Emergency Meal Planning

Why do I need an emergency meal plan?

This meal plan is for you to use in case of an emergency or a natural disaster when you may not be able to attend dialysis. It is important to follow a limited diet if dialysis has to be missed. A grocery list and a three-day meal plan for an emergency are attached to this fact sheet. This diet is much more strict than your usual diet. This very strict plan is needed to control the build up of toxins such as potassium, phosphorus, urea and fluids that can be life-threatening to you if several dialysis treatments are missed due to the emergency .

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What should I expect during an emergency situation?

Many things we depend on daily may not be working during an emergency. You may be without a telephone. Water and electricity may be cut off, keeping you from cooking your meals in the usual way. You may need to use cold or shelf-stable foods until the crisis is over. Food in your refrigerator will keep safely for up to 12 hours and in the freezer for one to two days, if these appliances are opened only when meals are prepared. It is best to eat the foods from your refrigerator and freezer first before using your shelf-stable foods. Distilled water, disposable plates and utensils also should be kept on hand.

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How do I prepare myself for the emergency?

As natural disasters may happen without warning, it is good to keep foods with a long shelf-life on hand at all times. If you do stock foods, remember to check dates for freshness and replace regularly.

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The following items are important and useful to have on hand in case of an emergency:

  • This diet sheet
  • Always have a two-week supply of all medicines and vitamins.
  • All of the groceries listed in this guide.
  • Diabetics need to have enough insulin and supplies on hand, including extra batteries for the glucometer.
  • Emergency phone list with names and phone numbers of your doctor, dialysis unit and the local hospital.
  • Radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • Measuring cups and scale
  • Plastic forks, spoons, knives, plates, bowls and cups
  • Napkins
  • Hand operated can opener
  • 5 gallons distilled water
  • Refrigerator thermometer

Is there anything else I should know?

  1. It is very important to follow your diet according to the meal plan given.
  2. Be careful when eating perishable foods to avoid food poisoning. If a jar or can is opened, do not keep it longer than 4 hours unless refrigerated.
  3. Use a refrigerator thermometer to know if food is stored at a safe temperature (under 40 degrees F, 5 degrees C). If your refrigerator temperature is over 40 degrees F, food will only be safe for 4 hrs. After that time- throw it away.
  4. Use disposable plates and utensils. Throw away after use.
  5. Keep distilled water handy for mixing milk or juice. Mix small amounts of only 4 ounces at a time.
  6. Limit intake of fluid to 2 cups or 16 ounces per day. Chew gum to help cope with thirst.
  7. Do not use salt or salt substitute with your meals. Use salt-free foods when possible.
  8. Avoid high potassium foods. Limit the kinds and portion sizes of fruits and vegetables eaten to those listed in this fact sheet
  9. If you have diabetes, keep instant glucose tablets, sugar, hard candy, low-potassium fruit juices, or sugared soda pop on hand to treat low blood sugars. Avoid high-potassium fruit juices (orange juice).

THREE-DAY GROCERY LIST FOR EMERGENCIES

Item

Amount (per person)

Bread/Cereal (use 6-8 servings per day)

White Bread

1 loaf

Dry cereal, unsalted, sweetened or unsweetened Puffed wheat or rice, shredded wheat

6 single serve containers or 1 box

 

Vanilla Wafers or Graham crackers or Unsalted crackers

1 box

Fruits/Juices (limit to 2-4 servings per day)

Canned or sealed plastic container:
            Applesauce, pears, peaches, pineapple,
            mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail

12 single serve containers

Cranberry and apple juice
              or

Juice boxes or pouches of premixed
fruit punch or lemonade
              or

Powdered drink mixes fruit flavored,
fruit punch or lemonade
12 single serve containers

            or

2 packages or
1 canister

Fish/Meat (limit to 3 oz. per day) Low sodium, canned:

Tuna, salmon, meat, turkey, chicken

Peanut Butter, unsalted

6 small cans

1 jar

Milk (limit to 1/2 cup per day)

Evaporated milk

3 small cans

Dry milk solids

2 packages

Sweets (Use as desired to increase calories)

