Nutrition News to Help You Be Well and Live Well
The dog days of summer are the perfect time to start planning for the fall and winter seasons. September is Emergency Preparedness Month, coinciding with the peak of hurricane season. While hurricanes don’t generally impact us much here in mid-Missouri, it’s still an opportune time to make a few preparations in the case of any fall and winter storms. In terms of food preparedness, we’ll list some non-perishable food staples to keep on hand. And don’t forget to check out the sample recipe; a one-dish meal you can make on a grill or over a campfire in the case of a power outage, or if you simply don’t want to heat up the kitchen!
In good health,
Sally Stegemann MS, RD, LD
Stocking Your Kitchen for Emergencies
By Sally Stegemann, MS, RD, LD
As we approach the end of August, we start looking ahead to fall and it’s important to take note that September is Emergency Preparedness Month. Having at least a few days’ worth of bottled water and non-perishable foods on hand is key to being prepared for emergency situations. How much food you will need depends upon the size of your family, of course. When buying non-perishables, also consider your family’s preferences and the age and various nutritional needs of family members. For example, if you have an infant in the family, you would want to store up a few days’ worth of infant formula. Also consider stocking up on calorie dense items to get the most “bang for your buck”, especially if you have a tighter budget or limited storage space. For example, you might choose canned tuna packed in oil versus tuna packed in water, and granola cereal instead of rice or corn puffs. Following is a list of some basic non-perishable and ready to eat food items that you may consider stocking up on:
- Bottled water
- Ready-to-feed infant formula
- Jars or pouches of baby food
- Peanut butter
- Granola bars/protein bars/cereal bars
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Canned beans
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Canned/bottled juices
- Shelf-stable UHT milk (ultra pasteurized milk)
- Boxes of cereal/granola cereal
- Canned meats/tuna fish
- Canned soups
Tips for managing stored food:
If the power goes out, foods stored in the refrigerator or freezer will become unsafe to eat if they thaw to a temperature above 40 degrees Farenheit for 2 hours or more. To preserve foods in the fridge/freezer for as long as possible, avoid opening the doors as much as you can. Foods in the fridge should stay cold up to about 4 hours if the doors are unopened. For canned foods, be sure to discard any canned foods that are dented, swollen or corroded, and throw away any foods that have been contaminated by flood water.
Shrimp Boil Foil Packets–Serves 2
2 ears of corn, each cut into 4 pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced thick
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 (pre-cooked) andouille sausages
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
4 tablespoons butter
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh lemon juice
- Tear an 18” piece of heavy-duty foil for each packet, along with a 16” sheet of parchment paper for each. Layer the parchment paper on top of the foil.
- Divide the corn, zucchini, minced garlic, shrimp, spices, and butter between the two sheets of foil.
- To form the packets, bring one of the short edges of the foil to meet the other, then crimp around all edges to seal.
- Cook the packets on a grill (or the grill grate over your campfire) for 8 minutes, flipping occasionally.
- Remove from the grill and let cool slightly. Open the packets carefully – they will be full of hot steam. Top with fresh parsley, and a squeeze of lemon if desired, and enjoy!