To start my 2011 off right, I need not to be dragging the emergency food storage planning forward with me. ☺
So, I present to you my draft 6-day plans for
- men (2,500 calories)
- women (2,000 calories)
- and a few ideas for meal planning for very young children (1,000 – 1,400 calories).
Children, of course, are the wild card. They can rarely be made to eat anything they don’t want to….even in an emergency. The best bet for small children is to make sure you are storing at least one food they reliably eat (for example, Cheerios or noodles or tuna fish).
There is still more to do on this food plan. I am going to make our family actually eat each of these meals to see if we like them and/or if there is enough flavor/calories in this meal plan. I also have to figure out how much to store if we do decide we like these things. But I am going to take a break from it for a bit. You will hear back from me again on this in a little while.
One thing that has been very interesting to discover through this process is that counting calories and nutrition is far too complicated. This is an area of life crying out for a quick and easy technology solution. With so many people concerned with their weight and health, why should it take hours to calculate what you have eaten in a day–whether you have eaten too many calories, too much salt, sugar, or fat or what changes you need to make to improve your diet?
In the ideal world, it would be great to require that all food products have a bar code that could be quickly scanned with an iPhone or a 10 digit code you could type into a website. Over the course of a day, you just scan as you eat (veggies from the fridge, fast food or restaurant food, canned goods, etc.) and at the end of the day, you get a report on what you ate and perhaps where you could do better to achieve your health goals. It would be quick, personalized information–not judgmental, just informational.
Until that day arrives, we have manual tracking, standardized dieting food products like Weight Watchers or frozen foods, and a few websites with databases of various foods. Every food manufacturer reports their nutrition information in a slightly different way and the consumer is left to do their best to make sense of all of it. It is hardly surprising that so often we just give up, eat what we want and hope we are doing OK.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve your eating habits, you might consider looking at the foods you eat the most often and research whether there are healthier alternatives. You may be surprised to learn how a small change in your ingredients (switching to a whole wheat flour, or a high fiber breakfast cereal, etc.) could make a big difference.
Happy New Year to everyone! May 2011 bring us all a bit of good economic news, great health, excellent organization and much happiness!