Recently with the public health precautions taking place worldwide with the outbreak of COVID-19, I’ve been living a life not unlike that of a hermit. Some of you may have already shopped for a month’s worth of food items and non-perishables, but others may have not. For the latter half of the audience, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite items during the world wide self-isolation measures taking place. While the following items might not give the full range of nutritional benefits, it provides a good combination of non-perishability and the amount required for daily energy intake.
- Instant Noodles: even though instant noodles are the no-brainer for many students, it is an excellent option to stockpile this during a pandemic. Especially when there’s perishable food may only last you for days to weeks, instant noodles last for years. It may not be the healthiest option, however it will be an alternative to the Uncle Ben’s or dried pasta you have in your pantry.
- Soda crackers: soda crackers are an excellent snacking item and like instant noodles are non-perishables.
- Canned tomatoes: tomatoes are so versatile that you can easily turn them into a bowl of tomato soup or stir up some sauce for your spaghetti dinner. They are also relatively healthier when heated, compared to other fruits and vegetables.
- Deli Meats: if you’re looking for protein products that can last during this viral outbreak, then sausages and other deli meat might do the trick. They are not only versatile in a variety of cuisines but they also can last much longer than your fresh perishables.
- Canned beans: Beans can also easily be turned into a healthy dinner or lunch with very little additives
- Frozen foods: if you have a large spacious freezer, stocking up on frozen foods is a great option during the pandemic. For myself, I picked up a large bag of sweet corn, frozen veggies and berries which will provide the vitamins required during self-isolation.
- Dried pasta: there’s no surprise that pasta is often one of the most-requested items for the Edmonton Food Bank. Pasta gives adequate calories while fulfilling our carbohydrate needs. Stocking up on your favorite pastas and canned tomatoes will help reduce the amount of work for meal prep and tastes delicious too.
- Soy milk: if you’re a big fan of milk then the pandemic might cause some frustration, since the expiry date for milk is often only two weeks. For myself, I switched to an alternative product of soy milk which provides adequate and similar benefits as your dairy requirement and is also a healthier plant-based alternative. At first, I wasn’t used to the unique taste of soy milk, however over time using soy milk for my morning cereal became a daily staple that I could not live without.
- Potatoes: There are so many ways to cook with potatoes that this should be at the top of many people’s shopping lists. Whether it’s using it to cook up a nice meal or even as a snack with fries or wedges, potatoes can be customized to meet your needs during crisis times.
Story, E. N., Kopec, R. E., Schwartz, S. J., & Harris, G. K. (2010). An update on the health effects of tomato lycopene. Annual review of food science and technology, 1, 189–210. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.food.102308.124120