Friday, January 7, 2011

Storing Comfort Foods

Think for a moment back to a traumatic experience in your life. What were your feelings? Was it a little difficult to think and function normally? Were you able to act calmly and rationally and to continue functioning as if nothing were wrong?

Anytime we are faced with an emergency or a disruption in normal routine life patterns change. Many people function well under extreme pressure, most do not. This is the reason it is always best to plan and prepare for an emergency before it happens even if we do not know what kind of emergency we are preparing for.

I may be able to handle the emergency itself and keep moving but to be able to make life continue in a normal fashion for those around me would be harder. We don’t even have to be talking about a serious emergency, just a change in plans or a disruption in routine.

I’ve learned over the years that one of the best ways to be prepared for an emergency or disaster is to have some “comfort foods” on hand that we can eat or share without much effort or planning. Many times things have happened that caused us to do things we didn’t think we would have to do; from something little like my husband being called out to work in the cold or heat for an undisclosed amount of time, not knowing when he would be able to get a meal, to being evacuated from our home thinking we’d be able to return soon to find that we could never live there again.

Now, I always try to keep some comfort foods on hand at all times so I can be ready for little emergencies or life changing situations that may arise. Depending on the people in your family and what they like or dislike or can’t eat, your choice of foods to keep on hand may be different. I have always read that little kids need fun foods that they like and are used to in an emergency but I think the same is true of us big kids too. The last thing I want to be doing when I’m in an uncomfortable situation is trying to find something that we can eat or take with us to eat if we have to leave.

I’ve compiled a short list of things that your family may consider “comfort foods”. Pick a few of these items to keep on an emergency shelf or closet. If you have a lot of kids, it may be difficult to keep much of this kind of stuff around for long, but make a place and keep it well stocked with foods you could grab or turn to in a time of distress. These are things that require little or no cooking, some are filling, some would be considered junk food. Sometimes it may be just the advance thinking of what a comfort food is so you could reach for it in a time of distress. However, hopefully if you are ever faced with an emergency situation you would have enough on hand to grab quickly and satisfy hunger until you can make other arrangements. These are separate from your 72-hour kits, these are just for little times when maybe the power is out, or your regular family routine is disrupted.

Ideas for “Comfort foods” to have on hand
Beanie Weenies
Beef & Cheese sticks
Bottled water (cases)
Canned fruit (pop top cans)
Canned tuna and crackers
Capri Sun drink packs
Chocolate chips
Chocolate milk mix & instant milk or instant chocolate milk mix
Crackers with cheese
Dehydrated fruit
Fruit roll-ups
Fruit snacks
Granola Bars
Hot Chocolate Packets
Instant cup of noodles
Instant Mashed potatoes and instant gravy mix
Instant oatmeal
Instant rice
Instant soup mixes (just add boiling water)
MRE’s (ready to eat meals)
Peanut snack packs
Peanut butter
Peanut butter crackers
Pop tarts
Pre cooked bacon
Prepackaged beverages in foil packets
Pudding mixes and Instant milk to make pudding
Ramen Noodles
Snack size canned goods
Spiced cider
Sweetened cereals
Trail mix
Vienna sausage

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