What are the best foods to buy during CODVID-19?

(CNN) Whether you are home for the next two weeks of a COVID-19 quarantine, or just trying surviving a school or job shutdown, you are probably limiting or avoiding trips to the shop of groceries.

So you may ask yourself:
What are the best foods to buy when you know you're going to be stuck at home - and is it even possible to eat a nutritious diet?

Well, here is some good news: You can make nutrition a priority, and it's something that is even more important if your immune system may be compromised.

"Although it may seem a little different than normal, it is possible to eat healthy when you're stuck at home," said Alyssa Pike, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications at the International Council on Food Information. “Choosing shelf-stable foods like canned goods, pasta, rice and beans and using your freezer - [where] you can store breads, meats, vegetables, fruits and more - are great ways to make sure you have a good variety when your trips to the grocery store are limited ”.

Below is a list of foods that are not only nutritious, but also versatile. They can be eaten alone; combined with other ingredients to assemble mini meals; or used as the basis for various recipes.

Just remember that there is no need to buy the stock at your local grocery store. "Right now there is no indication that food retailers cannot meet consumer demand," said Pike, and "it is also important to consider the needs of others and not buy excessively."

So just buy what you really need - and these items will last you a while, which is convenient when you can't leave your home.

What buy for your pantry:

Beans and legumes

Reach for these on your next trip to the store, as they are not only durable, but also a great starting point for a nutrient-dense meal. "Beans and legumes are excellent stable sources of plant protein," Pike said.

Chickpeas or lentils, for example, can be mixed with salads and pasta dishes, or used in soups and stews. They can also be used to make homemade hummus, according to culinary nutritionist Jackie Newgent, author of "The Clean & Simple Diabetes Cookbook" and advisor to Lunch Unpacked.

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Canned fish

Canned or vacuum-packed protein sources like tuna or salmon are also highly nutritious, offering a boost of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Nut butters

These are a great source of protein and healthy fats, and they pair well with many foods, from cookies and breads to apples and bananas, according to Pike. Sun butter, which is made from sunflower seeds, is suitable for those with allergies to peanuts or tree nuts.

Whole wheat pasta and beans, quinoa and brown rice

These are the nutrient-rich grains to stock up on, and can be used as a garnish or mixed with protein and vegetables.

Steel cut oats

You can cook oatmeal and add salty ingredients like grated cheese, dried tomatoes, or even eggs for a fast, nutrient-dense meal.

And keep in mind that while eggs require refrigeration, they still "have a longer shelf life than most refrigerated foods and can also be very versatile," added Pike.

High fiber cereals

A dry cereal high in fiber and protein like Kellogg's Special K protein cereal or GO cereal from Kashi with low-fat milk they can also be useful as a mini-fast food.

Canned and sugar-free fruits and vegetables

Planting canned vegetables, canned fruits, and applesauce with no added sugar is also wise. Be sure to rinse the canned vegetables to get rid of the extra sodium.

And don't forget canned or tomato-based sauces, Newgent said, "You don't need to make your own sauce, unless you prefer it."

Dried fruits, popcorn and yes, chocolate

Dried fruits like prunes, apricots, raisins, blueberries, figs are a sweet source of iron, fiber and antioxidants. They can be combined with walnuts - including my favorite, rich omega-3 walnuts - or almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts or walnuts. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are also a tasty nutritious option, and can be used for DIY trail mixes.

Popcorn is also a great source offiber, and you can sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top to make it a salty snack, or add dried fruit or mini chocolate chips for sweetness.

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You can even enjoy a stash of chocolate, though the healthiest type is dark chocolate, which is rich in anti-aging flavanols.

"It's certainly okay to incorporate some indulgent foods, like chocolates or other sweets," especially during stressful times, Pike said. "As with any eating occasion, be aware and check your hunger before and after."

Water, stable milk on shelves and coffee

Remember, in addition to stocking up on food, it's important to stay hydrated.

“The general rule of thumb for emergencies is to store at least one gallon of water per person or pet per day and have a three-day supply on hand. However, if you normally drink tap water or have some kind of filter, I wouldn't worry about buying large amounts of water, ”said Pike.

Milk is also a good source of calcium and vitamin D that boosts the immune system, but it doesn't necessarily have to be refrigerated. "Having a stable milk on the shelf or a plant-based drink on hand is not a bad idea if you don't want to or can't venture to the grocery store," Pike explained.

And caffeine counts too. "Consider if you have enough caffeine to get you through a few weeks," Pike said. "You may need to create your own café with coffee or make your own pot of coffee if you don't want to or can't venture to your favorite coffee shop."

What to buy for your freezer:

Bread, delicatessen and fresh seafood

Remember that fresh foods can be frozen, allowing you to enjoy them at a later date. “Get the most out of your freezer, even for foods that freeze well, but may not freeze normally, like milk, deli meats and breads,” Newgent said.

But dairy products like cheese and yogurt are another story. "Due to the texture changes when you freeze yogurt or cheese, I only recommend freezing the yogurt if you plan to use it in a recipe, such as for a smoothie, and I only recommend freezing the grated cheese that you plan to use in cooking, such as packaged grated mozzarella", Newgent said. However, hard cheese, like Parmesan, can keep in the refrigerator for weeks, Newgent added.

Also, if you already have no fresh fish and meat, consider freezing it. "Animal proteins like shellfish, poultry and beef keep well in a freezer, usually for a few months," Pike said.

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Additional fruits and vegetables

Here are some news uplifting: Reearch has revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables can have as many vitamins - and sometimes more - compared to fresh ones.

Frozen strawberries, blueberries, and peaches can be used for smoothies, while spinach, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, and green beans can be used as a side dish or mixed with pasta or rice.

Packaged foods help meet the nutritional needs of many of us, including vegetarians, as well as those with special dietary restrictions.

"For vegans and vegetarians, packaged alternatives are a good option," Pike said, including items like frozen bean burritos, frozen veggie burgers and frozen veggie pizza.

Regardless of what you decide to stock up on, remember to keep your food expectations in check. “In the event that we spend more time at home, remind yourself that each meal does not have to be the most exciting. Sometimes the basics really get the job done, ”said Pike.

But to keep spirits high, particularly if your kids are home from school, you can make indoor dining more of an experience by incorporating a theme at lunchtime, Newgent suggested. "That can include planning an indoor picnic, or creating diicolas' bars, such as a chili bar, taco or burrito bar, pasta bar, tortilla bar, or stuffed baked potato bar," added Newgent. .

Author: Lisa Drayer She is a nutritionist, author and collaborator. CNN Health and Nutrition.

I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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