Keeping Get-Well Provisions on Hand

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??Tuesday is "Body" day where we talk about 10-minute solutions to help reach goals related to fitness, diet and wellness.

Seeing as today three-fifths of our family is not well, today I’ll talk about getting well. First, it hit our 5-year-old — cough, fever, low energy. Soon after, it hit me. And at this point it’s just a sore throat for our 11-year-old.

The last place I want to race to when anyone is sick is the grocery store for provisions. But that’s just where I was at 6am yesterday. Not feeling well myself, I was stocking up on Pediacare, popsicles, Gatorade for our son. I was fairly well stocked on medicines — luckily, I had done a pretty good restocking of the medicine chest a few months ago. All these drinks and popsicles keep, so why do I not keep them on hand? Maybe it will even have the umbrella affect — if I have it on hand, I won’t need it.

Now, I’m still stumped when it comes to medicine — there is not a cold medicine liquid or chewable tablet that my 5-year-old will take. If you have a "winner", I’d love to hear it…

So while I’m talking about stocking, let me extend it to kitchen items. I’m starting a "par level" system in our pantry. I first learned about par levels when I was working in the materials management department of a hospital after business school. How glamourous, you say! Par levels is just a fancy way of saying, "order more when you need to." Or, as wiki.answers.com puts it: "the ‘par level’ is the amount you would need to have on hand to ensure that you would not run out while waiting for resupply. The ‘par level’ would also be the ‘order point’."

After a weekend of not finding what I need in the pantry, I’m going par level crazy. Some stuff lasts so long you think you’ll never need to replenish it, or that you have months to remember. Ah, but "remembering" is the tricky part. So now, as soon as I open the new ketchup, I put it on the list to get a backup; open the flour — add to the list.

I learned my lesson when I was in charge of dessert for new year’s eve and realized I had no sugar. It takes a lot of creativity to make a dessert without sugar.

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