How To Sensibly Meal Plan for Self-Isolation and Quarantine

Social-distancing does not mean you have to turn your home into a bomb shelter and fill it to the brim with canned goods. It simply means being strategic and mindful about what, how much and when you buy. Here are our tips for sensibly shopping for your family during this unprecedented time.

Meal planning during self isolation

Before you go out and purchase a literal car-load full (or two) of canned goods, rice, long life milk, toilet paper and hand sanitizer, stop and take a deep breath. There’s no need to panic. Okay, so it makes sense that you’re panicking. We are in scary and unprecedented times. But panic-buying and hoarding will not help the situation.

As parents, we have the added pressure of having kids watching and learning from our actions. In order to raise resilient kids, we must remain cool, calm and collected. It’s imperative that we pivot in stride and show our children that it’s okay for routines to change if it means keeping ourselves and others safe.

This is particularly important when it comes to the way we look at food and healthy eating. Whether you’re under mandatory self-isolation, quarantine or simply social-distancing, there’s a practical (and fun) way to look at food shopping for your family.


#1 Remember that grocery stores are not closed


Even when cities around the world are in ‘Lockdown,’ people are still able to go to the grocery store to purchase food. While social-distancing means you shouldn’t be popping in there daily, making a weekly shop a priority to get fresh fruit, vegetables and meat is necessary for maintaining a healthy diet. If you’re worried about going into a store, many states have options to order online and collect curb side or even better – home delivery!

It’s important to recognize that hoarding food is extremely detrimental to the elderly, disabled and those who cannot afford to stock up on food. It also puts an enormous amount of pressure on staff to re-stock shelves. Many companies have adopted a two item per person policy, but please be mindful to leave options for others. Think about all those babies who are dependent on formula!


#2 Find the non-perishable option


There are plenty of alternatives to perishable items we tend to use daily. Make a list of the items you like to have on hand that could be potentially replaced by a canned, jarred or bottled version.

For example, if your family drinks milk, try opting for a couple of long life versions to keep on hand on the off-chance you can’t get to the grocery store for two weeks. You can also consider buying canned fish items like tuna or canned ready-to eat items like soup. And of course, you can always get canned and jarred vegetables to help limit the amount of times you need to go to the store. It’s also a good idea to double check that you have the essentials like oil, vinegar, flour, dried herbs, etc.

Here’s a sample list of good non-perishables to have on hand:

  • Beans & legumes: Canned or dried garbanzo, black bean, pinto, red lentils, green split peas etc
  • Dried Pasta & noodles: Spaghetti, penne, rice noodles, quinoa noodles etc
  • Rice, grains & seeds: white & brown rice, barley, bulgur, quinoa, flax, oats, hemp seeds
  • Nuts & nut butters: peanut butter, almond butter, walnuts, almonds, pecans etc
  • Flour & Meal: Spelt, wholegrain flour, GF flour, rice flour, almond meal
  • Sweeteners: Applesauce, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar
  • Dried herbs & spices: Turmeric, Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon etc
  • Tinned foods: Beans & legumes, tuna, salmon, sardines etc
  • Shelf-stable milks/milk alternatives: Long-life milk, almond milk, oat milk, soy milk etc
  • Other essentials: Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, Tamari sauce, hot sauce, breakfast cereals, tea, coffee, snacks etc

#3 Meal Plan + Make A List


Think about your meal plans in two week stretches and shop to get the longer-life ingredients needed to make these dishes at one time. Remember, you can still go each week to get fresh ingredients if needed.

Below are some fun ideas to get you inspired!


  • Spinach, tomato and goats cheese quiche
  • Scrambled eggs, toast and turkey bacon
  • Breakfast Burritos – egg, potato, cheese, turkey sausage
  • Whole wheat pancakes (throw in blueberries or bananas!)
  • Granola with Greek yoghurt


  • Tuna salad sandwich
  • Rice paper rolls with steamed chicken, carrot and red bell pepper
  • Peanut butter and honey sandwiches
  • Quesadillas
  • Chicken noodle soup


  • Hamburgers (Beef, Turkey or Black Bean)
  • Thai green curry
  • Penne pesto pasta
  • Grilled salmon and roasted potatoes
  • Risotto


#4 Cook + Freeze


With many of us now working from home, the luxury of leisurely cooking your favorite recipe with a glass of wine may no longer be an option. If you’re struggling for time, try cooking batches of curries, pastas, or risotto that you can place into individual sized containers and freeze. This will make heating one up for a quick lunch or breakfast a breeze.

If you’re cooking for a baby who’s transitioning to solids or a toddler, try to get a food processor to make meal prepping less of a headache. We love the Béaba Babycook because it uses steam to thoroughly cook fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.


Beaba Babycook


Beaba Babycook






#5 Keep encouraging feeding independence


If you have a toddler or child who is still learning to master cutlery and a cup, make sure you’re providing them with the right size fork, spoon, bowls, plates and cups. It’s also wise to be mindful of what the items are made of. A lot of mainstream kids mealtime products are made of plastics that can leach chemicals when heated or with lacquers that could potentially crack and flake into their food. We like opting for things made from food grade silicone, bamboo or stainless steel.



EZPZ Happy Mat in Blue


EZPZ Happy Mat



Available in more colors



Avanchy Classic Plate in Pink


Avanchy Stay Put Suction Toddler Plate & Spoon



Available in more colors




Cutelery Transition Set


Cutelery Stainless Steel Silverware – Transition Set






#6 Get Creative


Use this time to mix up your daily meal routine. While we often feel rushed to get breakfast down the hatch and out the door or throw dinner on the table as an after-thought, try changing where and what you eat, even if it’s just on the weekends. Perhaps you use each day to try a cuisine from a different country. Mexican Monday, Thai Tuesday, Danish Wednesday, Peruvian Thursday, French Friday! (Did someone say crepes?!), Italian Saturday and Middle Eastern Sunday!

We extra love the idea of having a backyard picnic!


Olli Ella Piki Picnic Basket


Olli Ella Picnic Basket


Ranging from $28 – $35

Available in more colors




Gathre Maxi Circle Mat in Tannin


GATHRE Leather Maxi Circle Mat



Available in more colors




Need more supplies?

Visit The Tot Feeding Shop



Continue exploring