Sometimes we get so busy that food becomes an afterthought. We need it every single day but life is often such a rushed set of events that we just fit food (or food-like things) into the short breaks we find. This takes a toll on our bodies and minds…and the bodies and minds of our children.
Food is more than something to fill your belly. It is nourishment on many levels. If we are grabbing bags of chips or a sausage biscuit on the run, we are missing out. Our children are missing out. It may not be practical to have a home cooked meal but it can be practical to fill those breaks between busy moments with things that nourish us and our children.
A little bit of pre-planning can go a long way. Take just one hour a week to pre-portion some of the healthy snacks listed below. Have them ready to grab on the way out the door. Most of these snacks break down to less than a dollar per serving and will take you much further than the burger from a dollar menu. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to plan…but even replacing a few of the unhealthy on-the-run foods can make a huge difference in your family’s long term health.
As parents, sometimes it’s our sanity we are trying to save rather than a dollar when we’re grabbing stuff from the dollar menu. However, a bit of planning can help save your sanity in a couple ways. It will reduce that nagging feeling of guilt about not getting the best foods into your kids, and it will save you some time (and most likely $$).
Have the kids help you one evening or weekend afternoon (or whatever hunk of family time you can manage). Pre-portion some of the choices below (or other fruit, veggie, protein combos), put them in small reusable containers or plastic baggies and have them in a basket in the fridge. The kids will appreciate the family time as you work together making the snacks. Two days later you will appreciate it as you are flying out the door trying to make it to baseball practice on time.
Grapes Cherry tomatoes Almonds
Strawberries Celery sticks Boiled eggs
Blueberries Carrots Cold cooked chicken chunks
Kiwi Cucumber slices Nut butter (almond, peanut)
Melon chunks Cauliflower florets Cheese chunks
Prunes Sugar snap peas Pumpkin seeds
Apples Zucchini slices Yogurt
Bananas Sweet pepper slices Hummus
These are just a few of the things you can mix and match to keep nourishing snacks on hand for your family. Here is a link to a great hack to peel your boiled eggs in seconds…the kids will love this and having boiled eggs on hand will be less of a challenge. Feel free to expand on this list for your snack choices, but do your best to keep it fresh whenever possible. You and your family deserve the best!