Sunday, February 28, 2016

It's a Matter of Shelf Stable Meals....What are they really like?

Okay, I was curious.  I have seen these shelf stable entrees that supposedly have "everything" inside.  I was particularly curious about the "Self Heating" part.  I have wondered how they would work, taste, etc.  So, I purchased several different types of these shelf-stable meals.  I thought I would review this one for you today.  Please know that I do not receive any remuneration for this review.  

I have wondered if these are good options for 72 hour kits, the office, or your vehicle.

What are Shelf-Stable Meals really like?

I was intrigued with the idea that this meal was 'self heating', aren't you?  Here is how it went......

When you remove the contents, there is a tray, a packet of water and the entree. The instructions stated that you pour the water on to the Styrofoam tray.

You are then instructed to turn the entree upside-down on to the tray.

It doesn't take long for the Styrofoam try to steam and heat the entree.

After steaming for the suggested amount of time, you are instructed to turn the entree over.

You are instructed to carefully peel the top covering off as the entree is now heated.

I wanted to see how hot it really was after heating.  It was over 100 degrees.

The container also has salt, pepper, a "Spork", and a napkin.

So, you may wonder how it tasted.....
  • Temperature:  not too hot
  • Texture:  it was very mushy. Although you can see the noodles etc, once it was in my mouth it felt like refried beans.
  • Taste:  It needed some spices from my cupboard.
  • Convenience:  No doubt, it is a self-contained meal with everything you need.  In a pinch, it would be easy to make.
  • Kid Preference:  Some of you may know that I specialize in feeding and swallowing disorders in children. This is a large portion of my caseload at the hospital where I work.  I have a some concerns for a child.
    • If the child were not used to this type of food or even this flavor, they most likely will refuse.  Children do not eat even if they are hungry if the food is unfamiliar or concerning to them at all.
    • The color and texture may be difficult for them to tolerate if they are used to more dense solids in their diets.
    • And finally, the research demonstrates that children will choose to starve rather than eat something that is not familiar or preferred. So the logic that they will eat if they are hungry enough just isn't valid.
I am going to keep a few of these in my 72 kit, and my offices.  They could work for me as an adult.

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