Find out what gluten-free emergency food to stock up on to help you stick with your diet even when the unexpected happens. Including dairy-free items!
Note: I am a proud Amazon, Chomps, and Thrive Market affiliate and am happy to recommend their service and products to you. Please know that as an affiliate, I may receive a small commission on the products you purchase after clicking through my links. For more info, please see my disclosure policy here.
Preparing for emergencies isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, but sometimes it’s necessary to be sure you have what you need in case something unexpected happens.
Whether you live in an area with earthquakes, have regular power outages, or other natural disasters, it’s important to have supplies on hand that allow you to feed yourself and your family.
I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten my family’s emergency kit supplies together in the past few years that what I prepare is a little different than other families might prepare, because of my gluten-free diet.
Following a gluten-free diet and having multiple food intolerances (gluten, dairy, and eggs) means I have to be careful about what food I eat on a daily basis. It also means that what I gather for emergencies needs to be in line with my daily diet so I don’t wind up sick – even in an emergency.
Having the right emergency food supplies on hand is important for everyone, but those of us who follow a gluten-free diet need to do a little more research and preparation than folks who can simply buy a kit at Costco on the weekend and be fully stocked. (Which as a side note, I’m completely jealous of the ease of this solution!)
There are so many tools and tips for keeping safe and healthy if there is an emergency, but this post is all about the food. At the bare minimum, it’s a good idea to have on hand a can opener, a portable propane camp stove or one you can use without gas or electricity, and a pot to cook with.
For all your other needs to stay safe in an emergency, check out some other blogs or resources online for getting an emergency kit together. Here are some I think are useful:
- Build a Kit from Ready.gov
- The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies from NY Times
- Disaster Supply Kit from Weather Underground
- Survival Kit Supplies from Red Cross
In this post, we’re going to focus on what gluten-free emergency food you’ll want for your emergency supplies. The products I choose will also have notes about eggs and dairy too, if you also avoid these foods like I do.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:
- How much emergency food to have on hand
- Categories of emergency food to have on hand
- Pre-made emergency food kits
- The best way to stock up on gluten-free emergency food
- How to rotate your gluten-free emergency food supply
How much food do you need to have on hand
When it comes to how much food you’ll want to have on hand for your emergency supplies, there are different opinions based on where you look and who you choose to get your information from.
The Red Cross recommends having one gallon of water per person per day for two weeks for home, plus a three day supply for evacuation. They also recommend non-perishable and easy-to-prepare food items for each person for two weeks at home, plus a three day supply for evacuation.
The CDC recommends a three-day water supply (one gallon per person per day) plus a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
FEMA recommends one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for both drinking and sanitation, plus a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
The general consensus is that you’ll want to keep food and water as a supply for at least three days on hand for any type of emergency. You’ll want to decide how you prepare based on what types of emergencies you anticipate.
For example, stocking up for a power outage in your area might require you to have more or less food on hand based on what you know about the infrastructure in your area.
Or if you stock up for hurricane season, you might plan differently than someone who is planning for an earthquake. Use your best judgment and plan for at least three days worth of food and water.
You can pick and choose non-perishable food options from this for your gluten-free emergency supplies for stocking up at home for power outages, hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, quarantining, school emergency kits, and go-bags for evacuation.
Categories of emergency food you’ll want to have on hand
When you stock up on food for your gluten-free emergency supplies, you’ll want to be sure to have a few different types of food for variety and for nutrition. Here are some categories of food you can choose from.
What you want to keep in mind is that everything you choose is non-perishable (doesn’t need refrigeration), that it has a decent shelf life, and that it is easy to prepare.
Shelf stable protein
When it comes to gluten-free shelf-stable protein, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Stock up on a few of these for your supplies to give variety and different options. Protein will help you keep your energy levels up and blood sugar stable.
Nuts and seeds
Any type of nuts or seeds that you like is a good idea to have on hand for emergencies. Choose from almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any mixture of these.
