How To Safely Stock Up On Bone-Healthy Foods During The Coronavirus COVID-19 Crisis (Plus Two Recipes!) - Save Our Bones

The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis demands we make substantial changes to our lives. The primary measures recommended and sometimes required by health officials around the globe are social distancing — avoiding physical proximity to others — staying home as much as possible, and stocking up on food and water.

Today you'll learn how to stock up on foods that support strong bones and overall wellness in spite of the pandemic. We'll start with the safest methods to do your grocery shopping, and we’ll share a bone-healthy shopping list that maximizes your cart-load and your shelf space.

Then we'll share two delicious recipes you can make from your freshly stocked pantry. There's no need to panic — you have the guidance and resources you need to remain safe and healthy through these challenging times.

Best Practices For Safe Shopping

Due to the threat of COVID-19, you should adjust your shopping habits to protect yourself and others from the spread of the virus. Follow these strategies for safe shopping during the outbreak:

  • Have your groceries delivered – Many grocery stores will let you order remotely, online or over the phone, and then will deliver your groceries right to your door. Most will do no-contact deliveries. If this service is available in your area, take advantage of it.
  • Choose a low-traffic time of day – Call your local store to find out when it's least busy. Keep in mind that if you go at the end of the day, the store may be out of certain items (until they can restock overnight).
  • Ask if your local store offers senior-only hours – If you qualify, that's a great way to avoid crowds and ensure you get everything you need.
  • Prepare a shopping list so you shop efficiently – Know what you're going to get, and don't wander the aisles. Order your list based on the layout of your local grocery store, so that you can minimize time spent in the store and pick everything as you move through the aisles.
  • Don't bring along anyone who doesn't need to come – Leave the rest of the family at home, unless they're providing an essential helping hand.
  • Sanitize as you go – Bring wipes and sanitizer to clean anything you'll touch, shopping carts, basket handles, etc.
  • Limit your time in the store – Be focused and mindful on your trip. Follow your shopping list and avoid distractions.
  • Don't touch – Only touch the items that are going home with you. Forgo testing the fruits for ripeness, or picking up items to read the labels.
  • There's no need to hoard – There's no need to shop for more than a couple of weeks worth of groceries. The goal is to avoid needing to go back to the store every few days. Don't buy more than you need, so that there's enough for everyone to keep their pantry stocked.
  • Sanitize your purchases when you get home – When you get home wash your hands, then your produce. And wash or use sanitizing wipes for everything that is in a container.
  • Synopsis

    If you can order groceries for delivery, then you should. If you need to go to the store make your trip efficient, pick a low-traffic time of day, bring sanitizer for anything you need touch, plan your list and execute it as quickly as possible, and clean everything when you get home.

    Bone-Healthy Coronavirus Shopping List

    Currently, there is no need to hoard supplies for an extended quarantine, as grocery stores are continuing to operate normally. But since going out creates an opportunity to spread (and potentially contract) the virus, you should plan to shop in a way that allows you to minimize your trips to the store (or the number of deliveries you are receiving).

    Here is a list of bone-healthy items selected for their shelf-life and nutritional value:

    1. Water – Municipal water supplies are not in any danger, but because many cities add bone-damaging fluoride to their water supply, depend instead on bottled distilled or reverse osmosis purified water.
    2. Canned food – Canned foods have a very long shelf life, but be sure to buy healthy canned foods like vegetables. Buy BPA-free cans whenever possible
    3. Dried beans – Dried beans are more cost-effective, and are more efficient than canned beans. Look for lentils*, chickpeas*, lima beans*, black beans*, and more.
    4. Rice (white and brown) – Rice has a long shelf life, so you can buy it in large quantities. Brown rice offers more nutrients than white rice. Rinse and pre-boil your rice to reduce arsenic content.
    5. Almonds* – Along with other nuts like cashews, walnuts, and pecans, almonds are a great source of healthy fats and protein.
    6. Whole grains – Choose gluten-free grains like quinoa* and oats*.
    7. Shelf-stable almond milk – You can substitute milk with almond milk in recipes as well as in your coffee or tea. Because you can usually get a shelf-stable version in cartons, you can stock up without filling up your refrigerator.
    8. Honey* – Honey is a great natural sweetener that has a variety of surprising health benefits
    9. Almond butter – Get almond butter instead of peanut butter because it's alkalizing (and just as delicious!)
    10. Sea salt – Use sea salt, which is alkalizing and rich in bone-building minerals, instead of iodized table salt, which is acidifying and contains chemical additives.
    11. Stevia – Stock up on stevia, the natural sweetener, to use in your baking or to sweeten your coffee or tea.
    12. Dried fruit – Dried fruit is a great snack, just be sure to find dried fruit that doesn't have any added sugar. Try dried cherries, dried apricots, and dates!
    13. Cocoa powder – Useful for baking your own bone-healthy versions of treats and sweets, cocoa contains bone-protective antioxidants.
    14. Canned pink salmon – Salmon is an excellent source of healthy fats and protein, and canned salmon is easy to use and has a long shelf life.
    15. Cooking oil – Choose olive oil for its rich flavor and alkalizing properties.
    16. Spices & herbs – Make sure your spice rack is well stocked so that your dishes burst with flavor.
    17. Whey protein powder – This ingredient can help you ensure you get enough protein without overeating acidifying beef and poultry.
    18. Frozen fruit – Bags of frozen fruit are great for smoothies and more.
    19. Frozen vegetables – Freezing is a great way to lock in the nutrients in vegetables, and since they keep longer frozen you can stock up now and have plenty of veggies later.
    20. Baking soda – For baked goods.
    21. Multivitamins – Make sure you're stocked up on all of your Foundation Supplements.
    22. CoffeePrepared the right way, coffee can be part of a bone-healthy diet.
    23. Tea – Choose herbal teas to avoid fluoride and caffeine.
    24. Vinegar – Vinegar is an important ingredient in many dishes.
    25. Potatoes* and sweet potatoes* – These starchy veggies contain important bone-building nutrients.
    26. Seeds – Seeds are packed full of valuable nutrients, try sunflower*, pumpkin*, and flaxseeds*.
    27. Granola barsMake your own granola bars to have as a healthy snack.
    28. Fresh vegetables with a long shelf life – You can still buy fresh veggies — since you're going out less frequently, buy more of the ones with a longer shelf life, like celery*, onion*, garlic*, and carrots*.
    29. Fresh fruit with a long shelf life – You can stock up on fruits that keep well, such as apples*, pears*, oranges*, grapefruit*, lemons*, limes*.
    30. Plain unsweetened yogurt*Plain yogurt* is a great source of protein and probiotics that are great for digestion.
    31. Greens that can be frozen – In addition to buying already frozen veggies, you can buy fresh greens like kale* and spinach*then freeze them for later.
    32. Eggs* – Although acidifying, eggs are an excellent source of protein and offer important health benefits.

