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Quarantine snacking: How to keep your munchies in check, boost your immunity

A bowl of grapes.
A bowl of grapes. (Burst via Pexels)

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Can you relate to all the #quarantinesnacks memes floating around on Facebook? Working and going to school from home mean the fridge is always just a few steps away and mealtime routines are shot, so it makes sense if you’re tempted to eat more than usual (and maybe not the healthiest foods, either, since you probably stocked up on extra goodies for social distancing).

“Being at home takes away from that structure adults and children are accustomed to,” said Diana Rosito, wellness coach at the Baptist North Y Healthy Living Center. “A good way of working through temptation is to maintain structure by creating a schedule for you and the kids. Incorporate a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack times into your schedule.”

You can also portion out your snacks in advance so they’re (1). not going to throw off your nutrition plan, and (2) easy to grab and go while you’re working and helping your kiddos with school work. Making healthy options easier to eat means you’re all the more likely to reach for the apples and peanut butter over the chips since they’re just as convenient.

Rosito recommends:

  • Hummus and carrots (or strawberries with “chocolate hummus” to satisfy a sweet tooth)
  • String cheese
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Veggie chips
  • Banana and peanut butter
  • Grapes
  • Rice cakes with peanut butter
  • Light-butter popcorn

Fruits and veggies are healthy, of course, but now isn’t the time to be at the grocery store every few days. While social-distancing precautions are in place, what are some wellness coach-recommended snacks that will also keep well in the pantry? Rosito suggests unsalted nuts, whole wheat crackers, dried fruit, peanut butter and rice cakes.

And while a balanced diet is always important for health, eating nutritious foods to boost your immunity takes on extra importance during uncertain times like the COVID-19 situation.

“The healthiest meals emphasize whole grains, vegetables and fruits, so serve those in the greatest amounts,” Rosito says. “Meat portions should be smaller; this will save money and help keep dietary saturated fat in check. Stick with things that are packed with nutrition as much as possible. Try to limit consumption of tempting foods such as chips, cookies, ice cream and sodas. They are full of empty calories and run up your grocery bill.”

Staying hydrated is key, too. Rosito says to take your body weight and divide it in half -- that’s how many ounces you should be drinking each day.

“A good to way to boost your immune system is to get in some extra Vitamin C. Drinking an Emergen-C once a day is not such a bad idea during this pandemic,” she adds.

At Baptist Health, we want to help keep you and your family informed about COVID-19. We’re coordinating with the health department and following CDC guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our community. For more information, visit baptistjax.com/covid19 or if you have questions about COVID symptoms, call 904.302.5050.