Kids: I have 2 of them. Ages 3.5 years and 7 months. Some of you have older kids, more kids, younger kids etc. When you pick food to include for them you need to keep their likes/dislikes in mind. As we all know, hungry kids = ultimate moodiness, no matter what the age. If you’re going to short your emergency packs on food, make sure your kids are at least taken care of, if not, that will just add even more stress.
Babies: Right now my 7 month old’s diet consists of baby food solids and formula.
Food for Baby: Her favorite meal is oatmeal cereal with applesauce. But I didn’t include this meal in her pack. Why? Because it requires too much – water, formula, applesauce, and a bowl to mix it all in. It’s too complicated for one meal. Instead I’ve included enough prepackaged solids for her for 3 days, and some small cans of formula.
Drink for Baby: Since my little one is completely on formula, I have to think about bringing extra water to mix with her formula, and bottles for her to drink it from.
If you’re nursing, you’re going to have to plan extra calories for you to consume to keep your milk production up, and anything else you need for nursing (covers lanolin, nursing pads etc).
If you’re nursing and supplementing, you’ll need to plan for both. I’ve supplemented from the start with both children, so a few months ago, I would have had to plan for both before I weaned my daughter. During your baby’s first year, you’ll have to update their pack every 3-4 months to keep up with dietary changes such as these.
Toddlers: My toddler will eat just about anything (lucky, I know). If you have kids that are extremely picky or young, you’ll save your sanity by packing a few of their favorite items. Example – Even though my toddler will eat anything, I’ve included a few fun treats (suckers, packaged candy etc.), which will serve as a great distraction if we find ourselves in a disaster and relying solely on what is in our packs.
Children/Teenagers: Although my oldest is 3, I do remember being a kid/preteen/teenager. As soon as your kids are old enough to understand and grasp (on some level at least) that you’re in an emergency, and your family is going to have to pinch-hit for a few days, food issues won’t be as bad as with the little ones. I do recommend for this age group the same as I did for the toddlers – include some non-perishable treats. Even the older kids will appreciate it.
Pets: We are a no pet household. But I did grow up with dogs. They need stuff too! Consider making a pack for your pets that includes first and foremost – food and water based on their current daily consumption.