Marshmallows

1 large bag

Jelly beans, sourballs, hard candies, butter mints

5 bags total

Honey

1 jar

White sugar

1 small bag

Jelly

1 jar

Fats (use 6 or more servings per day)

Salad or cooking oil

1 bottle

Mayonnaise (perishable after opening)

Individual packets or 3 small jars

Margarine

1 pound

Other

Distilled water

5 one gallon jugs

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THREE-DAY MEAL PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES

The sample meal plans given provide about 40-50 grams of protein, 1500 mg sodium, 1500 mg potassium and less than 500 cc or 16 ounces of fluid for each of the three days. You may adjust selections to fit your individual taste. These meal plans are stricter than your normal kidney diet to keep waste products from building up in your blood during the emergency situation. Fluid is limited to less than 500 cc (2 cups or 16 ounces) each day to prevent you from swelling or having shortness of breath. If the disaster should continue for more than three days the meal plan can be repeated, beginning with Day 1.

DAY 1

Breakfast

½ cup milk prepared from dry milk and ½ cup distilled water, or ¼ cup evaporated milk with ¼ cup distilled water

1 single serving of cereal (½ - ¾ cup)

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ cup pineapple (single serving)

Morning Snack

5 vanilla wafers

Honey or jelly as desired on wafers

10 sourballs

Lunch

2 slices white bread

¼ cup low-sodium tuna (open new can daily)

1 tablespoon margarine or mayonnaise (individual packet or open new jar daily)

½ cup pears (single serving)

Powdered drink mix with ½ cup distilled water

Afternoon Snack

6 unsalted crackers

Honey or jelly as desired on crackers

10 jelly beans

Dinner

2 slices white bread

½ cup (2 oz.) low-odium chicken (open new can daily)

2 tablespoons margarine or mayonnaise (individual packet or open new jar daily)

½ cup peaches (single serving)

½ cup cranberry juice (from box or pouch)

Evening Snack

3 graham crackers

Honey or jelly as desired on crackers

10 butter mints

DAY 2

Breakfast

½ cup milk prepared from dry milk and ½ cup distilled water,

or mix ¼ cup evaporated milk with ¼ cup distilled water

1 single serving of cereal (½ - ¾ cup from box)

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ cup mandarin oranges (single serving)

Morning Snack

3 graham crackers

Honey or jelly as desired on graham crackers

10 hard candies

Lunch

2 slices white bread

¼ cup (1 oz.) low-sodium turkey (open new can daily)

1 tablespoon margarine or mayonnaise (individual packet or open new jar daily)

½ cup fruit cocktail (single serving)

Powdered drink mix with ½ cup distilled water

Afternoon Snack

6 unsalted crackers

Honey or jelly as desired on crackers

10 large marshmallows

Dinner

2 slices white bread

½ cup (2 oz.) low-sodium chicken (open new can daily)

2 tablespoons margarine or mayonnaise (individual packet or open new jar daily)

½ cup pineapple (single serving)

½ cup cranberry juice (from box or pouch)

Evening Snack

5 vanilla wafers

Honey or jelly as desired (use on wafers)

10 sourballs

DAY 3

Breakfast

½ cup milk prepared from dry milk and ½ cup distilled water,

or ¼ cup evaporated milk with ¼ cup distilled water

1 single serving of cereal (½ - ¾ cup from box)

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ cup pears (single serving)

Morning Snack

6 unsalted crackers

Honey or jelly as desired on crackers

10 large marshmallows

Lunch

2 slices white bread

2 Tablespoons low-sodium peanut butter

½ cup peaches (single serving)

Powdered drink mix with ½ cup distilled water

Afternoon Snack

3 graham cracker squares

Honey or jelly as desired on crackers

10 butter mints

Dinner

2 slices white bread

½ cup (2 oz.) low-sodium chicken (open new can daily)

2 tablespoons margarine or mayonnaise (individual packets or open new jar daily)

½ cup mandarin oranges (single serving)

½ cup cranberry juice (from box or pouch )

Evening Snack

5 vanilla wafers

Honey or jelly as desired (use on wafers)

10 sourballs

The National Kidney Foundation wishes to thank its
Council on Renal Nutrition (CRN) for the development of this fact sheet.

If you would like more information, please contact us.

©2014 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.