One of the best ways to stick to a healthy diet is planning ahead and always making sure you have healthy foods around. However, I know that is not always possible. Things happen and maybe you run out of fresh fruit and or veggies and won’t have a chance to get to the grocery store for another day or two. That can be a recipe for disaster….and you might find yourself in the fast food drive through picking up some greasy burgers and fries more often then you would like.
In order to at least mostly avoid this problem I compiled a list of healthy pantry items that last a long time and can help you maintain a healthy diet until you are able to get to the store again. These items are all things that I always try to keep in my pantry to keep me and my family on a healthy track.
My Top 10 Healthy Pantry Items
1.Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and whole grain pasta – Full of fiber and essential B vitamins these whole grains are perfect with dinner.
2.Fruit and Nut Bars – Great for grabbing on the go when you are running late. I like both Kind Bars and Larabars because they are made with whole ingredients such as fruits and nuts.
3.Tomato Sauce – I like to make my own vegetable mixture to top pasta but if you are out of fresh veggies, canned tomato sauce can work just fine. Try to choose a kind without added sugar and less than 400mg of sodium per serving (the lower the better).
4.Reduced Sodium Canned Beans – I like to keep multiple types on hand. Perfect for a quick and easy chili or to make rice and beans.
5. Oatmeal – A whole grain that is perfect for breakfast or you can also have as a snack or mini-meal.
6. No Salt Added Canned Vegetables(such as tomatoes or corn) – Goes great in chili!
7. Peanut Butter (or any other nut butter) – Perfect for sandwiches or as a snack (on celery or whole grain crackers)
8. Canned Fruit or Fruit Cups Packed in Juice(not syrup) – When you run out of fresh fruit you can use fruit cups to pack in lunches and canned fruit for recipes or snacks.
9. Almond Milk– I normally drink skim cows milk but I like to use almond milk sometimes for different recipes to add some flavor. Also, it is good to have if you run out of regular milk or it expires as it is shelf stable until opened.
10. Chicken or Vegetable Broth (reduced sodium or no salt added of course) – You can use these to make a quick and easy soup or add flavor to a stew or chili.
Hope you liked my list! Comment if you have any other great healthy items that you like to always have in your pantry!
Hi, my name is Caryn, and I am a registered dietitian nutritionist in Miami, Florida. I was born and raised in Ohio and have 2 girls under the age of 5. I am a busy working mom who used to have an hour long commute to work, so I know how hard keeping up with healthy habits can be. I am a lazy cook, so I hate overly complicated recipes and doing dishes. Just toss everything in one pot....right?