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!

How to Prepare for a Quarantine with Food

Food Preparedness

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

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!)
    • Pasta
    • Oats
    • Rice
    • Nuts
    • Honey
    • Beef jerky
    • Coffee/Tea
    • Dark Chocolate (seriously!)
  3. 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!
  4. 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.) 
  5. 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.

Chicken Taco Soup

7-Can Chicken Taco Soup

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. 

Meatballs

 

Meatballs

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

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!

Pork Chop Casserole

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!

Hamburger Casserole

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.

The BEST Chili Recipe! Grandma knew how to make everything taste better!

Homemade Chili

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)
  • Flashlight
  • 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!

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Reader Comments

  1. Although I don’t consider myself a prepper, a few years ago we did start making some food storage plans. Our concern was to provide a few weeks meals in case of some unforseen financial issue or if the nuclear plant about 150 miles from here had issues and we had to bug out. We have one of those tubs of freeze dried meals that is supposed to last for 20 years if unopened and is for 2-4 people for 2-4 weeks. We also have a few storage stubs of vacuum packed beans, rice and some canned goods. We also have a small freezer with meats (hubby is a bargain buyer and we never anticipated this current issue with the virus). So we are prepared for ourselves and even our daughter’s family for about 2-4 weeks. However we never anticipated the shortage of toilet paper (also a bit harder to find long term storage if living in small quarters as we do). Thank you for your tips and I am headed over to your blog to subscribe. Thanks for being so cheerful and for giving us such vital information.

  2. Thank you Amanda for your wonderful tips on Preparedness for this Pandemic. You have given me quite a bit of advice of making dishes ahead etc.

    Thanks again
    Carla

  3. Great list! Thank you! We also live in MN (northern) and homeschool 4 boys… so I usually have a decent stock of ingredients but it’s nice to have a good list from an expert like you. 🙂 Thanks!! You have fantastic recipes.

    1. Howdy neighbor!! Homeschooling 4 boys is no easy task, I have no doubt you are well prepared and will thrive! <3

  4. Thanks so much for the recommend items for a quarantine. I didn’t think of some of the items you had on your list so I appreciate you sharing it.

  5. I make it a regular habit to always have “freezer meals” prepared. When I’m having a painful day, I can grab a casserole, chili or pasta sauce in a minute. Make two meals, freeze one.

    1. Gracias por estas deliciosas recetas y los consejos para pasar la cuarentena de mejor manera. Saludos desde Lima, Perú.

  6. Hi Amanda, I’m a senior and was undecided about what to stock up on. I have written down all that you suggested. I want to say thank you. Sometimes it hard for me to decide what is best, I did look over some of the meals you have suggested ,I want to thank you for that too.
    P.S. I have quite a few of your recipes that I printed out,

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