How Many Calories Should We Plan For Food Storage?
When planning and shopping for food storage one might wonder exactly how many calories per day would a person need to get by? If hard times were to hit a family or a disastrous event were to come its way would their food storage really cover them nutritionally?
According to the FDA, the average adult male in the USA burns about 2,200 to 2,400 calories per day and females about 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day. Your food reserve should reflect this daily average if you want to maintain your current health. The number of calories that you should eat depends of your weight, age, height, and your activity levels.
The data below estimates the number of calories a typical person (based on age and gender) should consume each day. While there are clearly exceptions this is a pretty solid general estimate.
Children 2-3 years old 1000 calories
Children 4-8 years old 1200-1400 calories
Girls 9-13 years old 1600 calories
Boys 9-13 years old 1800 calories
Girls 14-18 years old 1800 calories
Boys 14-18 years old 2200 calories
Females 19-30 years old 2000 calories
Males 19-30 years old 2400 calories
Females 31-50 years old 1800 calories
Males 31-50 years old 2200 calories
Females 51+ years old 1600 calories
Males 51+ years old 2000 calories
In terms of calories, if you’re not eating enough, your body will most likely go into a “storage” mode. Basically the moment your body thinks it’s not getting enough food, it will hold onto calories and fat since it thinks it’s going into starvation mode. Your body will also slow down its metabolism because it thinks a “fasting state” may be close and it will want to preserve as much energy as possible but your body can only live like that for so long. Adequate food stores will be needed to ride out the current predicament.
Assess Your Pantry
You will likely have some food when a natural or man-made disaster hits. Your pantry may have enough food in it right now to last a few weeks or more but you really should do an inventory of your food and see how many days it will last your family. Fresh food and the food in your fridge and freezer will go bad quickly so plan to use this first. Once these options are spent you need to turn to your long term food storage to get you by.
After your inventory is complete, try calculating how many calories your family will need per day and see how it matches up to your current food stores. Decide how long you want to prepare for and think about back up plans for when it is all consumed. One key to living a peaceful life is to be ready for what life throws at you, as the popular adage says “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” and by taking these steps and building a sufficient storage plan you and your family will be able to rest easy at night
Updated December 15, 2011