Emergency Nutrition Essentials To Keep Your Kids Energized and Hydrated

Emergency Nutrition Essentials To Keep Your Kids Energized and Hydrated
When it comes to being prepared in the event of a natural disaster, one of the most basic recommendations you’ll come across is to have nonperishable food items on hand. Whether you’re using guidelines from FEMA, the Red Cross, or Ready.gov, all three agencies indicate that best practice is to anticipate up to three days — 72 hours — of disruption to public services such as natural gas, water, and electricity.

But here’s the thing: 72 hours’ worth of nonperishables is heavy. Especially when you’re only four feet tall and weigh fifty pounds. And so the approach needs to be a little different when it comes to children, especially considering they should not ration and need a greater variety of options so they’ll actually eat (turns out kids are still picky, even in an emergency).

Taking all this into consideration, when we began working on the emergency nutrition supplies for the LadyBugOut bag, we decided to pivot to 24 hours’ worth of sustenance for their bags, as opposed to the standard 72. Because ideally, children should be able to carry their own emergency bags. So this means it’s important parents and caretakers keep extra food items in their bags, in the car, and at home to ensure adequate nourishment is as readily available as possible.

How we selected the food items in your bag

The most important considerations for the LadyBugOut nutrition supplies were nutrient density, flavor, sustainability, and appeal for children's consumption. At the guidance of our dietitian, the priority was to ensure children meet their energy and hydration needs for a full day, but we also wanted to provide variety in both texture and flavor so that the food would be as appealing and palatable as possible. We have to remember that food provides not only sustenance but comfort as well.

What to keep in mind if you replace or restock food items

After reviewing the items provided in your child’s emergency bag, do replace items as you see fit for your child. After all, you know better than anyone else what they like to eat. However, if you do replace items, pay close attention to calories and basic nutrient breakdown. For example, jerky should be replaced with another high-protein item. If you replace a cookie or brownie, find another carbohydrate-dense food item.

It may also be prudent to try and pick items that are school friendly and do not contain nuts. Since kids are often in close contact with each other, it can be dangerous for some children to be exposed to airborne allergens. The products selected for your LadyBugOut emergency bag are school friendly and free of most common allergens.

Nutrition Guideline Reference

Water needs: A minimum of 1.5L (1500ml) per day

Nutrition needs based on dietary reference intake:
Ages 4-8: Recommend 1,200-1,600 kcal/calories per day
Ages 8-12: Recommended 1,600-1,800 kcal/calories per day

* Since our bags are not grouped by age, we used caloric standards based on upper recommendations of 1,800 calories per day