Your gluten free emergency food pack

Your gluten free emergency food pack

got_foodWhen I implemented an elimination diet in 2007 removing potentially inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, etc., I took my meals and snacks everywhere with me. For two years, I avoided restaurants and did not eat other people’s food at various gatherings. It was just too risky for me. The first time I had wheat after being off it for one year, I suffered anaphylactic shock and was rushed to emergency. I’ve since been “glutened” and did not respond so drastically so I’m not sure what happened the first time but needless to say, I have to think about every little detail concerning food to prevent potential sickness. It’s the same with Sam. Now that he is in social situations more often such as school, soccer, cub scouts, parties, etc, I have to plan ahead and pack his food and treats.

Planning for meals and snacks can be pretty evident for individuals with a restricted diet but what about planning for natural disasters or unexpected delays? Are you prepared? In 2011, some of my family in Alabama suffered a natural disaster. A tornado came through and tore the town apart (see photos below). It was devastating especially waiting to hear if my family members were okay since all communication was down. The small town, Phil Campbell, is where I lived for five years and had my first two children. Their father still lived there when the tornado struck. It was almost a week before we found out if he was still alive and unharmed. You can view live footage of the tornado below. The church you see towards the end of the video was built by my ex-husband.

 

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2011 tornado in Phil Campbell, Alabama

You can see live footage of the tornado here: Phil Campbell 2011 Tornado

 

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Damage from the 2011 Phil Campbell tornado

Normally in a natural disaster, Red Cross will come in and set up stations with food and drink but I am  guessing that they don’t offer gluten or dairy-free options. Having witnessed (from afar) my family surviving a natural disaster, I began thinking about potential disasters here in California such as earthquakes. I already had an earthquake box with emergency first aid stuff, flashlights, medications, breathing masks (I’ve heard there is usually excessive smoke due to fires) and other essentials but I did not plan for enough gluten-free food options to feed my family for at least several days or even up to a week. It’s important to have staple such as protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and hydration.

In addition to major natural disasters, there are also other smaller, more common situations to consider such as a small emergency pack for times when you’re out and about and can’t make it home in time for a meal. It can be hard to resist fast food when you’re starving. I’ve done it and ended up really sick. Below are some suggestions for “emergency food” packs. I hope you find them helpful.

A Treat Box for School or other social events

We keep this treat box below at school for situations where some type of food is served that Sam can’t eat. I deliberately pack treats he doesn’t have very often so he will feel special even though he can’t enjoy the treat served at school. We also keep a GF, vegan cupcake in the school freezer.

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Sammy’s box of safe gluten, dairy and dye-free snacks. A sample of the contents I might include in the box are featured below.

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Below is the snack box I kept in the car. This allows me to quickly pull out a favorite snack if we are at an event that unexpectedly serves food. I normally work with his coaches and teachers to assure I am notified of food events but sometimes it slips through the cracks. Notice I have Lays brand potato chips in the box. I prefer that Sammy not eat Lay’s chips on a regular basis so this is a real treat for him. It buffers the disappointment of not sharing in the community food.

I also stick a few snacks for me in the box such as a small bag of nuts, GF beef or salmon jerky or a small packet of GF soy sauce (just in case I unexpectedly end up at a Japanese restaurant for sushi).

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My emergency food pack kept in the car. NOTE: There are some nuts and other real foods at the bottom 🙂

I’ve included some great product ideas below that you can include in your emergency food packs.

jerkyThis product above is an awesome new “cured” beef (they request that you not call it “beef jerky”) that has a super clean ingredient list and is quite tasty. It has a three year shelf life which is nice so I don’t have to rotate it in my earthquake box so often. I mark on my calendar when to rotate foods before their expiration date. I do the same with batteries, This cured meat is free of gluten, MSG, nitrates and other preservatives. It is high protein and low sugar. Jonty Jacobs has been kind to offer a giveaway. To have your name entered to win some fabulous cured meat free of gluten and yucky preservatives, leave a comment below on this blog post and then email kim@thrivinggf.com.

153This salmon jerky by Vital Choice is one of my favorites too. It literally tastes like salmon teriyaki.

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Nuts or seeds are a perfect emergency food

sahale snacks gluten free

These GF certified flavored nut snacks by Sahale Snacks are fun. They offer “grab and go” snack size bags.

028Snack bars are super handy. Just watch the ingredient list. They can be packed with sugar and can sometimes contain ingredients such a whey (dairy) and soy. The bars above are some of my favorites. KIND Snacks, TWO MOMS IN THE RAW and HEALTH WARRIOR CHIA BAR

gluten free

Dried fruit can be a great emergency food item

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gluten free

These dried chickpeas can make a nice addition to your food pack and offer protein.

go picnic

Go Picnic ready-to-eat meals/snacks are always a great emergency food option. They are available in many airports now.

Grains of wellness gluten free crackers

Small packs of crackers serve well for travel. This northern California company, Grains of Wellness, offers a short clean ingredient list (see below).

Grains of wellness gluten free crackers

The Grains of Wellness gluten free cracker ingredient list…short and clean.

016These single serving size packets of protein powder are a perfect solution for a quick protein source. You can mix one with a bottle of water for instant protein to stabilize your blood sugar levels. They are the perfect size to keep your purse too.

51UsITjL8ZL._SX300_Several manufacturers of Tamari, gluten free soy sauce, offer these individual size packets. These are great to keep in the car in case you end up at a Japanese restaurant unexpectedly. This is the San-J brand. Other brands include Kikkoman and Little Soya.

Natural Disaster Emergency Food Kit

For a natural disaster food pack, you will obviously need more food volume. The large container of protein may work better than the individual packets. You just either need water or some type of non-dairy milk to mix it with. Below are some of the brands that I recommend.

