Food Planning and Social Distancing

Sample of canned goods for pandemic (Not a brand recommendation)

What did you shop for when you first realized that grocery trips were going to be limited for a while due to corona virus? I was interested to see that people seemed to be choosing foods that went back to an era of home cooking. It has been a long time since I have seen the baking aisle sold out of flour and yeast! People also seem to be, sensibly, stocking up on canned beans and canned vegetables. Yesterday at the local coop, the legume bins in the bulk food department were empty! Here are my thoughts about sensible stocking up:

Food Category General Recommendations What I Was Able To Buy
Breads and Cereals Whole grain cold or hot cereals, rice, frozen bagels/rolls/ breads, all-purpose baking mixes, flour, pasta   Oatmeal (now sold out), shredded wheat, rice, frozen bagels, flour (limited availability), I had recently stocked up on pasta
Protein foods Bulk packs of meat that can be repackaged and frozen, canned and foil pack tuna/salmon/chicken, frozen fish, canned or dried beans, processed meats with longer shelf life (ham, sausages), nuts, nut butters Bulk ground beef/chicken/pork chops, tuna, frozen breaded fish, canned beans (only a few options available), dry soup bean mix (a lot of other dry beans sold out), ham slices to use as is or to flavor soups/bean dishes, pecans/pistachios, peanut butter
Fruits and Vegetables Fresh produce in amounts you can use without spoiling, onions and celery to flavor soups. canned, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables Salad makings, oranges/ tangerines/grapefruit, onions/ celery, canned peaches/ applesauce,/pineapple, frozen strawberries, dried mango slices
Dairy Fluid milk in amount you can use within “use by” date, yogurt (watch dates), cottage cheese (watch dates), cheese, canned milk, non-fat dry milk solids, aseptically packaged milk fluid milk ( but not as much as I wanted because dates were tight), yogurt, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, buttermilk powder (haven’t tried this yet, other dried/canned/aseptic milk options sold out)
Other Butter or margarine, cooking oils, spices, soup base, yeast Butter for baking, butter/canola oil blend for spread, chicken base (I got the last container!), yeast (regular yeast sold out, I will be trying “rapid rise” yeast), I was already stocked with spices/ olive oil /vegetable oil

 Diane Rigassio Rader, the director of the Institute for Nutrition Interventions at Rutgers University suggests being sure to wash your hands after returning from the store, wiping down packaged foods with an alcohol based wipe, and washing your hands again.

For an easy, tasty soup using canned veggies, try my Quickie Tex Mex Soup.

I hope that you and your family will eat well and stay well during this challenging time.

© 2020 Kathleen Searles, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD