We Send Snacks, Ready to Eat in a Military Care Package to Your Hero
Your deployed hero might have called them “Meals Rejected by Everyone” or “Meals Rarely Edible.” Yes, we’re talking about the humble MRE, which actually stands for “Meal Ready to Eat.” And while we don’t include MREs in our military snack boxes, we do think they’re pretty fascinating, not only for the macronutrients that pack, but also for the science that has gone into developing them.
MREs are self-contained, individual rations for service members in combat or conditions where a food facility isn’t available. MREs do not need a dedicated kitchen space to be prepared, or even a table. They don’t need to be refrigerated, and they’re lightweight.
Amazingly, each MRE provides about 1,250 calories. Why so much? Because service members who must eat MREs are burning more than 4,000 calories per day, according to the Institute of Medicine. The macronutrient breakdown is:
- -13% protein
- -36% fat
- -53% carbohydrates
These proportions make for a filling meal, three times per day, with no nutritional need for snacks to supplement them. (But that doesn’t mean a military snack box won’t be appreciated and consumed!)
Every MRE includes a flameless ration heater, which, when activated, brings the food to the temperature you’d expect for a hot meal. Instructions with the MRE explain how to pour water into the heater and insert the food packet into it.
Most meals come only with a plastic spoon and no other utensils. Rarely do they come with a full set, though it isn’t unheard of. This means most MREs can be easily eaten using only a single utensil. We dare you to try it at home.
Inside, your soldier will find what is called an “accessory pack,” which contains things like chewing gum, a matchbook, napkin or toilet paper, a moist towelette, and extra seasons. Every MRE also comes with a powdered beverage, like instant coffee, a fruit drink, cocoa, a sport drink, or even a dairy-based shake.
Food-wise, there’s quite a lot inside: the main course, a side dish, a dessert or snack, crackers or bread, and a spread (usually cheese, jam, or peanut butter). Candy is also quite common.
We know they aren’t quite like home-cooking, but we can’t help but to feel a little hungry reading these three sample MRE menus, courtesy of GoArmy.com.
|Chili w/ Beans
Crackers and jam
Red pepper seasoning
|Veggie Burger in BBQ Sauce
Chocolate banana muffin top
Wheat snack bread
Hot beverage bag
|Chicken Fajita Tortilla
Baked snack crackers
Coffee, Irish Cream flavor
Hot beverage bag
Fun MRE Facts
When you’re in the field, you can’t be picky about your food. MREs are the perfect solution, but they’re also actually pretty darn cool. For example:
- -MREs are capable of withstanding parachute drops of 1,250 feet, and non-parachute drops of 100 feet.
- -Their shelf life is 3.5 years at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or nine months at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- -The Department of Defense continues to develop upgrades to MREs, such as the “Beverage Bag,” introduced in 2006, a period of time when hydration bladders were more commonly used than metal canteens. The bags include measuring marks to indicate how much water to add to powdered drink mixes, and, for coffee, can be heated inside the flameless heater provided in the meal.
- -In 2005, writers for Airman, an Air Force magazine, taste-tested every variety of MRE in one sitting, and ranked them based on how good they tasted. Two of the most popular were the Beef Roast with Vegetables and the Pork Rib with New England Style Clam Chowder.
A Military Snack Box that Far Exceeds MRE Quality
Want to make up for your hero’s stint eating MREs cooked with a flameless heater? Or just want to say “thank you,” or “I love you,” or “I miss you,” or “Happy Birthday!,” or literally any other sentiment you can think of? We got you! The military care package experts here at My Hero Crate create and assemble the best armed forces snack boxes and send them to the recipient of your choice, no matter what branch of the military they’re in. Shipping is free, and yes — we even ship overseas!