Are you looking for healthy eating tips and ideas to survive “back to school” craziness? If so, Tommy’s Superfoods is here to help!
The fall season can be a stressful time with multiple schedules, work/school activities, and family demands. All of this can present a real challenge when it comes to eating nutritious meals and snacks, especially if you’re trying to figure out a new routine. We asked Tommy’s team members to share their favorite tips for eating healthy on busy evenings, and compiled a list of our favorite tips just for you:
Tips for Staying on Track with Healthy Eating when Life Gets Hectic
1. Make Weekly Meal Plans
When you create a weekly meal plan, you’ll know exactly what to buy at the grocery store every week. Planning ahead will not only save you money, but it will also save you time. The chicken you buy for Saturday dinner can do double duty for sandwiches on Monday. Having a meal plan saves time in preparing dinner and helps to eliminate temptation to order take-out or stop at the drive-through. Need some fast ideas? Try these 5 ingredient dinners!
2. Get Organized in the Kitchen
Keeping the kitchen organized is essential for saving time. Have a designated “lunch box” area where family members can pick up and leave their lunches. Also make sure you have enough containers – no one likes wasting precious time in the morning hunting around for a thermos, bento box, or salad container!
3. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
When you’re on the go moving between school, sports practice, clubs or work, it’s easy to fall into the trap of eating unhealthy snacks like candy and chips. Be sure to keep a variety of veggie- and grain-packed options at home, in the car, and at work. That way you always have a healthy snack close at hand for when hunger strikes! These can be as simple as a bag of mixed nuts, some whole-grain crackers, apples, or trail mix. If you’re looking for some vegetable-focused, kid-friendly snack ideas, take a look at our recent blog post on healthy snack ideas for kids!
4. Get Buy-in from the Family
Staying on track with meal plans and healthy snacks requires participation from all family members. Set aside a few minutes each week to talk and plan the upcoming meals and snacks and get feedback on what individual family members like and dislike. Once you’re finished, display the information in an easy to read format in a place where everyone can see it.
While this strategy is effective in reducing, “I don’t like that!” complaints, there may be times when your child becomes excessively picky. If you’re looking for solutions to that problem, read our recent article, “Tips to Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables.”
5. Be Prepared for Meals on the Run!
It’s super easy to prepare grab and go meals that you can store in the refrigerator or freezer for days when you know you and the kids, won’t make it home for a sit-down dinner. Here are a few suggestions that don’t take long to make and will provide a good balance of protein and carbohydrates for a natural boost of energy.
6. Keep it Simple and Have Some Fun
Remember that it’s not necessary to prepare extravagant, multi-course meals! For lunch and dinner, have half of the meal focus on fruits and vegetables – raw or cooked. Make vegetables the center of your plate. One-quarter of the meal should be a plant or animal-based protein such as beans, meat, soy, eggs or nut butter. The other quarter should emphasize whole-grains such as quinoa, whole wheat bread or pasta, or rice. And don’t forget a healthy dessert treat like fruit salad or warm fruit compote, or granola with yogurt! When you keep your menu plans simple, you’ll have more time to enjoy your meal with your family.
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