Plant Fusion protein powder

Plant Fusion brand grain-free protein powder

NutriBiotic protein powder

This protein powder is 100% rice based. It has a very simple ingredient list They also have an organic version

Manitoba Harvest Hemp protein powder

There are several brands of hemp protein powder. It is grain free and a nice clean source of protein.

Canned meats and seafood such as pink salmon, tuna or chicken can be another quick and easy protein option that does not require heating or refrigeration while still sealed. Just be sure to buy sizes that can be consumed by your family in one sitting as you may not have access to refrigeration after the can has been opened. Be sure to pack a can opener.

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Wild Planet Tuna

This particular brand of tuna is in a pouch and does not need a can opener. It is a good quality brand but is also pricy.

Tonnino tuna

This brand of tuna fillets is in a jar. The packing is a little more delicate. It is more likely to break if something falls on the food container but it does not require a can opener.

Crown Prince Sardines

Sardines are another canned seafood option. They are high in calcium and omega 3 fats

precooked rice

These packets of precooked rice and quinoa are extremely handy in situations where you don’t have heat, water or the equipment to prepare rice or quinoa. I have used these for camping too.

precooked rice Grains of Wellness

This is a local company, Grains of Wellness, that offers precooked rice too.

gluten free

These dry soups require only hot water to prepare. Not all the varieties are gluten-free so be sure to read the ingredient list and look for the GF certification symbol.

Lotus Foods rice ramen gluten free

Here is another dry soup option. Lotus Foods rice ramen…just add hot water.

Go Raw sprouted seeds

These large size bags of seeds are perfect for snacking on the road or in an emergency situation. Costco has a super large bag of each.

nut butter

I love these little packets of healthy fat. I put them in my protein shakes while on the road. The packet on the right is coconut oil. These are great for hiking too.

Artisan nut butters

Artisana offers many nut butter varieties in the small individual packs.

apple sauce

Canned fruit and fruit sauce/puree like you see here are also great emergency food options.

Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas

029These instant oatmeal products only need hot water. Add the seed and fruit packet and you have a complete breakfast. You could also cut up an apple or banana to add to the oatmeal.

gluten free oatmeal

New instant GF oatmeal by Canyon Oats

031Granola is another quick breakfast option. I picked these small individual packets up at a gluten-free show. Since granola’s often contain oats, be sure to look for a GF certified product so you can be sure the oats are not cross contaminated. It will not be fun to get sick during an emergency situation.

175These two cereals (above and below) need only room temperature water or non-dairy milk. You may or may not have access to hot water or a way to heat water up so these can be a great emergency food pick. They also do not contain oats for those who have an oat sensitivity.

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holy crap gluten free

The ingredients and preparation instructions of the Holy Crap cereal

088These mini size dairy-free milks are great for traveling or for emergency food packs. In a disaster, you may not have refrigeration available so pick small size food items that can be consumed in one sitting.

085090These individual size coconut waters are great for staying hydrated. They contain essential electrolytes which can be helpful if clean water is in short supply.

One last note, be sure rotate the food in your emergency food supply to avoid spoilage and waste. As I mentioned earlier, I check expiration dates and then mark a reminder on my calendar to rotate the food and batteries.

Being prepared for meals and snacks is key to staying on track with your dietary goals and ultimately staying healthy and well. It’s important, even in an emergency, to take care of yourself and keep your body strong.

Remember to leave a comment so you can be entered into the Jonty Jacobs cured meat giveaway.

Kim Rice

10 Comments

  1. Hi Kim: We met briefly @ the Against All Grain book signing @ Read Bookstore in Blackhawk. What a great article and many resources you’ve listed! I am still new, learning and deciding about this gluten-free journey (okay and somewhat resistant!) as a possible help/solution to my arthritis/chronic pain. I have never heard of anyone having an anaphylactic shock response to gluten. I have a nephew who is allergic to peanuts…so I am somewhat aware of food allergies…but am definitely learning that we all need to know more about what we put in our mouths. Thanks for all you do! ~Tamara

    • Thanks, Tamara! I’m glad you found it helpful. Yes, I probably had an allergic response to wheat. What part of it, I’m not sure. we can have multiple immune reactions to food. I think I am experiencing both an IgE (allergic response) and an IgG reaction to wheat/gluten. Good luck with your journey. For body pain, I also recommend removing night shade vegetables.

    • Hi Tamara
      You are the winner of the Jonty Jacobs. Can you please email your address to me at kim@thrivinggf.com

      Thank you!

  2. It was great seeing you at the expo! I’m so glad you posted some great products for an emergency food bin as I know I need to create one! Jonty Jacobs cured meats sound amazing! No nitrates or preservatives to boot! Thanks Kim!

    • Hi Jessi,
      It was great to see you too. You looked really healthy! A great glow. I’ll enter you into the drawing. Thanks!

  3. Kim, thank you so much for your comprehensive listing, pictures and message. You’ve done so much of the hard work for me already, and I tell you, after getting home and being tired, I need to just take your post and go to shop, you’ll just lead me thru how to make an emergency and travel kit that can sustain me. Many many thanks!

    • You’re welcome! So glad I could be of service. I’ll enter you into the drawing. Thanks, Lorene.

  4. Wow, this post is such a huge help. It’s been bothering me lately that I don’t have an earthquake box at my house and I really need to get in gear and put one together. Finding healthy, non-perishable, g-f items is where I usually stall out. I’m going to go back to this post soon and make a plan with the information you provided. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for sharing this very good post. Very interesting ideas! (as always, btw)

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