First, it was toilet paper and all paper products selling out. Now people are hoarding fresh meat and frozen veggies. I have seen people also buying whole carts of canned foods. Thank goodness some stores are starting to put limits on the number of items that can be bought. But not all stores are doing this. Some stores like Family Dollar and Dollar General still have food available, but they do not offer fresh meat or fresh vegetables. I prefer to eat all fresh and to cook myself. However, what is one to do when they need to feed their family and options are slim? Below I will share some things that I am looking at for meal planning and stocking up where possible.
1- If you can find organic vitamins get some. If you can’t find organic get adult vitamins. I take men’s vitamins because they are lower in calcium than women’s vitamins. I have begun giving my son a daily vitamin also, as his eating habits are atrocious and he is still working in retail. Also, be mindful that the vitamin has iron in it. My men’s vitamin does not have iron in it, so I have to get iron from foods. Amazon has a good supply of vitamins still in stock. Keep in mind that iron supplements can cause constipation.
2- Iron is extremely important for people with CKD to get enough in their diet. If you can not get fresh meat, canned tuna or chicken can be a good source. Try to get low sodium varieties. If you can not get low sodium drain and rinse the canned meat before eating it. Cereal, bread, pasta, and rice products are also good sources of Iron. They can also be high in sodium, phosphorus, and sugar. But, if you have limited choices you may need to use these products. We always have a ton of peanut butter due to hurricane prep from the previous year. Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes are also great options. If bread is running low where you live, learn to make your own. Pancake mixes are good sources of iron, but be careful to only have the serving size as they are also high in sodium and phosphorus.
3- Protein. While it is true people with CKD eat generally fewer protein amounts, their bodies still need protein. Protein is the building block of cells and without protein, cells can not repair themselves. Lots of foods have small amounts of protein in them. Learn to read labels to get the most bang for your buck. Beans and legumes are a good source of protein but are also high in phosphorus, and for me, I do not digest them well. With the exception of green peas. Milk and dairy products are good sources of protein if you can get them. Nuts are also a good option, especially walnuts and almonds. Don’t forget about eggs or egg whites if you have to avoid phosphorus. Eggs are very affordable and healthy. They also may have added sodium and phosphorus. The canned meats and peanut butter can apply to protein intake as well.
There are several food delivery services that deliver meals. I have looked at several of these and they are quite pricy and at the most, you will get 5 meals per week. The most affordable one I found is dinnerly.com. If you want fresh fruit and vegetables I found a few, but most are not accepting new customers, misfitfoods, perfectlyimperfectproduce , and farmboxdirect are still accepting new clients. I don’t find their prices to be horrible. If you can get some fresh veggies in bulk freeze some of them so they don’t go bad before you use them all. You can freeze fruit, too. Parsley and Kale are two superfoods that I have frozen in my freezer for smoothies. Check out your local farmer’s market also, just be sure you are respecting social distancing, use hand sanitizer when you leave, and wash hands as soon as you get home. That really goes for all the stores you may visit.
While we all want to help our local businesses to survive, be careful about eating out too much. Cooking at home is still the healthiest and best option for anyone with CKD or any chronic illness. This is a very hard time but you need to take care of yourself and be sure you are eating optimally for any conditions you may have. My family is having a hard time dealing with all this social distancing too. We already homeschool so at least I don’t have to worry about that. If you can plant a garden, I recommend learning to do that as well. Even if you can only do pot gardens. This is also a great time to learn about portion control and no food waste. Freeze what you can, make your own bread and be creative with leftovers.
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My family meal plan for this week.
Yesterday 3/22/2020: BBQ pork, mac n cheese, and corn. I had to use canned corn, as I had it on hand already. It was drained and rinsed twice prior to cooking. The pork was done in the crockpot and mac n cheese was boxed, but I eat no more than a 1/2 cup.
Monday: Leftovers. The pork butt was a huge amount of meat. Whatever is not eaten tonight will be frozen for future use. I also keep the fat to cook with later or feed the dogs for a little extra flavor.
Tuesday: Creamy cheesy pasta with kielbasa, peppers, and onions. This is a new recipe for us and if my family likes it I will share the recipe. Peppers and onions can be frozen if you buy them fresh and don’t anticipate using them all before they go bad. Kielbasa is a high sodium food so limit the amount you consume.
Wednesday: Pan-fried chicken, brown rice and a veggie. Par-boil the chicken ahead of time, if you have high phosphorus use white rice and use a low potassium veggie if you have potassium issues.
Thursday: Grilled cheese and tomato soup. This is a weekly favorite at my house. I Use swiss cheese but only the lower sodium variety. Not all Swiss Cheese has lower sodium, read your labels. I use whole grain bread but if phosphorus is an issue use white bread. If bread becomes scarce I will have to make my own and just limit how much I consume. I eat the same soup like everyone else, but you can get low sodium soup or make your own easy enough.
Friday: Sausage, egg and cheese croissants. I have all of this on hand so that is what we will have. I limit the amount I consume and I have fruit to fill me up.
Saturday: Chicken nuggets and french fries. Try to get the lowest sodium and organic options if possible. Do not deep fry them, bake them. My family will be eating this while I am at work. I will take something to work to eat that will include veggies and fruit, probably a salad.
As long as I can get fresh fruit, it is always available for dessert or a snack at my house. I only buy fruit that is fresh and in season.