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Nutritional Foods to Stock in Your Pantry During COVID-19

Fruits and vegetables spilling out of a paper shopping bag onto a slate background

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, keeping your family safe comes first. As you stay at home to protect yourself and others, stocking up on nutritional goods have become more important than ever before.

As a cancer patient, it is important to stay adequately nourished to avoid malnutrition. That means collecting food items with high nutritional value such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help boost your immunity.

When making quick trips to the supermarket or if you are purchasing food online, pay close attention to shelf life--shop for foods that will last two weeks or more. If you must purchase fresh produce, try keeping food in the freezer to extend freshness.

What to Stock Up on for COVID-19

Here are a few essential food items to stock in your pantry while in quarantine:


  • Carrots, all varieties of potatoes, cabbage, celery, broccoli, brussel sprouts and other hearty vegetables.


  • Chickpeas, lentils and legumes are a great source of protein and fiber.


  • Onions, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers.

Dry goods

  • Crackers, crispbreads, rice cakes -- keep them in airtight containers.
  • Whole grain pasta and pasta sauce.

Rice and Grains

  • Quinoa, farro, barley, or bulgur -- can be cooked in bulk and used throughout the week

Canned Soup

  • Vegetable and/or chicken broth with added vegetables can make a quick, easy meal.


  • Salt, Pepper, Spices
  • Olive oil, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, vinegar, hot sauce, soy sauce.

Baking Supplies

  • If you are a baker, load up on all-purpose and bread flours, baking powder and baking soda and packaged yeast.
  • Keep flour in an airtight container for long shelf life.
  • Eggs will be needed--they last longer refrigerated.

Nut Butters

  • Peanut butter is a great source of protein for children.
  • Consider other nut butters, such as almond butter, tahini paste, or hummus, which can also can be great spreads.


  • Almonds, walnuts, peanuts and cashews are all great choices.

Healthy Snacks

  • Fruits, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, and dark chocolate.

Shelf-Stable Milk

  • Dry milk or evaporated milk (or milk-alternatives) in cans.


  • Get creative, be sure to have your favorite coffee, creamer and a frother if you enjoyed daily lattes from your local coffee house.

Put Your Pantry to the Test

Once you have all of your essential foods stocked, try out some new recipes to make eating healthy and staying in more enjoyable.

Here are a few of our favorite snacks and meals that will keep your diet on track:

To learn more about supportive services available at Pennsylvania Hospital, call 215-829-6466 . For services at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, call 215-615-0534.

About This Blog

The Focus on Cancer blog discusses a variety of cancer-related topics, including treatment advances, research efforts and clinical trials, nutrition, support groups, survivorship and patient stories.

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