We are all aware that these are stressful and unprecedented times. During times of great stress, one thing that is often overlooked is the importance of self-care and nutrition. Food planning and eating nutritiously can and should remain a priority despite the recent pandemic. Although there is no need to panic shop, that does not mean you should not be prepared.
Below are listed some tips to consider when food planning in these challenging times:
- Keep 2 weeks’ worth of food at home – Although it is important to be prepared just in case you must stay home, there is no need to stockpile foods that you don’t typically consume or to keep months’ worth of food at home. The grocery stores will NOT be closed, even in times of stress.
- Plan and make your food list before you shop – No need to feel panicked at the store or purchase foods you don’t typically purchase due to crowd influence. Stick to your plan and only purchase the foods and supplies you actually need
- Keep plenty of protein rich foods choices on hand – whether that be canned (fish, chicken, beans, legumes), fresh (meats, poultry, tofu, eggs, cheese, yogurt), frozen (fish, meats, poultry, edamame) or dried (skim milk powder, lentils, beans), you should maintain a proper store of protein sources so that protein is available for all your meals and snacks.
- Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables – many fresh fruits and vegetables (like apples, carrots, potatoes, squash) can keep for long periods of time. Plus you can purchase canned and frozen sources so that all your meals and snacks may have a source of fruits and vegetables.
- Practice first-in, first-out (FIFO) protocol – keep track of the best before dates on your non-perishable goods and use the ones with the earliest date first
- Purchase whole grains – Whether fresh products (like whole grain bread, bagels, tortillas, pitas) or dried (brown rice, steel cut oats, barley), keep whole grains on hand to have healthy sources of fiber daily.
Despite the challenges laid before us, remember your neighbours when shopping, lend a hand to those in need and remember that we are all in this together.
Stay safe and healthy.
Contributor: Ellen Leurer
Registered Dietitian, SmartShape Weight Loss Centre
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