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Food Planning During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted April 29, 2020 6:00 p.m. EDT
Updated May 1, 2020 2:59 p.m. EDT

Following is an article shared by Sara Clement, RD, LDN with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina about food planning during a pandemic. You'll also find a delicious Banana Bread recipe from the Food Bank.

Food Planning During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Sara Clement, RD, LDN

During a pandemic, you may be taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe and prepared, including making sure you have everything you need at home. This guide contains information on food planning, including what to buy, how much to buy, and preparation tips.

1. Check what you have at home first. Take a look at the foods you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry; make sure to look at expiration dates and best by dates. Plan meals around what you already have, that will help you limit the number of trips to the grocery store and avoid spending money on items you don’t need.

2. Make a shopping list. Make a list ahead of time to stay focused, get the items you need, and keep your shopping trip short.

3. Explore your shopping options. Many grocery stores offer in-store pickup, curbside pickup, or delivery. Third party options also exist for grocery store delivery. You may find these services helpful during times of social distancing. If you are older, check if your store delivers or has early shopping hours for older Americans only.

4. How much should I buy? Buy what you and your family needs for 2 weeks, resist the urge to buy in much larger quantities.

5. Include fresh, frozen, and non-perishable items. Plan for a mix of fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable foods. Eat your fresh food first, stock your freezer and pantry with items you can eat in the second week and beyond.

6. What foods should I buy? Choose a mix of shelf-stable, frozen and fresh foods. Frozen options to think about might be breads, meats, vegetables, fruits, and even milk. With fresh foods, buy a variety in quantities that you would normally buy.

7. What should I make? While everyone is home together, try a mix of new recipes and flavors as well as family favorites.

Written by Sara Clement, RD, LDN and adapted from: Adapted from ChooseMyPlate.gov

Following is a recipe for Banana Bread provided by the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.

Banana Bread recipe from the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.

About the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina: The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for 40 years. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 900 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines), and Wilmington.

The Food Bank not only feeds those who are hungry; but also works to benefit community health. That’s why, in 2016, the Food Bank launched a Community Health & Engagement Department. With two nutritionists on staff, the Food Bank shares recipes, healthy tips, and other resources for partner agencies and neighbors in need. The on-site teaching kitchen in Raleigh offers cooking demonstrations and nutrition education to highlight easy, quick, and low-cost recipes using healthful foods like whole grains, fresh produce, low fat dairy, and lean meats.

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina shares regular articles about nutrition and health education so we know what to look for when we head to the grocery store and plan our healthy meals.

February 2020 Article: New changes to the food label guidelines

March 2020 Article: Bite by Bite: Small changes can have a cumulative healthful effect

Sara Clement, RD, LDN

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