17 Healthy Foods to Stock In Case of an Emergency

Don’t let a storm or flood or lack of electricity negatively impact your diet
vegetable broth

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17 Healthy Foods to Stock In Case of an Emergency

vegetable broth

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“Keep an emergency pantry stocked with foods to help you and your family through the difficult time,” said registered dietitian Rene Ficek. “It is necessary to pack in as much protein, carbohydrates, and fats as possible. These foods will keep your energy up while helping you stay safe, healthy, and nourished until the disaster has passed.” Storing your food in sealed containers will keep the food safe and prevent it from going bad. 

Bottled Water

bottled water

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Staying hydrated is significant when it comes to emergencies because you can go longer without food than without water. “Try to stock at least a three-day supply,” Ficek said. “As a general rule of thumb, you need at least one gallon per person per day and a little more for adding to food and washing. Keep several clean bottles filled with water and sealed tightly or stock up on bottled water from the grocery store.”

Canned Seafood and Meats

“Generally lasting at least two years in the pantry, canned proteins like chicken, tuna, and salmon provide essential nutrients,” Ficek said. “Vacuum-packed pouches have a shorter shelf life but will last at least six months. Canned tuna and salmon are excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and beef jerky or beef sticks are also good sources of long-storing protein.”

Canned Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a terrific source of protein, plus delicious eaten straight out of the can,” said Dina Cheney, food writer and recipe developer. “Chickpeas are extremely versatile, and they are a fairly neutral ingredient with lots of applications, both sweet and savory.”

Chia Seeds

chia seeds

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Chia seeds are a complete protein,” said Ruchika Behal. “It makes a fiber-rich no-cook chia porridge. A little goes a long way, and it keeps full for a long time.” Just add chia seeds to water, milk, or any liquid of your choosing and you can make chia pudding.

Coconut Water

Coconut Water

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Coconut water is an isotonic drink, which keeps the body hydrated and replenishes essential minerals,” said Behal. “Due to its antifungal properties, it helps fight viruses as well and ease a nauseous stomach.”

Coconut Oil

coconut oil

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Coconut oil, being a medium-chain triglyceride, is easily digested and quickly metabolized by the liver to produce energy,” according to Behal. “The lauric acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Helping to starve of infections, it is also a great moisturizer for the skin. Coconut oil can even be eaten with a spoon.”

Dark Chocolate

“Since fruit and vegetables are highly perishable, I would suggest having a good quality dark chocolate on hand at all times as a substitute when fruits and veggies are not available,” said Nichole Dandrea. “A good quality dark chocolate can last up to a year in a cabinet and often has more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. A 1.5-ounce piece of dark chocolate can provide healing flavonoids and magnesium. Mix the dark chocolate with the oats and nuts above along with some water and you have a tasty emergency oatmeal.”

Multivitamins

Multivitamins

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Multivitamin supplements will help replace the nutrients you would have consumed on a normal diet,” Ficek said. “If you are in a prolonged emergency situation, it may be difficult to obtain all the necessary micronutrients, so it is good to have multivitamins handy as an extra insurance plan.”

Nutritious Bars

Nutritious Bars

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“These snacks usually stay fresh for months and can be very filling,” Ficek said. “Energy bars, granola bars, and protein bars will all offer a mix of carbohydrates, fat, and protein and they can be very tasty. Homemade protein bars can be made and kept in the freezer to save a little money.”

Oats

Oats

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Oats are whole grains that have B vitamins and fiber, and can be mixed with the nuts or nut seed butter and water to make an emergency oatmeal,” Dandrea said.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

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Nut butters will keep you satiated and can be paired with oatmeal, crackers, or eaten by themselves.. “A great source of high quality calories, peanut butter is a great source of monounsaturated fats and filling protein,” Ficek said. “As an added bonus, you don’t have to refrigerate after opening.”

Powdered Milk

Powdered Milk

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“Almost all dairy products require refrigeration, so stock this substitute for an excellent replacement when fresh milk isn’t an option,” Ficek said. “Simply add water and you have a great drinkable source of calcium and vitamin D. Shelf stable rice, almond, or soy milk is also an option if you are lactose intolerant.”

Raw Honey

Raw Honey

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Raw honey is a source of carbohydrates, both fructose and glucose, which the body converts to energy,” Behal said. “One tablespoon of honey contains 17 grams of these natural sugars. Glucose provides instant energy, while fructose, which is more slowly absorbed, provides sustained energy. Due to its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, raw honey can be used as a wound-healing remedy.”

Trail Mix

trail mix

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“Stock up on these high energy foods because they are healthful and convenient for snacking,” Ficek said. “Look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness. Trail mix offers a wide variety of nutrients in a small little package.”

Unsweetened Dried Fruit

Unsweetened Dried Fruit

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“Although higher in sugar than fresh fruit, dried fruit is nonperishable and offers many of the nutritional benefits of fresh fruit,” Cheney said. You can put dried fruit in trail mix or your oatmeal during emergencies for added sweetness.

Vegetable Broth

Vegetable Broth

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“Vegetable broth is shelf stable for up to a year unopened and if it's made with whole carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and water, it as good as having a vegetable juice available in times of emergency,” Dandrea said. “I keep it on hand at all times and use it not just for emergency but in daily cooking because it adds a lot of healthy flavor.”

Whole-Grain Crackers

Whole-Grain Crackers

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Add foods that are full of fiber when it comes to your emergency pantry.Whole-grain crackers are a preferred due to their higher fiber content,” Ficek said. “It is important to note that whole-grain or whole-wheat crackers have a shorter shelf life than their plain counterparts, so check the box for expiration dates. The extra fiber will definitely pay off when you’re particularly hungry.”