Food at war
On February 24, 2022, millions of Ukrainians had to face the realities of wartime. As soon as the first rockets flew towards Ukraine, mass panic began: endless lines at ATMs, at gas stations, in pharmacies, and, of course, in supermarkets.
Let's dwell on the latter in more detail. What do you need to know when purchasing provisions in wartime? What foods should be stocked at home and in the bomb shelter? What if there are small children in the family? Read the article from Costless.
Councils of the Public Health Center of Ukraine
At the first convenient opportunity, when the situation in the region is relatively stable, try to prepare a minimum supply of necessary products for 3-5 days for the whole family. Remember, that:
- products must have a long shelf life, at least 6 months (it is optimal to buy something that can be stored for a long time without a refrigerator: canned food, cereals, dried fruits, nuts);
- you need to take into account the nutritional characteristics of each family member (allergies, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes mellitus, and other possible ailments that cannot be ignored when compiling a diet).
Checklist for essential items in case of a long stay at home or in a shelter
If there are prerequisites that you will not be able to go to the store for several days, or that stores will be closed for some time, we advise you to stock up:
- drinking water (at the rate of about 2 liters per day for one adult);
- ready-to-eat canned meat or fish (they can be stored without a refrigerator for several years);
- canned vegetables, fruits, or berries (canned legumes, peas, corn, lentils are well saturated);
- bars (any options are suitable: protein, cereal, chocolate; this is a good option for quick saturation);
- corn flakes;
- bread rolls (their main advantage compared to bread with a long shelf life);
- dried fruits and/or dried berries;
- cookies or halvah (these products are also very nutritious and have a long shelf life);
- baby formulas and jars with various baby food (more on this later).
All of these products do not require heat treatment and are ready to eat. You can prepare them and take them to the bomb shelter at any time. This list of products is also suitable for those who are going to evacuate and do not know how many days they will have to spend on the road.
If you are in a relatively safe region and are just afraid of interruptions in the supply of products, it will not be out of place to stock up:
- cereals (buckwheat, wheat, rice, bulgur);
- salt and sugar;
- soups, mashed potatoes, and instant vermicelli;
- dried mushrooms;
- pasteurized milk;
- meat and sausage products in vacuum packages (vacuum allows you to store products much longer).
But remember that in wartime, even in safe regions, power outages are possible, so you should not stock refrigerators with perishable food. Products that need to be stored at low temperatures (sausage, yogurt, butter, and so on) in the absence of a power supply can deteriorate and harm a person. Therefore, it is better to temporarily abandon them or buy them in a minimal amount.
And do not forget about pets: there must be a weekly supply of dry food for furry friends.
A daily diet with enough calories
Consider a sample menu that will allow you to save energy and not stay hungry:
- 10 rye bread (about 500 kcal);
- canned meat 300 gr. (about 800 kcal);
- sweets 100 gr. (about 500 kcal);
- water, at least 2 liters.
The nutritional value of such a diet is 1800 kcal.
Nutrition advise for children
If there are children in the family, make sure that you always have supplies:
- powdered breast milk substitutes, milk formula (this is true for breastfed babies);
- instant cereal products (baby cereals are suitable, which are enough to pour boiling water over);
- instant mashed potatoes;
- canned purees from fruits, vegetables, and meat products;
- cookies with a neutral flavor (instead of bread);
- products saturated with carbohydrates (condensed milk, marmalade without preservatives);
- portioned hermetically sealed water (if there is no bottled water, boiled water will do).
More about bread
Why is buying a lot of bread in wartime a bad idea? Because bakery products are perishable. This is not the best option if you need to stock up on food for a week or more. Replace bread with crackers or crispbread. Or keep a minimum supply of food at home so that you can make bread yourself.
For this you will need:
- flour (3 cups);
- water (1 glass);
- vegetable oil (8 tablespoons);
- sugar (1 tablespoon);
- salt (1 tsp);
- dry yeast (1 tsp).
This amount of products is enough for two large loaves. Of course, this option is suitable where there are no hostilities and it is possible to use the oven or electrical appliances.
Food safety is still relevant
Wartime is definitely not the period when you don’t care about your health. In which case, calling a doctor will be very problematic. Therefore, try to protect yourself and:
- store food in airtight containers or zip bags, especially if you hide them in a cellar, basement, or bomb shelter (this will keep food fresh longer and prevent it from chapping);
- do not ignore product expiration dates;
- do not use canned food from cans that are swollen or rusty.
Tips for those who have a long road ahead
Now many are leaving the country or moving towards less dangerous regions (mainly Western Ukraine). In wartime conditions, such a road can take 2-3 times more time than usual. And we are not talking about comfort. On the road, the best food option is:
- crackers and bread;
- dried fruits;
It is important that such products take up a minimum of space and do not deteriorate even at high temperatures. And don't forget the water. Most likely, you won't be able to buy it along the way.
From my own experience: on the highway from the Dnieper to Lviv, working gas stations began to come across only after Vinnytsia (and we drove almost a day to Vinnytsia). Most likely, the trains go faster, but given the situation, it is unlikely that there will be an opportunity to buy even a bottle of water at the station. Be sure to take this into account when you travel.
Important things besides food
In the conditions of martial law, in addition to products, we advise you to take care of the availability of:
- matches and candles;
- alcohol (this is a good antiseptic);
- necessary medicines (antipyretic, analgesic, antibiotics, iodine, drugs for intoxication, sedatives, dressings, adhesive plaster, as well as specific medicines depending on existing diseases);
- toilet paper;
- personal hygiene items;
- wet sanitary napkins;
- flashlight and spare batteries;
- power bank for charging the phone in case of power supply problems;
- cash (Internet banking may fail, so take some cash).
And further. When you go to a bomb shelter, always take your documents with you. And if you have a child with you, put a piece of paper with the name, surname, and phone numbers of the parents in his pocket. If a baby gets lost in the crowd, thanks to this little thing, you can quickly find it.
In regions where there are no active hostilities, uninterrupted supplies of products continue. Delivery delays may be due to traffic congestion. But in general, the situation is under control. “A moratorium has been introduced on raising retail prices. Food prices are firmly held at pre-war levels. We are constantly working in this direction with suppliers and manufacturers," the administration of the ATB stores said.
Even under the threat of missile strikes, despite the lack of some raw materials and disruptions in logistics, Ukrainian enterprises continue to work. This applies to mills, bakeries, milk processing enterprises, and meat factories. Therefore, Ukrainians are provided with sufficient provisions. And our advice is more likely to wait out the acute period of danger at home or in a bomb shelter with maximum comfort, as far as possible. In any case, we believe that the victory will be ours, and we will resume entertainment content very soon. In the meantime, the whole country lives in the realities of wartime, the editors of https://costless.com.ua/ will try to help you with useful and relevant advice.