Nutrition expert shares healthy snack and dinner ideas to try at home during COVID-19 pandemic

Nutrition expert shares healthy snack and dinner ideas to try at home during COVID-19 pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Even though grocery stores are still open, we are all trying to make a conscious effort to stay at home. That can make for a hard time coming up with meals and snacks throughout the day. Yet, it can be a time to get creative and fuel your body with nutrients to build up your immune system.

“It really gets people whose immune systems are challenged, so what’s really great for our immune systems? Bright colors, plant food, things like that, antioxidants, so that’s refreshing to your body,” said Cathy Draper, a Registered Dietitian and Functional Nutritionist at Well Fit Medicine and Nutrition.

Draper advises shoppers to have a plan for the week before you go to the grocery store. When you’re thinking of a snack, go for something that’s the closest to the food in its most natural state.

“Nuts, vegetables, if you like crunchy things you can do rice cakes and nut butters,” Draper recommends. “You get a whole lot of bang for what you’re doing without too many calories.”

Draper says to cut up the veggies so they’re just as readily available as a bag of chips. Her number one tip, don’t go for the sweet things because they’ll actually make you more hungry.

“We want to go for things that are a little heartier. That are going to be more filling that would have some sort of protein in it. Some sort of healthy fat in it. Some satiety that says it’s not going to make me want ten more things,” Draper said.

When it comes to dinner, she says get creative. Now is a good time if you can’t make it to the grocery store to do a “kitchen cleanout” soup or sauce.

“What we do, we take out any fresh vegetables that we have that need to get used up, we’ll sautee them in a pan. If we decide to do some sort of meat with it we’ll also do that and we’ll a big pot of sauce or soup. If we’re doing a sauce we’ll add as many vegetables, diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, whatever happens to be in the pantry to make a nice sauce,” Draper said.

These can last a while and even get put in the freezer for later down the road.

Draper’s number one suggestion, stay hydrated. She recommends drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, every day.

Here are more suggestions for snacks and meals:

Nuts, hard-boiled eggs, fruits and vegetables, hummus, guacamole, cheese and crackers, egg casseroles.

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