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Creating a Culture of Self-Reliance: Step Eight

This week we add the fun things to your Five-Day Kits. It’s time for food! This is a favorite week for the kids. Plan ahead by having food purchased and ready to lay out on a table for the kids, and adults to choose from. Lay foods out in groupings, choose from group one for breakfast, group two lunch, group three dinner, and group four snacks.

Consider the following when purchasing food:

Food should be ready to eat with no need to cook. It is tempting to purchase instant oatmeal and cup-a-noodles but they both require water, which may be in short supply, These style foods also require hot water and you may not have a way to heat water. Shelters may have hot water. They may not have it or allow you to access it as they are trying to take care of large numbers of people.

1. These foods should provide calories. Do not worry about these foods being “healthy”. During a stressful time we burn more calories so it is the calories we worry about. Foods that are considered treats by children, such as cold cereals or granola bars, will bring comfort during a time when they will be confused and anxious.

2. Foods should be familiar. This is not the time to try new things. Purchase the brands and varieties you are already enjoying.

3. Think food groups. As we do with our food storage think about including all the food groups. It may not be possible to have every group at every meal, but get at least one serving in each day from each group.

Foods to consider:

· Breakfast bars and/or protein bars

· Pop tarts

· Dry cereals in their own little containers.

· Boxed milk for dry cereal or to drink. Boxed chocolate milk on cereal would make a child's day!

· Pouched tuna and chicken salad, Vienna sausages

· Individual peanut butter packets

· Crackers

· Granola bars

· Dried fruit: do not add dehydrated or freeze dried fruit as they can cause dehydration when consumed without reconstituting!

· Fruit rolls

· Jerky in small amounts, as it can cause an increase in thirst

· Unsalted nuts or trail mix

· Apple sauce in squeeze pouches

· Mandarin oranges. These come in small pop-top cans so they do not add much weight and the syrup is great to drink. If using pop-top cans place a piece of duct tape over the top to preventing it from catching on something and opening accidentally.

· Waxed cheese. Cheese preserved in this way are shelf stable and will last at least a year.

· M&Ms and other candy that will not be affected by the heat.

· Hard candy and/or lollipops to help with thirst.

· Plastic cutlery

*To cut down on the weight in kits place some of the heavier items such as boxed drinks in a plastic container. Use these for lunches and snack now but always keep it full. When evacuating it is easy to grab the container to throw in the car.

I also keep a container of favorite candy bars and granola bars that we rotate thru when needing a snack but will be easy to grab for snacking in the car as we wait in long lines of traffic.

Water is very heavy, so my suggestion is to keep a case with your kits. I also love water bottle carriers. These are lanyards with a gasket at the end that slips over the neck of a water bottle so it can be carried around your neck or looped thru a belt.

Add a water bottle with a filter to each kit. If this is cost prohibitive add one to each adult kit. These enable you to purify water that is contaminated to make it safe for drinking. There is no way you can carry enough water with you and water is always in short supply after a disaster.

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