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This is not a time to let your health slip so you need to be very flexible when shopping. This guide shows food fruit swaps that help you keep your nutrition up.
Choose the best you can from what is left on the shelves. Some swaps may simply not be possible in your area but I have included them just in case they are.
Dig in for practical tips for shopping for fruits to use during isolation or quarantine.
Be prepared because you will not be able to shop during quarantine or self-isolation. You may not be able to rely on family and friends to help.
1. Fresh fruit may not stay fresh enough to last two weeks. Use fresh fruit up in the first week to avoid it going off.
- Buy semi-ripe bananas. They will last longer than already ripe bananas.
- Buy whole melons and pineapples rather than cut pieces. They will keep longer uncut.
- Keep fresh fruit cool and in the fridge.
- Freeze or refrigerate citrus wedges and left over fresh fruit to make juices or smoothies, if you’ve cut too much to eat at once.
2. No fresh fruit? No problem. Head for preserved fruit that is designed to last longer.
3. Not a fruit eater? Have more vegetables, after all tomatoes and capsicum are considered fruits but we eat them as vegetables. I will cover this in another article.
How much to buy, swap and serve?
Packets, jars and cans vary is size and you are at the mercy of what remains in the shop. These are approximate amounts that give you a guide when shopping.
Close enough is good enough at this stage.
Check your pantry and freezer before you shop for items in bulk. You may already have enough frozen, dried and canned fruit hiding somewhere.For one adult aim for two serves daily, where one serve equals 1 fresh fruit = 30 g dried fruit = 150 g drained fruit from jars and cans = 160 ml fruit juice
Each one of these amounts is enough fruit to last an adult 1 week:
14 pieces of fresh fruit (size of an apple, orange or banana), or
2.3 kg fresh (with edible skin) or frozen fruit. Allow 2.5 kg if the skin has to be peeled away and is not edible (e.g. banana, orange, melon), or
400 g dried fruit, or
3500 g fruit packed in cans or plastic jars. This is the total weight shown on packaging. In other words, before draining. It is not unusual for 40% of the weight to be throw-away liquid. I have allowed for that, or
2.2 L fruit juice.
Combine these in any way to make up 2 weeks worth of fruit.
Shop your pantry first. Stock spare dried and canned fruits because they last well. Any brand, any variety is fine. If you have a choice, choose fruits canned in juice rather than syrup. Reject dried fruits with added sugar. Check the ingredient list for sugars, honey and syrups. Don't worry about reading the numbers on the nutrition panel.
Here is another way of looking at how much to buy, swap and serve. Each of the following combo examples is enough to last 2 weeks for one adult:
14 pieces fresh fruit + 200 g dried fruit + 1750 g fruit packed in cans or plastic jars (total label weight)
1 kg fresh (with edible skin) or frozen fruit + 600 g dried fruit
400 g dried fruit + 3500 g fruit packed in cans or plastic jars (total label weight)
7 pieces fresh fruit + 1.1 L juice + 200 g dried fruit + 1750 g fruit packed in cans or plastic jars (total label weight)
1.6 L juice + 300 g dried fruit + 2000 g fruit packed in cans or plastic jars (total label weight).
These amounts might sound a lot but once spaced out across a fortnight, they are just enough.
By spreading the shop across dried, canned, frozen and fresh, rationing has less of an impact. It may take a few shopping trips to buy enough for a large household.
When choice is limited and food is rationed, close enough is good enough when it comes to amounts. We are at the mercy of supplies and fellow shoppers.