The fourth capacity I introduced in my eBook is that you must supplement your nutritional needs. In it I state that:
You must “supplement your nutritional needs. Although less necessary in short-term disasters, there’s no reason for you not to ensure that your family has all of the vitamins and mineral nutrition they require given the ready availability of dietary supplements. This is even more necessary for young children.”
Although I don’t elaborate much, it is fairly easy to ensure that your basic nutritional needs are taken care of with a basic multivitamin. This is especially critical for children because they tend to not have the vitamin and mineral reserves that most adults have stored in their body fat.
To start with, I would suggest at least a month or two supply of multivitamins for each person in your family and maybe three to four months for children. If longer term scenarios are expected then you could easily purchase a year’s worth of multivitamins for each person relatively inexpensively at places like Sam’s Club or COSTCO.
Of course, there are too many options available when it comes to dietary supplements. Heck, there’s even much debate as to whether they even do any good. I figure there’s no reason not to have at least a small supply because the alternative–serious health deficiencies–should be avoided if at all possible.
But Vitamins Don’t Last Forever!
I don’t believe in most expiration dates very much. I firmly believe they are just meant to get you to throw out what you have to purchase more. Regardless, I would suspect you could improve the longevity of your vitamins by treating them as any other food storage item. Pack in airtight packaging, remove the oxygen, keep out of sunlight, etc. Why not just pack them in mylar bags and toss a few bottles in with your food storage? Even if they have lost some potency after years of storage they’re better than nothing.
Another option is to select a multivitamin that is specifically formulated and packed to last up to 10 years. Nitro-Pak offers Super Spectrim Vitamins that claim to do just that. I’ve never purchased them nor tested them, so I can’t back up that claim.
Other, Better Options?
There are other options besides a manufactured solution…
Sprouting to the Rescue
The idea of sprouting has been around a long time. My wife used to sprout quite a bit years ago (when we were health nuts) but lately we seem to have moved away from it, which was a mistake. It’s probably because I’m generally in charge of meals these days… sprouts just don’t seem to make the list.
In a longer term disaster scenario, I figure we’ll break out the old sprouting stuff and use them to supplement out vitamin intake. It’s really not that hard to do and very little work for the reward. Do a quick YouTube search and you’ll see what I mean.
Pot Gardening Too
Another thought is to grow a small variety of vegetables and/or herbs in small pots or containers that can be grown by the sunlight provided through windows. Certainly, this is not for short-term scenarios as it usually takes months to yield any benefit. Of course, you would need seeds, water, soil, and so on.
Variety, Variety, Variety
Perhaps the most important way to ensure you and your family get the proper nutrients is to stock a wide variety of foods. This goes well beyond the basics of rice and beans. While these foods may keep you alive, rice and beans just aren’t enough with respect to your nutritional health. You really need to have a healthy stock of nutritious foods in your pantry.
You can ensure that happens by including such practices as canning, dehydrating, and even smoking and jerking of meats too. For example, I can tell you from experience that dehydrating food is fun, relatively easy, cost-effective, and quite compact.
The point is to get your nutritional supplementation in order today! Be it vitamins, sprouts, or variety… you’re sure to find what works for you and your family.
Note: This post is part of an ongoing series detailing the ideas from my free eBook, The 99 Capacities You MUST Acquire BEFORE Disaster Strikes You!, which you may freely download here.
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