• Youth Energy Squad

Importance of Nutrition During COVID-19


We are all feeling a little cooped up during the Michigan lockdown. You may be feeling anxious, sad, or just a little off with everything that is going on. One thing that is important not to overlook during this challenging time is nutrition. Eating healthy can help keep you feeling good both mentally and physically. What you eat can affect your mood, as well as your body’s ability to fight off illness.


Goals: Learn about how nutrition can help keep you healthy both mentally and physically

Age Group: 6-12

Time: 30-45 minutes

Supplies: Device with internet access



Read the following article on how what you eat impacts both your physical and mental health. Then use the link provided to calculate your own nutritional needs and answer the reflection questions.

Article: https://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/articles/nutrition-and-mental-health.html

Nutrition Calculator: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/webform/daily-nutrient-requirements-calculator


Reflection

  • It has gotten harder to go grocery shopping. Many stores are low on supplies, and it’s been recommended people go grocery shopping as infrequently as possible. How has the state shutdown affected how you and your family eat?

  • Fruits and vegetables provide us with many of the vitamins and minerals we need, which have a large impact on how we feel. What are some reasons getting fresh fruits and vegetables could be difficult for people during the lockdown? (Think about how long different foods stay good)

  • It’s best to eat more fresh and non processed foods, which are more nutrient dense, when possible. Do you feel like it is easy or difficult to get fresh produce where you live, and how does this impact your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

  • One way to always have access to fresh produce is to grow your own. Does your family or anyone you know have a garden? (check out some of our other activities for tips on how to easily start your own veggies on our website at www.youthenergysquad.org/blog.)

  • Not all fats are bad. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential for your brain. Those can be found in things like nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, avocados, dairy products, and eggs. Think about what you eat that provides omega 3 and 6? What are some unhealthy fats in your diet you could eat less of?

  • Fear and uncertainty during this pandemic is causing people to experience higher anxiety than usual right now. According to the article dehydration can lead to you feeling even more anxious. The recommendation is 6-8 glasses of water a day. What are you drinking to stay hydrated?

  • Consuming lots of sugar can contribute to health problems like obesity and diabetes. Consuming high amounts of sugar has also been linked to negatively impacting depression and anxiety.  If you drink lots of things high in sugar, what are some more healthy alternatives?

References

https://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/articles/nutrition-and-mental-health.html

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