Summer has been in full swing for a bit now and it's amazing how quickly the pantry and refrigerator empties when the kids are home more. It seems like the grocery bill gets bigger even if the kids are off at camp or Grandma's for a week. Here are a few healthy and realistic ways to keep up with the fuel needs of those constantly running bodies.
Stop buying drinks. Yeah...I said it! Your tap water is yucky? Mine too. Get a water service or take advantage of the water bottle exchange programs at most grocery stores. You can also buy 2 1/2 gallon containers of spring water. Reuseable water bottles are relatively inexpensive and ultimately pay for themselves. No more water bottle garbage. No more kool aid or juice on the grocery list. Drinks with flavor aren't a necessity...water is.
Don't buy cold cereal. When you buy cereal...you now need milk. Cereals, even the best ones, are full of sugar and processed stuff that won't stick with you, except in ways you may not want it to. Avoid toaster pastries and other pre-made processed breakfast food. They will not keep anyone going for long...all that sugar burns off pretty quickly then that mid-morning fog kicks in. When these processed foods burn off so quickly...guess who's going to be hungry ....AGAIN!
Eggs, yogurt, nut butter, cheese, meat, fruit, vegetables can all be incorporated into a breakfast that keeps fueling for longer and provides more nutrients overall. A quick yogurt and a piece of fruit or and egg scrambled with left over chicken and veggies start the day out right. If time is an issue, have eggs boiled ahead of time and fruit ready to go. Buy yogurt tubes and bags of fruit so a full healthy breakfast is at the kids' fingertips.
So breakfast might be under control now...but they are going to want a snack or two. Skip the chips. There are no real benefits to chips whether they're fried, baked, potato, or corn. Apple slices and peanut butter...yummm! Cheese chunks and grapes...delicious! Watermelon or cantelope and a handful of almonds...mmmm! I'm going to post a fantastic recipe for a snack that keeps the kiddo's cool and fueled in the recipe section of this blog. You're gonna love it!
So...we've covered breakfast and snacks...but what about lunch? Sandwiches are just okay...but we need to put a spin on it to make sure these growing bodies are fueled with the best stuff we can and not too much processed stuff like bread. Fruit salad, carrot-raisin salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, tossed salad, yogurt parfait, and veggies in yogurt dip are great options and just a few of the many possibilities.
Dinner is full of possibility. A crock pot of meat and veggies or a grill full of the same is all you have to plan for. Mix it up with veggies like cauliflower, sweet poatoes, asparagus, summer squash, kale, zuccini, spinach, green beans, cabbage or any other veggies that come to mind.
Keep in mind that good whole foods tend to keep bodies fueled and satisfied longer than processed foods. This reduces trips to the grocery store and the number of times you hear..."I'm hungry..."
I'll regularly post recipes in the blog so you all have some healthy yummy inspiration.