Sample Checklist for Restocking Your Pantry

by Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD on Dec 09, 2013

There is no better place to start addressing your nutrition needs than in your pantry. Stocking it with meal essentials can help you to build more nutritious meals and choose healthier snacks. Get ready for healthy eating habits in 2014 by including the following pantry building blocks on your grocery list:


  • diced tomatoes
  • corn
  • green beans
  • marinara sauce (only tomatoes and herbs/spices on the ingredient list)
  • black olives
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • fruits
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapple
  • mandarin oranges
  • dried fruits
Nuts, Seeds, Beans and Other Proteins
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • pine nuts
  • pistachios
  • cashews
  • chia seeds
  • natural/organic peanut butter, or other nut butter
  • black beans
  • cannellini beans/white beans
  • kidney beans
  • garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • canned salmon
  • canned tuna
  • canned sardines
Pastas and Grains
  • brown rice
  • couscous
  • bulgur
  • oatmeal
  • barley
  • buckwheat
  • quinoa
  • popcorn
  • whole-grain cereal, low-sugar (such as Cheerios)
Herbs, Spices, Oils, and Flavor-Enhancers
  • dried garlic
  • curry powder
  • cinnamon
  • dried parsley
  • dried oregano
  • cumin
  • saffron
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • reduced-sodium chicken broth

Mix these spices to add a cultural flair to any dish. You can use them as marinades for proteins or add them to whole grains for a tasty side dish

Indian. 1 t dried garlic + 1 t dried onion + 1 t curry powder + 1 t cinnamon +2 T olive oil
Asian. 1 t dried garlic + 2 bunches scallions + 1 T sesame seeds + 1 t dried ginger + ½ C soy sauce
Italian. 1 t garlic + 1 t dried basil + 1 t dried parsley + 1 t dried oregano + ½ C marinara sauce
Middle Eastern. 1 t ground dried garlic + 1 t dried onion + ¼ C fresh mint + 1 t ground cumin + pinch saffron + lemon juice + ¼ C plain nonfat yogurt
Mexican. 1 t cumin + 1 t dried onion + 1 t dried oregano + ½ C fresh cilantro + 2 T olive oil

To read the full article from the November 2013 issue of IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips click here.

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About the Author

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD IDEA Author/Presenter

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD is a board-certified pediatrician, registered dietitian, and ACE Health Coach. She is committed to providing evidence-based nutrition and fitness information to health professionals and consumers alike in a way that is logical, practical and directly applicable to readers’ lives. She has authored over 100 publications and book chapters, all which are based on the latest scientific evidence and presented in a manner that is easy-to-understand and apply. She is Director of Healthcare Solutions for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) having written the nutrition chapters for each of ACE’s textbooks, the ACE Fitness Nutrition Manual and Specialty Certification, and recorded several Webinars and online courses. Furthermore, as a spokesperson for ACE, the largest fitness certifying and advocacy organization in the country, she informs broadcast and print media outlets throughout the U.S. on pertinent nutrition and fitness issues. She is author '"Eat Your Vegetables!" and other mistakes parents make: Redefining How to Raise Healthy Eaters'. She presented a similar topic at IDEA World 2009; the video is available for purchase through IDEA. Certifications: ACE, ACSM and NSCA