Grocery Shopping During the Pandemic  

It has been nearly a year since we began to learn more about COVID-19 and saw its impact on supermarkets. It’s important to continue keeping yourself, and those around you, safe. It remains imperative, too, that your family’s health dictates your food purchases.

Before you go grocery shopping, have tools for success in hand. Pack a clean mask, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer. Make your trip as quick and efficient as possible—shop alone and learn the quietest time to visit your favorite store.

According to The Center for Food Integrity Consumer Trust Insights Council, shoppers are coping with anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic by indulging in guilty food pleasures. This means for almost a year, we have been reaching for high-calorie, high-solid-fat, high-added-sugar foods.

As you prepare your weekly shopping list, keep health top of mind. Learn what your Food Group goals are at MyPlate.gov for guidance on foods to buy most often. If you have any health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or food intolerances, this is the time to bring your eating back in line.

Even if you aren’t currently diagnosed with a medical condition impacted by food, continuing to eat indulgent treats as everyday foods could very well increase your risk for disease, by gaining weight and overtaxing your body’s systems with excess sugar, fat and sodium.

Additionally, the food pattern you have been eating could also be undercutting essential ingredients you need—such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidant-acting plant compounds—to support a strong immune system and fight off disease.

When grocery shopping, remember flexibility is the name of the game. Our food system is being impacted by COVID-19 all the way from field to shelf—farms, transportation companies, food distributors and retailers have been shorthanded. If you don’t see the exact food you want, get creative and pivot.

Have a question about how to best shop at your local Big Y during this time? Contact our dietitian team at living well eating smart.