In the wake of a disaster, food security, lack of food and malnutrition are usually the biggest concerns as it relates to food and nutrition.
It is very important to maintain good nutrition right after a disaster. The following tips will help.
- Eat at least one well-balanced meal each day.
- Drink enough liquid to enable your body to function well. Adequate liquid prevents dehydration.
- Keep your energy levels up by eating foods that will provide sufficient calories to enable you to do any necessary work. High energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, condensed milk, crackers or granola bars are great options.
- When shopping in preparation for a natural disaster, take the time to read food labels on packages, bottles and cans. This way, you can maintain healthy eating habits.
- Have vitamin, mineral and protein supplements readily accessible in the event that available foods do not provide adequate nutrition.
- Avoid salty foods because they will make you thirsty at a time when the water supply is limited.
It is important to stock up on nutritious foods before a natural disaster strikes. Take a look at the list below.
- Low sodium ready-to-eat canned meats, peas and beans, fruits and vegetables.
- Canned juices or milk.
- Instant tea bags.
- Foods for infants, the elderly or people on special diets.
- Dried fruits and foods like corn, breadfruit, mango raisins and nuts can be nutritious and satisfying.
- Instant meals like Cup of Noodles or Cup of Soup are a good addition. Some may have a lot of salt, so remember to read the label.
- Prepackaged beverages. Those in foil packets and foil-lined boxes are suitable because they are tightly sealed and will keep for a long time.
In the immediate wake of a disaster, complications that arise from malnutrition can contribute to other health conditions. When an immune system is weakened by a lack of nutrients from food shortage and/or contaminated water, otherwise harmless illnesses like diarrhoea can be deadly. This is particularly true for infants, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. It is therefore extremely important to eat healthy meals and before, during and after a disaster.
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