Staying Healthy in COVID Times

The news is changing daily, the virus is spreading, it is more important than ever that you put your health first during this pandemic.  Eating well contributes to a stronger immune system, protecting you from illness, and helping you to fight infection.  

Take action now to minimize your risk of exposure to this virus. 

The following steps will help to keep you safe: 

  • Stay at home whenever possible
  • Wash your hands well and frequently
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and face
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your home
  • If you are on dialysis, do not skip your treatments, call your clinic if you are feeling unwell
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick
  • Have a supply of your prescription medications

What should I eat to help stay healthy?

It is important to continue to follow your kidney diet as closely as you can.  Eat fresh foods when available. If possible, ask someone to grocery shop for you to reduce your risk of exposure to others.  Avoid panic buying.  The grocery stores will stay open and stocked during the pandemic.

Fresh food to purchase at the grocery store

  • Fresh fruits e.g. apples, pears, berries, pineapple, watermelon
  • Fresh vegetables e.g. cauliflower, green beans, cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, cucumber
  • Fresh meat, chicken and fish
  • Eggs – whole or egg whites in a carton  
  • Milk or Milk alternatives (be aware of phosphate additives)

How do I Prepare in case I get sick?

It is important to have a supply of food (2-3 weeks’ worth) in your pantry in-case you need to quarantine for a period of time if you become ill.  Stock up on foods that you know are safe for you to eat (e.g. low potassium, phosphorus, sodium as required).  If you become unwell, good nutrition will help you recover faster.  Below is a sample shopping list to help get you started.  Check expiry dates and choose products with a long shelf life.

Sample pantry shopping list

Frozen or canned fruit (e.g. berries, applesauce, peaches, pears, pineapple)
Frozen or low sodium canned vegetables (e.g. green beans, carrots, cauliflower)
Canned tuna or boneless salmon
Frozen chicken, fish or meat
Plain rice, pasta or couscous
Bread, buns or English muffins
Low sodium crackers
Boxed cereal, such as puffed rice (Rice KrispiesTM), corn flakes, Special KTM, corn bran cereal, or shredded wheat 
Oatmeal or farina cereal (Cream of WheatTM
Oil, butter or margarine
Cream cheese
Jam, jelly or honey
Peanut butter (natural)
Juice boxes  (apple, cranberry)
Plain cookies
Milk alternative (almond or rice milk)
Glucose tablets if you have diabetes

Written by Fiona Bellefeuille – RD, CDE