Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients
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In India and many other countries, a huge number of peoples are affected by Covid-19 infection each day. Since in most cases, patients remain in home isolation for 2 weeks, modification of their breakfast and snacks is essential for them.

The breakfast and snacks of COVID patients should be modified on consistency, quality, and quantity of foods as well as the frequency of intake. A modified breakfasts and snacks help-

  1. to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
  2. to avoid further complications and
  3. to ensure rapid recovery of patients.
Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients16

How to modify breakfast and snacks of COVID patients

The most common symptoms of COVID patients are throat problems (like sore throat, throat pain, difficulty in swallowing, etc.), moderate to high fever, digestive problems (poor digestive capacity, flatulence, diarrhea, etc.), loss of smell and taste, and poor appetite causing low food intake.  The nutrient requirement increases during corona infection but food acceptability and food utilization decreases, which leads to further complications like dehydration, loss of weight, weakness, etc. To Cope up with the symptoms and to ensure rapid recovery of the patients, their diet should be modified in terms of quality, quantity and consistency.

Modification in Dietary consistency

Breakfasts and snacks should be semi-solid and soft in consistency which are –

  • non-irritable,
  • easily digestible 
  • easy-to-swallow
  • easy to prepare

The nutrient intake of corona patients increases to cope up with the viral infection but they cannot take a large meal at a time due to poor appetite and loss of taste and smell of patients. To ensure adequate nutrient intake their menu should include small amounts of foods that are to be taken at frequent intervals. Breakfast and snacks should be split into halves which should be consumed 4 times. Consumption of processed foods and instant breakfast should be reduced.

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients17

Modification in Frequency

The nutrient intake of corona patients increases to cope up with the viral infection but they cannot take a large meal at a time due to poor appetite and loss of taste and smell of patients. To ensure adequate nutrient intake their menu should include small amounts of foods which is to be taken at frequent intervals. Breakfast and snacks should be split into halves which should be consumed 4 times. Consumption of processed foods and instant breakfast should be reduced.

Modification in macro-nutrients content (carbohydrates, proteins and fat)

Breakfasts and snacks should be –

  • High in protein
  • Adequate in complex carbohydrate
  • Low in sugar content
  • Low in fat
  • Low fiber

A combination of protein and carbohydrate rich foods should be utilised to prepare healthy breakfast and snacks items. A combination of cereal and pulses or cereals and milk is preferred.

Modification in micro-nutrients and phyto-nutrients nutrients.

Breakfasts and snacks should contain adequate amounts of immunity boosting nutrients like –

  • Vitamin-C
  • Vitamin-A or beta carotene
  • Folic acid
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics

A liberal amount of soft fiber-rich fruits should be judiciously included which can supply all the needed vitamins and minerals. Intake of probiotics and antioxidant-rich foods should be increased.

Quick Breakfast and Snack Recipes for COVID Patient

Easy and Quick Breakfast Recipes

Here I like to suggest few breakfast recipes for the COVID-19 positive patients, preparation of which need less than 10 minutes from your busy morning schedule.

Recipe-1: Suji porridge or Semolina porridge

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 15

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Semolina: 1 tablespoon
  2. Milk: 1 Cup
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  4. Ghee: Half teaspoon
  5. Elaichi: 1

How to Prepare

  • Heat the ghee in a tawa. Add semolina. Roast for a minute. Add sugar. Mix well.
  • Now add boiled milk slowly with constant stirring to avoid gruel formation.
  • When the mass becomes semi-solid, add elaichi powder and switch off the gas. Your breakfast is ready.

Recipe-2: Milk and murmura(muri) with banana

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Milk: 1 Cup
  2. Murmura (puffed rice): 1 Cup
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  4. Banana: 1

How to Prepare

Boil the milk.Soak murmura in a cup of boiled milk and add banana pieces to it.Serve the breakfast.

Recipe-3: Poha (Churah or rice flakes) with milk and mango

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Milk: 1 Cup
  2. Poha: 1 tablespoon
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  4. Mango (diced):
  5. ½ Cup

How to Prepare

Wash the rice flakes with water. Add boiled milk, sugar and mango pieces to rice flakes. Serve the breakfast.

Recipe-4: Popped rice with curd

Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Popped rice (khoi): 1 Cup
  2. Curd: ½ Cup
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

How to Prepare

Take popped rice, curd and sugar. Mix together. Serve the probiotic rich healthy breakfast.

Recipe-5: Oat Porridge with seasonal fruits

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients11

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Oats: 1 tablespoon
  2. Milk – 1 Cup
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  4. Any fruits (diced): 2 tablespoons

How to Prepare

Boil milk. Add oats and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes. Cool it slightly and add chopped fruits to it. You may add any types of fruit like mango, banana, apple, grapes, pomegranates etc.

Recipe-6: Dosa

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients10

Soaking time:16 hours.

