The UK Government have advised people to create a plan for your household or family in order to prepare for any periods of social distancing.
Whilst it’s important to follow the NHS guidelines for preventing the spread of infection in order to protect the more vulnerable members of our community, we would like to encourage you not to worry.
What you can do, however, is start to make some preparations to ensure that you and your family have all the basic household essentials you may need in the coming weeks, such as food, medication and cleaning supplies.
First and foremost, you’ll want to scan through your cupboards to make sure that you’re not buying more than what you need. Remember, lots of families are in the same position and they need to collect their essentials too.
In order to help you with your household plan, we’ve put together an essential shopping list to help you prepare for social distancing.
Long-lasting perishable foods
Fruits and vegetables are essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, but we may start to find more difficulty in getting out and about to top up on fresh produce. However, there are lots of long-lasting fresh foods that you can find in your local greengrocer or supermarket that you will be able to enjoy for a longer period of time, such as:
- Fruit – apples, oranges, lemons, limes, melon, pomegranate, pears
- Vegetables – onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, garlic
- Dairy products – long-life milk (either cows’ milk or a plant-based alternative)
- Bread (this can be kept in the freezer and defrosted slice by slice, as and when you need)
If you are unable to re-stock your long-lasting perishables before they run out, tinned fruit and vegetables are useful to keep on hand. However, if you can, try to find tinned goods with low sodium if possible – this is beneficial as a healthier option and to avoid too much salt intake. Here are a few suggestions to keep in your cupboard:
- Tinned fruit in water – apples, pears, fruit medleys
- Tinned vegetables in water – sweetcorn, carrots, peas, potatoes
- Beans and pulses – beans, lentils, chickpeas
- Canned soups
Dried foods are often essential carbohydrates and a staple part of every meal. These can also be particularly useful for families needing to feed larger numbers, or if you are looking to bulk-cook meals to keep in the freezer for a later date. These include:
As always, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated during social distancing, but you may like to keep some additional beverages in the house that you enjoy from time to time, such as:
- Juices – either freshly-squeezed or cordials
- Hot drinks – tea, coffee, hot chocolate
- Protein drinks (these are important to retain muscle strength in case you become unwell and lose your appetite)
Cleaning supplies and toiletries
The most effective way to reduce the spread of infection within your home is to keep clean, so you may want to ensure you have the basic household cleaning supplies that you’ll need to keep the spread of germs and bacteria to a minimum. These include:
- Anti-bacterial spray
- Disposable tissues/wipes
- Toilet cleaner
- Handwash and sanitisers
- Toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soaps and shower gel
Out of everything, the most important thing to ensure is that you have the medicines you need to remain healthy. It’s important to note that individuals have been advised against ibuprofen to manage coronavirus symptoms. However, we do strongly recommend speaking with your GP or pharmacist if you are unsure of any medication. Here are some essential medicines you may want to ensure you have in your cupboards:
- Prescribed medications
- Cough and cold remedies