While nearly all foods have a shelf life, these are some staples that if kept sealed, last for a very long time and can be helpful in case of an emergency. If there is a disaster you may be trapped in your home or all local supermarkets in your area may be pillaged or closed. As seen with other recent natural disasters, it could be days before assistance is able to "rescue" you. Food preparation is difficult without power and water and you should remember that canned foods are often high in sodium. Check labels for sodium and potassium content and have ready-to-eat foods such as the following on hand.
- Dry Milk - Powdered milk should be a mainstay food aid supply. The dried milk may not be very appealing, but it pretty much lasts forever and is useful for cereals when food is limited. It is also easy to tell if the product has gone bad. If your powdered milk turns yellow, it's time to toss it.
- Distilled Water - Keep distilled water for mixing milk or juice. Mix small amounts of only four ounces at a time.
- Box/Pouch Cranberry Juice - This type of juice is beneficial to CKD patients because it has a lot of vitamin C and other anti-oxidant properties that fight against heart disease and stroke.
- Honey - Though it doesn't pack the same nutritional value (in terms of vitamins and minerals) as other foods, honey can add extra flavor to food, provide simple sugars, and can also be used to treat wounds and burns.
Mints - To limit intake of fluid to two cups or 16 ounces per day. Suck on mints because they will help contend with your thirst.
- Low Sodium Tuna and Low Sodium Chicken - These canned foods can serve as a great source of nutrition when left without the ability to cook fresh foods. Open a new can of the chicken and tuna daily to avoid tainting. Wrap food scraps securely for disposal to reduce odor.
- Mayonnaise Packets - Keep several sealed single packets of mayonnaise so that you can add them to tuna and chicken spread to enhance taste and texture.
- Unsalted Crackers - Unsalted crackers have an extended shelf life and can be used to scoop or spread chicken or tuna for sustenance. Honey can also be drizzled over crackers for a sweet treat.
- Graham Crackers - Can serve as a late night snack or morning breakfast with skim milk or water.
In the case of a disaster a typical meal plan may look something like the following:
½ cup milk prepared from dry milk and ½ cup distilled water,
1 single serving of cereal (½–¾ cup) or three graham crackers
¼ cup low-sodium tuna (open new can daily)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (use single packet)
½ cup distilled water
½ cup (2 oz.) low-sodium chicken (open new can daily)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (use single packet)
½ cup cranberry juice (from box or pouch)
3 graham crackers, Honey crackers or 10 mints
Recommended Reading: Common Foods That Combat Major Ailments Common Among Chronic Kidney Disease Patients
Note that disposable plates and utensils also should be kept on hand and thrown away after use to avoid germs. When selecting emergency foods, you must consider your dietary restrictions. That is why KidneyBuzz.com suggests that you prepare now by working with your Dietitian to put a food plan in place because some emergency situations may make it impossible to access food required for a renal diet.
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"Planning for Emergencies: A Guide for People With Chronic Kidney Disease." The National Kidney Foundation.
"10 Foods That Will Last Forever In The Post-Apocalyptic World." Business Insider.