Cooking time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Boiled rice: 1 cup
  2. Urud dal: 1 cup
  3. Fenugreek (Methi) seeds: A pinch
  4. Salt: As per taste
  5. Oil: ½ teaspoon

How to Prepare

  • Soak rice, dal and methi seeds together for 8-10 hours. Keep them at room temperature. Grind them into a smooth semi-solid paste and keep the paste for another 6 hours at room temperature.
  • Take the required amount of batter, add a pinch of salt and mix well.
  • Grease a tawa with oil, heat it, add a spoon of batter, spread in a thin layer, cook for a minute. Now turn it and cook the opposite side for few seconds. Your probiotic rich breakfast is ready to serve.

Recipe-7: Yoghurt rice flakes smoothie with Watermelon

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients1

Preparation Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Rice flakes: 4 teaspoons
  2. Watermelon (deseeded): 1 Cup
  3. Yoghurt:  ½ Cup
  4. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

How to Prepare

Soak the rice flakes in yoghurt for 5 minutes.Add sugar and watermelon pieces to it and grind together into a smooth paste. Now your smoothie is ready to serve.

Recipe-8: Oat and milk shake with fruits and nuts

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 2

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Oats: 4 teaspoons
  2.  Milk: 1 Cup
  3. Banana: 1
  4. Peanut butter: 1 teaspoon.
  5. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

How to Prepare

Take all the ingredients in a grinding jar and mix them. Your healthy shake is ready.

Easy and Quick Snack Recipes

Like breakfast, healthy snacks are also very importantfor corona patients. Here I like to suggest few snack recipes for those suffering from COVID-19 infection.

Recipe-9: Alu and a chotpota (Potato egg chotpota)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Potato: 1
  2. Egg: 1
  3. Black salt: A pinch
  4. Black pepper: A pinch
  5. Chat masala: a pinch
  6. Lemon juice: Half teaspoon

How to Prepare

Boil the whole potato (with skin) and an egg with a little salt.Remove the skin of potato and egg and slice them into round pieces.Sprinkle little salt, pepper, chat masala and lemon juice over it and serve.

Recipe-10: Vegetable soup

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 3

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients Required

  • Sweet corn: half
  • Green peas: Few
  • Carrot: 1 small
  • Beans: 3-4
  • Garlic:2-3 cloves
  • Black salt: a pinch
  • Butter: Half teaspoon

How to Prepare

Cut the vegetables into small pieces and boil them in a pressure cooker for 3 minutes.Heat a kodai, add little butter, fry chopped garlic and add the boiled vegetables, mix well. Your soup is ready. This is an antioxidant rich healthy dish.

Recipe-11: Baked potato with boiled peas

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Potato: 1
  2. Green peas: 1 handful
  3. Salt: As per taste
  4. Turmeric powder: A pinch

How to Prepare

Cut the whole potato into slices and marinate them with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder and bake them. In a little saucepan boil the green peas with a pinch of salt.Serve the baked potato with boiled green peas. It is a good snack for corona patients. 

Recipe-12: Mango shake

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 9

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Mango (pieces): ½ Cup
  2. Milk: 1 Cup
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

How to Prepare

Take all the ingredients in a grinding jar and mix them together. Serve a glass of mango shake during snake time.

Recipe-13: Fruit and Nut shake

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 4

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Banana (pieces): ½ Cup
  2. Milk: 1 Cup
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  4. Peanut butter

How to Prepare

Mix all the ingredients together using a mixer or hand mixer. Serve the freshly prepared banana shake.

Recipe-14: Badam milk

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 7

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Almond (soaked overnight) 4-6
  2. Milk: 1 Cup
  3. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

How to Prepare

Peel almonds. Grind them. Boil milk and add sugar and almond paste to it. Mix together and serve.

Recipe-15: Turmeric milk

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Milk: 1 Cup
  2. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  3. Turmeric powder: a pinch

How to Prepare

Boil milk with sugar and turmeric powder. Serve the drink.

Recipe-16: Mixed fruit salad

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 8

Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients Required

  1. Mango
  2. Banana
  3. Grapes
  4. Apples
  5. Watermelon

How to Prepare

Cut the fruits into slices and serve them together. Do not add any salt or sugar to it.

Frequently Asked Questions on foods for Covid patients

Q1. Why we should take home-made breakfast than depending on commercially available instant breakfast and snacks items?

What you are planning to take commercially available instant breakfast recipes if anyone of your family become a covid patient? You should not because it is always better to depend on home-made traditional breakfast and snack items instead of taking highly processed ready-to-eat instant breakfast recipes. Home-made recipes are –

  • Easy to prepare
  • Easy to digest
  • Loaded with nutrients like protein and easily digestible carbohydrate
  • Adequate probiotics and antioxidants can be supplied through judiciously planned breakfast and snacks.
  • Freshly prepared traditional breakfast recipes contain much more amount of important vitamins (like vitamin-C, beta carotene, folic acid, vitamin-E) and minerals (like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc etc.)
  • Home made foods are free from-
  • Added flavouring agents
  • Artificial colours
  • Preservatives.
  • Traditional foods contain less amount of sugar and salt than commercially available breakfast and snack items. Moreover, you can reduce or avoid the use of sugar and salt in a specific recipe of a diabetic and / or hypertensive person.
Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients19

Q2. Is sugar okay to consume during isolation? What amount of sugar can be consumed by COVID-19 patients?

