How to Stock Your Pantry for Winter

food in jars

Healthy Pantry Options for Older Adults

Be Prepared for a Winter Storm or Emergency

Whether you are worried about a potential winter storm or an unexpected emergency, having a stocked pantry can bring you—and your loved ones or caregivers—peace of mind. It is important to have a pantry filled with healthy and accessible food options that you can pull from when you are unable to get to the store or a loved one is unable to drop off or prepare a meal.

Here are a few staple items to consider:

  • Bottled water: It’s a good rule of thumb to stock one gallon of water per person in your household for 3 days in case of an emergency.
  • Canned soups: Soups, stews, and chili can provide a warm and hearty meal in minutes. Try to select low-sodium options.
  • Ready-to-eat canned items: Options include canned tuna, salmon, or chicken, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Instant rice or potatoes: This provides a quick way to add carbohydrates to your meal.
  • Dry pasta and pasta sauce: This is a shelf-stable meal that is easy to make in a pinch. Consider choosing a gluten-free pasta, whole wheat pasta, or pasta made from chickpeas. Look for a sauce that is low in added sugar.
  • Nuts and dried fruits: Nuts are a quick and filling snack that are packed with healthy fats and protein. Dried fruits, like raisins or apricots, offer fiber and iron among other nutrients.
  • Snack items: Consider granola, protein bars, trail mix, peanut butter, and crackers. When possible, choose individually packaged items so they will not get stale once opened.

In addition to the food items listed above, there are a few emergency items to add:

  • A manual can opener
  • A flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Radio

What other items would you recommend? We hope this inspires you to stock your pantry, or the pantry of a loved one or neighbor, for the upcoming winter season.

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