or a smoothie made with yoghurt or silken tofu, some fruit and oats or quinoa flakes. Once the weather gets a bit warmer freeze smoothies to make nutrient-rich ice lollies. Veggie sticks with a Greek yoghurt dip can be another great option. Flavour the yoghurt with herbs and spices to your taste such as dill, chives, tarragon, paprika or cayenne pepper.
Four: banish boredom
Let’s face it, if you’re bored you are more likely to eat too much. Not everyone is having a quiet time in lockdown but if you’re on furlough with few responsibilities or self-isolating it can all get a bit tedious. That said it’s a great opportunity to get moving. There are so many exercise programmes that you can do in your home and you can even learn to dance. Try to keep to a routine and keep as busy as possible. Think about learning a new skill like sign language or a foreign language you could use once we can all travel again or just have a jolly good de-clutter.
Five: eat more mindfully
When we’re busy we tend to swallow our food at great speed leaving little time to really appreciate it. If you are keeping treats to a minimum it's important to really enjoy then Try savouring a snack fully taking in the colours, texture, smell and taste. Remember eating should be an enjoyable experience not just time to take on fuel.
Enjoy food, make the most of life, stay home and stay safe.
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