    *Foundation Foods


    Choose from the items above to make a shopping list that features bone-healthy items with a long shelf life.

    Two Comforting Soup Recipes To Keep Your Bones And Body Strong

    Both of these soup recipes use ingredients from the list above. They're also a great way to find a little comfort in these uncertain times. They’ll also provide your body with the nutrients your bones need to stay strong.

    Bone-Healthy Bean Soup

    100% Alkalizing
    4 servings


    • 1 carrot, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 stalk celery, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 4 cups lima beans, cooked
    • 4 cups vegetable broth
    • sea salt to taste
    • ground black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
    • 2 tablespoons plain unsweetened yogurt for topping (optional)


    1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
    2. Add carrot onion, and celery, and cook stirring until onion turns translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
    3. Add beans, broth, salt, pepper, and herbs. Set heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
    4. Serve and top with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

    Lentil Veggie Soup

    4 Servings


    • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 carrot, chopped
    • 1 celery stalk, chopped
    • 4 cups kale, chopped small
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 5 1/2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 cup brown lentils
    • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
    • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)


    1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the celery, garlic, onion, and carrot. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    2. Add broth, lentils, tomatoes, kale, thyme, marjoram, sea salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to a simmer.
    3. Cover and cook until the lentils are soft, approximately 45 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.

    What This Means To You

    You can continue to eat a bone-healthy and satisfying diet through this COVID-19 crisis. By taking the precautions detailed above, you can keep yourself and your community safe — without sacrificing your wellness or your bone health.

    There are many more delicious recipes that utilize the ingredients in today's shopping list — you can find a trove of them for free right here on by using the search bar at the top right of the screen.

    Don't forget to be kind to yourself in this unusual and challenging time. One way to do that is by having healthy food readily available.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Jean

    Hi! Vivien, As you know from being a lifelong friend through this page I have always tried to eat the things to make my Osteoporosis better and your help has been much appreciated, Thank You So Very Much Jean XXXX

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re welcome, my dear friend!

  2. faith

    Thank so much for your advice i will try and make the soups

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome!

  3. Helen Thomas

    Is there a particular supplement that you recommend?

  4. Carol

    Thanks Vivian for all of your great counsel and support. On the subject of distilled drinking water, it can be hard to get even during regular times. We have a counter-top distiller that removes all things harmful from city and well water. A very reputable company is Waterwise. We have had the same distiller for over a decade. We have found it to be a great option and no lugging gallons or having to recycle the plastic jugs. I highly recommend them. You can find their website at I am not a representative, just a happy customer. 🙂

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing this valuable information, Carol!

  5. Lavender

    I truly appreciate this article and am grateful to you for taking the time to put a concise list together so that grocery shopping/pantry stocking can continue to be a joy. Your site has taught me an awful lot. Thank you very much.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Lavender! You and all Savers can count on the Save Institute to help navigate through these difficult times.


    Thanks for all of this, Vivian! I’m wondering about the protein powder suggestion…at my visit with my (new to me) endocrinologist, he wanted me to stop using protein powder (pea) because he believes that it leaches calcium from bones since it’s digested so rapidly, as opposed to protein from a whole food source, which goes through a slower digestive process. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Janet, acidifying protein found in foods, such as beef and poultry, leads to loss of calcium and other alkalizing minerals from bone if not balanced with alkalizing foods. However, both whey and pea protein are alkalizing.

  7. Helen Thomas

    Can anyone tell me what the foundation supplements are? Thank you!

  8. Nancy Bennett

    Important suggestions! Thanks! Lentil soup is a family favorite and so tasty, I use only water, not broth, as the liquid. When I want more flavor, I keep a supply of no salt added organic bouillon cubes on hand. If I want a change of taste for leftovers, I add some curry powder and turn it into an Indian dal. Leftovers can also be frozen. I was a bit confused by “lima beans, cooked” in the first recipe. That usually means you start with dried beans. Would be clearer to say “cooked or canned lima beans.”

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for chiming in, Nancy! You got the Bone-Healthy Lima Bean Soup recipe right: the beans have to be cooked beforehand.

  9. Lin Fox

    All the suggestions are very good in theory but the supermarket shelves are empty and you can’t get sanitizer anywhere at the moment.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Indeed, a large variety of items are selling out fast, but many grocery stores are closing earlier now so they can restock merchandise more efficiently. You can try shopping early in the morning or, place an order online. I hope this helps!

      • Linda Meyer

        You and your suggestions are a true blessing. Thank you for all you do and
        God Bless You as you are blessing so many others.

  10. Tannaz Garda

    Excellent as always. A big God Bless.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for your kind words, Tannaz!

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