What’s in your pantry?


Limited access to grocery stores during the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean older adults cannot enjoy healthy, affordable, and tasty meals.  By stocking kitchen shelves with the right types of foods, seniors can have healthy and hearty meals at their fingertips.

Here’s a convenient list of pantry staples to keep on hand as you start cooking:

Low-sodium canned beans Fiber-rich chickpeas, lentils, garbanzo, pinto, black beans, and kidney beans are nutritional powerhouses loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Onions, garlic, potatoes, and yamsPerfect additions to many meals including stews and soups

Brown rice and grainsStock up on brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley, whole grain pasta, and bulgur – these can be cooked in bulk and used throughout the week

Canned soupLook for low sodium soups and broths that you can add vegetables to for a quick and easy meal

Tomato sauce –Tomato paste, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce can be used in a variety of ways to create healthy meals.

Dry goodsCrackers, rice cakes, whole grain pasta

Canned vegetablesCorn, green beans, peas, peppers, carrots, beets

Bottled goods  –Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, vinegar, mayonnaise

Spices and condimentsMustard, relish, vinegar, hot sauce, soy sauce, ketchup

Nut butterPeanut butter is an ideal source of protein

Canned fish – Chunk light tuna, sardines, or salmon work well for quick, healthy, and easy meals that are high in protein and low in preparation.

Spices Cinnamon, turmeric, garlic powder, cayenne, basil, parsley, oregano

Baking suppliesWhole wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, brown sugar or honey

Dried fruitsPrunes, raisin, cranberries, figs, and dates

CerealOatmeal, farina, boxed dry cereal

A well-stocked pantry gives you choices and makes cooking easy.  

To find out more about the nutritional needs for seniors check out the National Council on Aging’s recommendations: https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/benefits/food-and-nutrition/senior-nutrition/