Have you been thinking about creating an allergy-friendly food storage pantry?
In this installment of the Allergic Living video series “Megan’s Minute,” blogger Megan Lavin is here to help with that. She shares smart advice for organizing and stocking a food storage pantry – so you never run short of allergy-friendly foods or other essentials.
After COVID-19 shortages of certain foods during the pandemic, Megan had anxiety over how she’d feed her two sons with food allergies. This was especially so for her eldest with multiple food allergies, who relies on certain brands’ staples. Discovering his safe food products missing from the local supermarket’s shelves, “I vowed to never be that vulnerable again.”
As she discusses in this video, Megan got down to business, setting up a food storage area. It brings her peace of mind, not just for a pandemic, but in case of a natural disaster, a job loss, or just to avoid out-of-stock issues.
In the video, Megan covers:
• Why a food storage pantry is so helpful with food allergies, and not just in times of crisis.
• Her system to organize food storage, rotate through products.
• How to avoid wasting food when stocking up.
• Her storage categories from safe foods to cleaning and other supplies. (See her comprehensive list below).
Food Storage Pantry: What Megan Includes
By Megan Lavin
Following are the main elements what I keep in my family’s food storage pantry. It’s not our full list, but this will give you a good idea of categories to include as you set up your own food and supply storage. While everyone’s food allergy needs will be different, I mention a few brands we specifically look for, in case this helps for ideas.
Shelf-stable Allergy-Friendly Foods
- Cereals: Kix, Chex, Multi Grain Cheerios, gluten-free oats.
- Snacks: gluten-free beef jerky, Lay’s Classic potato chips, corn tortilla chips, Fritos chips, microwave popcorn.
- Fast meals: Daiya Mac & Cheeze; Thai Kitchen Instant Noodle Soup, cans of chili, cans of chicken and rice soup.
- Gluten-free basics: all-purpose flour mix (we use Great Value), cornmeal, Barilla or Jovial gluten-free spaghetti, plus gluten-free short pasta.
- Liquids: Water jugs, juice containers, shelf-stable rice milk, water-purifying straws.
- Canned foods: tuna, green beans, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beets, pears, mandarin oranges, various beans.
- Jarred foods: Sunbutter, Prego spaghetti sauce, tamari sauce, vinegars, green salsa, salsa.
- Dried protein: dried beans, dried lentils, quinoa.
- Baking supplies: baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, sugar, Kirkland chocolate chips.
- Flavor enhancers: dried herbs, spices, jarred garlic, lemon and lime juice, salt, pepper.
- Condiments: ketchup, mustard, jelly, barbecue sauce.
In Our Freezer
- Extra meat
- Mission Gluten Free Tortillas
- Corn tortillas
- Daiya pizza (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Gluten-free chicken nuggets
- Little Northern Bakehouse gluten-free bread
- Van’s waffles
- Blake’s Gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie
- Feel Good Foods Gluten-free Chicken Potstickers
Food Storage Medicines / Supplies
- Laundry soap, hand soap, antibacterial wipes, bleach, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates and disposable utensils.
- Flashlights, batteries, matches, candles.
- Recently expired auto-injectors and asthma inhalers.
- Band-Aids, antibacterial cream, Tylenol, rubbing alcohol, vitamins.
- Propane for grill (kept outside the house by grill).
- Tent and sleeping bags for every person
Remember to buy only what your family will actually eat, and develop a system for rotating through food so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Longer Food Storage
For those who want food storage that can last more than one to two years, I’ve looked into two popular sites for online purchasing of long-lasting foods. Items from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are usually able to last for 30 years and come at good prices. Officials told me the Church follows the food labeling laws regarding allergens. In addition, they include an advisory statement on the canned food items concerning wheat, since the cans are produced in a wheat flour mill, using the same equipment. Their canned items are a good option for those avoiding top 7 allergens, but not wheat, as there is a chance of cross-contact.
I also contacted Thrive Life, which offers freeze-dried items for long-term food storage. Here is the statement they provided on cross-contact: “We process our foods so that no cross-contamination occurs for any of the allergens.”
I’d love to hear from you about what you like to keep in your food storage pantry! Write in the comments on YouTube or Instagram, or email me via [email protected].
Megan’s Minute Series
Join Allergic Living monthly for a new installment of Megan’s Minute with Megan Lavin, the creator of the Allergy Awesomeness blog, which features great Top-9 free recipes and articles. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.