Back to basics: building a healthy pantry.

If there is one lesson about navigating the supermarket, it has and will always be to shop around the edges. However, we do all need to venture into the inner aisles at times. You may interpret this (and I’m secretly thinking it) as taking advantage of the Lindt chocolate block special, but I mean to stock up on the pantry essentials. Those must have food products that ensure that even when the crisper only has a bag of carrots, we can prepare our families a healthy and nutritious meal without feeling the need to reach for the take out menu.

As my pantry is looking sad right now and my shopping list is growing faster than my hair, I thought I would let you step into my kitchen and check out what’s in my healthy pantry.


Check out my list and if you like, use as a checklist next time to ensure you have all the essentials for a healthy kitchen.


  • Rolled oatsnot only porridge but can grind into flour, use in bliss balls & make a healthy crumble
  • Muesli or wholegrain breakfast cereal – Carmen’s muesli, All bran high fibre muesli, Goodness Superfoods Digestive 1st or weet-bix 
  • Wholegrain crackers – ryvitas, vita-weets, multigrain corn thins
  • Wholemeal pasta – San remo, vetta high fibre
  • Brown rice, quinoa or barley


  • UHT Reduced fat cow’s milk – If choosing non-dairy, ensure that it contain at least 120 mg calcium/100ml. 

Canned goods

  • No added salt chickpeas, four bean mix, kidney beans, and/or lentils – chuck through salads, soups, curries or homemade baked beans
  • No added salt baked beans – on toast for a high fibre breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • No added salt tomatoes – great base for pasta sauce, soups, curries or homemade baked beans
  • Beetroot
  • Baby corn spears – I love to eat these as a snack, chuck through my salads or in a stir fry
  • Fruit in natural juice
  • Tuna, Salmon or sardines, in oil or springwater – choose salmon with the bones for the bonus of calcium

Fats & Oils

  • Natural peanut butter and/or tahini – These not only work well as a spread or to dollop on porridge, but can form the base of a stir fry sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Rice Bran Oil – this has a higher smoke point that evoo and is a good option for your stir fries.
  • Unsalted nuts & seeds – a great addition to your breakfast, extra protein & fats in salads, handy snack and can form a coating on fish or chicken. 

Don’t forget the frozen section

  • Mixed berries
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Steamed/baked fish fillets

Variety is the spice of life and we all need that extra bit of flavouring

  • Mixed herbs
  • Chilli flakes
  • Curry powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Reduced salt vegetable stock

And lastly, always ensure you have a dozen eggs and a loaf of bread in the freezer.

Have I missed any of your pantry essentials?

Emma xo


12 thoughts on “Back to basics: building a healthy pantry.

  1. What a great post Emma! I’ve been seeing a dietitian for 6 months now and this is pretty much what my pantry looks like with her help. The only addition in mine would be Reduced fat coconut milk (great for stir frys, soup, curries, dressings and many other things.) Already looking forward to your next post 😊

    1. Thank you Bec! I appreciate it! I see where you’re going – I was going to put coconut flavoured evap. milk on the list!! Have you tried this? It has the bonus of calcium and protein instead of coconut milk! xx

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