Opting for something in a sealed container is a good idea over a bagged option as these will have a longer shelf life.
Read on: Are nuts gluten-free?
Nut butters, like peanut butter, sunbutter, almond butter, cashew butter. Look for an option that has a long shelf life and preferable something that doesn’t require stirring.
Read on: Is peanut butter gluten-free?
Tuna, chicken, salmon, or sardines all work for a gluten-free diet.
Choose canned or dried beans. Most brands of canned beans are gluten-free as long as they are plain beans. Dried beans work well for emergency supplies, but be sure you have the items on hand in order to prepare them without electricity (a pot, water, and a stove).
Baked beans can also work well as they are pre-seasoned. Bush’s baked beans, Heinz baked beans, and Amy’s kitchen offer gluten-free baked beans.
Read on: Are beans gluten-free?
Read on: Are Bush’s baked beans gluten-free?
Canned soup or chili
Choose a brand that offers gluten-free and dairy-free choices, such as Wolf Brand or Hormel chili with beans (check ingredient lists for this brand – some flavors contain wheat protein).
Protein powder is a good option to have on hand for emergencies, because it can easily be turned into a full meal or snack with just water. Choose a gluten and dairy-free option and maybe even single servings to stock up on.
Protein bars are nice to have on hand for emergencies because they’re compact and pack a punch. Choose some that are gluten-free and dairy-free, like Orgain SImple protein bars, NuGo protein bars, and Garden of Life organic fit protein bars.
High protein pasta
Having pasta on hand can be a good choice for dinner options in an emergency. You can choose normal gluten-free pasta or opt for a higher protein option. You can find lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, and cassava pasta.
Jerky or meat sticks
Jerky is a good high protein option for gluten-free emergency food. I also love buying meat sticks, like these Chomps sticks to have stocked up for emergencies too.
Keeping hydrated in an emergency is important. In addition to water, you might also opt for one or a few of these options.
According to most emergency preparedness sites, you’ll want to keep at least a gallon of water per person per day for a 3 day supply on hand. Be sure to rotate this water supply out every six months as recommended.
Shelf stable dairy-free milk
If you use dairy-free milk in your coffee or want it as another drink option, choose single servings of dairy-free milk, like almond milk or coconut milk.
You might also want to buy the quart-sized dairy-free milks (you’ll find more variety in this size) if you have power and can refrigerate any leftover unused portion. Or if you have a family big enough to use the whole quart at once.
Read on: Dairy-free milk alternatives
Juice boxes or pouches
Juice boxes, pouches, or canned juice can come in handy for keeping a variety of liquids in your emergency supplies.
Broth or stock
Choose a broth or stock that has a gluten-free label and comes in a shelf-stable can or box for storage. Pacific Foods and Kirkland Signature are the two brands I buy most frequently that are gluten-free.
Coffee and/or tea
If you regularly drink coffee or tea, be sure to have some on hand for emergencies. Plus a way to make it. You could opt for instant coffee, tea bags, or have an AeroPress on hand to brew up coffee with just hot water.
Read on: Is coffee gluten-free?
Choose a few easy grain options for adding something filling to your emergency supplies. Here are a few gluten-free options to choose from.
I love these little quinoa and rice pouches for quick meals, but they’re great during emergencies too. You can heat them in the microwave or on the stove and they’re done in just a little over a minute. In a pinch, you could probably even eat them cold.
For dinner options, if you keep a pot, water, and portable stove on hand (or if you aren’t without power), opt to stock up on some gluten-free pasta.
It only takes a few minutes to cook, and you can make a number of different dishes with it. Boxed gluten-free macaroni and cheese isn’t a bad idea either – Daiya and Annie’s make gluten and dairy-free options.
