During this uncertain time, there is one thing you can control: what you put in your body.
Keeping a nutritious diet has many benefits including increased productivity and feeling more energized. Grace Bennett, RDN and Population Health Specialist at Apex Benefits, has provided some tips to help you and your employees eat healthy while working at home.
- Choose fresh. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, Bennett recommends fresh produce over prepackaged. “Focus on fruits and vegetables that stay fresher for longer – for example, apples, oranges, clementines, pomegranates, grapefruit, and unripe bananas…and longer-lasting veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, onions and potatoes,” she said. Bennett also recommends lean protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, or dairy. Meats can be stored in the freezer if you do not plan on using them right away.
- Shop wisely. While practicing social distancing, try to limit trips to the grocery store, and when you absolutely must go, wipe down your shopping cart and wash your hands afterwards. Stocking shelf-stable items in your pantry is also a good practice. “Canned beans and legumes such as black beans, chickpeas and lentils last long and are a great source of protein and healthy carbohydrate. Canned vegetables are also a great option, just be sure to rinse them before consumption help reduce the amount of sodium,” Bennett said. “Canned fruit can also be a good source of nutrients. Choose varieties packed in juice or water to reduce added sugar intake,” she said.
- Avoid processed foods. Try to avoid processed snacks and drinks like chips, cookies, and soda as they do not have very much nutritional value. It is best to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Bennett said, “If you’re drinking coffee, keep the ‘extras’ like sugar, syrup, cream and whipped cream to a minimum as they will add extra sugar and calories,” Bennett said. She also mentioned tea as a good option.
- Meal planning. When it’s time to make meals, Bennett suggests using the plate method to help plan out your meal. Making extra portions to eat throughout the week can help ease the burden of meal preparation each day.
- Try some healthy recipes. Look on the bright side, this could be the perfect time to try out some healthy new recipes. Bennett shared a few of her favorites:
- Turkey Chili
- Black Bean Burgers
- Frozen Yogurt Bark with Berries
- Roasted Chickpeas
- Baked Sweet Potato Chips
- Cowboy Caviar– this one can really include whatever ingredients you have
Feel free share these tips and recipes with your employees.
For more resources to promote physical and mental wellness in your workplace, check out our WorkplaceWellness @Home webinar series.
For updated information on the COVID-19 pandemic, go to the Apex COVID-19 resource page here.