For a time after 9/11, I made sure I had on hand plenty of canned beans, tuna, corn, fruit and other nutritious foods (and a can opener!) my family could count on should another act of terrorism render us housebound. I kept a store of bottled water and lots of packaged foods such as crackers and granola bars.
Over the years, though, we've dipped into those supplies and the sense of urgency for stocking up has waned. Now that I've adopted the habit of planning a week's menu and shopping just for the items I need for the week, I don't have a lot of extra food hanging around the house.
So when something like Snowmaggedon occurs, I become one of the hordes of shoppers laying in supplies for the duration. Otherwise, we're looking at a few days' worth of pasta and peanut butter for sustenance.
As the past week has demonstrated, food plays a huge role in weathering a storm. We need nutritious food to keep our energy and spirits up, and allowing for some variety and even whimsy in our snow-day feasts can help alleviate boredom.
As Jane Black wrote in the "All We Can Eat" blog last Friday, those who keep quality pantry and fridge items on hand are at a big advantage during an emergency that leaves them home-bound. Even the simple pasta dish she describes whipping up sounded better than anything I could make with what I typically have on hand.
It's clearly best not to wait until the last minute to seek tasty fixin's. As many Washingtonians learned the hard way last week, the pickings can swiftly become dishearteningly slim. And, as I write in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, you don't want to end up stuck with nothing but milk, eggs and bread in your larder.
What did you end up buying and eating during Snowmageddon? Did you plan carefully and shop well, or did you end up having to make the best of the limited foodstuffs you could find? Please share your stories so we all can learn from them!
For more health and nutrition news, follow Jennifer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jhuget.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
February 16, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Family Health , Nutrition and Fitness , Snowmageddon
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