Note- The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Many things changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. People have started to follow new morals about which you can read at BetterHelp. Not only did the threat of the virus help to bring an increased focus on health and family for many of us, but various other ways in which people interacted and lived their everyday lives also changed.
Many of these changes are still with us today – and one of them relates to how we buy and consume food, including the choices we make and where we eat. Let’s take a closer look, then, at exactly how the coronavirus crisis has changed the way people eat at home.
1. Shopping habits
Our shopping habits altered dramatically as a result of COVID. Lengthy lockdowns meant that for a while, food shopping was one of the few compelling reasons for many people to venture outside of their homes.
However, fear of the virus also meant that many people didn’t want to leave their homes, even for food. This helped to boost the popularity of home food delivery. Coinciding with a boom in online shopping in general, many people were happy to order their groceries online and have them delivered to their homes.
Alongside this, the delivery of ready-made food to one’s door became an ever-more sought-after service. We are well-placed to know; Indulge Dining offer Michelin star standard food at home in the form of a meal kit, in which everything comes prepped and cooked and the customer needs to heat and plate the meal for eating.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, shopping habits were also affected by the food shortages caused by panic buying and supply-chain issues. While this limited the food available in some locations, it also made reaching for unhealthy food a little too easy for some people.
Working From Home
Another big change to many people’s lives since the start of the COVID-19 crisis was the widespread shift to working from home, which was another measure for helping to minimize the spread of the virus.
Those who the government could tell to work their normal hours at home; however, with many schools also closed, for some people, this meant juggling childcare with working and doing everyday chores.
For many people, this meant that food became something that had to be convenient, as they would not have the time to spend preparing meals.
However, the good news is that such a need for convenience doesn’t have to mean accepting an unhealthy diet in the long run. Many people have now gotten into the habit of arranging for the home delivery of nutritious food that requires minimal preparation time.
3. Fear of Public Places
With the lifting of lockdown restrictions, some people still felt a lingering sense of uncertainty about the safety of public spaces. Not everyone was comfortable mixing with others so soon after lockdown, especially when the numbers of recorded COVID cases remained high.
This reluctance to venture out into public spaces helped keep the popularity of home dining high.
While some people have since returned to restaurants, some have decided to maintain eating at home instead.
4. Eating Habits
Lockdown affected not only mealtimes but also the dietary habits of many people. Some studies have found that sections of people were making healthier choices while in lockdown, including an increase in fruit and vegetable intake alongside a decrease in fast food consumption.
However, the fear and anxiety that COVID and lockdown caused for many people also adversely affected their eating habits. There was an increase in snacking and binge eating because of stress and anxiety. This was also exacerbated by boredom and loneliness, as many were separated from family and friends.
While some people have resolved these issues since the end of the last lockdown, others are still finding it difficult to resume healthier eating habits. This has affected those with a tendency to disordered eating more than others.
5. Experimenting with Food
One of the good things that came from lockdown was the amount of time some people suddenly had to do other things.
Some people took the opportunity to take up a hobby, while others started to exercise more and lose weight. Cooking also became a popular pastime as more time to experiment and try out new things.
Lessons learned during this period, including shopping and cooking on a budget, have changed how great numbers of people now cook and prepare meals.
As some foods were restricted due to panic buying or supply issues, there was a tendency to seek more flexible recipes about required ingredients.
These are valuable lessons that can continue to be used even after lockdown. While time may not be as plentiful as before, the timesaving and cooking hacks that have been learnt can help many of us prepare meals even with limited time.
Many people were affected greatly by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many could find the positives in the situation, others found the whole experience worrying and scary.
Good food habits that may have arisen from the COVID-19 situation must be maintained as much as possible, even if working from home has now finished. Being responsible now with how you prepare and eat food, whether at home or elsewhere, will greatly benefit you and everyone in your family while also assisting you in case of future crises.