Between work, school, extra-curricular activities, and the upcoming holidays, eating nutritious meals may be put on the backburner. Instead of grabbing processed, prepackaged foods loaded with unwanted chemicals and calories, plan ahead to ensure you and your family stay healthy while sticking to your to-do list.
Put the “fast” in “breakfast”
Don’t skip breakfast! Studies should that people who eat breakfast have more energy, which is exactly what you and your kids need to get through the busy day. Plan your family’s breakfast the night before if you know the morning ahead will be extra busy. Homemade smoothies filled with fruits are a great option that can be prepared in advance. Or make our Blueberry Refrigerator Oatmeal the night before and in the morning, just grab the jar and go. Be sure to check out our other quick breakfast recipes here.
Fuel up in your car with water and healthy snacks that your kids can eat. Skip the chips and instead make some GORP and keep some stashed in the car or some fruit for easy snack attack access. If you have a cooler, pack some easy to eat veggies like carrots or celery sticks or cheese and whole grain crackers to nourish your kids when you’re on the go.
Eating Healthy On the Road
With a little planning, you can pack a healthy and tasty meal if you are going to be away from home. Sometimes your only option is grabbing something quickly while on the road. To make sure your family is running on schedule and on a healthy diet, opt out of getting fries as a side and instead order apple wedges, yogurt, or a side salad. Ask for water in place of soda to reduce sugar and calorie intake. In addition, don’t be fooled by the word “salad” – many salads are just as high in calories as normal meals. Ask for dressing on the side and if there is meat on the salad, go for the grilled option.
Rebecca Tonnessen, Intern
Rutgers University, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences