Wednesday, March 30, 2011

72-Hour Kit Wednesday – Snacks



Snack foods in your 72 hour kits are very important, not only for your physical well-being but also for your mental well-being. Granola bars are great and there are so many varieties that you have lots of choices. Remember though, that you may be dealing with intense heat in the summer which may melt chocolate so keep that in mind when choosing. Also remember we will rotate the food out of the packs every 6 months, including the snacks, so if you want to choose chocolate for the winter months and something else for summer that is doable.

Nuts and crackers are also a great choice. Just keep in mind that eating salty foods will make you thirstier. There are options for cheese and cracker or cheese that do not require refrigeration.

Protein powder is a good thing to have in a stressful situation but you will need to keep in mind that you need something to mix it in. Also, if you are familiar with the Emergen-C packets, you know they are a good source of vitamins and minerals and also pack a little energy punch.

Dried fruit and jerky are also great options as us trail mix. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, you can save money by purchasing the larger sizes and making your own vacuum sealed individual size servings. I think this is a great way to not only save a little money but also to have the snacks divided into different packs so kids (or adults) aren’t tempted to eat tomorrows snacks today.

Hard candy is always a morale booster but remember it will melt. Make sure it is packed in either vacuum sealed bags or Ziploc bags and kept separately from everything else. No one needs a huge sticky mess on top of an already stressful situation.

I noticed the other day that there are other things that would be great to include; pepperoni sticks are fun and different and as long as they are rotated out and the packs are kept in a cool place, they will store well. The same goes for dry cereal. If you can vacuum seal it, there are many options to choose from. As you shop around, you will notice many other items that would be easy to pack and a fun snack in a tough situation.

Just make sure when you are choosing, that you avoid any greasy, extra fatty foods that would go rancid or spoil. I had mentioned before that I like one woman’s idea about a small jar of peanut butter in each pack with some extra plastic spoons. I think that anyone who likes peanut butter wouldn’t mind having a few spoonfuls of peanut butter when having a hard day, and it is a good protein food.

Many people choose to include some packets of lemonade mix or crystal light in their kits for a snack. These are great if your water is unlimited, however, you might be tempted to drink more lemonade that you can really afford is water supplies are tight. Something to think about though. I do like the idea, if you have room in your kits, of choosing some small cans of pineapple, V-8, Orange or grape juice for a snack or breakfast.

One of the best things you can do as you plan your kits is to make a menu for these three days. As you write things on paper, it’s easier to see what you have, how filling it is, if it is empty calories and more. You can put your food kits together on paper first, and see exactly what you need to add or subtract.

I’m including a link to a 72-hour kit meal planning worksheet put together by Jodi and Julie from foodstoragemadeeasy.net. If you haven’t checked out their site, do it! It is a great resource for all your food storage planning. I think it would be a great idea to print out one of these worksheets for each member of your family – especially if some have different dietary needs or likes and customize each kit to each family member. Here is the link to the worksheet.

Below are some suggestions to include for snacks in your pack. I’m sure you can come up with more on your own. Just a tip here; if you are choosing chewing gum, mints etc. that is peppermint or has a strong smell, remember if they are not wrapped well or separated from other foods, all your food will taste like peppermint. I do think that chewing gum may be one of the best options you can choose for your kits. It helps with hunger, helps thirst and makes you feel fuller. You may want to put plenty in your packs.

Remember you probably want at least 2 snacks per day, maybe three. The days can be pretty long if you are away from home and in a tough situation. If you have any great snack options you’d like to tell us about, we’d love to hear.

Snack Options:
Protein powder
Granola bars
Dried fruits (Apples, bananas, blueberries, etc.)
Trail Mix
Nuts
Crackers and cheese
Jerky
Chewing gum
Peanut butter
Hard candy or suckers
Gummy candies
Fruit snacks
Laughing cow cheese wedges (do not require refrigeration)
Raisins or craisins
Packets of Emergen-C
Larabars
Rice cakes
Fruit roll-ups
Any protein bars
Snack pack size cereal boxes or vacuum sealed cheerios or chex cereal

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