While most adults plan to stoically “do what needs to be done” in the face of a crisis, most experts agree that familiar survival food is a great comfort in times of stress, especially for kids.
Three ways to better prepare for post-disaster dining are to integrate your emergency food supply into your regular meal rotation, adapt favorite recipes to storage ingredients, and never underestimate the power of funny names and tasty treats. Here are five sample menus to get you started:
Kids love macaroni and cheese. You can prepare their favorite boxed mix with rehydrated milk and butter, or try the “just-add-water” freeze dried version.
Serve with tasty salmon patties. For each 6 oz can of skinless, boneless salmon add 1 egg, 1 tsp dried onion, and 1/3 c. bread or cracker crumbs. Fry until golden brown. (Each can makes 2-3 patties.)
For dessert, serve a simple fruit salad made with fresh, canned or rehydrated oranges, pineapple, banana and miniature marshmallows.
Grease a 13×9 cake pan. Pour in a box of rotini pasta, 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, 1 jar of water, 1/2 c. of sausage crumbles (fresh or freeze dried), 1 small package pepperoni. Stir together, cover and bake at 350 until pasta is tender. Top with mozzarella cheese (fresh or rehydrated.)
Serve with corn and your favorite fruit jello.
Mystery Meat Sandwiches and Soup
Mix together 1 6 oz. can tuna, 1 6 oz. can white meat chicken, 1 6 oz. can ham, 1 boiled egg (optional), 1/4 c. onion (fresh or dried), 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip to taste. Serve on bread or crackers.
Serve with potato soup (fresh, canned, or dehydrated.) For dessert, top simple graham crackers with canned frosting and a few festive sprinkles.
Cook 1 bag of noodles in water with 5 beef bouillon cubes. Do not drain. When noodles are tender, add a can of beef in gravy (or rehydrated beef chunks). If desired, thicken with a few instant mashed potatoes.
Serve with green beans and instant pudding in your family’s favorite flavor.
Brown 1 lb. ground beef with 1 packet of taco seasoning (or use freeze dried taco meat). In a large pan, cook 1 box ziti. Drain. Mix in taco meat, 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce (or tomato powder and water.) Add chili powder to taste. Top with cheddar cheese (fresh or rehydrated.)
Serve with refried beans (fresh, canned, or freeze dried) and peach dumplings.
To make peach dumplings, grease an 8×8 cake pan. Pour in 1 can sliced peaches in syrup. Mix 1 packet of Bisquick as directed on packet and drop by spoonful’s on top of peaches. Bake at 400 until dough is set. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that usually writes about home and family issues. She is a mother of one and spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her family.