Slow down on ‘quarantine foods’

May 01, 2020
Relief food

INSTANT noodles, hotdogs and canned goods are the common foods being consumed during this lockdown period.

These “quarantine foods” come handy and instant, full of added flavors, oily, salty and usually processed. Though easy to grab and cook, people may not be aware of the ill effects in the long term and sometimes symptoms do not appear immediately after consumption.

Because many food manufacturers have reworded their food labels, there are so many hidden health-risk ingredients hard to recognize. Here’s how to detect the worse and make healthier choices.

• Deli meats. So yummy and so delicious to eat in breakfast, during merienda and even for lunch or dinner, hot dogs are loaded with fat, sodium and nitrates. A study also found that processed red meat can increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes, and may increase colon cancer risk. If you buy deli meats, opt for low-sodium, without added nitrates or chicken deli meats that are cut from the bone.

• Packaged noodles. This is the very common staple now of people who stay home to avoid getting infected with coronavirus. While packed noodles are not totally unhealthy, they are actually nutrient-free, loaded with fat and high amounts of sodium. Remember, sodium limit to children ages 2 to 3 should have no more than 1,000 milligrams per day, while kids up to age 8 shouldn't exceed 1,200 mgs per day.

• French Fries. Home delivery is just a click away. Can you eat your hamburger without being paired with French fries? French fries contain lots of fat and calories. The problem may not occur today but what your child eats now is likely what they are going to be eating for the rest of their lives. Just bake your own fries at home.

• Sports drinks. The effects of warm and humid would drive anyone to grab for a cold beverage including sports drinks. But here’s what parents should know: sports drinks aren't a great option for kids. Not only do they often contain 100 or more calories per bottle, drinking sweet beverages can mean that kids become used to the taste and stop drinking water. Avoid these kinds of drinks unless your child is exercising in the heat and sweating heavily. Give them chocolate milk instead. Studies have found it provides just the right ratio of protein and carbs to help repair muscle.