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Food Pantry Essentials and Healthy Tips While Staying at Home

March 24th, 2020
Food pantry items

Good Samaritan Hospital's Kyle Wolfe, RD, CDN, offers a helpful list of essentials to keep in your food pantry and other tips to maintain healthy habits and good nutrition even when you have to stay at home. 

  • Dry Goods are shelf stable and last a long time. Choose whole grains for added fiber and heart healthy benefits.
    • Rice, quinoa and grains
    • Beans
    • Pasta
    • Cereal (hot and cold varieties)
    • Flour
  • Frozen Foods. When fresh options are not available or could go bad, these are the next best thing as they are packed and frozen at peak freshness.
    • Vegetables (great source of fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients)
    • Fruit (great source of fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants and other nutrients)
  • Canned goods are shelf stable and last a long time.
    • Vegetables (choose low sodium when available)
    • Fruit (choose those packed in natural juices and have no added sugar)
    • Beans (choose low sodium when available)
    • Protein foods such as tuna, salmon, sardines and chicken (choose those packed in water unless you need to gain weight, then choose those packed in oil)
    • Chicken, beef or vegetable broth (choose low sodium when available)
    • Soups, stews and chili if you are unable to make your own from scratch. Choose low sodium when available and bulk them up with added vegetables, beans, rice or pasta.
  • Other Pantry Staples
    • Peanut butter or other nut butters
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Dried fruit
    • Shelf stable pasteurized milk
  • Perishable foods. Replenish as needed. Do not buy in bulk unless you will be able to consume it. If you buy more than can be consumed then cut it up, package in single serve packaging and freeze it before it can go bad (Milk, eggs, poultry, meat, fish, dairy products, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables).

Other Helpful Tips:

● Prepare and eat only what you need. Don’t over indulge (To conserve your food supply.)  

● Don't under eat either! Nutrition is important in keeping up your immune system.

● Eat three meals a day that include a lean protein, fruit and/or vegetable and whole grain.

● Make your own pasta sauce, soups, stews, casseroles and freeze them in single serve packages.

● Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Limit sweetened beverages.

● Wash your fruits and vegetables. Wash your hands before and after preparing food.

● Exercise! Exercise helps to boost the immune system and relieve stress as well as promote weight loss, strengthen bone density and keep blood glucose levels in control. 

Even though the gyms are closed you can go for a walk, do strength training using your own body weight and utilize free online or virtual exercise programs and videos.

Mother exercising with baby