Adults and COVID-19

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Healthy eating

A well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet is important for a healthy immune system and for optimal over-all health. No one food, vitamin supplement or natural health product can boost the body’s immune system to provide extra protection from infection. Regular healthy eating and following the recommendations in Canada’s food guide will help get the nutrients needed to maintain a strong immune system.

If you are self-isolating because you have returned from travel or have symptoms, it is important to maintain good nutrition and hydration. Make sure you are eating and drinking regularly, even if you have a low appetite. For more information on COVID-19 and nutrition refer to the Dietitians of Canada.

Meal planning

If you are self-isolating and need to get groceries or other essential items, you can ask a friend, neighbour or family member to buy your items and drop them off on your doorstep. Many grocery stores are also now offering delivery services. 

Remember to follow physical distancing guidelines while grocery shopping or on any essential trips into the community. More information is available on how to protect yourself and others.

If possible, buy enough to have a two week supply of food and other essentials in case you or your family get sick or needs to self-isolate. Having two weeks’ supply of food can help make stores less crowded and decrease everyone’s exposure to COVID-19. Most grocery stores offer a designated time for older adults and immunocompromised individuals to shop, check your local grocery store to see what they offer.

Before going to the grocery store, plan your meals for the next two weeks so that you know what foods you need to have on hand. Then make a list of what you need so that you can spend less time at the store. Remember to:

  • Check your supply of basic pantry items to see what is running low or missing. Use the grocery store checklist or create your own pantry staple list.
  • Check your fridge and freezer to see what other basic items are needed as well as other foods needed for your two-week meal plan.
  • Keep meals simple and choose ingredients that can be used for more than one meal.

Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada for more information on being prepared.

For more information visit:

Managing stress

If you are having an emergency, dial 911. If you need crisis support, call 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247).

COVID-19 has impacted people’s lives in many ways. Everyone will respond to the COVID-19 pandemic differently. In these times of uncertainty, feelings of concern, anxiety, or stress are normal for both you and your child. It is important to take care of your family’s mental health. It is okay not to be okay.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Taking Care of Your Child's Mental Health During COVID-19

Physical activity

Daily physical activity (DPA) can help reduce your stress, boost your mood and increase your energy level. Being physically active can also decrease your risk for many chronic diseases. Visit our physical activity page for the physical activity recommendations for Canadians. Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada for tips on how to incorporate physical activity into your life at any age.

There are many activities that you can do around your home while in self-isolation or around your neighbourhood while maintaining physical distancing guidelines.

If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can still go outside to exercise, but stay close to home.

If you are self-isolating, you can still be physically active around your home.

Resources
Resources for physical activity around the home

Pregnancy

The potential impact of COVID-19 is still being investigated.

Pregnant women should continue to follow appropriate precautions to protect themselves from exposure to the virus, and seek medical care from your primary-care provider, your prenatal care provider or Telehealth if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

For more information visit our healthy pregnancy page or register for our online prenatal program.

Breastfeeding

It is not known for sure whether mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus via breast milk. You, along with your family and healthcare providers, should decide whether to continue breastfeeding if you feel well enough to do so.

Mothers experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should:

  • Wear a face mask when near your child (including during feeding)
  • Wash your hands before and after contact with your child
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces throughout your home

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and you are too ill to breastfeed you should:

  • Express your breastmilk and give it to a healthy caregiver to feed to your child via a clean cup and/or spoon
  • If possible, a dedicated breast pump should be used.
    • Prior to expressing your breast milk, you should wash your hands and wear a facemask.
    • After each pumping session, all parts of the pump that come into contact with breast milk should be thoroughly washed and the entire pump should be disinfected as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces

For more information on breastfeeding and virtual supports visit our breastfeeding page.

Formula feeding

If you are in self-isolation at home and using infant formula, plan to keep a supply of formula on hand (14-days if possible) and any supplies needed to sterilize the equipment.

  • Wash your hands and wear a face mask before touching your baby, the formula or bottles
  • Wear a facemask when feeding or holding your baby
  • Consider asking someone else in your home who is well to feed and care for your baby
  • If you are bottle feeding with formula, strict adherence to sterilisation guidelines is recommended

For families required to be in self-isolation at home, ensure adequate diapers and nutritious infant/toddler foods are added to your required supply list.

If you are self-isolating and need to get groceries or other essential items, you can ask a friend, neighbour or family member to buy your items and drop them off on your doorstep. Many grocery stores are also now offering delivery services. If you have a need for emergency food, please contact the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

Additional resources

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