The Essential Guide to Emergency Grab Bag Food: What You Should and Shouldn’t Pack

You can never predict when a natural disaster, pandemic outbreak, or some other unforeseen circumstance will leave you without access to food for an extended period of time. When these types of events occur, it’s important to have an emergency grab bag packed with foods that are high in calories and nutrition but take up as little space as possible. In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential components of an emergency grab bag and suggest staple foods that should be part of your kit at all times.

What to Put in Your Emergency Grab Bag

The first and most important part of your emergency grab bag is food. Whatever you choose to put in your bag should meet the following criteria:

  • High in calories
  • Nutritious
  • Easy to store and prepare

Keep in mind that the food you bring should also taste good enough to eat regularly because you may have to stock your pantry for several months. To mix and match different types of food, use the following food groupings:

  • Starchy vegetables and grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes
  • Protein foods

You should also prepare your bag based on the length of time you expect to be unable to access regular food. If the power goes out for a short period of time, you’ll probably be able to cook and eat your regular meals, but if a disaster leads to a long power outage, you’ll need grab bag food that is easy to prepare without a stove.

Recommended Foods for Your Grab Bag

Freeze-dried Meals – These prepared meals are lightweight, compact, quick to prepare and contain calorie rich nutritious meals that are perfect for emergency and survival scenarios.

Fruits and Vegetables – Canned or freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are great grab-and-go options. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plus they taste great! Another benefit of canned and dried fruits and vegetables is that they’re easy to store for multiple months, or in some cases many years.

Nuts, Seeds and Legumes – Nuts and seeds are high-calorie powerhouses, plus they’re a great source of protein and healthy fats. You can store nuts for up to one year, so they’re a great choice for long-term food storage. Legumes are another excellent choice for your grab bag because they provide a significant amount of protein, fibre, and B vitamins, plus they’re super cheap.

Cereal and Grains – Cereal or grains are an easy way to quickly prepare a high-calorie meal. Oatmeal is a good option, and it comes ready-to-eat in a variety of flavours. You can also add dried fruit and nuts to boost the calories and nutrition. Be careful when storing cereal, though. It can become stale or rancid much more quickly than other foods. Check the expiration date before purchasing and only buy enough to last you a couple of weeks.


Now that you know what to put in your emergency grab bag and what types of foods are best for long-term food storage, you’re ready to pack a practical and nutritious survival food kit. Remember, you can’t predict when a disaster will strike, so be prepared by storing a few months’ worth of grab bag essentials. When a crisis occurs, you’ll be glad you have the food you need to stay healthy and strong. So don’t hesitate – get your grab bag stocked with these essential emergency foods today!