Feeding Mason During Hurricane Madness

Mason’s Hurricane Irene eats: A mix of homemade food, crackers, puffs, and formula

Hurricane Irene is expected to hit New York City tonight. We’re not in a mandatory evacuation zone, we don’t live by the water, and our apartment building isn’t a highrise, so we’ve decided to ride out the storm at home instead of leaving town. Hopefully we don’t regret that decision. Chris taped up all the windows and brought our furniture in from our balcony. But before we hunkered down, I insisted on one last run to the grocery store. Although we stocked up on essentials yesterday, I needed to pick up a few extras — and I was desperate for one last excursion before hurricane-imposed house arrest in our 800-square-foot apartment. God help us if we have to stay indoors beyond Sunday. Mason will be crawling up the walls, and I’ll be ready to pull my hair out.

The store was packed. It’s in the part of our ‘hood that is a mandatory evacuation zone, but everyone there looked totally relaxed. “It’s like a block party in here,” a guy next to me in the pasta aisle remarked. He was right and I felt like staying there as long as possible. Mason and I cruised slowly up and down the aisles and picked up hummus, cut up veggies, crackers, jam, whatever caught my eye since I was suddenly starving. Chris rolled his eyes at my collection of “necessities,” he was on to my game. He tried to hustle me along, I stalled for as long as possible. While Chris stood in line to pay for the groceries, Mason and I hung outside. The sky was gray and angry-looking clouds were already gathering overhead but the air was warm and there was a lovely breeze. Mason giggled as a Doberman Pinscher named Max circled his owner’s legs and a few people stopped to chat with us. Babies are a great conversation starter.

Back home, I took in our stockpile of food. Mason’s set for days. Our freezer is stocked with two different kinds of homemade applesauce (regular and blueberry), as well as banana, strawberry, and peach purees for yogurt and oatmeal. I also have frozen portions of veggie lentils, chicken with brown rice and homemade tomato sauce, and cheesy veggies, not to mention five kinds of cut up frozen veggies.  Some of the food is thawing in the fridge; if the power goes out Mason can eat the thawed food right away and then the frozen stuff later. If there’s a lengthy power outage, Chris and I will resort to a diet of canned tuna, pickles, dried Italian sausage, beef jerky, bread, tortilla chips, bottled water, red wine, and dark chocolate. And we have lots and lots of candles, which could be romantic  — unless the storm turns into a rager.

Here’s to hoping Irene stays a category 1 storm and doesn’t pick up any more steam as she makes her way up the coast. Are you on the East Coast as well? If so, what foods did you stock up on for your family?

What Chris and I will eat if we lose power for a long time

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  1. by Kase

    On August 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Love your blog!!
    We are in Western Mass, hoping for Irene to lose her steam. We mainly only prepared for our 10 mo old (aside from cold cuts and a freezer full of stuff we can grill if it come to that) I have lots of purées prepared apple, avocado, peach ect and finger foods cooked and ready (carr

  2. by Kase

    On August 27, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I don’t know what happened any way. Carrots and black beans) but I bought jarred baby foods if it comes down to that?!
    Why does Mason still get formula? Is it better to continue instead of switching to cows/soy milk after 1?

  3. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On August 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Kase — Thank you so much! It sounds like you’re well prepared. Mason has his one-year checkup Monday (if the city isn’t totally flooded!), and I’m pretty certain the doctor will switch him to milk then. (Mason’s older friends all transitioned at 1 — he just turned 1 on Aug. 19.) He eats lots of cheese and yogurt now, so I’m hoping the transition will be easy. Stay safe and dry:)

  4. by Berit

    On August 28, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Hope you are holding up well! Looks like you’re stocked & ready. I hope that’s enough wine :)

  5. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On August 28, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Berit: Chris drank it all. Just kidding. We were very lucky and we got through it all just fine. But I was really grateful for that wine, not to mention the dark chocolate:)