Essential Needs: Grocery Shopping In a Pandemic

Posted on: November 23rd 2020


By Contajen

Growing up, we have ingrained in us the grocery “staples” as milk, eggs, bread and butter. I would like to make an essential grocery list so you are able to eat well with healthy options and make less trips to the grocery store.  


Lentils are a complete food with proteins, carbohydrates and good fat. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals and insoluble fibre. I prefer to buy lentils dry to skip on the preservatives, but for ease canned is the way to go.


Almonds and other nuts are a source of vitamin E (an antioxidant) and unsaturated fat. Nuts are also a source of fibre and plant protein. Look for raw as roasted depletes the nutritional value


Quinoa is the highest protein grain coming in at 5-6g of protein in a quarter cup serving and is gluten free. It also contains zinc, iron and B vitamins. It is also versatile to make different dishes in the kitchen. Other grains to consider are millet and spelt.

Canned Tuna

Tuna is high protein, low fat and a great source of Omega 3 Fatty acids. Look for the “Dolphin Friendly” label on the can.

Bulk Packed Meat/Alternatives

If you have a decent size freezer, you might want to consider buying bulk to avoid the stores and save some money. All meats are a source of protein and vitamins that help assist your body with making collagen. 

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables in season offer the best taste and nutrition. Most fruits and vegetables can be frozen (even lettuce) in freezer safe containers. If the produce is looking bleak, check the frozen aisle.

Bone Broth

Bone broth has come into light in recent years as a health food with claims of reducing joint pain and aiding digestion. While vitamin content can differ, all cone broths contain amino acids.  You can make your own to avoid the cost of the ones on the shelf.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a source of amino acids and a modest amount of vitamin E and K. This unrefined oil is great for making salad dressings and marinades. It has a moderate cook point so it does well sautéeing and frying over medium-high heat.

Vitamins and Supplements

Sometimes we are not able to get the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. Multivitamins are an easy way to help assist with a healthy diet. This may require some researching to find what would benefit you.

Photographer credit: Nigel Barber

Jen Cuthbert (aka Contajen) is a Canfitpro Personal Trainer Specialist and a graduate of the Fitness and Health Promotion program at Niagara College. Her interest in sports nutrition started in her teens when she was a competitive high school rower. You will find her mostly on the sidelines as the Physical Trainer for Tri City Thunder and Interim Head Coach for Tri City Thunder Bees. She is currently rostered on TCRD’s home team VFT. 

Twitter: @ContaJen1900
IG: @contajen

What are your favorite healthy items you grab when you shop?  Tell us about them below!

2 thoughts on “Essential Needs: Grocery Shopping In a Pandemic

  1. Some of my staples that aren’t listed are:
    Rolled oats (oatmeal;smoothies;bars)
    Dry beans (pinto)
    Brown rice

    Cooking beans from dry is a little intimidating at first. They aren’t expensive so it’s not like ruining a steak or something if you mess up.
    You can make a huge pot and refrigerate or freeze the extra. Oh, they are so much tastier than canned beans also!

    1. Love us some freshly made beans! Thanks for adding to the list, these are great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *