Concerns rise as Cebuanos turn to instant foods in new normal

Concerns rise as Cebuanos turn to instant foods in new normal
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THE new normal has significantly altered the eating habits of Cebuanos, especially the youth, who are increasingly favoring instant or ready-made foods, a dietitian observed.

Danelle Joyo Lajato, a registered nutritionist-dietitian of the National Nutrition Council-Central Visayas, told SunStar Cebu that she has noticed a decline in people practicing a healthy lifestyle, as they increasingly prefer quick or ready-made meals.

“Most of us kay ni-engage na gyud more into instant (food), kanang dali maluto. Panagsa nalang ko kadungog nga kanang naa pay teenager or kanang sa atong generation, nga nag-live in a healthy lifestyle," Lajato said.

(Most of us are now more inclined towards instant food, which is easy to prepare. I rarely hear about teenagers or people from our generation who lead a healthy lifestyle.)

Lajato said that since the pandemic started, Cebuanos have also adapted to using food delivery apps instead of cooking at home, creating a pattern that some find difficult to change.

Inflation has also been seen as a reason why people find it hard to eat and live healthy.

“Tungod sa kaning new normal, na-adapt gyud siya sa mga tawo nga kanang magsalig na lang sa delivery, unya panagsa nalang sad pud ang ni-switch back into home preparations,” Lajato said.

(Embracing the new normal, people quickly adapted and have been relying heavily on deliveries, and only a few ones reverted back to home preparations.)

For these reasons, Cebuanos, especially parents, are grappling with the challenge of creating a healthy and budget-friendly meal plans.

However, Lajato emphasized that living healthily does not have to be expensive, as long as one includes the three essential macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

She said that a recommended recipe promoted by NNC-Central Visayas is the MMK patty, made from Monggo beans, Malunggay leaves, Kalabasa (squash), and an egg as a binding agent.

Recipes like the MMK patty allow for creative shaping and can cleverly encourage children to eat vegetables.

Lajato advised parents to lead by example and promote healthy eating habits at home, emphasizing the importance of Moderation, Variety, and Balanced diets (Movaba).

She also encourages younger generations to set their own example by adopting healthy lifestyles and eating right.

“Since ana mga edara makasabot naman, kay mo-set lang pud ta og example sa ato selves nga mo-engage og healthy lifestyle. Eat right," Lajato said.

(Since these young people understand as well, let's also set an example for ourselves to engage in a healthy lifestyle. Eat right.) (Kenneth King E. Gonzales, UP Cebu intern; Kirby Clint. P. Antoni, UP Tacloban intern)

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