Food for infants in emergencies
Many households may lose access to water, electricity and food stores during emergency events such as floods, storms, cyclones or bushfires in Queensland.
Infants are especially vulnerable during these events and require special care and attention.
Please refer to the emergency pantry list for breastfed infants (aged 0–12 months) and emergency pantry list for formula-fed infants (aged 0–12 months) which outline the food required for one infant for three days.
The pantry lists are based on the national Infant Feeding Guidelines and will help ensure your infant has adequate food during an emergency. The pantry list should be adapted for infants on special feeding regimes such as diets for food intolerances and allergies.
Your infant's age will dictate their nutritional requirements as follows:
- infants aged 0–6 months will generally rely on breast milk and/or infant formula for all their food and fluid requirements
- infants aged around 6–12 months will require food and fluids in addition to breast milk or formula
- Toddlers aged over 12 months require (Smi) solid food and fluids. Continue breastfeeding or give Full Cream milk via a cup.
Refer to the emergency pantry list for breastfed infants (aged 0–12 months) and emergency pantry list for formula-fed infants (aged 0–12 months) for the specific needs of each age group.
Please consider the following options if you are breastfeeding or mix-feeding (breast milk and formula) your infant:
- defer weaning until after the emergency/storm season
- continue to breastfeed during an emergency
- safe use of expressed breast milk may be challenging due to interrupted water and electricity supply
- revert to 100 per cent breastfeeding during an emergency, particularly if your infant is less than 6 months old.
Emergency situations can make the safe preparation of infant formula very challenging due to limited clean water, electricity and medical care.
If your infant is formula-fed, please ensure you prepare an emergency kit for your infant in a sturdy, sealed container. If possible, take this kit with you if you are evacuated from your home.
Parents and carers with infants should go to their nearest evacuation centre if their household is without running water and/or power for more than three days.
The following information may also assist you:
- Ensuring safe drinking water
- Preparing your household emergency kit
- Preparing ready-to-use infant formula in an emergency.
Further advice and support is available from:
- Breastfeeding Helpline: 1800 686 268
- Maternal and infant nutrition
- 13 HEALTH (13 45 25 84)