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What to Always Keep in Your Pantry

These non-perishable food items (or close to it) have lengthy expiration dates, so you can stash them away for long periods of time, even if it’s not hurricane season or tornado season. Make a list of everything in your stockpile and check expiration dates every 6 to 12 months to keep things fresh. And don’t forget to have a can opener on hand at all times—all that food won’t be of any use if you can’t open it.

Peanut butter
A great source of energy, peanut butter is chock-full of healthful fats and protein. Unless the jar indicates otherwise, you don’t have to refrigerate after opening.

To get the most bang for your peanut butter buck, purchase a two-pack of Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, which comes in 80-ounce jars. The natural, no-stir, low-sodium, gluten-free peanut butter is ideal for groups with different needs, and at just 12 cents an ounce, it’s an affordable choice, too.To buy: $10 for a two-pack; walmart.com.

Whole-wheat crackers
Crackers are a good replacement for bread and make a fine substitute when making sandwiches. Due to their higher fat content, whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers have a shorter shelf life than their plain counterparts (check the box for expiration dates), but the extra fiber pays off when you’re particularly hungry. Consider vacuum-packing your crackers to prolong their freshness.

For added value, purchase a family-sized pack of 100 percent whole grain Wheat Thins. The toasted crackers give a bit more of a healthful kick and are made without high-fructose corn syrup as well. To buy: $4; target.com.

Nuts and trail mixes
Stock up on these high-energy foods—they’re healthful and convenient for snacking during a hurricane, tornado, or other emergency. Look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness.

Cereal
Choose multigrain cereals that are individually packaged so they don’t become stale after opening.

Granola bars and power bars
Healthy and filling, these portable snacks usually stay fresh for at least six months. Plus, they’re an excellent source of carbohydrates. “You can get more energy from carbohydrates without [eating] tons of food,” says Andress.

Nature Valley’s Family Pack will provide you with a full 30 individually-wrapped bars in both peanut butter and oats ’n honey flavors. And with 16 grams of whole grain per serving, these bars will be more than enough to keep people full. To buy: $6; walmart.com.

Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins
In the absence of fresh fruit, these healthy snacks offer potassium and dietary fiber. “Dried fruits provide you with a significant amount of nutrients and calories,” says Swanson.

Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey
Generally lasting at least two years in the pantry, canned meats provide essential protein. Vacuum-packed pouches have a shorter shelf life but will last at least six months, says Diane Van, manager of the USDA meat and poultry hotline. Moreover, vacuum sealed packs may come in handy if you don’t have a can opener.

Canned vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, and peas
When the real deal isn’t an option, canned varieties can provide you with essential nutrients, making these a great hurricane food or natural disaster option. To pack in as many of those healthy vitamins and minerals as possible, order a case of mixed vegetable cans.

Canned soups and chili
Soups and chili can be eaten straight out of the can and provide a variety of nutrients. Look for low-sodium options.

Dry pasta and pasta sauces
It might be a carb-heavy, gluten-full food, but pasta is filling, and dry pasta and jarred sauce can last on pantry shelves for months. If someone in your household has dietary restrictions, look for gluten-free pasta or pasta made from chickpeas (or another alternative).

Bottled water
Try to stock at least a three-day supply—you need at least one gallon per person per day. “A normally active person should drink at least a half gallon of water each day,” Andress says. “The other half gallon is for adding to food and washing.”

To ensure everyone stays hydrated, purchase a case of water that comes with essential minerals added to it. Essentia’s bottled water comes with added electrolytes to aid in hydration and improve taste. To buy: $30 for twelve 1.5-liter bottles; walmart.com.

Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade
The electrolytes and carbohydrates in these drinks will help you rehydrate and replenish fluid when water is scarce. Just make sure your sports drink of choice doesn’t come with too many additives, such as sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Powdered milk
Almost all dairy products require refrigeration, so stock this substitute for an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D when fresh milk isn’t an option.

Sugar, salt, and pepper
If you have access to a propane or charcoal stove, you may be doing some cooking. A basic supply of seasonings and sweeteners will improve the flavor of your food, both fresh and packaged.

Multivitamins
Supplements will help replace the nutrients you would have consumed on a normal diet. But vitamins don’t have to be boring. Instead, go for delicious fruity gummies that come with a complete day’s worth of vitamins; some even contain omega 3s and folate for complete coverage.

END

Comments

One Comment on "What to Always Keep in Your Pantry"

  1. Steve Rich on Mon, 27th Jul 2020 9:02 AM 

    I’m served usmc 1974-76. I’m on your side

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