Making the Most Out of Your Groceries During COVID-19

The need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our approach to some of the basic things we took for granted just a couple of months ago. Grocery shopping has become a complicated activity that can cause a lot of stress. With less possible trips to the grocery store, and some limits on what is available, menu planning and grocery lists are more important than ever.

Here are a few tips to help you choose food that will last a little longer, and can be made into healthy meals for a renal diet.

Use Fresh First

Use fresh fruits and vegetables before dipping into the pantry or freezer for canned and frozen foods. Meal planning can help you to think ahead to use leftover vegetables for soups or casseroles. Using fresh produce in batch cooking is a great way to make the most of your groceries. You can make delicious homemade soup with leftover chicken bones and vegetables. Freeze soups, chili or casseroles in individual containers to have on hand for those days when your energy is lower.

Fresh Food that last 2 weeks or longer

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Cauliflower
  •  Broccoli
  •  Kale
  •  Swiss Chard
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes*
  • Yams*
  • Beets Green
  • Red Peppers
  • Squash
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Onions

*Limit your serving size of high potassium foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and squash to half a cup. Follow this link to see how to double boil potatoes.

Longer Lasting Foods

  • Canned fish, like tuna or salmon
  • Canned or dried beans and legumes
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen berries
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Brown or white rice
  • Quinoa, faro, bulgur
  • Rolled oats
  • Regular or whole wheat pasta
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil, corn oil or butter
  • Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Peanut butter
  • Powdered milk
  • Coffee, instant coffee, or tea

  Watch the Salt

Canned and packaged foods can contain a lot of added salt. When using canned goods, aim for those with less than 10% daily value of sodium, or rinse them well before eating.

% Daily valueHow much sodium per serving?What it means…
Less than 5%Less than 125 mg of sodiumGood choice – A low sodium product that can be enjoyed every day
5 – 10%Less than 250 mg of sodiumGood choice – A lower sodium product that can easily fit into a low sodium diet
10 – 20%Between 250 mg – 500 mg of sodiumBeware – A medium sodium product that can fit into a low sodium diet with caution.
More than 20%More than 500 mg of sodiumBeware – A high sodium product that should not be eaten when trying to follow a low sodium diet
Read our Fact Sheet – Sodium (salt) and chronic kidney disease here

For some ideas on easy meals to make, read our Fact Sheet here.

This post was inspired by and this version was reviewed by Dani Renouf, RD, MSc and Lauren Kapphan, RD