Singapore

Preparing your pantry for the circuit breaker

By 2nd April 2020 April 3rd, 2020 No Comments

Today, Singapore has announced stricter rules to “break the circuit”, starting next week. While it’s tempting to clear the supermarket and stock up like it’s the apocalypse, you don’t actually need to stock up more than two weeks’ worth of food.

When you are planning your shopping, and writing your shopping list (very important to write a list!), focus on healthy and nutritious food. Food that can help you keep you in good shape and supports your health for when you can’t leave the house. Think vegetables; fruits; starch; protein foods and healthy fats.

In the coming weeks, we’ll give you more tips on keeping a healthy lifestyle, even when you’re cooped up at home. For now, let’s start with food shopping the smart way.

Don’t forget your vegetables

A healthy diet must include vegetables. They are low in calories, rich in fibre and nutrients. If you are going to sit for most of your time, and your appetite is the same, these are the best to keep you full without the extra calories.

Ensure that you have enough vegetables at home, aim to have frozen and fresh produce.

How much do I need?

Each person needs to have about 200 grams of vegetables a day. So, if you are a family of 4, and you cook all your meals at home, you will need about 12kg for 2 weeks. Keep half of these frozen.

  • Vegetables that can be frozen:Carrots; spinach; broccoli; long beans; Brussel sprouts; cauliflower; butternut squash; onion; garlic; capsicum.
  • Have some fresh vegetables that have long shelf life such as: Cabbage; onion, garlic, pumpkin, beets, turnips, parsnips and leeks.
  • Your Asian green leafy vegetables have a short shelf life. Buy only enough for 2-3 days. Buying in bulk will only lead to a lot of food waste, as they go bad quite quickly.

Chicken, fish, meat and alternatives

Don’t rely only on animal protein sources like chicken, fish, shellfish and meat. Beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, are a great source of protein, can be stored for long periods, and they are affordable.

Dried beans take longer to cook than canned beans, which have been pre-soaked and precooked. If you choose canned beans, buy a type with no salt and ensure that the can is in good condition. Pressure cooking your beans will reduce your time preparing and cooking them. You can serve beans in main dishes such as soups, stews, and salads, or side dishes.

Fruits your “go-to” snack

Fruits. An essential food if you are going to be stuck at home. They are an easy snack, rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, low in calories (not as low as the vegetables though) and high in fibre.

You need two servings of fruits a day.

  • Have a mix of frozen fruits – strawberries; berries; pomegranates. You can have them in a smoothie, in oatmeal or as a topping of yoghurt.
  • Choose fresh fruits that can be kept for more extended periods, such as oranges and apples.
  • If your bananas are getting overripe, freeze them and use them in a smoothie or to make banana ice-cream, pancakes or banana cake.

Keep the fruits in the fridge, unless you are planning to have them within 1-2 days.

Rice and alternatives

If you are going to be stuck at home for two weeks or more, chances are you won’t be moving as much as you usually would. So, do you really need to eat that portion of rice? Look at your fist to gauge how much rice or other grains you need. Keep various types of grains at home, brown rice, red rice, pasta, quinoa (if the budget allows it), bread. Get some wholemeal flour so you can adventure yourself in the world of baking bread if you need to.

If you are stuck at home but your pantry is not ready for it

If you happen to be stuck at home and your pantry is not filled up; there are still options:

  • Grocers such as RedMart, NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage have online shopping options. Besides that, there are also tonnes of other delivery services like Honestbee, Opentaste, Sasha foods, Gofresh, Giant online, EAmart, Allforyou by Sheng Siong……and the list goes on.
  • Get someone to buy for you and leave the food at your door.
  • Order your meals from platforms such as FoodPanda, Deliveroo, WhyQ, Grain and Foodmatters. Some restaurants also do deliveries, ask them!

Remember, don’t buy more than what you need, if we all moderate in what we buy there will be enough for everyone.

We are going to be all right!

Always here for you,

Claudia Correia
Dietitian
MyDoc Healthcare team

References:

  1. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2012. Beans. In: Cooking for beginners. s.l.:Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  2. Love Food Hate Waste NZ, 2020. A guide to which vegetables spoil the fastest. [Online] Available at: https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz/
  3. TheBestSingapore, 2019. 5 best food delivery services in Singapore. [Online] Available at: https://www.thebestsingapore.com/eat-and-drink/5-best-food-delivery-services-in-singapore/ %5BAccessed 26 03 2020].

 

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