Non perishable food is often thought of as strictly a convenience item. And it certainly is! If there is a severe storm and you cannot get to a store, for example, having non perishable food on hand can get you through. However, we often connect “fresh” with “healthy.”

Something that doesn’t go bad (or at least not for a long time) can’t be good for you. Right? Well, sure, if you’re talking about Twinkies. You might be surprised to learn that there are plenty of healthy non perishable food choices out there!

What Qualifies as Non Perishable Foods

Non perishable foods are those that have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration to prevent spoilage. These foods can withstand storage at room temperature for extended periods without spoiling or becoming unsafe to eat.

Common examples of non perishable foods include canned goods, dried foods, and foods preserved through methods such as dehydration or pickling.

Non Perishable Canned or Jarred Options

Canned or jarred foods are popular non perishable options because they are sealed in airtight containers, preventing bacterial contamination and spoilage.

These items often include fruits, vegetables, soups, sauces, and meats. Look for options with little to no added sugars, sodium, or preservatives for healthier choices.

Non Perishable Dry Foods

Dry foods, such as nuts, seeds, grains, and pasta, are staples of non perishable food storage. These items have low moisture content, making them less susceptible to spoilage.

They are versatile ingredients that can be used in various recipes, providing essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Non Perishable Canned Foods

Canned foods, such as tuna, beans, and tomatoes, offer convenience and nutritional value, not to mention, a much longer shelf life. They are often precooked and sealed in cans, preserving their freshness and flavor for an extended period.

Opt for canned options without added sugars or excessive sodium to maintain a balanced diet.

By understanding what qualifies as non perishable food, you can make informed choices when stocking your pantry for emergencies or everyday use.

Incorporating a variety of non perishable options ensures you have nutritious and convenient meal options available whenever you need them.


First, though, why is it important to have a supply of non perishable food items? As mentioned, shelf stable foods are handy when there is an emergency or critical situation, and you cannot get to a grocery store. Additionally:

  • They are convenient. Non perishables are great for busy parents, campers, hikers, people on a budget… they don’t require refrigeration, and you can often buy in bulk to cut costs. Storage is as easy as putting the items in a pantry, closet, utility room, in your pack, etc. 
  • They save time. If you’re hiking or on the go with the kids, for example, just take some all-natural Sweetwood Smokehouse FATTY smoked meat sticks out of your pack, purse, or glove compartment. They’ll keep you full and satisfied, while providing plenty of protein power.
  • There are healthy options. No, not all non perishables are nutritious – but there are plenty of options that have protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. 

So what are the healthiest non perishable foods out there?

Our top picks:

  • Meat Snacks
  • Bottled Water
  • Nuts
  • Trail Mix
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Vegetables (low or no sodium)
  • Canned Fruit (no or low sugar)
  • Canned Soups (low or no sodium)
  • Granola Bars
  • Dried Pasta
  • Dried and/or Canned Beans
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lentils
  • Rice
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Powdered Milk

Why You Should Stock Up on Healthy Non Perishable Food Items


Non perishable foods offer unparalleled convenience, especially during emergencies or when access to fresh food is limited. Having a stockpile of these items means you can quickly prepare meals without the need for refrigeration or extensive cooking. Whether you're camping, traveling, or facing unexpected circumstances, non perishable foods provide a hassle-free solution to hunger.

Time Saving

In today's fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity. Non perishable foods streamline meal preparation, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time on other priorities. With ready-to-eat options like canned soups, granola bars, and dried fruits, you can enjoy nutritious meals without sacrificing precious time.

Healthy Options On Hand

Contrary to popular belief, non perishable foods encompass a wide range of nutritious options. From canned vegetables and lean proteins to whole grains and nuts, there are plenty of healthy choices available. By stocking up on these items, you ensure that you always have access to wholesome ingredients, even when fresh produce is scarce.


Building a pantry stocked with non perishable foods can also be cost-effective. Buying in bulk and taking advantage of sales and discounts can significantly reduce your grocery expenses over time. Additionally, non perishable items typically have a longer shelf life, minimizing food waste and saving you money in the long run.

What Are the Healthiest Non Perishable Food Items?

Non Perishable Canned or Jarred Options

Canned or jarred foods offer convenience and versatility without sacrificing nutritional value. Look for options packed in water or natural juices, with minimal added sugars or sodium. Choose items like canned beans, tomatoes, and fruits to add fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants to your diet.

Non Perishable Dry Foods

Dry foods such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and pasta are pantry staples that provide essential nutrients and energy. These items have a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of recipes, from salads and stir-fries to baked goods and snacks. Incorporate a variety of dry foods into your diet for balanced nutrition and satisfying meals.

Non Perishable Canned Foods

Canned foods, including tuna, salmon, and chicken, offer convenient sources of protein that require minimal preparation. Look for options packed in water or olive oil, without added salt or preservatives. Canned vegetables like corn, peas, and green beans are also nutritious additions to soups, stews, and side dishes.

By incorporating a variety of non perishable options into your diet, you can ensure you have nutritious and convenient meal options available whenever you need them. Whether you're preparing for emergencies or simply looking to simplify mealtime, stocking up on healthy non perishable foods is a smart choice.

Final Thoughts

With plenty of protein (up to 18 grams per package!) Sweetwood’s Beef Jerky and Steak Bites are among the healthier of the non perishable foods available for snacking.

And with different flavors to choose from, including Original, Peppered, Teriyaki, and Sweet & Hot, you can add some variety to your non perishable food stash, which is important whether you’re on a long hike or weathering a big storm. 

Next time you shop, keep this list in mind so you can add a number of healthy non perishable food items to your pantry. You’ll build up a nutritious inventory of foods ready to enjoy whether you’re on the go or holed up at home! You know what – why wait until next time? Shop now >>