By: Sarah Ryan, MS, RDN, LD
As people are staying at home more due to COVID-19, now is the time to stock up on pantry and fridge staples that offer a lot of nutrition at an affordable cost.
  • Dry pastas and grains—choose white fiber or whole wheat pastas and load up on whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, faro and bulgur. These foods offer fiber and protein to keep you satisfied longer and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Make a large batch of grains for an easy addition to any dinner.
  • Bread—choose a whole grain brand (whole grains will be the first ingredients) and opt for something with +3 grams fiber per slice. Store in fridge or freezer to make it last longer.
  • Low sodium broths and soups—having a few cartons of low sodium broth can help you make a quick pan sauce, gravy or homemade soup. Add a few cans of your family’s favorite soup to your cart for a meal in a pinch, serve with a whole grain turkey sandwich or grilled cheese to up the fullness factor.
  • Canned/frozen/fresh vegetables—canned and frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh and are easy to throw into stir fries, soups, and casseroles. Rinse canned veggies to reduce sodium.
  • Canned/frozen/fresh fruit—select fruit without added sugar and/or packed in 100% fruit juice. Having a variety of fruit is a gamechanger when you’re looking for a simple dessert or craving a smoothie.
  • Canned or dry beans—beans offer protein and fiber and can stretch meals to last longer. Add beans to pasta salads or taco mixes that also feature meat to add nutrition without having to spend more on meat.
  • Milk, cheese and yogurt—dairy offers high quality protein and bone building nutrients at an affordable cost. Buy blocks of cheese and shred yourself (or grate with a quick pulse in your food processor) to save money. Spoon yogurt onto cereal or fruit. Complete meals with a glass of milk.
  • Meats, fish and poultry—freeze a variety of lean protein in either single serving or family-sized serving bags. Set in fridge to thaw +2 days in advance. Animal products are an excellent source of complete proteins and help us maintain healthy muscles and bones.
  • Other pantry essentials—popcorn, unsalted nuts, nut butters, dried fruit, and high fiber whole grain cereals make snack time easier.
Here are some of our favorite dietitian approved recipes using staples we love:
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