How to eat healthy (and not hoard) during a pandemic: Dietitians offer tips


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If you have attempted to set foot inside your local grocer recently, we don’t have to tell you: People are stocking up.

While making healthy food choices might not be at the top of your grocery list, there are plenty of reasons to keep nutrition a top priority — especially during a pandemic.

With this in mind and while grocers are hard at work taking in shipments and restocking store shelves, officials at Hy-Vee emphasized that there is no need to hoard food and other products.

“We are encouraging people to be prepared but not to panic-buy, as each Hy-Vee location is constantly receiving shipments, and our store teams are working hard to continually restock all day,” said Christina Gayman, director of Hy-Vee public relations.

Here are a few tips from Hy-Vee dietitians on what foods you can steer your cart toward to keep you and yours healthy. Product selections could vary from store to store, but Hy-Vee officials said that stores are receiving regular shipments and are restocking as quickly as possible.

Fruits and veggies

The perks: These lend our bodies antioxidants, enabling us to go about our days healthy and feeling well.

What to look for

Frozen: Check the list of ingredients. The best choices are those that contain whole fruits and veggies, without added sauces, sugars or flavoring.Canned: Choose fruits without added sugars and veggies without added salt. Also, look for fruits that are in their juices.Fresh: Consider freezing fresh options such as berries or peeled bananas. Or, you can opt for longer-lasting fresh choices, such as spaghetti squash.Dried: Fruits, such as dried mango or raisins, and veggies, including as dry-roasted edamame or kale chips, can be nutrient-dense snacking options. Opt for unsweetened or minimally salted options.Steamed or blended: Veggies can be microwaved as a quick and easy side dish. Or, blend frozen spinach and fruits in your favorite smoothie recipe to boost your antioxidant intake.

Protein

The perks: It aids muscle repair, transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and helps regulate metabolism.

What to look for

Canned or packaged chicken, tuna or salmon.Canned beans.Rotisserie chicken.Pre-cooked, frozen shrimp.Prepackaged Greek yogurt.Filtered or nut-based non-dairy milks, which boasts a fridge-life longer than most other types you can buy.Legume or lentil-based pasta.

Whole grains

The perks: They offer antioxidants, including vitamin E to help with immune health. They also boast fiber for digestion and cholesterol management and complex carbs for energy that lasts.

What to look for

Brown rice.Oats or oatmeal.Frozen quinoa steamers.Crackers.Cereal.Breads.

Healthy fats

The perks: “The good fats” are good for a reason. They’re a benefit to your heart health, your brain health, your cholesterol, and they can boost your energy, aiding in the absorption of essential nutrients.

What to look for

Nuts or nut butters.Olive oil.Flax or chia seeds.Frozen avocado.Dark chocolate.

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