Many of us are preparing to stay home more than usual since the COVID-19 outbreak1. Now more than ever, it's important to have healthy foods on hand. If you are a vegetarian, then you are already pretty resourceful when it comes to getting the proper nutrition you need from non-meat sources.
Vegetarians should try to find foods that require no refrigeration, minimal preparation, and little to no water. Every emergency food kit should include a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day.
Check out our list of emergency food preparation tips for vegetarians to make sure you are ready at a moments notice:
Proper Storage: Make sure to buy foods that have a longer shelf life in bulk. Store them in air-tight, BPA-free food storage containers with silica packets to prevent moisture.
You will want to make sure not to stack your containers too high, especially if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters. Find a cool, dark, and dry space with a regulated temperature above 32 degrees and below 70 degrees Fahrenheit so it stays fresh for a longer period of time2.
Canned Foods: Most of us prefer to eat fresh foods each day, but in the event of an emergency, you will be thankful that you have canned food on hand. Most canned foods can be eaten right out of the can and don't necessarily require any cooking.
You should make sure to get canned vegetables, fruit, beans, tuna fish, sardines, pasta, and juice. When possible, try to buy low-sodium or low-sugar products. Nowadays, you can even get organically grown fruits and vegetables available in cans. Don't forget to pack a can opener in your emergency pack!
Protein: Because protein-rich foods don't have a long shelf life, you will want to stock up on beans, lentils, corn, milk (all canned), powdered whey milk, powdered eggs, tuna fish, vegan or meat-free jerky, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
Protein powder is easy to store and a can be mixed with water3. Two protein shakes and a serving of tuna or beans provides enough protein each day.
Freeze-Dried Foods: Many freeze-dried foods can be found in bulk sizes and can last up to 20 years. They make for a great snack on their own or can be added to shelf-stable foods such as pudding, sauces, and cereals to help boost the taste, calorie count, and nutritional content.
Vitamins: If you’re someone who takes vitamins and supplements daily, it’s smart to have a months supply in your emergency kit. You should make sure to have the following supplements to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition during an emergency: Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Iron, and Calcium.
3. Rate of maillard browning in sweet whey powder, 2005 May;88(5):1636-45