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Kosher Emergency Rations for Kids

My daughter's teacher asked me to help her come up with some ideas for re-stocking the emergency rations at her preschool. I don't know what it is like elsewhere, but in California each preschool is required to keep 72 hours of food and water on site for each child in case of earthquake/lockdown/emergency. It is suggested to have sources of protein, grains, and fruits/vegetables that are appealing to kids and do not require heating. The standard emergency super-food bars are not recommended because most kids will not eat them. The teacher previously stocked tuna, peanut butter, canned fruit and crackers. Does anyone have any other ideas for foods chas v'shalom we should ever need them? The self-heating MRE meals are probably too expensive. Canned are best. Shelf-stable, healthy, appealing for 2-5 year olds, inexpensive ...

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  1. crackers, cereal/breakfast bars, pretzels, raisins, craisins, milk (that comes in juice boxes and does not need a fridge), canned chick peas, water, rice cakes..i am just thinking of items we typically give kids in school for snack that are not perishable.

    1 Reply
    1. This is a question! And you should should think of it yourself. What would I give my family if I had only my own emergency rations?
      What would I do? A realistic discussion. What would you advise if you were away from home (but make sure at home you could have emergency rations) with your family? What would hope to see a shelter had?
      What are my emergency foods at home? How long would it last if I had no power, no ability to cook anything?
      If my home was evacuated ; what could I bring to the shelter we were moved into?

      A fantastic question!

          1. re: vallevin

            No spoon necessary so it's easy to eat. Also, the squeeze top is hard to spill, where a cup of applesauce can easily tip over especially with little kids.

            A few other ideas- packets of melba toast, single serve portions of peanut/almond butter, nutella. Canned green beans- every kid I know loves them.

            1. re: cheesecake17

              Please do not include penut butter or other penut products. Many children have violent allergic reactions to these products and may not be aware of it.

              1. re: twinsmama

                Not all schools prohibit peanut butter- that's why I mentioned peanut and almond butter.

                1. re: twinsmama

                  Sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds (and oooh, so tasty)

                  Beans...rice....(yes, kids will eat beans) The rice that comes in the pouches, as it can be zapped in the micro or eaten at room temp in a pinch, as it's already cooked.

                  canned chicken, canned corned beef.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Who makes kosher canned chicken or canned corned beef?

                    1. re: The Cameraman

                      I've seen both on the shelf in France in "regular" groceries...it can't be that hard to find in the States.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        I've been trying to find either kosher canned meat or canned chicken forever, and failed. And I live near multiple large kosher grocery stores. Anyone have any leads?

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Yes. It is "that hard to find in the States. They don't distribute it here. I get envious every time I'm in a European kosher grocery. I don't live in an earthquake zone, but it would be handy for a lot of people who live or spend a lot of time far from a kosher grocery.

              2. re: koshergourmetmart

                What is the shelf life on the applesauce pouches?

                1. re: mamaleh

                  i think it is a while since it is sealed-once it is opened then it needs to be refrigerated. I would also do milk boxes like the kind Horizon organics sells-I've seen regular 2%, chocolate and vanilla.

              3. I recommend protein bars. Shelf stable, light, very small and easily stored, cheap, and nutritious. It's also enough like a candy bar that it seems like a treat to a toddler, and is therefore a morale booster- important in an emergency situation. Supplement with canned tuna and canned veggies. Canned Israeli pickles are, in particular, really great (tasty, to keep meals from becoming to monotonous, very cheap, lasts forever).

                I haven't been able to find a brand of Cholov Yisroel or pareve protein bars, though so YMMV and AYLOR. Target and Walmart regularly have sales on protein bars and Costco sells them in bulk. Hope this helps.

                6 Replies
                1. re: The Cameraman

                  Skip the pickles. Feeding them salt in high volumes is like giving the wee bairns a diuretic. In a serious earthquake - the kind that strands entire nursery schools for three days - plumbing lines rupture.

                  1. re: AdinaA

                    Really? Good to know. Especially since most of the canned goods I have lying around are high in sodium.

                    1. re: The Cameraman

                      Yeah, I know. Most processed foods are high salt. Even granola bars. I don't eat them much, but If I was stocking for an emergency I would look hard for low salt or salt free ones. Almost no canned veggies are salt-free, just corn and some tomatoes. And if the green beans were salt-free kids wouldn't like them. You have to eat something, and in an emergency you may not be able to cook, let alone cook while tending dozens of frightened tykes. But pickles are super-high in salt and almost void of nutritional value.

                      In their favor, they are delicious. Just not appropriate emergency rations.

                      Did anyone suggest nuts? Plain or sugar coated. Dried fruit (apples, not prunes, apricots or figs.) And chocolate bars. Long shelf life, lots of calories. Small volume. They were standard rations for GI's in WWII. Remember, we're talking keeping kids quiet and fed in emergency conditions. I'm not recommending a diet of nuts, chocolate and dried apples for ordinary use.

                      1. re: AdinaA

                        If we have to move the kids and the provisions outside, chocolate bars in Southern California would be chocolate soup in no time flat. We don't usually serve whole nuts to this age group in a group setting because of potential choking. However, freeze-dried apples and pears are a great idea.

                        1. re: mamaleh

                          lava bars are chocolate bars that are in liquid form. Does not matter temperature outside

                          1. re: mamaleh

                            LOL. It's hot in southern California. Right. Got that.

                  2. Great list, and some good ideas I can recommend to her for everyday snacks. Thank you very much, everyone!

                    1. How did we forget about matzah? Buy machine matzah and double seal it by putting a box in a ziplock bag and squeezing the air out. Should last for about a year.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: The Cameraman

                        Brilliant. The thrifty thing to do is to rotate the supply regularly and let the kids eat it smeared with hummus or peanut butter.

                        1. re: The Cameraman

                          The "original" emergency evacuation food! Perhaps we can ask the kids to help us rotate the food the week before Pesach and turn this into a teaching opportunity.

                          1. re: The Cameraman

                            <forehead slap>. Camerman, that is brilliant.

                          2. Lara Bars are kosher pareve (i think OU) and my kids like them. Their basically date paste with various dried fruits, nuts or chocolate mixed in. But they are healthy and I bet they would last a long time.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: azna29

                              The larabar idea made me think of fruit leathers. I used to eat them all the time as a kid. They come in a ton of flavors and are individually wrapped.

                            2. This thread on Israeli army rations is fascinating: http://www.mreinfo.com/forums/viewtop...

                              Looks like they used to issue bread or matzah, canned tuna (Shoprite brand!) halvah, canned pickles, canned olives, creamed corn, nuts, dried fruit, candy, and Loof, which is canned beef (unavailable here).

                              They are replacing them with the Meal Mart heat and serve meals I've been seeing in the kosher stores lately. A lot of them aren't bad, but of course we can't have items requiring electricity to prepare.

                              1. Don't forget that with earthquakes and other natural (and unnatural) disasters, the power may be off. So anything that requires refrigeration or microwaving is out. Just a thought.

                                1. Here is a source of Kosher MREs that don't seem too expensive. There appears to be a good selection and you can get the heaters for them. I have used La Bruite meals and the Spaghetti isn't bad.
                                  I get the La Bruite at my local kosher butcher here in LA.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: chuck

                                    I like My Own Meals; we have used them for years for travel to places where kosher fare is unavailable. They are more compact that meals with a heating unit, an advantage for packing or storing. I know Mamaeeh doesn't want them for the nursery school, but anyone using this thread for other purposes should try them. They taste good. You can heat them in a hotel sink by running hot water, but I regularly eat them without heating while traveling.