According to the World Health Organisation, the sugar intake of corona patients should be restricted to less than 5% of total energy intake. For adults maximum of 6 teaspoons of added sugar are suggested.

Q3. How to limit sugar intake during the COVID-19 quarantine?

You can limit your sugar intake by following 5 easy modifications to your daily diet.

  1. Reduce intake of sugar sweetened beverages like cold drinks, milk shakes, fruit juices and commercially available syrups.
  2. Replace commercially available summer drinks with home-made healthy summer drinks.
  3. Reduce preparation and intake of desserts and sweets.
  4. Reduce portion size of sweet foods.
  5. Reduce the use of sugar in your daily cooking.

Q4. What type of foods is to be selected for the breakfast and snacks of COVID-19 patients? Choice of foods for COVID-19 patients

Traditional home-made breakfast is always a healthier option than commercially available instant foods.

Intake of all types of processed foods and sugar sweetened beverages (like soft drinks, milk shakes and fruit juice available in the market.) should be restricted.

Table-1: Selection of foods

What to takeChoice of foods
Cereals as a source of carbohydrate and second-class protein. Fermented rice products are good source of probiotics.Rice flakes (churah), puffed rice (murmura or muri), popped rice (khoi), fermented rice products, oats, suji etc are preferred over millets (which are comparatively difficult to digest).  
Pulses as a source of plant proteins and other nutrientsAny type of dal can be eaten but not in excess amounts because pulses are difficult to digest.
Milk and eggs are good sources of first-class protein. Fermented milk products (like curd, yoghurt and buttermilk) are an excellent source of probiotics.One egg can be eaten in a day.Milk can be given in many forms like curd, yoghurt, chaas, channa, paneer, buttermilk, lassi, raita, milkshake, yoghurt etc.
Fruits and vegetablesThe diet should be rich in easily digestible fruits and vegetables which are natural sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables that are difficult to digest (eg. Radish, cauliflower, cabbage etc.) should be avoided.
Butter, ghee and vegetable oil.All fatty foods and fried foods should be avoided as they are difficult to digest.Minimum cooking oil should be used.
Sugar and saltA minimum amount of sugar and salt should be used in cooking.

Q5. What are foods to avoid during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Easy Indian breakfast and snack ideas for Covid 19 patients 20

For maintaining good health and optimum immunity during the COVID-19 pandemic, we should avoid certain types of foods and reduce the intake of selected foods which are summarised in table-2.

Table-2: List of foods to be avoided and / or restricted during COVID-19 pandemic

Foods to be avoidedIntake of foods to be restricted or limited
Fatty meats
Hydrogenated oils
Margarine
Potato chips
Salted peanuts
Pizza
pasties
Soft drinks
fruit juices available in the market
Commercially available milk shakes
Sweets and deserts
Instant breakfast
ready-to-eat meals
Canned food alcoholic beverages
Doughnuts
Biscuits
Cookies
Crackers
Use of sugar and salt in cooking
home-made sweets and desserts etc.
Home-made cakes and pizzas
Deep fried foods prepared at home.


For more readings, click the followings

  1. https://www.google.com/search?q=covid+cases+in+india&rlz=1C1CHBF_enIN803IN804&oq=covid&aqs=chrome.4.0i131i433l5j69i60j69i61j69i60.6737j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12648-020-01928-8
  3. https://www.who.int/vietnam/news/detail/14-07-2020-q-a-how-is-covid-19-transmitted#:~:text=Yes%2C%20infected%20people%20can,%2C%20receive%20medical%20care
  4. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/abs/10.7326/M20-3012.
  5. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30461-2/fulltext
  6. https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/easy-affordable-and-healthy-eating-tips-during-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak
  7. https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/publications-and-technical-guidance/noncommunicable-diseases/food-and-nutrition-tips-during-self-quarantine#:~:text=Reduce%20foods%20such%20as%20red,which%20helps%20prevent%20overeating.

Summary

  • In India and many other countries, a huge number of peoples are affected each day. Since in most cases, patients remain in home isolation for 2 weeks, modification of their breakfast and snacks is essential for them.  The foods for covid patients should be modified in terms of consistency, quality, and quantity.
  • Soft, semi-solid, nutritious foods should be given in small amounts at frequent intervals. Non-spicy, healthy breakfast and snacks should be prepared using protein-rich, high carbohydrate, low-fat foods using minimum salt, sugar, and cooking oil.
  • Traditional, homemade breakfast and snacks are always preferred over commercially available instant food.
  • All types of processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages (like soft drinks, milkshakes, and fruit juice available in the market.) should be restricted.
Dr. Sagarika Chakraborty was awarded her doctorate in Food and Nutrition from University of Calcutta (C.U.) in 2017. She is an experienced Researcher, working in the field of Food Science for more than 12 years and published papers in international and national journal. She has also presented papers in national conferences.

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