When you are a parent, it seems that you spend a lot of time dealing with food. It seems I am either shopping for food, preparing meals, or feeding my children. Because of this, I’ve learned to keep a well stocked pantry full of kid friendly foods “just in case”. Here are just some of the foods I keep in my pantry.
I always keep a bunch of cans of soup on hand. My children love vegetable beef soup! I also keep cans of chicken noodle soup on hand for when they get sick.
Jello is a great “food” to keep on hand. Not only can it be served as a dessert, or used to make kid friendly fruit salads, but it’s great for kids with stomach illnesses. It’s easy on the stomach, and will usually stay down even when your child has a really bad illness.
Our favorite flavor is cherry.
Since the recent salmonella outbreak, many folks have either gotten rid of their peanut butter stash, or have sworn off the stuff. There still are brands which are safe to consume however, because their peanut supplies weren’t affected. Double check to make sure before buying.
Peanut butter is great for PB and J sandwiches! It’s also great on crackers, with bananas, and with celery. As an occasionally treat, my children love peanut butter and marshmallow fluff crackers.
Macaroni and Cheese
Mac and cheese is great for snacks, and also as a side dish for meals. Mac and cheese must be a popular food with many families because there are so many varieties available for consumption now. You can buy pasta shaped to look like your favorite cartoon character, or you can purchase different varieties like the “extra cheese” variety. I keep several different varieties on hand.
Popcorn is a great snack for kids. It’s also very healthy–as long as you stay away from the extreme butter varieties of the stuff. You can purchase regular sized bags of popcorn, or you can purchase individual size bags. Since we have a large family, I always get the large sized variety.
I always keep extra bottles of fruit juice on hand. My children really like cherry juice, but they will tolerate apple juice. Every so often, they ask for grape juice. I have to admit, I tend to like the white grape juice variety as it doesn’t stain so bad if spilled!
Potatoes are a versatile food. You can make soup, hash browns, and mashed potatoes just to name a few different kinds of foods. I keep my potatoes in a cool, dark place in the pantry as I’ve found that they store better that way. I’ve also learned to store the potatoes on some sort of plastic. If a potato begins to rot, it’s easier to clean up the mess that way.
I know children that could eat cereal for every meal if they were allowed to do so. My children aren’t big cereal fans, but they do like cereal every so often. I find that if I’m pressed for time in the morning, it’s easy to just feed the kids cereal for breakfast.
Of course, we purchase the “no name” cereal in the re-sealable bags. I find that the cereal lasts longer this way, and it’s also more economical. If you live in a very hot and humid climate, you may want to consider purchasing containers for your cereal stash to prevent the cereal from going stale quickly.
It’s always great to have canned pasta on hand. It makes a great after school snack or, in a pinch, a quick meal. Years ago, when we lived in a very rural area, I kept a large supply of canned pasta on hand. During the winter months, it was very common for us to lose power for hours, or even days. There were many days where I heated canned pasta on the coal stove for dinner! Now that we live in “hurricane country”, the locals told me that I should keep canned pasta on hand for just the same reason: if the power goes out before, during, or after a severe storm, it is simple to heat up the pasta.
Crackers are great to have on hand. In addition, there are so many shapes and flavors of crackers available. I usually have butter crackers and cheese crackers on hand.
What kinds of kid friendly foods do you have in your pantry?