Food from the Heart-Tips for Donating to Flood Victims
The recent flood has caused devastation to many families in various communities throughout Quebec. Despite the heartache it’s been heart-warming to see communities come together in order to support flood victims. Many of us are donating food to help families in need. Several of my clients have asked for advice on the types of non-perishable items they should buy. One common theme was what to pick up other than pasta and tomato sauce. While these two staples are nourishing and easy to prepare, I thought I would share examples of other foods that would offer some variety:
Canned legumes such as chickpeas and beans offer a great source of protein and fiber. What’s more is that they can be served cold in a salad or warm in a stew or soup.
Milk powder is a great source of calcium and vitamin D and one of the very few dairy products that are non-perishable. Powdered milk can be added with water to make a hearty oatmeal or can be offered as is.
I love canned tuna because it’s a complete source of protein and can be added easily to recipes. It is also a type of animal source protein that is culturally accepted and can be offered to families that consume kosher or halal food. Some quick and easy recipes containing tuna include: sandwiches and casseroles.
There’s a misconception that canned vegetables are not nutritious. Although some water soluble vitamins such as vitamin B and C can be diminished in the canning process, the overall nutrient content is relatively well preserved because it’s protected from the deteriorating effects of oxygen.
Apricots, raisins, mangoes and figs are a good source of Vitamin A, Calcium, magesium and potassium. We often don’t think of purchasing these but they make an excellent snack and are kid friendly!
Nuts and Nut butters
Nuts are one of the most nutritious plant based foods. They contain protein and good fats. Peanut butter is a go to breakfast item for many families. Due nut allergies, some people become cautious and don’t purchase food items with nuts but it is important to note that only 6-8% of families are affected by these types of food allergies and majority of families would really appreciate receiving nut based foods.
Whole grains such as rice, quinoa and oats are a good source of complex carbohydrates and are an important component of a balanced diet. They are relatively inexpensive and make a great budget friendly option. Crackers, granola bars, cereal bars are also a great option and very convenient for a quick snack.
Naureen Hunani, RD, Dietitian/Nutritionist