As a parent, it’s your responsibility to be prepared for everything so that you’ll be in a position to protect your children regardless of what happens. While the majority of families still don’t have a backup food supply in their homes, a growing number of people are starting to recognize the importance of this extra precautionary measure. Those who haven’t yet focused on this area of preparation may be concerned about the cost and necessity of purchasing such a supply. However, the fact is you can stock up a sizable pantry with storage-friendly food without breaking the bank. That being said, here are 5 main components you should add to your backup food supply.
1. Canned Fruits and Vegetables
These are perhaps the most obvious options because they’re easy to prepare, have a long shelf life, and provide a good mix of essential nutrients. Although the nutrient levels aren’t as high as they are in fresh produce, the nutrition is still there – just at a lower level, and you never have to worry about canned goods spoiling. You can get more specific canned food ideas by browsing blogs like MomWithaPrep.com.
2. Rice and Pasta
Rice and pasta are filling, cheap, and can be added to just about any meal to stretch out the portions. Big bags of rice can be bought in bulk at a steep discount, so this should probably be the first ingredient to base your supply on. Furthermore, a significant percentage of the world population lives on a rice-based diet. Likewise, pasta is cheap, easy to prepare, fills your stomach quickly, and can serve as the basis for most recipes. Plus, rice and pasta both absorb water, so you can make little bit go a long way. It’s good to note that brown rice is preferable nutritionally.
3. Beans and Legumes
Did you know that combining rice with beans or legumes creates a complete protein with all the essential amino acids your body needs? In fact, humans can live off nothing but rice and beans for extended periods of time with only a small amount of fruits or vegetables to provide them with vitamin C. Ideally, you want to have mostly canned beans, but dried beans are also good if you have a reliable source of water for boiling.
4. Grits, Oats, and Snack Bars
Grits and oats fall under the same category as rice and pasta – quick, filling, cheap, and nourishing. Along the same line you may also want to stock some oatmeal bars and other kinds of snack bars as well. Adding a few hundred snack bars to your supply room can help you stretch your other ingredients further.
5. Dried Fruits and Nuts
These snack foods last a long time and are very nutritious, plus they’re delicious. If you ever find yourself surviving off rice, beans, grits/oats and canned goods, you’ll probably cherish a nice trail mix or bag of dried mix fruits for dessert.
Don’t Forget Water and Beverages
Finally, keep in mind that you might not have access to a constant water supply in an emergency, so it’s good to stock at least one month’s worth of water as well as a rainwater collection or condensation system for collecting additional water without having to wander far from home. You’ll also want to have some powdered drinks, coffee, and tea handy as well, depending on your preferences.