We’ve discussed starting, expanding and what to store in your preparedness pantry, but do you know what is needed per day of each item? The recommended caloric intake for adult women is around 2300 calories a day for high activity, and for men it’s 2900 calories. In the beginning this much may not be needed because we all have some reserves to draw upon, but eventually the reserves will be gone and you’ll need the intake. In a SHTF event you will be active much more than you are now most likely and you will need all of those calories.
So what’s my point? Well, you’ve started your preparedness pantry and are on your way to having it well stocked, so here’s the challenge. Plan a days’ worth of food for each person to get them the required calories with the food you have stored. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is through a free calorie counting App on your phone or a free online calorie counting program. There are some that link so you can do it on both platforms. The first several times I tried this I was amazed at how much food it takes. I was also amazed at how much food I stored that doesn’t have many calories.
While vegetables are needed for a healthy body for example, they offer little in the way of calories. Granola Bars offer lots of calories, but don’t offer the vitamins that are needed. So what I discovered is that to get the calories needed a day and the vitamins needed, takes some planning. Days of protein bars is not a good long term option, just like days of canned vegetables is not either.
What I have found works for me is a meal planner. Use the calorie counting program and develop a meal plan for the day and write it down. Then you have the food for the whole day planned and ready so if needed there is less planning needed. Alternatively you can develop individual meals and write down their calorie count. Then you have some freedom to pick meals as you go to get to the caloric intake needed. The two plans have their pluses and minus. The all-day meal plan definitely takes much of the planning out of it, but what if you don’t have all of the ingredients? The individual meals planned makes you plan more for the caloric intake, but if you have selective ingredients this gives you more flexibility.
Bottom line is that stockpiling food is a necessity, but thinking about how it will be used is also a necessity. If poor planning leaves you with shelves of items that are all vitamins or all calories this doesn’t benefit you or your family. Hopefully you will have fresh incoming vegetables from a garden and possibly fresh meat once in a while depending on where you live, that you can add into the mix as you go.
Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.