Nutrition Tips During Stay-at-Home Restrictions

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There are many ways to make the most of your trip to the grocery store. Here are 10 different ways to mix up your meals and keep your food fresh longer.

Keep Your Produce Fresh

To keep produce at its freshest, store ethylene producing produce in a separate bin from other produce. Ethylene is a naturally occurring gas produced by fruits and vegetables that hastens ripening. Common ethylene producers include:
Apples, Avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, peppers, and tomatoes.

Bananas are ethylene producing fruits that can quickly over ripen. If they are getting close, you can place bananas in the refrigerator to greatly slow down the ripening process. While the peel will turn dark quickly, the fruit inside will be fine. You can also opt to cut them up and freeze them while they are still how you like them, to be used in recipes like banana bread, oatmeal, or smoothies.

Grow Fresh Food

Having extra time at home offers an opportunity to grow your own home garden. Whether it is just a few herbs, or an entire selection of produce, there is something very rewarding about growing your own food. Kale is a very hearty plant, and growing it allows you to have the freshest kale greens you can get! Always cut the leaves from the bottom up and leave the center “budding” leaves to allow the plant to continue to grow.

Mix Up Your Morning Oatmeal

Morning oats or oatmeal is a shelf-stable staple that makes for a nutritious and delicious meal. Oats can be prepared on the stove, in the microwave, or as overnight night oats in the refrigerator. The complex carbohydrates they provide are considered a long burning fuel to help power you through your morning. Best choices are those that are processed less such as organic, non-GMO whole or steel-cut oats. Mix with soy or almond milk and add banana slices, berries or other fruits to naturally sweeten and to increase nutrient density.

Steel-cut oats, strawberries, raspberries, hemp hearts, almonds, blueberries and banana make a great breakfast

Try a Twist on Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato bowls are a wonderful start to any day. Bake the potatoes and once cool, remove peel and add to a mixer with some vanilla, almond or soy milk, and cinnamon or other herbs and spices of your choosing. Silken tofu is also good here to further increase the protein profile. After mixing to the consistency that you desire, place in proportioned containers in the fridge (freezes perfectly too!). Then simply heat, and then add the toppings of your choice like fruits, nuts, seeds, granola, and more.

Make a Tofu Scramble

Prep Ingredients Ahead of Time

Save time and energy by prepping ingredients for your meals throughout the week. Clean, chop and sauté onions, peppers, fresh herbs and spices and store in the fridge. Use in a quick wrap with some rice and some homemade guac for a filling, nutritious and delicious meal.

Get Creative with Salads

Salads are not just lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. Spruce them up by adding fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes! Doing so adds flavor, texture and increases the nutrient density.

Roll Up Vegan Sushi

A simple and delicious meal! Nori sheets (seaweed sheets) and sushi rice are the two components that you may have to purchase as they are not common pantry ingredients. These can be found in most supermarkets. Follow the directions on how to cook the rice on the package, cut up some of your favorite vegetables, and roll up. Put them in the fridge to chill and you are all set! Low sodium soy sauce or tamari are recommended for dipping or get creative and use your own mixtures. This goes great with a bowl of tom ka soup.

Drink a Morning Smoothie

Try a Recipe for Etouffee

So big on New Orleans flavor! This is delicious as is, over rice and even alongside a bowl of red beans and rice! Full of plant-based protein when using seitan sausage and tofu.

Robert Warns, MS, RD
Guest columnist Robert Warns, MS, RD
Clinical Dietitian AdventHealth Wellness Center Celebration Lifestyle Clinic and
Executive Health Program

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