Countries all over the globe are buckling down at home and practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). With self isolation precautions taken by families across the world, it becomes more apparent than ever that being stuck at home for any extended period requires a stock-up on food items. Of course, making room for a big food haul takes a little bit of prep work and some organization. To help you clean out your kitchen and make room for an incoming grocery haul, we’ve rounded up some helpful tips to keep in mind. You’ll feel great knowing that your kitchen is ready to be stocked for healthy meal prep ideas during self isolation.
Our corporate Registered Dietitian weighed in to provide you with the top food items to stock up on during a quarantine. Once your kitchen is cleaned out and ready to be stocked, click the link below to get her shopping list:
Check out our step-by-step guide to clean out your kitchen for a food haul:
Step 1: Clear Out Expired Items
When making room for all of your healthy Nutrisystem foods or a large grocery haul during times of social distancing or self isolation, the best place to start is with a pantry, refrigerator and freezer clean out. Take everything that you have out and examine all of the expiration dates. You’re likely to find items which have been buried in the back that are already expired and need to be tossed. This can be difficult to do unless you truly take everything out and do it all at once.
Use the opportunity while foods are out of their original storage space to wipe down and sanitize shelves and drawers (Click here to learn how to really clean your refrigerator! >). This gives yourself and loved ones an added sanitation practice during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) issue. Set aside any unhealthy items that you no longer include in your healthy meal plan to donate or giveaway. While you’re cleaning out the kitchen, consider spring cleaning the rest of your home. Find out how to spring clean your way to weight loss. >
Step 2: Think About Kitchen Storage and Organization
When returning foods to their original locations, it may help to put items close to expiration in the front so that they get used quicker. It could also help to make a “master pantry” or “master refrigerator or freezer” list that details all the food you have on hand. This step will help you keep a decluttered kitchen during social distancing and self isolation. It will also ensure that you don’t buy more of something that you already have in stock.
It’s also a great idea to think about better organizing these food storage spaces (Learn how an organized kitchen leads to weight loss! >). Try grouping “like items” together. This makes food easier to find and helps you to keep track of what you have. You might even consider purchasing shelves, baskets or containers to group these items together. For instance, healthy pantry snacks can be in a single bin that’s easy to grab off the shelf and peruse. Check out these 10 Brilliant Space-Saving Hacks for Your Kitchen. >
Being organized and prepared can help you to make better food choices. When healthy foods are hidden in the back of your food storage spaces, they tend to get ignored. Make them easy to find when hunger strikes so that you can make a healthy choice!
Looking for more easy ways stay on track while practicing social distancing? Click here for our 10 Healthy Lifestyle Tips While You’re Stuck at Home >
Step 3: Donate Foods to Your Local Shelter
As you clean out your food supplies, you might also come across items that you’re likely never going to eat. Whether your food preferences have changed or you’re just trying to lead a healthier lifestyle by eliminating certain food choices, you may end up with perfectly fine foods that are going to go to waste. Consider donating any non-expired food items to local shelters or food pantries for those who need them. You can also give them away to a family or friend in need.
For instance, perhaps you’re in the process of making “healthy swaps.” Instead of all that pasta you have sitting in your pantry, you might be opting for one of your perfectly portioned Nutrisystem frozen dinners like Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. Don’t just toss that pasta away—make a meaningful donation. You’ll feel good about helping your local community and giving to those who are in need.
During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) issue, you can try calling your local food shelters or food pantries to see if staff members are able to pick up these items outside your home; allowing everyone to stay safe and practice social distancing as our country battles this virus. These food donations can help those who need it most in your community.
Be sure to explore The Leaf for more kitchen storage and organization tips, easy and delicious recipes and healthy meal prep ideas for this time of self-isolation.
Stock up on healthy, nutritious meals that are delivered directly to your door. Get started with a Nutrisystem meal plan today >