Last updated: 19 Jun, 2020

You can use the resources on this page to encourage healthy eating during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Frequently asked questions

Useful tools

Videos

For current measures on physical distancing visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Tips

• Eat a healthy balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables

• Keep ultra-processed and sugary foods (eg biscuits, muesli bars, sugary cereals) to a minimum.

• Choose high-fibre foods, such as fruit and vegetables and wholegrain cereal and bread, to keep your digestive system regular.

• Try to stick to a normal eating pattern and avoid too much snacking from the cupboard if you’re working at home (eg three meals a day plus two snacks)

 


 

Frequently asked questions

Visit the Department of Health and Human Services for more answers to frequently asked questions.

 

How safe is take-away food? Can the virus stay on the packaging your food comes in?

  • Our advice is to get your food out of its packaging, pop it on your plate or in your bowl then wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before eating.

 

 

Should I stock up on groceries?

  • It’s sensible to have a couple of extra provisions on hand in case you need to self-isolate – this does not mean panic buying.
  • It’s critical vulnerable people can also get supplies – think before you take something off the shelf if someone else might need that more than you.

 

 

Where can I access food relief in my local area?

 

  • Large organisations such as FoodBank, SecondBite and Oz Harvest don’t distribute food directly to people.Instead, these organisastions distribute food to local community food relief agencies. 
  • Contact your local council or visit the Ask Izzy website to helpfind out where you can access food relief services in your local area.

 

 

How do I access food relief during self-quarantine?

  • For Victorians that have been directed to undertake mandatory self-quarantine and have limited access to food and support networks (i.e.your pantry is empty and you have no family or friends close by to purchase groceries for you) ,emergency food relief packages are available at no cost. 
  • Call the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 to find out more information and access the two-week supply of food staples. 
  • All requests are assessed on need and urgency, prioritising those in greatest need. More information is available here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19#what-are-the-relief-packages

 

 

What foods can help prevent or treat the Coronavirus?

 

 

Should I wash my fruits and vegetables with soap?

  • Washing fruit and vegetables with soap or detergent is not recommended. They are not designed for use on food and any residue can cause nausea and stomach upset.
  • Instead, wash your produce in cold water as you normally would, and if you like, use a vegetable brush on hard produce such as apples or potatoes.

 


Resource

Institution

Description

WHO/Europe

Guide on how to eat healthily during Coronavirus, containing general tips, a list of best food buys and examples of recipes for inspiration.

No Money No Time

Collection of recipes which may be filtered according to your ingredients on hand, meal preferences, dietary requirements and kitchen appliances available.

No Money No Time

Simple food swaps to help extend a recipe, prevent an unnecessary trip to the supermarket, prevent food waste and save money.

Heart Foundation

Tips for heart healthy eating during home isolation.

UNICEF

Easy, affordable and healthy eating tips during the Coronavirus pandemic.

ABC Life

Dietitian Professor Clare Collins discusses canned/tinned food – how nutritious they are, what to avoid, and what to do about damaged and dented cans.

The Conversation

All the reasons to cook with your kids.

Melbourne Food Hub

Beginners guide with basic tips on how to start growing food at home, including planting seeds, looking after seedlings and transplanting.

Open Food Network

Purchase fresh produce directly from Victorian farmers online.

Nutrition factsheets about food and immunity and choosing healthy convenience meals Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Factsheets with useful tips on making healthy food choices.
 Promoting healthy eating during coronavirus Healthy Eating Advisory Service  Resources and updates to help promote healthy eating.

 

VicHealth has teamed up with Victorian comedians Rhys Nicholson and Becky Lucas to help deliver coronavirus wellbeing tips with their unique voices, to engage with younger audiences on social media. For all official coronavirus advice, please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

 

 

 

More information

The videos below provide tips on nutrition, shopping, meal planning and other healthy eating topics.