I don’t know about you guys, but my food budget has had to be increased quite significantly in the last few months; my whole family is home all-day and it seems like all we’re doing is eating during lockdown. With the drop in temperatures, comfort-eating has also come into play.
To celebrate the 20th World Milk Day, I wanted to share some tips that could help you maximize your tight food budget and navigate the extra need to nibble, in partnership with ReDiscover Dairy.
Focus on nutrient density
Now more than ever, a strong immune system is essential and so is the need for us to focus on optimal nutrition. One of the easiest ways to do this, is through the food that we fuel our bodies with.
- Dairy offers high quality protein and essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium. Not only is dairy affordable, but it’s also versatile, so you have a variety of options such as Maas, yoghurt, cheese and milk.
- Enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Cut them up in small pieces for the kids to enjoy at meal times and in-between meals. Stock up on citrus fruit which become cheaper during the winter season.
- Keep yourself and the kids well hydrated, with water, warm milk and healthy teas.
Affordable nutrient-dense foods:
Improve comfort eating
Many of us are turning to food for comfort, for different reasons, including the suppression of our emotions. Some of us are having trouble sleeping – we’re anxious about our jobs and our finances and others are struggling with boredom and having their sense of purpose and security taken away very suddenly.
It’s important to take care of our emotional well-being, while being aware of the risks of over-eating. Lockdown eating habits have seen us eating a higher intake of higher intake of refined carbohydrates, especially sugar and starch. These foods are known to increase the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin, but at the same time they provide a lot of energy without the necessary nutrients, which can lead to unwanted weight gain.
A better option is to boost serotonin levels by including foods with an amino acid (the building blocks of proteins) called tryptophan in your diet. Milk and dairy products are rich sources of tryptophan, which the body uses to produce serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone. Tryptophan also produces melatonin, another biochemical that helps to promote sleep and relaxation. Now it makes sense why my granny used to offer me milk before bedtime!
Other things to consider:
- Make sure you are getting emotional support. Keep in touch with friends and family on a regular basis and get professional assistance if necessary.
- Spend sometime outdoors to get fresh air and vitamin D, which is also good for your immune system.
- Enjoy a warm glass of milk at night. This will contribute to your serotonin and melatonin levels and help you to feel less depressed and stressed. Milk is also known to help you keep fuller for longer and can help limit unnecessary eating.
Nutrient-rich snack ideas:
- Fruit and veggie smoothies
- Whole-grain crackers with cottage cheese
- Almonds and cashews
- Yoghurt and berries
- Hard boiled eggs
- String cheese
- Dried fruit
Follow Rediscover Dairy on Facebook to get the latest nutritional updates.
How are you managing your eating during lockdown? I would love to hear from you, please leave me a comment.
Modern Zulu Mom