During these uncertain times, we are dealing with a whole host of issues on the daily. Grocery shopping and preparing meals becomes another chore on the list that keeps growing. Here are some tips and tricks, adapted from the American Society for Nutrition, to hopefully help you eat well during these uncertain times.
Meal Plan: We are being asked to limit the number of trips we make to the grocery store. Some of us are weekly or bimonthly shoppers, but for those of us used to daily supermarket runs, this presents a problem. Planning your meals ahead of time can drastically reduce the number of times you need to head out to the grocery store. Consider stocking up on ingredients for meals that you already know your family likes. Maybe get creative and open that cookbook on the shelf to explore a new recipe. Remember, always check what you have at home first and find ways to incorporate those into recipes. We all likely have that can of something in the back of the pantry that needs to be used up.
Make a list: Once you know what meals you will have, make a list of what you will need from the store. This can help you shop quicker and avoid unnecessary lingering in the store. Also, you are less likely to forget what you need, thus, ensuring less trips to the store. Consider organizing your list into sections of the store such as produce, meat and dairy, and dry goods.
Try to keep costs low: Many of us are tightening up our budgets, including our grocery costs. Consider swapping out some meats for lower cost protein choices such as beans or eggs. The more processing that goes into a product, typically, the more expensive it becomes. Try buying a head of lettuce and chopping it yourself instead of buying a bag, or purchase bulk snacks and create your own individual serving bags with plastic bags at home. You can always use canned or frozen fruits and vegetables as well.
Stay Safe: Remember to clean and sanitize your cart handle whenever possible. Practice safe social distancing by staying six feet away from others. Wear a cloth mask over your mouth and nose when in public. And lastly, do not forget to wash your hands for a full 20 seconds when you arrive home.
Remember: Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits and vegetable and limiting junk foods is important for your overall well-being, especially during times of stress. A healthy body fuels a healthy mind, and it is important to give your mind the nutrition it needs.
Megan is a Counseling Services Graduate Intern at NWTC.