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Stocking your pantry with healthy basics

SA Health July19 Stills Print 108

COVID-19 has meant that many people are cooking and eating more at home. One of the positives to this can be an opportunity to gradually re-stock our home pantry with healthy basic ‘staples’.

Pantry basics for staying at home during quarantine

If you are instructed to quarantine because of COVID-19, you won't be allowed to go shopping for food. You may be able to purchase supplies online or get a friend, neighbour or family member to help you, but it is useful to keep a small store of basic food items in the cupboard, fridge and freezer, so you are prepared.

Please note, if you are required to quarantine and need assistance to remain in your home (eg receive food supplies) please contact the SA COVID-19 Relief Call Centre on 1300 705 336.

Useful foods to have in your pantry

Some processed, packaged foods in the list below may feature a Health Star Rating on the front of the package. Look for a Health Star Rating of 5, or as close to 5 as you can find; the more stars the better the choice. Less processed or unpackaged food such as fruit, vegetables and lean meat, chicken, fish and eggs are very healthy, so they don’t need a Health Star Rating.

• Pasta, rice, couscous and noodles

• Bread (wholegrain is best)

• Flour to make food like pikelets or scones (try wholemeal or half wholemeal and half white flour in your recipe)

• Dry biscuits and crackers (wholegrain is best)

• Soft wraps

• Rolled oats and breakfast cereal

• Canned fish (for example tuna and salmon)

• Canned or dried beans and legumes (eg chickpeas, baked beans, kidney beans and lentils) – try no added salt or reduced salt varieties

• Nut pastes (for example try no added salt or sugar versions peanut butter) – avoid if you or anyone in your household has a nut allergy

• Eggs

• Frozen meat

• Frozen fish

• Canned fruit in natural juice or water

• Dried fruit

• Frozen berries

Tip: Fresh fruit like apples can last in the fridge crisper

• Canned peas, corn, tomatoes - try no added salt or reduced salt varieties

• Frozen peas, corn and mixed vegetables

• Potatoes, carrots, onions, pumpkin

• Tomato paste and tomato-based pasta sauce

• Long life UHT milk – preferably reduced/low fat

• Milk powder

• Yoghurt – preferably low fat

• Cheese – try reduced fat

• Margarine

• Nut butters (check for allergies)

• Jams

Simple meal ideas with pantry staples

• Tuna and pasta in a white sauce with peas and corn

• Tomato pasta sauce on pasta with cheese

• Bolognese meat sauce on pasta or baked potatoes

• Microwaved jacket potato with baked beans and cheese

• Noodles with eggs and mixed vegetables

• Toasted cheese sandwich

• Savoury toast

• Scrambled eggs, omelette or frittata

• Potato and tuna fritters

• Vegetable soup

• Canned fruit and yoghurt

• Bowl of cereal and milk

• Pikelets and fruit

• Soft taco bean and salad wraps

Tips for buying safe food

• Check the 'best before' and 'use-by dates' before you use. Don’t eat or buy foods past their 'use by' date. It’s ok to eat food after a 'best before' date but it might be lower quality after that date.

• Do not buy food in damaged containers – especially canned foods.

• Do not store food in opened cans. Put ‘left-overs’ from cans into glass or plastic containers with sealable lids.

Food deliveries

Tell people delivering food if you are in quarantine, and ask them to leave your shopping at the front door.

This content has been kindly provided by the Tasmanian Government.