Read on: Gluten-free noodles: options & brands
Gluten-free rice ramen
Gluten-free rice ramen is a great base for soups, and you only need a few minutes and some hot water to make these noodles come to life. If you also stock up on broth, canned chicken, and some canned vegetables, you can have a quick and easy soup in no time.
Instant mashed potatoes
Most instant mashed potatoes brands are gluten-free, and a few of them are also dairy-free. This is another very quick option to make up if you only have hot water on hand for emergencies. Try Hungry Jack, Idahoan original, or Bob’s Red Mill potato flakes for gluten and dairy-free options.
Read on: Are mashed potatoes gluten-free?
A box or two of gluten-free cereal is useful to have on hand, especially if you have kids in your household. Cereal can be snacked on by itself or with some milk or dairy-free milk.
Cheerios and Rice Chex are the two favorites in my house.
Read on: Gluten-free cereal
Read on: 5 Gluten-free dairy-free cereals
Gluten-free oatmeal is a filling and healthy breakfast choice for your gluten-free emergency food. You can buy a large container of it or opt for single servings.
Read on: Is oatmeal gluten-free?
Fruit and vegetables
I can’t go without fruit and vegetables for any stretch of time, and although canned and dried fruit and veggies aren’t my first choice, that’s what we’ve got to work with when we’re planning for emergencies! Here’s some options you can choose from:
Any canned fruit in juice or syrup is going to be gluten-free.
Dried fruit, as long as it’s just the fruit, will be gluten-free. Any fruit will do. We like raisins, dates, and mangos.
Freeze dried fruit
Freeze dried fruit is another good gluten-free emergency food option. Use bananas, strawberries, raspberries, or any other fruit you love.
Opt for green beans, corn, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or pumpkin puree. You might also want to include canned tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Snacks are important, especially during an emergency when you might not be eating what you normally eat. Fill in the gaps with some healthy snack options, like the options below.
Granola or protein bars
There are a few different gluten-free granola bars and protein bars you might want to have on hand for emergencies. Try one of these: KIND Bars (many are also dairy-free), Lara Bars, Pamela’s Whenever bars, Bobo’s Oat Bars.
Gluten-free pretzels make for good snacking any time, but can also be added to your emergency supplies. Choose from Glutino, Snyder’s, and Trader Joe’s.
Read on: Are pretzels gluten-free?
Gluten-free crackers are also a good choice for emergencies. We like these brands in our house: Simple Mills, Mary’s Gone Crackers, and Van’s.
Read on: The best gluten-free crackers
Applesauce isn’t just for kids. I love having individual servings of applesauce on hand for our emergency supplies in pouches for everyone in my family. It’s a great snack and can be mixed in with oatmeal for some added flavor too.
Kid snack favorites
If you have kids, it’s never a bad idea to have too many snacks – especially in an emergency situation. If your kids have any specific favorites, be sure to stock up on them for your gluten-free emergency food supplies.
Remember when you had emergency kits at school as a kid? They almost always called for a candy bar or a sweet treat in the kit.
I always found that strange as a kid, but now as an adult, I can understand having something comforting and tasty that you love when something isn’t going how you expect. Choose a few sweets that you and your family love to stock up on and have on hand.
Favorite chocolate bars
Choose a gluten and dairy-free option, like Chocolove, Green and Black, Theo, or Endangered Species. Many chocolate bars are gluten-free, but not always dairy-free.
Read on: Dairy-free chocolate: the ultimate guide
Favorite gummy candy
Many gummy candies are gluten-free, so if you or your family members love them, choose one of these: Albanese, Black Forest, and Surf Sweets.
Read on: Are gummy bears gluten-free?
Favorite fruity candy
Choose from Starburst, Skittles, Nerds, or Jelly Belly jelly beans for some gluten-free fruity candy options.
Read on: The ultimate gluten-free candy list
Most gum is gluten-free, so stock up on that if your family loves this.
The most important thing
The most important thing to think about when getting your gluten-free emergency food together is that you and your family members will ACTUALLY EAT IT.
