Maria Knaus, Clinical Nutrition Services
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world and health-care professionals are on the front lines.
“Our job is to help people manage medical conditions through proper nutrition, and help them stay as healthy as possible,” says Maria Knaus, registered dietitian and lead of Clinical Nutrition Services at Misericordia.
With the onset of COVID-19 in Manitoba, MHC nutrition services has adjusted how they provide support to residents, clients and patients.
Maria also works with MHC clients from Easy Street and the pulmonary rehabilitation program. In-person appointments have been replaced with phone calls for the time being.
“Clients have been so appreciative that they still have the opportunity to work with MHC dietitians,” says Maria.
Maria works with her clients to establish individual nutrition goals as well as share information and helpful resources. While she likes meeting with clients in person, to establish a personal connection, she’s discovered some benefits to consulting via phone: “When a client is their own home, they can go to their cabinet and check exact dosages of vitamins and supplements.”
Some of Maria’s clients are apprehensive to go out to grocery stores due to existing medical conditions that cause them to be more susceptible to COVID-19. For her clients – and for the general public – Maria has a few tips to grocery shop a little less, while still eating well.
First and foremost, she notes that it’s important to eat healthy foods that you actually like and enjoy.
Top tips for stocking up on staples and filling your pantry:
- Have good sources of protein on hand
For example: canned beans, lentils and fish
Eggs are also a cheap, quick and easy protein source
- The freezer is your friend
Store perishable protein sources, like chicken and other meats, in the freezer to extend freshness and life
- Frozen and canned produce is just as healthy as fresh produce
Look for canned veggies that are low in sodium or fruit that’s packed in its own juice
- Nuts aren’t just for squirrels – they’re packed with good fats and nutrients
While we all adjust to our “new normal” routines, Maria notes that nutrition is as important as focusing on your mental health, exercise and having social connection.
“Well-being is holistic. Self-care, stress reduction and eating well is just as important now as it was pre-COVID-19.”
Keep COVID-19 informed by visiting: covid19manitoba.ca
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