Last updated on Jun 17th, 2020 at 11:58 am

If you want to lose weight or simply eat smart, the easiest way to eat well is to ensure your pantry is stocked with healthy food.

To help you give your kitchen cupboard a mini-makeover, Nestlé nutritionists have compiled this healthy pantry shopping list.

Use it as your monthly shopping list and you’ll always have the ingredients to make a balanced meal in minutes.


  • Mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre items such as:
    • Wholegrain breakfast cereal
    • Wholegrain rice (such as brown rice)
    • Wholegrain pasta
    • Whole-wheat couscous
    • Noodles with fibre
    • Barley, quinoa, polenta
    • Popcorn (no salt or fat)
    • Oats


  • Dry beans, split peas, lentils (an excellent replacement for meat – add to stews, curries, soups and salads)
  • Canned beans (if they’re in brine, rinse the salt off before using them)
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Lean meat
  • Eggs
  • Canned chunk-light tuna in water (add to sandwiches or salads to pack in loads of nutrients). TIP: Avoid tuna packed in oil, and watch for added sodium

Fats and oils

  • Extra virgin olive oil for dressings and drizzling
  • Other oil for cooking: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower
  • Peanut butter (no added sugar, salt, chemicals variety)
  • Soft tub margarine, with no trans fats

Seasonings, herbs and spices

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chilli powder
  • Dried herbs (consider rosemary, cumin, thyme, oregano, basil and cinnamon)
  • Vinegar (consider balsamic, red wine, cider)

Vegetables and fruit

  • Potato/sweet potato
  • Apples – great as snacks and to add to salads
  • Variety of fresh seasonal fruit
  • Variety of fresh seasonal vegetables

TIP: Plan weekly meals in advance and shop for vegetables and fruit on a weekly basis, as these items tend to spoil quickly.


  • Milk (low-fat or skimmed)
  • Yoghurt (low-fat or fat-free)
  • Low-fat cheese (low-fat cottage cheese is a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes)
  • Consider lactose-free dairy if lactose intolerant, or rice/ soya/ almond milk alternatives, if allergic to dairy

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.

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