Kansas governor Laura Kelley recently put into place an executive statewide stay at home order, which limits people’s outings to going out for necessary trips to get food, medicine or other household necessities; receive medical care; to take care of household members in other locations; and to exercise.
This is a good opportunity to stock up on some essential and stock food items in your home, in order to most effectively carry out this order and limit time outside.
However, keep in mind that being prepared does not mean stockpiling or hoarding. While the CDC states that people should have sufficient quantities of household items and groceries in the event that they need to stay home “for a period of time,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is recommending two weeks’ worth of supplies.
One important factor to remember when grocery shopping is to try and purchase nutritious and healthy options for meals to remain full and healthy.
To begin, take a quick inventory of your pantry, and if you already have a recommended two weeks’ worth of canned goods, no need to buy too many more canned items.
For your pantry:
If you need more canned goods, here are a few nutritious and long-lasting items that might be good to buy: beans and legumes, these are great as a starting point for nutrient-rich meals and are long-lasting in the pantry; canned fish, these are great protein sources and also fish like tuna or salmon are highly nutritious with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids; canned chilies can make an easy meal; and various canned soups can be an easy meal if you’re not feeling up to cooking.
Nut butters are a great source of protein and healthy fats and pair well with lots of foods, like crackers and breads or apples and bananas, to make great snacks.
As bases for meals, having various pastas, quinoa and rice are important to stock up on. If you’re wanting more nutritious grains, try to stock up on whole-wheat pastas and brown rice. Be sure to purchase some of your favorite canned or jarred pasta sauces as well, to pair with your noodles.
Cereals are also a good idea to keep in your pantry for easy breakfast or snacks.
Additionally, water, shelf-stable milk and coffee are important to keep stocked as it’s just as important to stay hydrated as it is to stay fed.
For your freezer:
Remember, a lot of fresh foods can be frozen, which will allow you to keep them for longer times and enjoy later.
Breads can be frozen and taken out at a later time, so stock up and keep them for later.
Milk can also be frozen if you want to stock up but worry about it expiring. The same goes for deli meats, which can be used to make easy meals like sandwiches or for snacks.
Most stores have plenty of frozen vegetable and fruit options that can be utilized well when trying to store non-perishables. Also, research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables can have just as many vitamins as compared to fresh.
Frozen strawberries, blueberries and peaches can be used for smoothies, while spinach, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus and green beans can be used as a solo side dish or mixed with pasta or rice.
Also, don’t forget about your pets. If you’re running low on dog or cat, for example, food be sure to have enough food for them.
These are just a few important things to keep in your freezer and pantry, but if you forget anything, don’t forget you can still head out to the store if necessary.