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Building Up Food Storage Your Kids (and Pets) Will Eat


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Building Up Food Storage Your Kids (and Pets) Will Eat

By Lee FLynn

Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 01:09pm EST

Keywords: emergency preparedness, food storage, planning, self-reliance

A weather or disaster emergency can occur in your geographic area at anytime, making it difficult to shop for food or cook meals. While many parents know how to buy and store foods suitable for adults to consume, their children frequently need specialized meals requiring particular food storage methods. Not only are parents responsible for having an emergency stock of foods for their children, it is also necessary to have food available for family pets. The best way to begin planning an effective food storage system in your home for emergencies such as snowstorms, tornadoes or earthquakes that make travel and cooking impossible is making a list of the items needed.

Choose Tasty Foods

There are important things to consider concerning food storage for children such as their ages, health conditions and flavor preferences. There is no reason to buy numerous cans of green beans or freeze-dried apricots to have for an emergency when a child refuses to eat the items. Parents need to consider allergies and sensitivities to ingredients such as peanuts or gluten when ordering emergency food supplies. It is better to shop for foods that children enjoy eating now such as pasta dishes, flavored oatmeal and chicken nuggets rather than heavily spiced recipes that adults enjoy. Remember that children also need to eat more often throughout a day, so plan to have nutritious snacks stored in a home.

Freeze Perishable Foods

There are different types of food storage methods available for different situations. One type of emergency is when there is inclement weather that makes going to a grocery store impossible and no one is able to deliver food to a home. This type of situation could include a heavy snowstorm that does not interrupt power in a home, making it possible to consume food kept in a refrigerator or freezer. In an emergency, these are the first foods that parents should use before the power does stop as the storm progresses. It is also vital to have foods that cook quickly due to lack of time while dealing with other issues such as carrying in firewood or shoveling snow.

Buy Bulk Foods

Labeling foods kept in freezers and refrigerators with a date helps to avoid allowing items to spoil. In addition, parents should have safe food storage for ingredients such as bags of pasta, dried beans and brown rice. These are excellent staples to buy in bulk to have as emergency supplies for any type of disaster, including lack of refrigeration. With a fireplace or specialized cooking device, it is possible to cook these foods to provide enough energy to stay alive and healthy until help arrives from emergency teams after an earthquake or flood. In addition, canned and jarred foods are also acceptable as emergency supplies for children, when parents make sure the containers do not freeze.

Food for Animals

Caring for beloved family pets during a long-term emergency is also necessary by using appropriate food storage methods to keep items fresh. Canned and dried dog or cat food is acceptable as an emergency supply of food but requires proper treatment to prevent freezing, mold growth or dampness. When an emergency begins in cold weather, use canned foods designed for humans and animals first because the items will freeze if there is no heat in a home. Keep dry food in its sealed bag, but place the bag inside a large plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Plastic containers for long-term emergency food storage are preferable because the material will not rust and corrode in wet conditions.

Plan in Advance

While there is nothing wrong with buying ready-made emergency food supplies for use in a home during an emergency, it is often easier to customize what a family needs by shopping at local grocery stores. Having an assortment of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods is especially helpful when a family needs to walk to a safety zone after a disaster rather than drive a vehicle. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are a temporary solution for only a few days but are lightweight and easy to carry. Instead of waiting until a disaster is imminent to gather emergency food supplies, plan months in advance.