Stocking a healthy COVID-19 pantry

Stocking a healthy COVID-19 pantry

The new normal in the face of COVID-19 is staying at home, fewer trips out in public and stocking up within reason at limited trips to the grocery store.

But a quarantine isn’t an excuse to eat anything you want. In fact, having healthy eating habits has never been more important.

“Eating healthy cannot prevent COVID-19, but if you’re filling your body with nutrients from healthy food each day, you are going to keep your immune system strong,” says Heather Klug, registered dietician at Aurora Health Care.

Fueling a healthy immune system

Fiber is a foundation to a strong immune system. Good bacteria in your stomach feed off fiber and multiply to keep you healthy. Eating a wide variety of healthy foods will also give your body vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that help your immune system.

Klug recommends having these foods on your shelf to help you eat healthy:

  • Grains are a great source of fiber. This includes bread, pasta, rice, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, granola, crackers and tortillas.
  • Canned vegetables, dried and canned beans, lentils and tomatoes
  • Canned fruit
  • Dried fruits, nuts, peanut butters and other nut butters
  • Canned tuna and salmon
  • Oils, condiments and spices

Fill your fridge

Bringing home plenty of fruits and vegetables is important. It’s totally fine to mix and match your favorites either fresh, frozen or canned.

Vegetables that last a long time are, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, winter squash, onions, celery, cabbage, radishes and beets. Fruits with a long shelf life include apples, pears, oranges, lemons and limes.

Klug says it’s also good to have your usual meat and dairy staples on hand. This means milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs and fresh meat, poultry and fish.

Shop with a strategy

Klug says that when you go grocery shopping, resist the temptation to grab junk food, frozen pizza and baked goods. Putting these essential healthy foods in your cart will help you make nutritious, tasty and long-lasting meals that will help keep you healthy during this difficult time.

Check out our COVID-19 resource page for more information to keep you safe from the virus.

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  1. Valerie Fisher April 12, 2020 at 3:31 pm · Reply

    Yes, I do sometimes get short of breath, am I more susceptible to the virus?

  2. M. Ramona Nimmer January 26, 2021 at 11:43 am · Reply

    Please don’t call this COVID time “the new normal”; we are living in the “abnormal”, and anxious for normalcy to return!

  3. Gloria Picchetti January 26, 2021 at 12:53 pm · Reply

    It’s the same as my everyday pantry. Food is medicine.

About the Author

Matt Queen
Matt Queen

Matt Queen, health enews contributor, is a communication coordinator at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee. He is a former TV sports anchor and journalist with extensive public relations experience across the health care spectrum. Outside of work, Matt enjoys watching sports (of course), cooking, gardening, golfing and spending time with his wife and two young children.