As known cases of the coronavirus are increasing rapidly, people around the world are preparing themselves for possible quarantines. Right now, experts are suggesting people to be prepared for 14 days. Make sure you are healthfully stocking your pantry for the coronavirus.
What Are The Essentials To Stock Up On?
They are many staple goods to stock up on during different types of emergencies. Kylene McGarry, MS, RDN, LDN, Lead Clinical Dietitian at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields, suggests items that you should shop for:
- Dry cereal
- Beef, chicken or vegetable stock
- Dried fruits
- Nut butter
- Frozen vegetables and fruits
- Canned soups
- Canned beefs
When shopping for these foods, make sure you are looking at food labels.
"Look at the sodium; ideally total sodium in meals should be no more than 500 mg. If diabetic, look at carbohydrates, typically no more than 60 to 75 grams of carbohydrates per meal," McGarry said.
Low-cost, Nutrient-Dense Food Options
Some families do not have as flexible of a budget to stock up their pantries well in advance, but try to find these foods in your supermarket:
- Powdered milk
- Canned fruits (no sugar added)
- Low-sodium canned vegetables
- Canned tuna (ideally in water, not oil)
- Canned chicken
- Powdered potatoes
- Pasta and pasta sauces
Protein is an essential part of everyday meals, but shelf-stable or frozen protein sources may not be the easiest to stock up on. Some protein sources you might not typically think of but they can be included in your everyday meals are:
- Peanut butter
- Protein bars
We all know that many perishable items have expiration dates, but McGarry suggests stocking up on some longer-lasting foods to purchase.
- Milk (Milk can be frozen and thawed out if used within 5 days.)
Meal Planning During Self-Isolation Or Quarantine
Many families may meal plan during normal weeks, and meal planning can still be a good idea during a quarantine.
"Take inventory of what you have at home and or will be buying," McGarry said. "With your list of available foods in the house, come up with meals that all will eat. Think about what meals you may already have prepared and in the freezer, and use those up first. When preparing foods, think can this food be used in another meal?” McGarry suggested to think about easy meal combinations.
"Stews, grilled cheese with soup, chili, fruit smoothies, shredded pork/chicken, stir frys are good choices," McGarry said. "Don't forget about your crock pot or instant pot if you have one."
By Ariel Anderson
Social Media Specialist