Global pandemics? Very, very bad. Having enough food for your family just in case? Very, very good! As a homesteader, being prepared is something we take very seriously and I am sharing how our family of seven is prepared. This is a quick list of Food Preparedness and how you can be prepared too!
With all the talk of quarantines right now, are you prepared if your community is put under a quarantine order? Yes, it is a disturbing thought, but after the entire country of Italy has been shut down, it is very possible that that could happen in other countries, including where you are. Many individuals have been asked to self-quarantine. What does that mean, exactly?
What does it mean to be put into Quarantine?
Quarantine has a few definitions. But, all the definitions come back to the main theme–isolating yourselves from others. Well, we know that closing yourself off from the world is next to impossible. But, if guards are making sure you stay at home, your best option is to stay at home. Yes, that seems a bit extreme, but it may happen.
Psychologically, the Coronavirus is mentally draining to a lot of people. The best thing to do is to be prepared.
So, making sure your family is fed, and fed well!, is a great way to not only feel prepared but to make sure you can take every precaution to feel safe.
Food Preparedness–Getting Started
It’s tough to know just where to begin when it comes to this food preparedness and possible quarantine from the Coronavirus that has world-wide attention and huge effects on not only our health but social and economic effects as well. I found a very helpful article about preparing for a possible quarantine on the Business Insider website.
I will do my best to give you the main points to get you started on this unchartered territory (at least for many of us). It is recommended to have at least two weeks of food on hand, but I feel more comfortable with a 30-day supply.
- Clear out any old food you may have stored. Getting rid of expired food leaves room for stocking up on the essentials you need for upcoming meals.
- Create a basic list of items you could stock up on with a long shelf life. Some ideas are:
- Canned fish, meats
- Beans (but only get them if you will eat them! no sense on stocking up on things no one likes!)
- Beef jerky
- Dark Chocolate (seriously!)
- Before the quarantine is set in place, get as many ingredients as you can to make meals that are easily frozen to have a variety of meals on hand. I will give you a few meal suggestions below!
- Drink up! Drink water, that is. 😉 Make sure you have plenty of fresh water on hand and don’t forget about your pets! A good rule of thumb is to have a gallon of clean water on hand for each person and pet in your household. (As some who as prepped I know I don’t NEED that much, but it’s good to have on hand.)
- When possible, eat healthily! Making sure you are keeping your immune system optimum is a great way to not only survive quarantine but thrive in it! I have a great list of 11 Foods that naturally fight flu-like illness. Stock up on those fresh ingredients too! Essential Flu Fighting Foods
Food Preparedness–Making Frozen Meals
While the grocery stores are still well-stocked and you are still able to access ingredients, get what you need for some meals you can make to freeze. Soups, chilis, pasta sauce, and meatballs are just a few ideas for foods to have frozen and ready to eat when needed. Yes, canned foods come in handy, but having some homemade dishes keep things more nutritious with fewer additives.
Here are a few recipes that freeze well! Just click on the title to get the full recipe, and don’t forget to label, date, and write an instruction reminder on how to bake it.
This is a fantastic recipe to have on hand because it uses all canned food! It comes together fast and tastes amazing. I often use rotisserie chicken in this recipe but you can definitely use the canned chicken it calls for. Probably my #1 recommended dish if there is a quarantine- or it’s a Tuesday! 😉 This one comes together SO fast that I don’t recommend freezing, just make as needed.
Using the standard ground beef and ground pork mixture, this Meatball Recipe will be your go-to recipe whenever you need meatballs. With all the ways you can cook these meatballs, it’s fun to find your favorite way and serve them as is or pair with your favorite sauce. I have linked this traditional meatball recipe to a variety of flavors of meatballs, including chicken meatballs, that all freeze well!
Three Cheese Stuffed Shells are jumbo shells loaded with cheese and topped with a hearty meat sauce that will sure to be a recipe on repeat. Plus, like my meatballs recipes, there are quite a few variations to this recipe that you could try. And, of course, they freeze well!
The name for this dish should be Crispy Cheesy Pork Chop Potato Casserole because it has glorious amounts of all of those ingredients and some serious texture! Cheese throughout and on top, fried onions, pork chops, hashbrowns, and the perfect amount of seasoning! And yes, this is also freezer-friendly!
The ultimate comfort food! Hamburger Casserole is what home cooking is all about. Here in the midwest, I call it Hamburger Hotdish, but no one knows what I am talking about so casserole it is.
Chili definitely made this list of meals to make ahead of time and freeze. It is the ultimate comfort food, and it is usually made in large batches. There are many variations to this recipe to give it a new flavor each time you taste it, so it will not get boring!
As a reminder, you may want to consider labeling your food just so you know what is freshest. Grab a Sharpie and write the date on the top of each can as you put it away. Do the same for any boxed dry foods that you use on a regular basis. When you cook your daily meals, just use the oldest date first. Then your “storage” food will always stay fresh. A 30-day supply of food can be yours with just a little planning.
Other Essentials for Being Prepared
Besides food, a few other essential items to make sure you have on hand would be:
- First-aid kit
- Medications (both prescription and non-prescription)
- Hygiene products
Hopefully, this information will get you on your way to prepare for an emergency or quarantine. It’s less daunting than you may have thought, and I hope this will help you feel a little more control in this crazy and unpredictable world. Virtual high five to all of you! (Since we can’t touch hands, anyway😉)
Don’t miss my post on Activities for Kids should you experience a quarantine!