Contributed by Eat Right Philly Nutrition and Wellness Program.
COVID-19 has caused our everyday normal routines to be completely different. During these stressful times, we can turn to positive coping skills and focus on our health by eating well and being active. We have a unique opportunity to reevaluate and prioritize habits and goals in our lives and choose to be healthy! Instead of spending more time watching TV, playing video games, and scrolling through social media on our phones, we can spend time cooking together and being active as a family. Below are some tips for creating meals with your children, reducing screen time, and keeping them active while stuck inside.
Small Bites for Parents and Students – Family Meal Recipes & Activities
Cooking together helps to foster an interest in foods, particularly trying new foods. This is one way to get your picky eater to try something new! Make your activities fun and exciting, but also low pressure to make them want to come back for more! Check out some resources here:
- What’s going on this week at America’s Test Kitchen for Kids
- Check out the Banana Oat Pancake recipe, a healthy breakfast option that includes whole grains and fruit, easy enough that your students can make themselves!
- Or try the Food Texture Mix and Match where you and your student can test out textures to make healthy snacks or meals! Challenge yourselves to find a way to include three different textures in your meal from crunchy, smooth, crumbly, chewy, tender, soft, and more!
- Recreate delicious recipes at home by checking out Eat Right Philly’s YouTube Channel!
- Check out easy and fun Food Art Activities created by an Eat Right Philly Educator.
- Follow these tips to reduce your family’s screen time. Fill out the We Can! Screen Time Chart to see how much time your family spends in front of a screen.
Food Resources During this Difficult Time
Many Philadelphians are in need of free food due to school closures, loss of income, or other challenges caused by COVID-19. In response to this need, the City of Philadelphia and partners have developed two ways for residents to find free food:
- Food Box Distribution Sites:
- Food sites where any resident can pick up free food for their household.
- Sites are open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
- Residents can pick up one box per household. Supplies will last up to five days.
- Residents do not need to present an ID or proof of income for eligibility.
- Food sites are supported by the City, Share Food Program, and Philabundance.
- Student meal sites:
- 49 School District schools are open from 9 a.m – noon on Mondays and Thursdays.
- Each child will receive six meals per student–3 breakfasts and 3 lunches.
- Six Philadelphia Housing Authority community centers are open from 9 a.m. – noon every weekday. Each child will receive breakfast and lunch.
- Several charter schools are also distributing meals. Times and days vary.
- Any child is eligible at any site. No ID is required.
Being Active Together
Being active helps lower anxiety and manage emotions, which is exactly what you and your family may need during this stressful time. Being active together also helps foster healthy habits at a young age and can improve learning by keeping your children focused. Check out some of the fun ways your family can stay active below.
- Have you ever wanted to learn ballet, jazz, or hip-hop? Check out these great 5-10 minute videos to learn from the best instructors in Philly! RockReach is a local dance studio offering virtual dance classes while students are home.
- Indoor balloon tennis anyone? How about an obstacle course? Check out these 25 indoor activity ideas for kids.
- Build a Hallway Laser Maze to stay active and have fun! You and your kids will love creating and using this hallway laser maze with tape or leftover streamers from your last birthday party.
Looking for more healthy eating and activity tips during this stressful time? Follow Eat Right Philly on Twitter and Instagram and check back on Eat Right Philly’s Website for healthy recipes and activities you can do at home!