It’s that time of year again, when the donation bins are out and we’re asked to contribute some food items to local charities. Here are the top nine foods to donate to give the gift of flavor and health.
It’s that time of year again, when the donation bins are out and we’re asked to contribute some food items to local charities. Of course the holidays are a big time to donate food and other goods – but remember these items are needed year round. Here are some criteria you may want to think about in particular when donating items. Give the gift of health by providing nutrient dense food items. Of course all donations are appreciated.
When considering what products to bring or purchase choose those that you would serve to your family.
Here are the top 9 things you should donate:
Juice boxes: look for those that contain 100% juice
Peanut and other nut butters: read labels and look for those with no added sugars and other unnecessary ingredients like hydrogenated oils.
Canned food items: should be packed in water, or the natural juices of the fruit or vegetable - added sugars, syrups and excessive sodium should be avoided. Look for those that contain less than 290 mg sodium per serving (same tip for canned proteins).
Cereals and granolas: look for those that contain less than 215 mg sodium per serving, less than 10 grams of sugar per serving, and greater than 2 grams of fiber.
Breads, crackers, and other grains: look for whole wheat/whole grain sliced sandwich bread that contains 180 mg sodium per serving, and greater than 2 grams of fiber per serving.
Whole wheat pasta, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, couscous and other whole grains. These last a long time and provide varied nutrition. Can pair with a low sodium and low sugar tomato sauce.
Other baked goods (e.g. dinner rolls, muffins, bagels, tortillas) should contain less than 290 mg of sodium per serving. Whole grain pastas, whole grain baked goods and brown rice are always welcomed.
Spices to flavor beans and grains: garlic power, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, dill, black pepper, salt
Green tea, white tea and herbal teas, read labels avoid fillers and artificial flavors.
And remember, the holiday season isn’t the only time for giving, whether it’s a food drive, direct donations, monetary gifts, or giving to a charitable organization that has ties to the food industry and can link surplus food to emergency food providers, all types of year-round giving are encouraged.
Criteria above gathered from NYC Food Standards and SuperFoodDrive.org