Setting You Up for Success: Healthy Hurricane Food Preparation List

Hurricane experts state that we should have at least a three-day supply of food for each member of our family. We want to be sure we are consuming enough calories and are staying well hydrated. Making sure we consume enough protein is crucial, followed by vegetables, fruits and then grains as a “filler.”

A well-stocked Healthy Hurricane food prepared pantry should have the following:

Protein

We want to be sure we are including enough protein. This will help balance blood sugar, especially if food is in limited supply, as it may be when we are without power. Canned chicken, salmon, sardines, and tuna (should be used in moderation due to high mercury content), beans and lentils are all good sources. Boxed tofu is an option as are nuts, seeds, and nut butter. Protein powders are also a great source and can be mixed in a shaker cup for easy preparation if a blender isn’t available.

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are important for good digestive health and provide an important source of energy for the body. Use fresh veggies/fruits first, then frozen. Frozen vegetables will keep frozen for at least 24-48 hours in the freezer.

Canned Foods

Canned foods are generally less nutritious than fresh and frozen but include unsweetened canned fruit such as applesauce, peaches, pineapple etc. Don’t forget that dried fruits should be a part of your healthy meal kit as well.

High Fiber Grains

High fiber, low sugar* cereals can be stored for a long time and fortified cereal are also good options. High fiber crackers such as Mary’s Gone crackers, (also gluten free) or Nut Crackers are healthier options, and offer more nutrition than does a “Ritz” cracker. Rice cakes are also a good choice and can be eaten with nut butters as well.

Using boxed nondairy milks are also important to stock up on. Items such as unsweetened nut milks can also offer protein and can be mixed with cereal and protein powders.

Be cautious with energy bars as many are simply glorified candy bars. Ensure they are low in sugar* and aren’t full of chemicals. Nut bars, and raw fruit and nut/seed bars will be your best bet. MBN Bars (available on our online store merylb.com) EXO, GoMacro, KIND and rise (Lemon Cashew)- bars are some of the better brands.

Hydration

The Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day. The Hurricane Center recommends storing enough for three to seven days. Dehydration can make a person feel confused, dizzy, fatigued and anxious.

Food Safety is also important. For more on food guideline safety visit the Emergency page on FoodSafety.gov and on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service Web site. Both sites offer printable charts that list the shelf life of commonly refrigerated foods.

While it may be quite tempting to stock up on sugary, processed packaged cookies, candies and chips, this type of food offers no nutritional benefits and will cause further spikes in blood sugar, causing more cravings and will make us tired, irritable and agitated, especially if we are stuck indoors.

*Low sugar means less than 5 grams of sugar per 100 calories

Sample Meal Plans for when the power goes out:

Breakfast
Meal one:
Dry high fiber cereal with unsweetened nut milk
Nuts or Seeds ¼ cup
Unsweetened canned fruit ½ cup

Meal two:
Apple with Nut Butter
Rice Chex

Lunch 
Meal one:
Canned salmon 4 oz.
Canned mixed veggies 1 cup
Mary’s Gone crackers
Applesauce

Meal two:
Black beans 1 cup
Canned diced tomato ½ cup
Canned corn ( organic) ½ cup
Unsweetened canned fruit ½ cup

Dinner
Meal one:
Vegetarian chili- 1 cup
Corn chips (organic)
Unsweetened canned fruit ½ cup

Meal two:
Canned Tuna 4 oz.
Canned vegetables/Canned Lentils
Whole grain crackers

Snack
Nuts and Dried Fruit
Protein powder mixed with non-dairy milk or water

Graham Crackers
Energy bars: MBN Bars/Kind Bars/ Exo/Go Macro

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Healthy School Lunches, Meryl Brandwein, Nutrition