I LOVE food! Everything about food… talking about it, making it, and eating it! And, as much as I love a good indulgence a couple times a week, I truly enjoy eating healthy. I love the way I feel after eating healthy foods and I love finding new ways to prepare healthy meals for my family.
We are all busy, every single one of us. Busy may look different to each individual, but we all find ways to consume our days with endless tasks. And when we are busy, we often make excuses about not having “the time” to eat healthy. Throw kids into the mix, and well, Good Luck! But, it is possible for us all to have the time and energy to eat healthy. We just have to make it happen. Does it require a little extra work? Yes! But, it doesn’t have to be too difficult, and you and your family will recognize the many benefits of healthy eating.
The most effective way to eat healthy is to plan ahead each week, making a list of meals you know will make your family happy. Healthy does not have to be bland. Research different recipes that include flavorful, clean ingredients to keep your kids (and husbands) wanting more. These meals can be very simple, and still full of flavor! (Ex: grilled chicken, quinoa cooked in chicken broth, steamed broccoli, all topped with coconut aminos. BOOM! One of my husband’s and daughter’s favorites). At first, it might take some time to find recipes meeting your family’s needs, but soon you will have staples that become a part of your weekly rotations. WRITE DOWN your meals to help stick with your plan! (Quick Tip: Plan on making extra for dinner and use leftovers for lunch the following day!)
Once you have created your week’s plan, determine the ingredients you will need for each meal. (Check your fridge and pantry to see what you already have… you won’t need to buy everything every week). MAKE A LIST so you don’t have to go back to the store 20 times throughout the week! As you know, I am a list maker. It never fails, the couple times I try to “remember” everything I need, I end up heading straight back to the store an hour later. Of course, some meals will require fresh ingredients that day, but you can purchase a majority of them in one weekly shopping trip.
Meal prepping can be done any way you choose, depending on your own schedule and desires. It can take place on ONE day: cooking all necessary foods for the week, packing them into ready to eat meals (or storing them in separate containers), to then be pulled out of the fridge to devour. When I was working, I did this on Sundays before the work week. My daughter was 3-7 months old while I was working. She would sit in the kitchen with me playing in her bouncer, or she would be napping, or my husband would be with her elsewhere. The process did take a couple hours to fully complete, but we made it work, and it was a HUGE time saver during the week.
Meal prepping could also mean you prep for that night’s meal earlier in the day. Maybe before your children wake up, maybe while they are napping or maybe away at school. Whatever free time you have, you can fit some prepping into your schedule to make your evenings more available for spending time with family. Many times, I do some prepping while my daughter is napping. I do love cooking, so I don’t mind spending a little time doing that in the evenings, especially when my daughter wants to help in the kitchen. However, I will chop veggies, or prep the protein, or make a marinade, or anything else I can do ahead to spend more time with my husband and daughter at the end of the day.
You don’t have to prep to eat healthy! But, it can help keep you on track, so you don’t feel the need to order takeout after a long, tiring day. If you are looking for more detailed information about meal planning and prepping click here to read all about it!
If eating healthy is new to you, it can be a daunting task. Start small, add a few healthy meals per week, and work your way up to a comfortable routine.
Adding healthy foods to the menu, might have your kiddos saying “No Way!” They may start to shy away from eating full meals. Give it time! Continue to introduce new healthy foods to them. It will take some getting used to for everyone. Don’t give up! Soon, your whole family will be begging for those “healthy” meals each week.
I would love to hear other ideas/ways you feed healthy foods to your family. What tips and tricks have worked for you?
As always, thanks for listening!