Photo / Victoria Gasca
For seniors, one of the many concerns they have after graduating and beginning college is getting what is called the freshman 15. The freshman 15 is when a new student who is away at college and gains 15 pounds because they are adjusting to a new lifestyle, routine, and diet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new worry for all students, no matter the grade level, is the “COVID-19 15.” Students are stuck at home when all they want to do is be with friends and even go back to school, as crazy as that sounds. A large majority of students are eating more than usual, believing they are hungry; in reality, they are just bored. In order to combat this, students can begin to practice healthy eating.
A great way to start off any morning is to get hydrated, since the body dehydrates while a person is asleep. Some may reach immediately for a sugary juice or coffee when instead they can drink a water or tea beforehand. Putting lemon in water is a great way to drink more and stay hydrated. Not only does it promote hydration due to enhancing of the taste, but it is also a great source of vitamin C, which is great for immune health. Similarly, drinking a cup of tea in the morning can have multiple benefits depending on the type of tea it is.
As for breakfast, it seems easiest to pour a bowl of high sugar cereal. Instead, students should opt for a bowl of oatmeal and fruit that is healthier and just as easy to prepare.
People may be thinking that they cannot eat healthy because everything in stores are sold out, but most of the produce is still available. This can allow for a variety of snacks and meals that can be prepared by the average teenager. Fruit can be eaten whole as a healthy alternative to sweets, sliced to use for toppings for yogurt and other foods, or frozen for a cool treat or as smoothie ingredients. On the savory side, students can eat vegetables in a delicious way they may have not have ever thought of. As a snack, there is always the classic vegetables with dip. For a quick and easy lunch, students can roast vegetables with various seasonings and enjoy them over leafy greens and protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, or beans. Eating fruits and vegetables is important for maintaining a healthy diet, and it is still achievable in quarantine. If there are no available fresh fruits and vegetables, students can try to find canned and frozen as well.
Eating due to boredom can cause people to eat more than necessary. If students are hungry for a snack multiple times during the day, it can be because they need to drink more water. If the water doesn’t satisfy their hunger, students should snack on fruits and veggies and snacks that are low in carbs and processed sugars.
When sitting down watching Netflix in quarantine, most students think to grab a quick snack such as chips or sweets to settle their cravings when there are other options that can fulfill the same wants. A great alternative to chips is popcorn with minimal butter and oil; for sweets, a cup of fruit can be a tasty substitute.
Students should also remember that the chips and sweets aren’t bad as long as they are consumed in moderation. During most times of the year, students have access to the grocery shop for healthy options, but that isn’t the case for many right now. The CDC advises people of all ages to practice social distancing and not to go to the store unless absolutely needed.
Stay safe and stay healthy!