7 COVID-19 Food Mistakes

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused all of us to rethink how we go about our normal day, from taking a walk outside to how we socialize. Another thing we’ve had to get creative with is how we buy, cook, and eat food in safe ways.

Food

You may be keeping your distance from people at grocery stores and those who work for food delivery services, but that’s only one part of reducing your chances of contracting COVID-19. There are several other mindless mistakes you’re likely making on a regular basis that could potentially be putting you at a higher risk of exposure.

You’re touching your face while grocery shopping.

When you’re at the grocery store, the absolute last thing you want to do is touch your face or your phone. Since it’s still unclear whether the virus is transmissible through objects, it’s best to play it safe and act as though it does in order to minimize any chances of exposure. We do know that the virus can survive on plastic surfaces for up to three days, so again, it’s not totally out of line to think that it could still be infectious.

You’re not cleaning and sanitizing your kitchen counter correctly.

It’s possible that you’re not properly disinfecting your kitchen countertops, which could invite bacteria and traces of the virus into your food or even directly onto your hands. Again, it’s not yet clear whether or not we can contract COVID-19 from surfaces, objects, or food, however, it’s still important to both clean and sanitize your countertops for food safety reasons in general.

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You’re eating food without washing your hands first.

We get it, those tacos you ordered from your favorite local restaurant are just too good not to dive into the second they arrive at your door. However, we strongly urge you to wash your hands after touching the delivery bag and the box they were enclosed in. Why? Extra precautions should be taken without any hesitation during this time.

You’re sharing food with the people you’re in quarantine with.

As much as you may want to devour the rest of your roommate’s homemade molten chocolate cake that they left on their plate, it’s best to resist temptations. The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets and eating something that another person’s fork had repeatedly poked around in could likely be passed to you. Even if they aren’t exhibiting symptoms, they could be asymptomatic and a carrier, and who knows how it could affect you.

You’re not wearing a mask to pick up your takeout order.

This mistake is perhaps the most important one of them all to fix because not only could you be risking yourself of exposure but you could also be endangering the person who is behind the counter, as well as those who are in line. Make sure to wear your mask when you go to pick up food for takeaway or even to order something at the window.

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You’re eating heavily processed foods—often.

This is not a direct link to COVID-19 by any means, however, eating heavily processed foods regularly can suppress your immune system by causing what’s called an inflammatory response. In another Eat This, Not That! article, Syndey Greene, MS, RD explained just how junk food can hinder your immunity.

You’re dropping off food to a friend and sticking around to chat.

There are a few ways you can safely deliver food to your friends during the pandemic, but dropping food off and then staying for a while to chat with your friend is not one of them. Be sure to drop off your home-cooked meal or takeout order on their doorstep and retreat back to your car, bike, or just walk down the street before they open the door. Current research is suggesting that the coronavirus may be transmissible through aerosols in the air, so the farther you stand away from someone, the better.

8 Dinner You Can Easily Make at Home

Can You probably have all, or most, of what you need to whip up a few simple social distancing dinners that require just four or five ingredients each.

Dinner

Stock up for your social distancing dinners

If you’ve made a stop at the grocery store any time recently, you know everyone is stocking up. Without shoving, and while obeying all applicable distancing requirements, make sure you have what you need to be flexible in your home cooking. You can’t go wrong by picking up a few of the following:

  • Produce: Versatile, filling and nutritious
  • Canned Goods: These will last as long as you need them to and come in handy surprisingly often
  • Dry Ingredients: Think flour, sugar, baking powder, rice, etc.
  • Oils: You’ll want some olive oil, butter and a more neutral oil with a higher smoke point like canola
  • Spices: Salt and pepper are not the only spices. Get creative.
  • Bases: Here we’re thinking the protein of your choice. Meats if you can find them, plant-based proteins if not.

1. Garlic spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is a fantastic choice during social distancing because it isn’t usually everybody else’s first item to grab, and it’s both nutrient-rich and filling. Feel free to dress it up as you’d like but find a delicious start here. You can always omit or change the veggies. All you really need is the squash, oil, garlic and salt.

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2. Black bean-corn quesadillas

This one feels both indulgent and simple. You can throw it together in about 20 minutes and don’t have to charge yourself extra for guac. You need corn, beans, tortillas and cheese. And then add salsa and taco seasoning to your tastes. Doctor it with grilled onions or diced tomatoes if you’d like.

3. Egg fried rice

This one tastes like a night out and serves as the perfect start to a night in (mandatory or otherwise). If you prefer a more substantial course, pan fry some diced chicken before cooking the eggs but otherwise, eggs, rice, oil and soy sauce will make it delicious.

4. Panko chicken nuggets

Kids at home? Just feeling a little nostalgic? Don’t feel like you have to spend all night standing over a pot of hot oil to enjoy decadent “fried” chicken.

The best part: Once you’ve collected these ingredients (chicken, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and butter), you can use the same method on almost anything for a delicious and crispy result.

5. Baked zucchini “fries”

Remember when we said you could replicate the frying process with almost anything? Fried zucchini is an amazing and guilt-free alternative to potato fries, and if you’ve already made the chicken above, you already have everything you need: Panko, Parmesan, flour and eggs.

6. Easy Southwestern soup

This comes with the flexibility of a vegetarian or meat-inclusive option using almost exclusively canned or frozen items! The broth, seasoning, corn and salsa are required. The chicken (or beef or pork) is up to you!

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7. World’s best pancakes

Just woke up? Craving your local pancake joint? Fear not, you almost definitely have what you need to recreate the experience. Additional sugar is optional, but mix things up with chocolate chips, cinnamon, peanut butter or whatever hits the spot.

8. No-hassle beef stew

Fresh beef may be scarce, but many of the prepared, refrigerated options are still available! For a satisfying and well-needed dose of comfort food, check out this quick and easy stew. The puff pastry is fun but unnecessary and you can doctor this with whatever veggies you desire.

Don’t let the distance bring you down

Make sure you’re still making time to put yourself first, especially in the kitchen. More often than not, we don’t even know what we have stored in the back of the pantry or fridge until we take a good hard look. You may need to stop off to pick up a few things in these recipes, but they should be more or less frictionless and allow you to nourish the body so you can nourish the mind!