Since you probably have to stay home for a prolonged period, it's imperative to consume a nutritious diet and bolster your immune system. The checklist below is a must-have for your grocery-shopping trip. Read on to see whether you have ignored something!
To meet your daily needs of nutrients like vitamin C and sugar, reach for a variety of fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pineapples and so on. Both fresh fruits and canned ones are great options, and dried fruits can be added to baked goods. The general rule of thumb for storing fruits is to pick the non-perishable ones, so that they can last for a couple of weeks.
Vegetables are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients. We recommend plenty of green veggies like cabbages, broccoli and spinach, because they are all high in fiber. Besides, beans, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes are also vital to boosting your immune system. If you want to make tacos or grain bowls and even soups, grab a few pouches of beans. These non-perishable all-stars are rich in plant protein, beta-carotene and potassium respectively and can last for about two weeks. In order to keep enough vegetables handy and prevent them from going bad, you can buy frozen veggies as a supplement.
Eggs are a natural choice for many essential nutrients, protein and healthy fats. When refrigerated on the middle shelf with a consistent temperature, fresh eggs stored in their original carton will last three weeks after purchase. Yet they will last for no more than a week once you boil them. Consider buying up to four dozen eggs for a two-week period if you like baking or your family really loves eggs.
Fish provides both protein and omega-3 fatty acids to keep you full of vigor. It's common to use canned fish as tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies in sandwiches and also in your evening meal. They last a long time once frozen.
Animal protein sources like poultry, chicken breast, ground turkey and beef can last in a freezer for months. They can either be added to soups and chilis to bulk them up or be turned into the centerpiece of a meal. Make sure you get enough of them.
Being nutrient-dense and high in plant-based protein, nuts contain heart-healthy fats, as well as essential minerals. Furthermore, they are both filling and versatile. You can add them to yogurt, cereals and bread. Store them in the freezer to help extend their freshness.
Staples are fundamental to the normal operation of our bodies. As for quick cooking, healthy produce like quinoa makes a great base for grain bowls and salads and is also palatable when added to stews and soups. Brown rice, bulgur, barley and farro are other tasty whole grains. Keep a couple of boxes of each on hand. Another essential pantry staple is pasta, and don't forget the jarred pasta sauce if you don't want to make it from canned tomatoes. However, if you are cautious of the high sodium in pasta, you can choose ravioli or burritos instead. These don’t take up much space in the freezer and they're easy to reheat.
To make an instant breakfast, you probably need a few boxes of high-fiber cereal and instant oatmeal packets or rolled oats. They make a very filling breakfast with a few tablespoons of dried fruit or nut butter and are ideal for baking. What's more uplifting is that they won't go bad for nearly a year. If you like bread, then grab some bagels, tortillas and even English muffins and freeze them when you return home. Otherwise, they will become moldy in just a few days.
Apart from stocking up on foods, staying hydrated is also essential. Water is the most important of all drinks. Normally, you need to store at least one gallon of water per person or pet per day. If your freezer still has some space, also pick up several cartons of pasteurized milk and yogurt.
The flavor boosters like garlic and onions can pair well with lots of foods. Stored at room temperature, these savory bulbs will last up to two months. Take a few jars of spread such as butter, nut butter and applesauce if you intend to bake bread frequently. Cheeses are also a wonderful option, and the harder ones like cheddar and pecorino can last for a month, and even the softer cheeses like Gouda and brie last about two weeks.
Don't forget to take some snacks, since they can make a difference to your mental health. Crackers packed with protein are an easy option and are available on Amazon. You can also pick up a stash of chocolate or a few pints of ice cream as a treat. To maintain your physique, you may do some exercises at home, then prepare some granola bars, protein bars and meat sticks. Look for brands that are low in sugar and contain minimal preservatives. Staying at home for a couple of weeks, chances are you will spend much time watching shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, so make sure you buy several boxes of microwavable popcorn.
If you have a baby, it's a great idea to stock up on some ready-to-eat food pouches and kid-friendly snacks to supplement meals. Make sure you have enough formula for at least two weeks.
Do not forget to stock up on your pets' food staples if you have one pet or more. A mix of both dry and wet options should be available, depending on their diets. Figure out a month’s worth of food for each one and purchase it. You may also need cat litter!
You can't be too well-prepared if you have a month’s supply of any medications you’re taking at hand. Prepare some over-the-counter medicines like multivitamins, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, cough medicine, children's fever reducer and allergy medicines, so that you can handle common ailments. Moreover, maintain a first-aid kit with supplies to treat common injuries. At least keep handy a thermometer in case you have a fever.
Hygiene supplies run out quickly, so first buy some toilet paper and paper towels. Cleaning products like sanitizing wipes, laundry detergent, dish soaps, floor cleaner, mop and bucket, toilet cleaner, along with some disinfectant are also a must to keep your families and home healthy. Bin bags should also be added to your checklist. Ultimately, do remember to stockpile some female hygiene products and diapers in case you or your family members need them.