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 yams – Perfect additions to many meals including stews and soups
Brown rice and grains – Stock up on brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley, whole grain pasta, and bulgur – these can be cooked in bulk and used throughout the week
Canned soup – Look 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 goods – Crackers, rice cakes, whole grain pasta
Canned vegetables – Corn, green beans, peas, peppers, carrots, beets
Bottled goods –Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, vinegar, mayonnaise
Spices and condiments – Mustard, relish, vinegar, hot sauce, soy sauce, ketchup
Nut butter – Peanut 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 supplies – Whole wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, brown sugar or honey
Dried fruits – Prunes, raisin, cranberries, figs, and dates
Cereal – Oatmeal, 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/