With news outlets talking nonstop about the coronavirus
outbreak and people responding by avoiding favorite restaurants and emptying
grocery store shelves we are all starting to think more about what’s in our
cabinets and what we should prioritize when picking up groceries. While most
recommendations are not advising on hoarding food or stocking up for more than
2 weeks, stocking up on food for 1-2 weeks is a good idea since having food
available can help with comfort and safety during this unprecedented time. While
it might be tempting to add boxed macaroni and cheese and canned ravioli to
your cart, it’s important to focus on items which provide you with
immune-boosting antioxidants, probiotics and proteins which may help keep you
healthy. With keeping health and perishability in mind, here are some ideas for
items to stock up on until this passes.
In the Frozen Foods
Frozen items are ideal because you can pull out the amount
you will use and keep the rest in the freezer for another time. This helps to
stretch items and keep food waste down. Frozen fruits and vegetables are packed
at peak freshness so they have high levels of nutrients and antioxidants. Just
be sure to avoid ones with added sugars, salt, or sauce. Frozen fish, salmon
burgers, and low-sodium vegetarian burgers are great protein choices. It’s not
a bad idea to throw an extra loaf of your favorite whole-grain bread or
sprouted tortillas into the freezer as well.
When Cruising Down The Middle Aisles...
There are a lot of healthy options in the middle aisles of
the grocery store. Whole grains such as brown rice, couscous, and quinoa make great
additions to your cart. Canned tuna, peanut butter, no added salt beans,
lentils and a variety of nuts are an easy way to add protein to your diet if
your grocery store is out of meat or if you are a vegetarian. For fruits think
unsweetened applesauce, canned fruit packed in 100% fruit juice or water, and
dried fruits without added sugars. Whole grain cereals, whole oats, and trail
mix make good breakfast or snack options.
While Back in the Refrigerator Section...
In the refrigerator section look for the following nutritious
items. Large tubs of low-fat plain yogurt (regular or Greek) can make great
additions to smoothies, added to cereal for a quick parfait, or eaten with some
fruit for an easy snack. Hard cheeses, eggs, and cottage cheese can make for
easy protein additions to snacks or meals.
If you have a little one at home, make sure you have a
supply of baby food and formula for infants. And don’t forget about your pets
Putting it all Together...
Now what do you do with all of these items when you get back
from the grocery store? Here are some meal ideas incorporating the food items
1. Baked fish with seasoned couscous and frozen
2. Bowl of oatmeal with frozen berries and nuts
3. Yogurt parfait with whole grain cereal and unsweetened
4. Salmon or Veggie Burger on whole grain bun with
frozen vegetables and cottage cheese with peaches packed in 100% juice
5. Sprouted grain tortilla loaded with beans,
cheese, quinoa, and salsa. Add a side of unsweetened applesauce or frozen
6 .Peanut butter spread on whole grain toast and a
fruit and yogurt smoothie
As the experts are expecting the COVID19 outbreak to get
worse before it gets better, it’s a good idea to have a healthy supply of food
at home to help keep your family safe. This allows you to avoid the large
crowds in the grocery stores and relying on high-sodium, nutrient-poor
convenient foods which won’t provide the nutrients you need to keep your immune
system healthy. If you want to avoid the grocery store completely, home
delivered meals, such as Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating, are a safe,
nutritious, and convenient option as well.