It’s that time of year again – back to school! Ensuring that you and your children are eating healthy, wholesome foods is challenging enough without the busy schedules that come with school starting up again, but I have the magic tool for you that will make your life so much easier! That’s right…. It’s called MEAL PREP and I have some simple ways that you can start meal prepping today and have healthy, homemade meals ready for you whenever hunger strikes!
This week's Nutrition Tip: Back to School, the Easier and Healthier Way with MEAL PREP!
Now that we have made it to September, most of you have already started the back-to-school transition and may have found that things are busier than ever. With early morning workouts before the kids wake up, then rushing them off to the school bus pick-up or dropping them off yourself before heading into work, there’s little time in the morning to start the day off with a healthy breakfast for yourself and your loved-ones. And don’t even get me started with the chaos of the afternoon schedule filled with afterschool activities and hours of shuttling the kids around and still trying to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour! It can be a bit overwhelming and you may think that you don't have time to meal prep, but I have some very simple tips to help you become the meal prep master and make your life easier around meal time!
- Carve out 1 – 2 hours on 1 – 2 days per week (i.e. Sunday and Wednesday) to prep some food items for meals for the next 3-5 days.
- Make grab n’ go breakfast items – like Egg Muffins https://fuel4soul.com/blog/2017/2/28/recipe-feature-paleo-egg-veggie-muffins and Overnight Oats for healthy “fast-food” options on busy mornings.
- Prep healthy snack options for yourself and your children to keep you energized throughout the day and help you stay away from the vending machines! Snack options (3-5 combinations for the week):
- Energy Bites & Hardboiled Eggs ** Suggest 1 or 2 each for a winning combo snack
- Fruit & Nut combination ** Suggest 1 small fruit (1/2 cup fruit) & 10-12 almonds / cashews
- Fruit & Nut Butter combination ** Suggest 1 small fruit & 1 tbsp. nut butter
- Rice Cake & Nut Butter combination ** Suggest 1-2 rice cake(s) & 1 tbsp. nut butter
- Raw Veggies & Hummus ** Suggest up to ¼ cup hummus
- Raw Veggies & Avocado / Guacamole ** Suggest up to ½ avocado / 1 mini cup guacamole
- Whole Foods Bars (Rise Bars, Rx Bars, Lara Bars (mini size)
- Single serve yogurt / cottage cheese with berries chopped nut / seeds
To make things a little less complicated, you can simply batch cook for lunch and dinner options! Bake a bunch at once and mix and match for the next 3-5 days*
- Bake 3-6 chicken breasts, fish filets, lean steaks, pork tenderloin, tofu … or use your Crockpot!
- Roast a variety of chopped veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers …)
- Cook 6 servings of whole grains (brown rice / quinoa) & starchy veggies (potato / sweet potato, butternut / acorn squash, parsnips, radishes …)
** Mix and match these items in Tupperware containers for healthy lunches / dinner throughout the week or try some of these simple recipes that are delicious and nutritious (and made in under 20 minutes)!
See? Meal prep does not have to be super complicated or take up hours of your precious time. All you need is a plan and about an hour 1 or 2 days per week and you can set yourself and your whole family up for success throughout the week!
Have any specific questions about any of these recipes or meal prep in general? I would love to hear from you and happy to help you as best I can!