Making the Most of Your Grocery Run (PKG)

'Stay at home’ orders mean fewer trips to the grocery store. A registered dietitian explains how to maximize your trip to the store and make your food supply last.

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CLEVELAND – As we navigate ‘stay at home’ orders, trips to the grocery store are becoming less frequent.

But many of us face a dilemma – should we buy fresh food or food that will last longer?

According to Cleveland Clinic’s Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, we can do both – but it may involve changing up our routines.

“Don’t stress over not being able to get some of your favorite fruits and vegetables right now, the key is to get any of them,” she said. “Any kind of vegetable you can get, any kind of fruit – whether it’s frozen or fresh – is really ideal.”

Frozen foods allow you to enjoy produce that will last until your next trip to the store.

You can also freeze fresh produce. Eat some of it, and freeze the rest right away.

Kirkpatrick said some people mistakenly believe frozen fruits and vegetables aren’t as healthy as fresh produce, but thus simply isn’t true.

“Frozen foods can often be more nutrient-dense than the fresh options, because frozen foods are frozen at peak ripeness,” she said. “So, for example, a frozen blueberry, in the middle of winter, in most states in the United States is going to be more nutrient-dense than a fresh blueberry that’s coming from South America.”

Research shows that swapping nutrient-dense foods for supplements will not provide an overnight health boost.

So, Kirkpatrick advises skipping the supplements and focusing on healthy foods to get the best bang for your buck.

“As much as possible, I would say, take the money that you’re spending on supplements and put it into food,” said Kirkpatrick. “I know some people are challenged in getting enough fruits and vegetables right now, but take a look at what options you have near your house.”

If delivery or curbside pickup options are available to you – Kirkpatrick said this is another way you can get fresh food to your home without the added risk of going into the grocery store.

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