From The Nutritionist


      Campbells
Author:
Lindsay Watts, MS, RDN

Rethink Your Healthy Pantry Advice




Many people’s lives changed drastically since the onset of the pandemic last spring. Kids started learning virtually from home, eating out became a distant memory, and simple trips to the grocery store required more planning. People’s habits, purchasing behaviors, and relationships with food became very different compared to a year ago. Major changes over a short period brought financial and emotional stress to many. Guidance for living in quarantine came front and center and flooded people’s newsfeeds. Stocking a healthy pantry became a common topic among health professionals and will likely continue to be an important tool for people over the next several months. However, given the cumulative financial and emotional impact on families, it is important for experts to be thoughtful with their recommendations. The next time you share healthy eating advice, consider changes in priorities among different households. This month, we share insights on common consumer challenges and how your advice can help clients meet their health goals.

Budgets Are Tight

Many people feel an ongoing financial impact from the pandemic. When considering ways to cut food costs, many households turn to the pantry more often. Pantry items are typically more affordable than fresh options, but even these products can be costly. You may need to consider what your client has access to through food relief programs, and the availability of the products you recommend. Having clients take a snapshot of their pantry may help you see where they are, places to save and discuss opportunities for improvement. Above all, your recommendations should be tailored to the pantry needs of each household. For example, the needs of a young family with children will differ significantly from an elderly couple with chronic diseases or those with limited access to food.  

Food Prep Fatigue & Recipe Ruts  

Some people see-sawed between tackling new culinary adventures in the kitchen and dreading another round of meals to prep and clean up amidst work, school and the general chaos that comes with having people around one another 24/7. Most people ate throughout the day BEFORE the pandemic, but the added pressure of ALL meals at home can take a toll. How can you motivate families to keep the meal momentum going? Remind clients that meals don’t have to always to be prepped from scratch. Effectively stocked pantries provide not only balanced nutrition and simple meal solutions but also convenience. While suggestions like canned beans, brown rice, etc. are important components of a healthy pantry, they do require prep. Balancing nutritious scratch ingredients with convenience items like heat and eat soups, and simple sauces gives households a realistic shortcut and prevents cooking burnout!

Overstocked Pantries

The early days of the pandemic brought very different stockpiling and food purchasing behaviors. Clients may have an excess of ingredients they simply don’t know how to use. Maybe your client has a huge container of old-fashioned oats (because instant packs weren’t available) and needs a creative way to use it. Or maybe they bought large quantities of canned fruit, corn and black beans and want a simple way to incorporate them into dishes. Before telling people more foods to buy, work through what they may already have. Simple pantry staples can be used to make homemade granola bars and easy recipes like Chicken Tortilla Casserole can help them use up pantry ingredients.

Find a Place for Comfort Foods

There was an uptick in bakery and savory snack sales as we find joy and comfort in such indulgences. Find a place for those foods and evaluate opportunities to make comfort dishes more nutritious like with this recipe for Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas. As clients restock their pantry remind them of balance for success. Scratch ingredients and convenience products can share shelf space and work together to provide realistic mealtime solutions!


Cheers,

Lindsay


Lindsay’s Bio

Lindsay is a nutrition communications analyst at the Campbell Soup Company where she coordinates health professional and consumer communications. She also works with internal and external partners on retail health and wellness programs. Prior to her role at Campbell, Lindsay worked as an in-store retail dietitian. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University and completed her dietetic internship with Pennsylvania State University. Lindsay received her Master of Science in Health Communications and Marketing from Boston University.


Upcoming Events

 

The Prepared Pantry >

To help you build the perfect pantry, we’ve created a list of basics—things we’re never without—to create inspired meals any night of the week.

Campbell’s® Well Yes!® Sipping Soups >

These soups are deliciously crafted with ingredients you know and understand, but with unexpected flavors you’ll love. Each Well Yes!® sipping soup provides 20% or more of your daily recommended vegetables.

Cans Get You Cooking® >

Explore tips and resources that showcase the nutrition, freshness and flavor that canned foods offer, helping you prepare wholesome, homemade meals.

 
CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

Suggest A Topic

Enter a topic here

50 characters remaining

Star your favorite topics below:

  • Organic

  • Genetically Modified Products

  • New Dietary Guidelines

  • Protein

  • Diabetes

  • Pediatric Nutrition

  • Sports Nutrition

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

CLOSE

En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

CLOSE

Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.