Get your dietitian-approved shopping list to help see you through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staying safe and well during this current pandemic is one thing, but managing to also eat a healthy diet adds another layer of complexity. But don’t despair! Keeping nutritious staple foods in your kitchen will likely make your already stressful lives a little less, well, stressful.
Here’s this dietitian’s shopping list.
Bread is full of vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates and fibre. It also contains many other nutrients such as thiamine, riboflavin, folate, iodine, vitamin E and potassium. Whole grain varieties are the pick of the bunch.
Nothing beats a humble sandwich. Load it up with lean meats, fish or cheese and plenty of salad veggies. Or have a slice with some smashed avocado and poached eggs.
Here’s a handy tip: keep your bread in the freezer. You can defrost it as needed to enjoy the taste of fresh bread at any time.
Not only are dairy foods delicious, they are extremely healthy. And they provide a nutritional punch. Dairy contains over 10 nutrients important for our bone health, nervous system and muscle function.
Maintain a good supply of fresh or UHT milk, cheese, as well as natural or Greek yoghurt.
Fruit is full of vitamins like vitamin C, which is important for immunity, as well as minerals and fibre.
It’s the perfect snack and/or dessert option if you’re craving something sweet. Be sure to include it with your breakfast cereal for extra fibre and antioxidants.
If you opt for tinned fruit, choose one in natural juice rather than in syrup.
We all know that veggies are good for us, however, data suggests that Australians just don’t eat enough of them. It doesn’t matter if they’re tinned, fresh or frozenall vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet… just be sure to eat them! Your heart, digestive system and waistline will be grateful.
Not only is it versatile and delicious, tinned fish is offers many health benefits, and is an affordable source of protein. Oily varieties such as mackerel, salmon and sardines also contain heart-healthy omega 3s. Extra points if you eat the sardine and salmon bones, as they’re a good source of calcium.
Pasta provides a number of essential nutrients including low GI carbs for sustained energy, B vitamins, folate and iron. Additionally, wholemeal or legume varities deliver extra protein, fibre, magnesium and vitamin E.
Combine pasta with passata or pesto and sundried tomatoes, and include it with a side of veggies or salad for an easy, nutritious and delicious lunch or dinner meal.
Breakfast cereals often contain nutrients such as thiamine, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, folate and fibre. And when you team them up with milk and/or yoghurt you’re adding vitamin B12, bone-building calcium and phosphorus as well as protein. What a perfect start to the day!
Opt for a cereal that is made from whole grains, and is high in fibre as well as low in salt and sugar.
Whole grains (including flours)
Whole grains are nutritional powerhouses. They have a moderate protein and fibre content and contain more vitamins and minerals than refined varieties. Examples include buckwheat, brown rice, freekeh, quinoa (technically a seed), rye, millet, sorghum, maize, oat and spelt.
Try making baked goods using a whole grain flour instead of refined plain flour.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Apart from being delicious, EVOO is one of the healthiest oils you can buy. Many studies have shown EVOO’s ability to cut heart disease, and it may also be protective against specific types of cancer such as breast and colon cancer.
Add it to veggies, salads, risottos, meat/fish and pasta. And, yes, you can cook with it.
Eggs are packed with heaps of good stuff like: protein, vitamin B12, good fat, phosphorus, selenium, iodine, folate and vitamin A.
They can be boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, served on toast, added to salads and sandwiches or in stir-fries, and they’re a vital ingredient in baking. Thinking of making banana bread at the moment? You’ll need eggs for that.
Beans and legumes (tinned or dried)
Beans and legumes are full of nutrients such as vitamins B1 and B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, zinc and selenium. Plus, they are a great source of low GI carbs and fibre, contain a decent whack of protein and are naturally low in sugar. Add them to salads, stews, soups, pasta and curries or eat them straight from the tin.
They are, without a doubt, your most versatile pantry ingredients.
Additional healthy snacks
Nuts, muesli and nut bars, popcorn, grainy crackers with dip (e.g. tzatziki and hummus).
Tofu, lean meats, fish fillets, dried herbs, nut butters, soup, stock, condiments and sauces, chia seeds, dark chocolate and tea and coffee. These can all be included in a healthy diet.