Today i want to talk a little about MREs. Meal Ready Eat. Most people know what these are. Ration meals for soldiers. They are convenient and taste pretty good. Not Great but good. For a simple meal. There is something about complete meal kits that i love. Kinda like an adult happy meal. I loved happy meals when i was a kid. You got a burger, fries, drink, and a toy all in a little box that had games and puzzles on it. Who doesn’t like that.
An MRE is s a complete meal kit. It comes with an entrée, a side, usually a bread or cracker, a dessert, maybe a candy snack, a beverage powder to add to water like coffee or orange juice mix, salt and pepper and spread for your crackers like peanut butter. Now that is a lot in a little kit. When i was little i loved lunchables. They were a snack my mom let me and my brother get. I loved to get up early or stay u p late and eat them while watching cartoons.
As an adult i have bought a few of these mres and had them early in the morning while watching tv or while playing my favorite video games like fallout. Unfortunately mres can be expensive. The good thing is that they last a few years, but you can make your own meal kits yourself cheaper. Here are a few tips on this.
Lunchables are great, but they have to be refrigerated and don’t have a long shelf life. Tuna kits are great too, but the crackers don’t have a long shelf life, but the tuna pack has a shelf life of two years typically. It also has a mayo and relish packet to put in your kit. You can make a tuna salad. I sometimes replace the tuna pack with a flavored pack like the bbq tuna. Make a bbq tuna salad. Or you can use chicken pack and make chicken salad instead. If tuna and chicken are not your idea entrée, there are other similar packets. Spam is one that has a good shelf life. If you don’t mind the extra weight, you can get cans with pull tops. Vienna sausages, Spam, roast beef. Bumble bee makes little snack kits that have tuna salad, chicken salad, bbq chicken, potted meat, crackers and a cute little spoon. Good to add as an entrée or side.
Okay the first section was about a limited idea like you are away from home and maybe not have access to hot water or a microwave. A possible entrée for you could be a Camble’s grab n go cup of soup. Or a Ramen cup of noodles. They require a bit more preparations. Although some people eat the ramen blocks by breaking them up and eating them raw. Have to admit i have never tried this myself. Also consider instant oatmeal.
Now if you have room and can heat water, mountain house has some great entries that you can fix right in the bag. Scrambled eggs, seasoned pork, spaghetti and meat sauce. Check it out.
For a side you could add a vienna sausage can. Prepackaged fruits, raisins, mixed nuts or trail mix. Think like the little slender packs you get at a gas station. There are plenty of variety there. Also consider granola bars or energy bars. There are lots of flavors or individual packs of pop tarts. If you want something meatier, consider summer sausage. You know those packs you get at Christmas. They come with spreads and crackers, mustards. Throw in some beef jerky or slim jims.
Do you like dry cereal? They have packs of little boxes you can throw in there. Cheerios, frosted flake and raisin brand, ect.
For desserts, Little packs of cookies, or 100 calories packs. You can get pre packaged fruit cups, i have never looked at the expiration dates on them. If you don’t mind the weight there are jars you can get. I have seen little ones and apple sauce. If you like gummies, there are plenty to choose from or fruit roll ups.
Candy, the choices are endless.
Beverages. Gatorade mix, fruit drink mix, instant coffee singles, or instant tea, there are a lot of water flavoring things out there. Get some that have vitamins and electrolytes. I LOVE the coffee water flavorings. I get the little bottle of non dairy creamer as well and put a couple of squirts into the bottle too. Love it. If you have a way to heat water, hot cocoa is a great way to go too.
You can get little peanut butter spreads in little packets instead of the jar. There are cheese spreads too. Just consider your needs.
For seasonings, if you have ever ate out you get little packets of ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper. I have several everywhere. You can get sugar from the store and non dairy creamer.
They idea is long shelf life if this is going to be a go bag pack, if you are just planning a hike or camping trip the variety is more do-able. Take your items you’ve chosen and put them in a zip lock bag and squeeze out all the air you can and write on it with a sharpie. If you have special food needs like gluten free or certain allergies mark on it if it is safe for certain needs or what is contained. If you want to re-capture some of your childhood print out some puzzle pages and fold them up and put them in the bag. Just remember to put in a little pen or pencil if you need.
Also do you need accessories like spoons or forks. If you start with those meal kits, they come with little utensils you can use, In the outdoors section at walmart you can get foldable knives that have a fork and spoon on them. I like mine. If you are using cans without pop tops, throw in a can opener. Don’t for get napkins and wet wipes.
This can be a fun family thing if you are planning a family outing. I have listen on my blog outings you can do. Hiking, camping, road trips. Take the kids to the store and look around at what is available. If you don’t have to worry about a long shelf life, there are lots of options for fast carry out meals you can plan. Print out some activity sheets or at the dollar store they have grab n go packs with activity pads, crayons, and stickers and what not. These activity packs serve a purpose for a disaster kit as well. A distraction for the kids so they aren’t just huddled together being scared. Keeps them busy so they aren’t being in the way or asking questions constantly. Something for them to do if you are bugging out to a distant location. You know how annoying kids can be in the car. My mom always says that me and my brother were not really a problem growing up except when we were in the car. When we were in the car it was constant “He’s on my side” “He keeps looking at me” “He keeps touching me” Ect. If you are a parent you know the struggle.
So if this is a meal you are putting together for a loved one, you can put in a little note and print out a Bible verse as a little message for saying grace. Or if this is for disaster preparedness, an inspirational verse for survival. Hope is essential for survival. A prayer could be a good idea as well. It can be hard to pray when trouble hits.
This could be a good outreach thing for a church to do. Bring awareness to the community. Put in little bibles into the bags. Have the church members bring together some provisions to put into the bags nad hand them out to the community. Maybe type up a message on survival and first aid. The basics on Christianity. You know the ABCs. Admit, Believe, Confess. Possibly something you can do for the homeless as well.