6 tips for smart grocery shopping during a pandemic

By The Health News Team | June 22, 2020
6 tips for smart grocery shopping during a pandemic

During these unique times, we may reassess how to shop for groceries or other essentials. Olga Hays, an American Council on Exercise-certified wellness promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare, shares these six tips for safe grocery shopping while continuing to eat healthy:

  1. Assess what you already have at home and plan your shopping list. This way you can avoid over-purchasing and food waste, and allow others to access the food they need. A shopping list also helps limit the number of times you have to go to the grocery store.

  2. Try to shop alone, if possible. By shopping alone, you will help reduce the number of people inside a store, making social distancing easier to achieve.

  3. Follow social distancing guidelines inside the store. Keep at least 6 feet from other shoppers and store employees, wear a mask, take turns accessing items in freezers and on the shelves, and touch only what you plan to buy. Also, remember to wash your hands before and after your shopping trip.

  4. Prioritize fresh fruits and veggies over nonperishables. However, do not hesitate to stock up on frozen fruits and veggies if fresh ones are not available; they also have nutrients and can be used over a long period of time.

  5. Stock up on shelf-stable, nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats. In the event that you are staying inside for an extended period of time, keep your household nourished with these nutrient-dense foods:
    • Canned goods — fruits, vegetables, beans, low-sodium soups, chili and fish
    • Pantry staples — pasta, rice, quinoa and oatmeal; nuts and nut butters; and chicken, beef or vegetable stock
    • Frozen foods — veggies, fruits, meat, poultry and entrees

  6. Use delivery services, if possible. Minimize the amount of time spent outside your house. Find out if your grocery store offers mobile ordering and curbside pickup or delivery to help reduce the number of people inside stores and limit your own exposure to potential viral infection.

“Shopping for groceries, once a routine errand, can be challenging during these unfamiliar times,” says Hays. “Following these guidelines will help ensure you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.”

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