Yes, this is probably obvious to you, but let me be the voice of reason here. A year ago, I stocked up on supplies for emergencies and I was just going through it last week pulling out items that need to be replaced, because their expiration dates are getting close.
I pulled out three cans of canned fruit and decided my family would eat them over the next few weeks, and I’d get three new ones for our supplies. Well, guess what! No one in my family (including myself!) wanted even ONE bite once I opened one of the cans up.
Both my son and I tasted a bite and said “ehhh, we don’t like this.” The bottom line here is that if you don’t like what you’re stocking up on on any given weekday, you probably won’t want to eat it when you need it for emergencies either!
Stock up on food you like, so that when something happens and you need it, you’ll actually want to eat what you have instead of wishing for something else.
Should you buy a big premade emergency food kit?
There are a number of pre-made emergency food kits available on the market, and some of them are gluten-free. If you find that this works well for you and your family’s needs, then you can definitely consider buying one of these.
I personally have multiple food intolerances (gluten, dairy, and eggs), so these kits often don’t suit my diet well. I’d prefer to gather my own gluten-free emergency foods and store them.
If you would like the convenience of a pre-made kit and it works well for you, then you might want to look into some of these gluten-free options. I haven’t bought or used any options from these brands as a disclosure, so I’m not sure what the food is like in them.
What’s the best way to get a gluten-free emergency food supply saved up?
The best way to get started with stocking up your emergency food supply is to start small. You can grab an extra few items once a week on your regular grocery shopping trips until you’ve built up a 3-day supply for each member of your family.
Another option is to get all your shopping done at once. You can buy many items locally at your grocery store or use a website like Thrive Market that has loads of gluten-free options that are great for food storage to buy them all at once.
Spend a little bit of time deciding which food items you’d like to have on hand and purchase them in one big batch.
Whatever option works best for you is the best way. Start small or get it all in one trip. Make it as easy for yourself as possible.
There’s no right or wrong way to stock up, but having just a few days of extra emergency supplies is a great idea for the unexpected.
When should I start building my emergency food supplies?
There’s the saying that the best time to start was yesterday. But the next best day is today.
That applies to stocking up on gluten-free emergency food supplies as well. There’s no great time to get started, so don’t wait until a new year rolls around or the next time a huge storm warning comes to your area. Get started with some items now and gradually build your supplies.
Or make a date with yourself to sit down and shop for everything you need online, make one big purchase, and have it shipped to your door. Both area easy ways to do it, so you just need to make a plan and get started.
How should I plan to stay on top of my emergency food so it doesn’t go bad?
Getting started with your emergency supplies is great, but how do you keep your supplies fresh and on rotation? You don’t want to have a bunch of expired food when an emergency strikes, so it’s important to trade out old food for newer things regularly.
Here are a few ideas to help you stay on top of keeping your emergency food updated:
Set a reminder
If you keep your emergency food separate from your normal everyday food, set a reminder or mark it on your calendar to review the food once every six months.
Keep your everyday food overstocked
One way to keep on top of your emergency food supply is to always keep eating it and buying more.
What I mean is to stock up on food that you already eat on a daily basis, knowing that you have extra for emergencies, and don’t set aside your emergency supplies. That way, the food gets eaten and you keep replenishing it regularly.
Keep it organized on your computer
Another idea is to keep a spreadsheet on your computer of all the foods you have on hand and when you buy it, you put into the cells what the expiration date is.
That way, you can check the spreadsheet for any upcoming dates instead of having to pull out the food that is stored away somewhere. This is a little more effort, but it’s convenient if you store your food somewhere not super easy to get to.
If you’ve been thinking about getting emergency food supplies together, I hope that these gluten-free ideas help you take some of the guesswork out.
There are so many great gluten-free options for non-perishable foods, so pick and choose from a few categories to make up an emergency kit for you and your family for whatever unexpected comes up.