The foods listed below are nutritious and have an extended shelf life. Additionally, they will provide you and your family with the energy you need in case you have to deal with a long-term survival scenario.
Canned light tuna, which has lower levels of mercury than other kinds of canned tuna, is an affordable, nutritious and versatile item to have in your stockpile.
Tuna is full of protein and you can eat it plain on crackers. Alternatively, you can use canned tuna as a sandwich filling or in a pasta dish. High-quality canned tuna will stay fresh for at least two years. Regularly check the expiration dates on canned tuna and rotate them as needed.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are protein-rich and full of flavor. When stored properly, dried chickpeas can last for as long as 30 years or more.
Chickpeas have a nutty taste and grainy texture, making them perfect for salads, sandwiches and soups. They're also rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals essential for your overall health like copper, iron, folate, manganese and phosphorus.
Coconut oil will last in your stockpile for over two years. It remains solid at room temperature and it can withstand the high cooking temperatures of a fire used in a survival situation. Coconut oil can also be used as a butter alternative when baking and cooking.
Jerky or dehydrated meat is a great source of protein with a long shelf life. You can either purchase jerky or learn how to make it at home using a dehydrator, an oven or over a fire.
If you're looking for dried fruit, you have more options than dates or raisins. With a home dehydrator or oven, you can make almost any kind of dried fruit.
Learn how to dehydrate food so you can make dried apricots, banana chips, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, figs, mango slices or plums. Store dried fruit in Mylar bags or air-tight containers to make them last for at least five years.
It's good to have canned vegetables in your stockpile, but adding dried vegetables won't hurt since they have a longer shelf life. For example, dehydrated carrots can stay fresh for 20 years while dried corn can last for 10 years. (Related: Healthy prepping: 7 Superfoods you should add to your garden and stockpile.)
Honey is a favorite among preppers because it has an incredible shelf life. It can give you an energy boost, and it is a healthier alternative to white sugar.
Don't worry if the honey in your stockpile crystallizes. This happens naturally over time and you can just warm honey and stir it briefly to get it back to its liquid state.
Kamut is easy to digest. Compared to modern wheat, kamut contains at least 40 percent more protein.
Kamut is also known as the “high-energy grain” because of its high lipid content, making it an ideal survival food.
Whole dried lentils, not the split kind, will last for at least five years when stored in air-tight containers. Lentils are protein-rich and easy to prepare. Unlike other beans, dried lentils don't need to be presoaked and they require less water.
Millet is a gluten-free grain. You can also use it as an alternative to wheat and rice. Millet contains calcium, dietary fiber, healthy fats, iron, magnesium, potassium, protein, vitamin B and zinc.
Peanut butter is a classic, but you can also add other nut butters to your stockpile to give your kids a nutritious and energy-boosting snack. Consider stocking up on almost butter or sunbutter made from sunflower seeds that are also great for long-term storage.
Pemmican is hailed as the "ultimate survival food" and it was invented by Native Americans who needed a way to preserve venison and buffalo.
Pemmican can also be made with any low-fat dried meat, fat and berries. Mold the mixture into biscuit-sized shapes for a survival food with a long shelf-life.
Quinoa is a nutrient-rich and filling grain with eight essential amino acids and eight grams of protein per cup. Store uncooked quinoa in air-tight containers to make it last for six months or more.
Rolled oats are affordable and easy to cook. Oats also contain dietary fiber, iron and thiamine.Store rolled oats in air-tight containers and keep them in a cool, dry area to ensure that they stay fresh for about 30 years.
When stocking up on canned foods, you need a hand-operated can opener and a back-up (or two) so you can prep your food when SHTF. If you have babies or pets at home, you need to stock up on baby supplies and pet food as well.
Check the expiration dates of items in your stockpile regularly, signs of moisture or pests and rotate your food supplies as needed.