Foods you'll regret not having during a coronavirus quarantine

The COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic has sent the world into lockdown crisis mode. In recent days, grocery store shelves have been pillaged and lines just to get into some of these supermarkets have wrapped around stores and into parking lots, according to KUSI News

This pandemonium may have some folks wishing they had purchased more or less in their preparations, but there's no reason to panic. Most communities aren't in quarantine just yet, rather just practicing friendly social distancing, and stores are working with their suppliers to restock. The most important thing is you have healthy foods you and your family like to eat, and foods that also have a significant shelf life. Some products, like canned goods, dry pasta, and rice will last longer than your favorite fresh produce, for example. But aside from the essentials, what other food items will you regret not having if you are quarantined?

Brigitte Zeitlin, a registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition recently told Business Insider, "When you're not quarantined and have access to all the food shopping you can handle, prepping some things to put in the freezer will add some diversity, which you'll need if you're eating the same stuff for two weeks." Zeitlin suggested preparing large batches of freezer-friendly foods like chili, pasta sauce, and meatballs, and shopping with those ingredients in mind before you even step out the door. 

Don't forget multipurpose foods for a coronavirus quarantine

This brings us to our first food item you might regret not having in your pantry if there is a coronavirus quarantine: canned and packaged goods like tomatoes, beans, and pastas. Nutrition expert and Cleverful Living creator, Holley Grainger, MS, RD, told NBC News, "Whether I'm adding a can to chili, using it in pasta sauce, making a quick skillet shakshuka or topping meatloaf, canned diced tomatoes are a simple way to boost the nutrition of my favorite recipes regardless of the season." She also explained, "Canned tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene and they're bursting with a variety of nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, iron and potassium." 

Another food section you might regret not hitting up is the cereal aisle. Dry cereals, granola, oatmeal, grits, and other hot and cold cereals are jam-packed and fortified with a plethora of minerals and vitamins. They are also high in fiber. All good things. Cereal is convenient, too. It's easy to eat, store, and can serve as a complete meal with or without milk. It's a healthy option that will leave you satiated and full, and it can even be a comforting snack for your whole family (via SFGate).

You'll want plenty of multipurpose ingredients on hand so you don't get bored with the same dishes day in and day out.

Dark chocolate is a must-have during a coronavirus quarantine

Another food you may regret not having in your arsenal of pantry staples is dark chocolate. Yes, you read that correctly: dark chocolate. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a study was performed by a group at the University of Hull in Yorkshire, England which found that dark chocolate is a better cough suppressant than cough syrup. Again, you read that right. 

Apparently there is an alkaloid in cocoa called theobromine that works to suppress a cough, and, not to state the obvious, but it's also absolutely yummy. So add this to your list as you are thinking about stocking or restocking your household pantry for a coronavirus quarantine. And as long as you're eating chocolate, you're probably going to want a few bottles of red wine, too. 

Comfort foods and home delivery are always good options

Also, keep in mind that food items like chocolate can be comforting in times of stress as well. Research has shown a connection between noshing on dark chocolate and an improved mood (via Loma Linda University Health). The study found that chocolate bars with a high concentration of cacao (70 percent or more) work the best, so add a few of these high-powered chocolate bars to your cart next time you're stocking up.

Regardless of what you have in your pantry, don't let anxiety take over. There are plenty of online delivery services with "no contact" options that can be used to help stock your shelves and minimize human interactions. Amazon Fresh, Peapod, and Blue Apron are still operational and great options. And don't discount pizza chains in your neighborhood that deliver. Pizza is a great leftover and freezes well, too. Just remember to tip your driver, even if he is leaving your pie on the porch.