Nutrition · Parenting · Pregnancy

Top 5 non-perishable foods to stock up on for the winter

Food in an open brown box, isolated in a white background

Time flies and winter is already here. Natural disasters—blizzards—often come with little to no warning. Grocery shopping will become more difficult or even impossible during a winter storm, especially for pregnant people. Stocking up now on the right non-perishable food items will help you reduce your stress. Non-perishable foods, also known as “shelf-stable” foods, are items that can be safely stored at room temperature. In other words, they can stay on the shelf instead of in the refrigerator or the freezer.

Top 5 non-perishable food items you should stock up for and can enjoy throughout the storm:

  1. Bottled water.
    You may not have a water supply or your water may not be drinkable after a storm, so make sure to purchase bottled water which you can drink and cook with.
  2. Ready-to-eat canned foods..
    Many canned products can last up to a year on your shelf, such as canned meats, fish, beans, fruits and vegetables. What’s more, these products are “no cooking required”. Just be sure to check the cans haven’t bulged before you open them up. 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.
  3. Peanut butter.
    You probably already have peanut butter in your house, but make sure it’s not natural peanut butter, which must be refrigerated after opening. This spread will last you long after the storm passes, giving you another source of protein you don’t have to cook.
  4. Nuts, seeds, trail mix or granola bars.
    Stock up on these high protein, high-energy foods—they’re healthy and convenient for snacking. For nuts and seeds, look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness.
  5. Cereal or crackers.
    You may not be able to make eggs and toast during the storm, so settle for cereal or crackers, which are a good replacement for bread and make a fine substitute for your carb intake. The extra fibre in whole grain cereal or whole wheat crackers pays off when you’re particularly hungry. Consider vacuum-packing your crackers to prolong their freshness.

To make sure your stored food is safe and nutritious when you need it, pay attention to the shelf life of each item. Rotate foods near the end of their shelf life by using them first.

2 thoughts on “Top 5 non-perishable foods to stock up on for the winter

  1. I’m disappointed and shocked that you have recommended readers avoid natural peanut butter when the alternative is processed and full of unhealthy ingredients (SOYBEAN OIL, CORN MALTODEXTRIN, SUGAR, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COTTON SEED AND RAPESEED OIL), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES). Natural peanut butter does not have to be refrigerated and often people choose to do so because of the oil separation. Natural peanut butter or any natural nut or seed butter would be a better and healthier alternative no matter what time of year it is.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Toronto Public Health (TPH) recommends that pregnant individuals have non-perishable foods on hand in case of an emergency situation which could result in no water or power being available. In planning for such an emergency, it is appropriate to have food items that do not require refrigeration and that are safe for pregnant individuals to eat. TPH recommends following manufacturer’s directions on packaging and many natural peanut butters state “refrigerate after opening”. Peanuts have the potential to cause food borne illnesses, including illnesses resulting from toxic mold growth therefore refrigeration is recommended. Pregnant individuals and young children are more vulnerable to food borne illness.

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