Healthy Eating

Top nutrition-related tips for COVID-19:

  • Minimize time in store:
    • Order groceries online
    • Make a shopping list organized based on location of the foods in the store
    • Do not spend time reading labels.
  • Focus on prepping healthy meals (as best as possible)
  • Keep your pantry as well-stocked as possible


Foods that last and make great meals

Shelf-stable items

  • Dried/canned beans, lentils (for entrées, side dishes, or to replace meat, fish, or poultry)
  • Dried pasta, rice, couscous, etc. (for entrées, side dishes, or casseroles)
  • Canned vegetables and fruits, applesauce (for casseroles, side dishes, or desserts)
  • Canned tomato products (paste, sauce, diced, or crushed)
  • Peanut butter/jam (any nut butter; apricot jam for stir-fries)
  • Cereals (ready to eat; oatmeal)
  • Crackers (whole grain if possible)
  • Canned tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies, chicken
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, low-sodium soy sauce), olives, and pickles (for flavoring)
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, chili, cumin, curry, paprika, oregano, thyme, pepper, salt (for flavoring)
  • Oils, vinegar (balsamic, white/apple cider, rice) (for cooking, salad dressings)
  • Plant-based milks (in case you run out of refrigerated milk)

Frozen items

  • Poultry, fish, beef, or veggie patties
  • Vegetables (any single vegetable, e.g. corn, carrots, peas, spinach, broccoli; vegetables helpful for casseroles or stir-fries, e.g. chopped onions, chopped peppers, stir-fry vegetable mixes)
  • Fruits (any kind, useful for smoothies and to serve defrosted for dessert)
  • Entrées for a quick easy lunch

Fresh foods that store well

  • Potatoes: sweet, white, red (for entrée or side dish)
  • Squashes: acorn, butternut for entrée or side dish
  • Brussel sprouts (for side dishes)
  • Citrus: grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes (for flavoring, snacks, desserts)
  • Cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt (for pizza, casseroles, snacks)


Reduce stress and stress eating

Tips for reducing stress eating

  • Assess your hunger cues. Are you eating because you are hungry or because you are nervous, bored, etc.?
  • Intentionally plan 1-2 specific snacks daily, e.g. a snack of almonds at 3 p.m.
  • Keep healthy snacks visible; try to keep other foods out of sight to reduce temptation.
  • Snack at the kitchen table and not at the TV, computer, etc.
  • Use portion control. Instead of eating out of a larger bag, pre-portion an appropriate snack serving to avoid mindless eating.
  • Practice mindful eating. Slow down and engage all your senses when eating.
  • Try healthy crunchy options like:
    • carrots/celery/apples with nut butters (peanut, almond, sunflower)
    • carrots/pepper strips/zucchini/yellow squash with hummus, salsa, or avocado
    • snacking on nuts or seeds (but limit portion)
    • snacking on pre-shredded cabbage/iceberg lettuce
    • preparing carrot and celery sticks, store in a water-filled container in the refrigerator to make them extra crunchy!

Ways to reduce stress

  • Video chat with a friend
  • Meditate or do yoga
  • Play music; exercise or dance
  • Do a puzzle
  • Gardening
  • Play with pets
  • Breathing exercises
  • Take a hot bath
  • Knitting, coloring, drawing, crochet
  • Drink herbal tea, keep alcohol “in moderation”

Exercise using online resources


Snacks that give you energy

To help sustain your energy

  • Snack on foods that include a balance of i) protein and/or heart healthful fat with ii) carbohydrates
  • Snack with the purpose of providing energy (calories) and nutrients, rather than to relieve stress.

Pair protein and/or heart healthful fat with carbohydrate

  • Peanut/almond butter on celery, carrots, apple, whole grain, graham or animal crackers
  • Hummus, bean dip, tzatziki, or baba ganoush, with carrots, bell pepper strips, snap peas, tomatoes, whole grain crackers, or pita bread
  • Avocado on whole grain toasted bread or whole grain crackers
  • Cheese with apple, pear, dried fruit, or whole grain crackers
  • Cottage cheese with cut up apple, raisins, and cinnamon, or with canned fruit (in its own juices)
  • Yogurt or applesauce topped with Grape Nuts, granola, or trail mix
  • Hard boiled egg with whole grain toast or crackers
  • Tuna, sardines or anchovies, on whole grain toast or crackers
  • Nuts, seeds, granola, or trail mix
  • Protein bar (aim for at least 7 g protein and 3 g fiber) e.g. select Clif, Kind, Larabar, Quest, Rxbaror Think Thin)
  • Protein drink (homemade; include 1 scoop of whey protein powder and whole fruit, or pre-made Premier Protein, or Muscle Milk lite with whole fruit)

Healthiest Snacks at CUH Cafeteria

  • Carrots and Celery Packs
  • Garden Salad Snack
  • Fresh Packaged Fruit
  • Yum Earth Organic Fruit Snacks
  • Packaged Nuts
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
  • P3 or Taylor Farms Protein Packs
  • Granola/snack/protein bar (aim for higher protein & fiber)
  • Bagel Chips & Cream Cheese Dip Packs
  • Sabra Hummus & Pretzels or Guacamole & Chips
  • Smart Food Popcorn, Beanfields Chips, or Garden Veggie Straws

Note: The external resources listed above are not an endorsement. Provision of these resources on our website is permitted under section 418.017 of the Texas Governor's proclamation that Texas is declared a state of disaster and state agencies are allowed to do what is reasonably necessary to cope during this time.