SnowblowWith heavy snow and dangerous wind chills in the forecast, some Iowans may be holing up in their homes for a day or two. That’s when an emergency food kit becomes a potential life saver.

The USDA’s Lydia Medeiros helped develop a food kit based on the agency’s nutrition guidelines and says the options are practically endless, and that’s just in the “grains” category.

“You can have bread, crackers, you can find unrefrigerated tortillas,” Medeiros says. “There are plenty of ready-to-eat cereals that can be used, but there’s also things like canned pasta and canned rice, like Spanish rice and ravioli.”

Medeiros says even if you are without electricity, there are plenty of ready-to-eat foods that are nutritious. She says the food kit should contain canned meats, canned juice, bottled water, powdered milk and peanut butter.

She says it’s important to have food on hand that doesn’t need much preparation.

“There’s plenty of fruits, there’s protein foods, you can find dried egg whites, all types of canned beans, peanuts, pecans, nut butters, peanut butter, fish, deviled ham, corned beef and canned chicken,” she says.

Medeiros says also make sure to have a hand-operated can opener, in case the power is out.

By Karla James