I’ve ventured out to the grocery store, sanitizer and wipes in hand, but the shelves are empty of the foods my family usually eats! HELP! I know we’ve all been in this boat at least once in the past weeks. The grocery stores are having a tough time keeping up with the masses of people stockpiling for a potential two-week stint at home. Thank goodness for all the grocery store employees, food delivery providers/drivers, etc. who are busting it to keep up with demand and are working tirelessly to keep our pantries and fridges well-stocked at home!
Fear not; here are five tips for keeping your meals, and snacks, full of healthy options without breaking the bank or hoarding all the food:
Get adventurous. So the produce section is bare of bananas, apples, green beans, and broccoli. Think outside the box and try the fruits and veggies that people avoid because they’re not the typical go-to. What better time to practice eating the rainbow! You and your family can get adventurous and spend some quality time together making a meal with new foods. Time to get creative!
Think about alternate protein sources. Check the frozen section for protein. In many traditional grocery stores around here, the fresh protein section is picked over unless you want delicious plant-based “meat” (read with sarcasm)! Don’t just think chicken and beef. Look for seafood options in the frozen section, too.
Shop the perimeter. With kids home from school, spouses teleworking, and everyone feeling a bit more stressed, it is tempting to buy snack foods that you would usually have the self-control to avoid: think chips, candy, cookies, etc. If you leave the junk food on the grocery store shelves, you’ll be able to avoid temptation when you head to the kitchen for an afternoon snack.
Get back on a normal schedule. Try to keep a typical eating schedule. Consume your meals and snacks when you would usually eat them at work/school. If you find your kids complaining of hunger even though you just fed them a filling and satisfying meal, try to get them back on their school schedule. Most students get one snack during the school day in addition to breakfast and lunch. Give them a water bottle to fill up as needed to avoid excess dishes!
Only take what you need. Just because the produce and protein sections have been recently restocked DOES NOT mean you have to take it all! Buy enough food to sustain you and your family, but don’t be greedy. Too many people are not able to find what they need because others are taking too much. We’ve got to look out for each other because we are all in the same boat. Keep calm and leave some for others!
Now, head to your local grocery store to stock up on some healthy options (or head to your kitchen if you just got back from the store), prep a nutritious snack, and get cozy on the couch with a new tv series and the satisfaction that you’re fueling your body well and keeping your “social distance."