Pantry Staples

Making nutritious meals and snacks at home or in a child care centre is always easier if you have a good supply of healthy staples available in the pantry. If space allows, consider keeping whole grains and flours as well as seeds and nuts in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid, especially if purchased in large quantities or if not used up within a month or two.

Here are the basic types to consider:

Whole grains:

  • Rolled oats
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Pearl barley
  • Quinoa
  • Polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • Bulgur
  • Noodles—whole grain or rice
  • Panko breadcrumbs (whole wheat)

Baking supplies:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • All-purpose flour
  • Corn flour (masa harina) or other alternative flours to wheat
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Honey
  • Vanilla
  • Molasses
  • Cocoa powder
  • Seeds (&/or nuts)
  • Dried fruit

Canned goods:

  • Salmon or tuna
  • Beans and lentils
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Applesauce (unsweetened)

Oils & vinegars:

  • Olive and canola oil
  • Apple cider and rice vinegar


  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric
  • Granulated garlic
  • Paprika
  • Dill
  • Thyme