Food. I think about it a lot – one because I’m always hungry, two because I'm a mom. Food is powerful stuff when it comes to kids. It provides nutrition, sustenance and comfort. None of this changes during a disaster.
With planning you can ensure your emergency pantry is always stocked with sustaining foods best for feeding your family in a pinch. They don’t break the bank and can be easily incorporated into regular meals when the expiry dates get close. Just follow the guidelines below and remember your target is a minimum three-day supply for everyone in your home.
Foods packed with protein take longer to digest, keeping you feeling full longer. This is important when there's a limited food supply and bigger gaps between meals.
What to have on hand? Peanut butter, canned fish and meats, canned beans, nuts and seeds.
TIP: Buy foods with similar expiry dates. They're easier to track and refresh.
If your kids are anything like mine, pasta with tomato sauce is guaranteed to bring a smile. Familiar and favourite foods go a long way to easing anxiety in an emergency. In this case, grains have the added benefit of being a good source of protein and fibre.
What to have on hand? Dried pasta, crackers, instant oatmeal and dried cereals. High-fibre varieties ensure a full feeling longer.
TIP: Keep a camp stove handy for rudimentary cooking. Just remember to use it outdoors.
Eat your fruits and vegetables
Okay, emergencies aren’t the best time to aim for perfect eating habits, but nutritious meals will help maintain your family’s energy level. Canned fruits and vegetables are high in fibre, easy to store and yummy in the tummy.
What to have on hand? Canned fruits and veggies, as well as juice boxes. Dried fruits like apricots, cranberries and raisins are other great choices for easy storage.
TIP: Vacuum seal crackers and nuts to prolong their shelf life.
Don't forget ...
Soups & Chilis: Nothing’s easier than cracking open a can. Look for hearty, low sodium options since salt will also feed your thirst.
Water: Store a minimum of four-litres of water per person per day for consumption and hygiene. If you have room for more, store more. In my books, more is best.
Sweets: Don’t underestimate them. A cookie, a piece of candy or chocolate can help take the edge off. Another option is granola bars, which can be transformed into other goodies like this Preparedness Pineapple Crumble from Family Feedbag .