Top tips for parents during lockdown

With the recent COVID-19 guidance asking the population to stay home as much as possible, and with schools closed, we know the upcoming weeks are going to be especially challenging for parents. We want to do what we can to help mums and dads feel supported during this unprecedented time, so we’ve pulled together our top tips to help out over the next few weeks.

Kids really do benefit from structure, so we think it’s important to stick to a clear routine and mealtimes where we can, while also making sure they’re not bored!

We know stockpiling has made grocery shopping a little difficult, and that you might not be able to find everything you need, but still want to feed your little ones varied, well-balanced meals and to keep them as nutritious as possible – so we’re sharing our suggestions on how to use your pantry essentials and make the most of batch cooking.

“Take some of the pressure off of your shoulders; don’t focus on what they are eating at each meal, but look at what they are eating over the whole week. Chances are they’re getting a good variety of ingredients over a few days, so it doesn’t matter if you can’t get hold of something one day or you don’t get a chance to cook another.”

– Our infant nutritionist, Alice Fotheringham

Top tips for keeping healthy while self-isolating:

  • Drink lots of water: stay as hydrated as possible
  • Stick to a routine: try to not graze throughout the day (easier said than done with a month’s supply of groceries within arms reach) – having structured mealtimes should help with this
  • Variety is key: we want to make sure no one gets bored because that’s when unhealthy snacking rears its head!
  • Get the kids involved: use the time off to spend time together as a family and get everyone interested in cooking from scratch. If your little one’s birthday is coming up, don’t let the day pass without any celebrations – try getting the kids involved and rustle up one of our 10 Birthday Cake recipes?

Alice says: “If they’re old enough, why not get your children to help with meal inspiration? Give them a few ingredients you’ve got in your fridge and cupboards and get them to cook up a good recipe for dinner that night!”

Nutrition tips:

  • Eat lots of vegetables: fresh, frozen, tinned… however you get them in
  • Include starchy carbs which are high in fibre: wholemeal pasta, rice and grains will keep you fuller for longer
  • Don’t neglect your protein levels: meat and fish are great for satiety – you can also bulk meals out with vegetarian sources of protein like beans, pulses and peas
  • Healthy fats, healthy mind: seeds, nuts and nut butters improve brain function (more almond butter please!)
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth, but limit processed, sugary snacks – try making a couple of treats to keep everyone happy. Do try to be weary on watching overall sugar intake daily keeping in mind sugar recommendations for the age of your child per day (which schools try to follow in their school cafeteria menus) as no one needs hyper active kids and sugar highs and lows when running around outside isn’t an option!

For other nutritious and varied recipes to try your hand at while in lockdown, see our Recipes for Lockdown post!