What To Make For Breakfast? Plan In Advance!
Have you ever struggled to feed yourself and your family healthy meals? Even with the best intentions it becomes a challenge with work, school, activities and everything else life throws at you!
The key to success is in the planning & preparation. If you have snacks and ingredients for healthy meals all set to go it is much easier to stick to the plan!
Plan for the week:
Sit down with your cookbooks/recipes and plan out what you are going to eat. This prevents you from wondering, ‘what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner’, as it’s all planned. This helps you go on a smart grocery shop and purchase the ingredients you need for the meals rather than impulse purchasing of what looks good. This also enables you to plan for leftovers – buy some extra chicken to cook one night that can be incorporated into your lunch or dinner the next day. We have started ordering our fruits and veggies through Organics Live – organic delivery to your door. You see the contents the week prior and we plan our meals around what’s coming. Cuts down on grocery shopping time and you know you are feeding your family fresh organic produce.
This helps you go on a smart grocery shop and purchase the ingredients you need for the meals rather than impulse purchasing of what looks good.
Keep it simple!
The meals don’t have to be gourmet. Just plan smart meals that are well balanced, including a lean source of protein, whole grains, milk (and alternatives) and an assortment of different colored fruits and veggies. Some healthy fats are good for us too – avocados, nuts and flaxseeds are just a few of the good choices. Good dinner recipes such as a simple meal of salmon, steamed broccoli, red peppers and a whole grain bread packs a lot of nutrition. As long as the food is on hand, it’s “easy”. Slow cookers are wonderful – throw everything in in the morning and dinner cooks all day (with enough for a meal the next day)!
Just plan smart meals that are well balanced, including a lean source of protein, whole grains, milk (and alternatives) and an assortment of different colored fruits and veggies.
3. Preparation Time:
Life is busy! In our house my husband and I don’t get home until 6pm or after and that leaves little time to cook a meal let alone to start thinking “what’s for dinner?” and coming up with healthy dinner meals on the fly, and then whipping it up. If I spend the time on the weekends preparing – chopping vegetables, measuring out smoothie ingredients and batch cooking, I have a much better chance of staying on track during the week. Having a chili, rice & bean dish or hearty lentil soup in the freezer are great options to defrost and serve when time is tight. Life will still get in the way and there will be those nights where you need to order in or grab takeout, but I promise if you spend the time preparing you and your family will be better for it!
If I spend the time on the weekends preparing – chopping vegetables, measuring out smoothie ingredients and batch cooking, I have a much better chance of staying on track during the week.
Package up the snacks at one time:
Kids and adults alike need snacks to keep our metabolism going and avoid huge drops in blood sugar levels. Snacks need to be planned for just as much as meals. I portion out our snacks so they are easy to grab when we leave for work or pack up in my daughters backpack for school. A handful of nuts makes a wonderful snack, roasted chickpeas, chopped veggies, cheese, fruit or homemade muffins… the list goes on, but all can be prepackaged and ready to go so it’s not a daily chore.
I portion out our snacks so they are easy to grab when we leave for work or pack up in my daughters backpack for school.
Get the kids involved:
Ask kids for their input as you plan for the week- do they feel like chicken this week? Do they want broccoli or cauliflower? With some input they feel like they have more control over it and will do better when it comes time to eat it. I also get my daughter involved in preparation when possible. She has fun chopping veggies for a few minutes or rolling out pizza dough! Have them set the table to make mealtimes “special”. My daughter loves deciding where people will sit at the table and has taken to dimming the lights for a dinner mood.
With some input they feel like they have more control over it and will do better when it comes time to eat it.
It’s not rocket science – it just takes the time and thought upfront. Try it for a couple weeks and see the difference it makes in your life – as with every new habit you need to give yourself time to get into the groove.
Watch for my next article on healthy breakfast for kids! I’ll have breakfast menu ideas and more. Happy planning
Allison Madigan is a holistic nutritionist. She has a strong belief in the power of food and proper nutrition to keep us in our best health and prevent disease. Allison’s goal is to empower people to make healthy and mindful decisions for themselves and their families to achieve optimal health. She has a keen interest in food sensitivities and allergies and helping families navigate this as she has gone through this with her own daughter.