Healthy Foods that Last

Healthy Foods that Last

As we limit our trips to the grocery store to protect ourselves and others from the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, long-lasting foods are becoming more of a priority. Here are a few recommendations for healthy options when purchasing groceries with a long shelf-life.

First, create a plan that will help you cut back on your trips to grocery stores.

  • Make a menu for 1-2 weeks.
    • Remember MyPlate when planning a meal. A healthy meal combines a lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and a fruit (optional if you have lots of fruit for snacks.)
  • Plans meals based on the foods you already have.
    • Before you go to the store, check your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry for the items that need to be used. 
  • Stock your pantry with long-lasting non-perishable foods (see list below)

Food and drinks usually have dates listed on the packaging that indicate when they should be used or sold by. These dates do not always refer to the product's quality, and may not need to be thrown out. Maximize the freshness and quality of your food by learning how to store foods/beverages properly and how long they are safe to consume.

Healthy Foods with a Long Shelf Life

Food GroupsItems
Vegetables
  • Canned (low sodium, reduce sodium, no salt added are best)
  • Frozen (without sauce)
Fruit
  • Canned fruit (packed in 100% juice or water)
  • Fruit cups (packed in 100% juice or water)
Grains
  • Choose items that have 100% whole grains on the label
  • Whole wheat wraps
  • Corn tortillas
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat flour (try making whole wheat bread from scratch with the family!)
Protein
  • Eggs
  • Nuts/Seeds (unsalted)
  • Beans - Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney, white, pinto beans, lentils, black beans (yes beans are packed with protein, just remember they are starchy!)
  • Tuna and/or chicken in pouches or cans
  • Frozen shrimp, cod, salmon, scallops are best but tilapia and tuna are great, too.
Fats
  • Nuts/Seeds (unsalted)
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable oils
Dairy
  • Non-fat dry milk powder (This is a great option if your store is out of fresh milk)
  • Frozen greek yogurt bars (brands like Yasso are making healthy eating fun)
  • Cheese (block, sliced, and shredded cheese can last 4 weeks in the fridge once opened)
Seasonings and Sauces
  • Dried seasonings add great flavor to food without adding excess salt.
  • Mrs. DASH seasoning mixes (Lemon Pepper, Taco, All Purpose)
  • Essential seasonings - chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder,  Italian seasoning, onion powder,  red pepper flakes, cinnamon, cayenne, etc.
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Low-sodium chicken, beef, vegetable stock

In need of recipe inspiration? Check out this cookbook from the Le Bonheur Healthy Lifestyle Clinic featuring lots of quick and easy recipes tested in our kid-friendly cooking classes.

Community Resources

These are difficult times, and having food on the table is a concern for many families. Here are several local organizations offering meals and food; use the links to locate an organization closest to you. 

Want to learn more about Nutrition Therapy at Le Bonheur?

Nutrition Therapy

Want to find an appointment for your child?
Call 1-866-870-5570.

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