Thanksgiving is coming; but how do you keep safe traditions now in a socially distanced world. Cooking has always been something central to our family. I would think that this is to others as well. In my family, we sometimes share a recipe. Everyone brings something to dinner and one family member makes a main course. This year will be different. We will all be separated. Perhaps we will come together on Zoom, Facetime or someone yum y uy ittyuyuu other form of technological means to mark a few minutes of the holiday together.
You are most likely going to be cooking anyway, so why not make it into a family happening. The speech-language pathologist in me suggests to you that there is so much that can be blended into this type of activity. For example, if you choose to make a fruit or vegetable salad together you can talk about the colors and categories of fruits or vegetables, with older kids – what makes a fruit a fruit and a vegetable a vegetable, cut with math concepts of quarters, a half or eighths. You could talk about action such as cutting, with shaped fruit/vegetable cutters and fruit picks slicing, spatial concepts such as putting in, taking out, having one next to or in between. Whatever you do, there are guidelines that were developed to keep cooking as a safe activity. According to the CDC, the following guidelines for holidays are noted.
“Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spreading COVID-19. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread. Remember, it is always important to follow good hygiene to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne germs”.
- Make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving, and eating food. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Instead of potluck-style gatherings, encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only.
- Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
- Wear a mask while preparing or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.
- If serving any food, consider having one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
- Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates and utensils, and condiments.
- Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets or buffet-style potlucks, salad bars, and condiment or drink stations. Use grab-and-go meal options, if available.
- If you choose to use any items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash and disinfect them after the event.
- Look for healthy food and beverage options, such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low or no-calorie beverages, at holiday gatherings to help maintain good health.
In terms of our fruit and vegetable – here are some reasons to make this – by color~
My personal favorite addition to the below is to add some sort of seeds for crunch – pomegranate seeds or pepitas; but regardless ……
Here is a list of fruits by color:
Purple fruit: raisins, blackberries, blueberries, purple grapes, dried and non-dried plums
Green Fruits: kiwi, green apples, honey dew, grapes. limes, avocado
Orange Fruits: mango, papaya,cantalope and oranges
Tan/Brown Fruits: dates, the skins of pears and the speckles of the skin of ripe bananas
Here is a list of vegetable by color:
Purple Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage and peppers
Green vegetables: cabbage, cucumber, asparagras, broccoli, spinach, green beans
Orange Vegetables: butternut squash, sweet potatoes and baby carrots
Tan/Brown Vegetables: potators, black eyed peas, pinto beans, garbanzo beans or chick peas
Keep safe! Happy Thanksgiving to all!