Posted 8 months ago
Grocery Shopping During COVID-19
Grocery shopping during COVID-19 can actually be a great time to organize your pantry based on your nutritional needs. Ironwood Cancer & Research Center registered dietitian, Kindra Peterson put together some practical tips for grocery shopping during the pandemic:
What To Buy
Buy fresh meats – lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish – that you can eat over the next few days. If you have freezer space now is the time to use it and fill it if possible.
Buy protein sources that will last for when you do not have fresh meat. Eggs, Cheeses, canned meats- salmon, tuna, chicken are all great protein sources. Beans when paired with rice make a complete protein. Peanut butter is a great protein that when paired with a grain is a complete protein.
Some fresh vegetables and fruits last longer than others. Fruits and vegetables like apples, grapes, carrots and potatoes stay fresher longer than lettuce and berries. However, berries can be frozen and used later.
Buy frozen and canned fruits and vegetables for when you run out of fresh or if fresh are not available. Frozen not only has a longer life but can also be more nutritious then fresh.
Think About What You Need
When you shop, shop for food thinking about what you need for the next week or two at the most.
In times like now when even some of the common pantry, refrigerator and freezer staples are hard to come by, it is hard to know what to buy. Here are some basic buying ideas for items you can buy to help ensure you are still able to make healthy meals.
Pasta – having multiple shapes and textures will add variety. Add protein and vegetables to increase the nutrient quality of any pasta dish.
Rice – brown, white, long-grain, short grain and even Arborio (for rice pudding or risotto). Add protein and vegetables for a heartier meal.
Beans – dried or canned. Great protein source and very versatile. Add to soups, stews, pasta and rice dishes.
Broths and Stocks – essential for soups, sauces and stews. Can be meat or vegetable based. Most importantly, they do not take up valuable freezer space.
Eggs – keep for a long time in the refrigerator. A welcome addition to many recipes and dishes. Are a good stand-alone food and another versatile protein.
Frozen fruits and vegetables – vegetables can be added to soups, stews, stir-fries, casseroles and pasta and rice dishes. Fruits can be added to baked goods and used in smoothies. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as or even more nutritious than fresh with a much longer life.
Canned fish– tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies are versatile, add to many dishes for a great protein source.
Canned chicken– make chicken salad or add to casseroles. Has long life and will not take up freezer space.
Canned tomatoes – use in soups, stews, sauces.
Nut Butter– peanut, almond, cashew. Nut butters are not just for sandwiches; they can be used to make sauces, salad dressings and are a good protein source.
Parmesan and other hard cheeses– will last for months in the fridge if purchased in blocks rather than grated. Grated cheese can be stored in the freezer to extend life. Cheese purchased sealed in wax will increase storage life.
Bread– any kind you want, just consider storing in the freezer (not the refrigerator) if you will need to be eating it within a few days.
Celery – use the leaves as an herb (can be used in place of cilantro or parsley) and the stalks in salads (including tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, potato salad as well as green salads). Alternatively, stuff the stalks with a nut butter or tahini for a crunchy and healthy snack.
Spices – Dried spices have a long shelf life and can change the flavor of everyday recipes to offer variety.
Learn When to Shop
Do you research before leaving the house to go grocery shopping. Most stores have changed their regular hours because of high demand. Look online to see if your local grocery store is offering special hours for seniors, pregnant, and disabled persons. If your immune system is compromised you should consider online grocery shopping, delivery, or pick-up.
Kindra is a Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nutritional Science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and her Master’s of Science Degree in Nutrition from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Kindra has almost 20 years of experience working in Healthcare and Nutrition and over ten years of teaching experience, specializing in courses related to nutrition, health, and wellness at the University level.
About Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers (ICRC) is the largest multi-specialty oncology network in the Greater Metro Phoenix area. They have over 100 medical providers, a robust Integrative Services program and a dedicated clinical research department. Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers has 15 valley locations and five comprehensive cancer care centers that offer a multi-disciplinary approach for expedited personalized patient care. For more information, please visit our website at www.ironwoodcrc.com.