Proper nutrition during this COVID-19 pandemic

by Jan Dale Carlo Catalonia, Secretary of the Rotaract Club of Metro Cebu – CIT University Chapter

Strive to incorporate vegetables in your usual meals. In this photo, Rotaractor Adrian Jay Barcenilla prepares cabbage for Pancit Bihon, eggplant for ‘Torta’ and malunggay for soup.

Proper nutrition is said to be crucial for health during this COVID-19 pandemic as it strengthens our body’s immune system. There is no vaccine or direct medication yet for COVID-19. Hence, what everyone must do for now to defend themselves from the virus is to boost their health through proper nutrition.

Aligned with the celebration of Nutrition Month last July and as the club’s initiative to strengthen community resiliency amidst COVID-19, the Rotaract Club of Metro Cebu – CIT University launched the Nutriskarte Campaign. This campaign promotes the importance of proper nutrition through social media information dissemination as well as conduct of virtual talks on healthy cooking and eating.

Last July 26-27, 2020, a virtual discussion among food nutrition experts and owners of businesses advocating for healthy meals was conducted and attended by over 100 participants. Below are the key messages during the discussion that we hope everyone can adopt as a practice during this COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Be innovative. Delicious and well-presented meals do not necessarily come from high-end restaurants. Come up with innovative recipes or search for some on the internet. Make the best possible healthy dish without compromising its deliciousness.

2. Keep it natural. Using preservatives and other synthetic ingredients could make the food tasty but it does not mean they are healthy! Through proper research and creativity, you can still attain the same blissful taste – or even better – while using natural ingredients.

3. Make healthy cooking fun. Step up your game and make cooking with healthy ingredients fun. Transform your vegetables into vegan bacon, vegetable tempura or even vegan snacks such as pizza, chips and quesadilla. Invest on a blender and turn your random fruits into wonderful smoothies that quench your thirst and satisfy both your eyes and tummy.

4. Be resourceful. There are a lot of cheap but healthy alternatives to the ingredients of your favorite dish. Try making vegetable tempuras and kalabasa arroz caldo. You might even want to consider replacing meat with tofu and other healthy fibrous alternatives!

5. Keep it healthy. Making use of fruits and vegetables is totally healthy... and cheap! Healthy food options are not always expensive. Start your healthy journey by cooking meals using locally grown vegetables. Create a smoothie using fresh fruits and natural ingredients.

6. Practice healthy food preparation. Cut down your oil and lessen the number of meals you fry. Although fried food tastes good, the large amount of oil intake won’t do you any good. Venture into safer and healthier food preparation practices. Consider sautéing, steaming, grilling, or baking your food instead of the usual frying.

Rotaractor Adrian Jay Barcenilla added cabbage and carrots in the Bam-I (Pancit Bisaya) he prepared.

The Nutriskarte Campaign was implemented in partnership with the Positive Youth Development Network, the Young House Heroes Initiative and the Rotary Club of Metro Cebu. To learn more about the campaign and tips on healthy cooking and eating, visit

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