Adequate Nutrition during an Emergency

Miriam Blackham Een, Nevada, USA

If you have a three-day emergency supplies kit, does it contain nutrient-dense foods? During perilous times, your body would especially need adequate nutrition. As a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, I have developed a simple, healthy emergency meal plan for our family. The items should be rotated regularly for best results.

My minimum calorie goal for the three daily meals is 1,200 to 1,500, with 60 to 72 grams of protein and approximately 40 grams of fat, a combination that enhances satiety. The ingredients for each meal plan are simple:

Meal replacements and supplements. Include shelf-stable protein drinks, instant powdered breakfast drinks, powdered milk, and energy bars. You may want to use more than one type. Each should provide 250 calories or more. Look carefully at the labels; snack or cereal bars are not as high in calories and protein.

Dried fruit. Raisins and other dried fruits are good.

Peanut butter. This is a great shelf-stable source of protein. If you have peanut allergies, you could substitute it with another nut butter or small bag of nuts. Or find other shelf-stable protein foods.

Crackers. Include soda crackers or other crackers, preferably whole grain. You could also include granola if you won’t be using peanut butter to spread on crackers.

Drinking water. Ideally you should have about two quarts or almost two liters of water for each person to consume each day. Store what you can comfortably carry in your emergency bag, and add a portable water purifier so you can use available water sources.

Utensils. Include one cup with a lid (to be used as a shaker for mixing powdered meal replacements) and a butter knife.

A sample meal plan for one person for three days would include nine meal replacements plus 1½ cups or a 12-ounce bag of dried fruit, peanut butter to provide at least six two-tablespoon servings, and about 40 saltine crackers or another cracker equivalent.

Calculate the food amounts needed for your family and round to the nearest convenient product size that is commercially available, taking care not to round down too much.

These emergency kits are easy to assemble with readily available items. The meal replacements are nutrient dense and fortified with vitamins and minerals so you can reach or approach nutritional adequacy and meet special dietary needs. They don’t need to be heated, and you can easily store everything in a moderate-size duffle bag or backpack. Best of all is the peace of mind in knowing you’ve prepared for your nutritional needs should an emergency evacuation ever occur.

Pillow Packets

Judy M. DalPonte, Utah, USA

Pillow packets have helped me emphasize the love I have for my grandchildren when they come to visit. I have made the packets using legal-size paper envelopes fastened to the pillows on their guest beds. Inside, I tucked small messages and gifts that conveyed my love for them individually. Soon I discovered that sharing carefully chosen quotes from conference was a perfect addition to the packets. Not only do these mini-messages uplift my grandchildren, but they also bless me when I review each conference talk with them in mind. For me, the Church leaders’ words of encouragement for our youth, in particular, give me greater hope for our world and future.

Come to My Baptism

Peter and Susan Vousden, England

Is your child getting baptized? Family and friends in the Church will likely come to witness the special occasion. Why not invite nonmember friends as well?

Our four children each invited nonmember friends and their parents, as well as school teachers and other important people in their lives, to their baptisms. In all, we extended 50 invitations, handwritten with directions to the meetinghouse.

Nobody seemed to be offended by our invitation. In fact, we saw many positive results. Our son’s school teacher accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon, and another family agreed to join us for a family home evening. Two mothers commented on how touched they were by the baptismal service, and several children asked their parents about going to church. One little girl, after seeing our daughter’s baptism, said she’d like to do the same. And another mother defended the Church in a conversation with a teacher at the local high school.

To our knowledge, none of our nonmember baptism guests have chosen to join the Church. But we know they appreciate our friendship and our desire to share a beautiful, spiritual experience with them.

Where Do We Keep the … ?

Angela Smith, Maryland, USA

After having an almost-empty house for a few years, my parents welcomed the return of their children who had completed missions or college semesters. During the first busy days with a full house again, my mother spent a lot of time answering the question: “Where do you keep the … ?” Extra toiletries, cleaning supplies, and the like all seemed to be in new places since we’d lived at home.

Finally, my mother decided to answer everyone at once—with a tour of our home. At family home evening, she showed my brothers and sisters where she kept things in the closets, storage areas, and the garage. To make sure everyone had paid attention, she ended the tour with a written quiz—and some prizes! Now it was her turn to ask, “Where are the flashlights?” “Where do we keep the laundry supplies and towels?” The quiz was thorough, and everyone had fun reacquainting themselves with Mom’s housekeeping routine.

With my own young family, we have modified this activity as a scavenger hunt. Our small children love trying to remember where we keep things, especially infrequently used items. I feel safer knowing that they can find important items such as our phone lists and emergency kits. We take care to store medications and other potentially harmful supplies safely out of their reach. But we do encourage our children to achieve as much independence at home as they can. And for them, this is a fun game.

Left: illustration by Joe Flores; right: illustration by Beth Whittaker