A Nutritional Approach to Food Storage

image by sbocaj

There are many different approaches to food storage. Some folks prefer to store only MREs. Some folks prefer to store dehydrated and freeze dried foods in little foil packets. Some folks store canned and boxed prepared foods. Some folks only store bulk grains.

When I was contemplating what sort of food to store for our family I realized that my primary concern was storing foods as similar as possible to our regular diet. I knew that fresh fruits and vegetables couldn’t be part of the long-term food storage plan and that got me to thinking about just what mix of nutrients I would ideally want in our food storage and how to go about insuring I had that mix in my plan.

That line of thinking led me to reviewing information from the United States Department of Agriculture. They’re the folks who put together nutritional information. Remember the four food groups and then the pyramid? All were brought into existence courtesy of the USDA!

Now I don’t think that the USDA recommendations are the be-all or end-all to nutrition. I honestly think they’re a bit carbohydrate heavy and protein lean, to be brutally honest. It was, however, a good platform for me to start with and it’s nutritional information that is familiar to most Americans. It’s also easier to calculate since it’s right on cans and boxes.

It took me a few months, but I assembled this 21-page handout that demonstrates my current approach to food storage:

To show you to how to calculate what your family’s needs are in the protein category I put together this worksheet.

The handouts outline the USDA nutritional guidelines for people based upon age and gender and provide examples of how I utilized that information to assemble a food storage plan for our family that is nutritionally balanced. Readers can then take that information and compile their own nutritionally balanced food storage plan. You can use the information to compile a 3-month plan, 6-month plan, or even a 12-month plan.

Since assembling the handout, I’ve been able to take my family’s food storage from a random assortment of foods that were found on sale or recommended by other preppers to individualized plan that utilizes shelf-stable foods we already eat and is nutritionally balanced. Now if we have a weather emergency or are facing a layoff I needn’t worry that I only have wheat berries to feed my kids.

Guest post by Moo Mama writes about all kinds of things related to preparedness at Moo Said the Mama.  Visit her blog today!

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  1. Barbara says

    Be sure you are aware that people who are working very hard, withstanding a lot of cold, healing a bad wound, or under high stress need more of a number of nutrients. Particularly protein and vitamin C. And most recommendations fall very short of what will keep teen boys happy. Between the ages of 14 and 22 they will eat everything you have.

  2. says

    It's just a baseline to begin food storage planning from and not at all designed to be comprehensive.

    The USDA recommendations are based upon a lifestyle that includes less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity beyond normal daily activities. It would clearly be less than idea for anyone exerting more than that!

    It would also not be adequate for women who are pregnant or lactating.

    For our family, though, it was a much better approach than just storing wheat, rice, beans, and milk powder which is what is commonly recommended. :)

  3. grammyprepper says

    I have to commend MooMama on her research! Thank you for sharing! As a nurse, I am well aware that a SHTF situation changes nutritional needs, but this gives us all the basics. You Go Girl! Thank you for your time putting this together, I am on my way to dl the handouts, and appreciate your work!

  4. grammyprepper says

    Mkay, I’m sorry, but the price to download the documents is cost prohibitive…Sorry, I know Moomama needs to make money…

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