Tips for a Well-Balanced Diet for Busy Moms
For most women – especially moms – days are spent running around and nights resting to do it again the next day. In fact, you’re probably so busy you’ll overlook your own health to make sure your kids are well cared for. But if you want to make it through the day without crashing, it’s important to take breaks for eating.
There’s no doubt that fast food drive-thrus and restaurants make it challenging to make healthy choices. With options like burgers, pizza, and fries all cooked in five minutes or less, it’s tempting to go for cheap and easy, there are health risks, and your energy will also suffer. When you sacrifice time for convenience, you’re probably not getting enough nutrients and ‘crash’ as a result.
Luckily, there are some ways to adopt a well-balanced diet plus save time, money, and stress! Below, you’ll read about five tips and tricks to help lead you on a healthier and happier path.
TIP #1: PRE-COOK EXTRA FOOD
You may not have every second of your day for yourself, but you can make the most of that spare time. Whether it’s some extra minutes on a weeknight or over a weekend free of errands, consider using that precious time to prepare food for the coming week. Cooking extra meals will end up saving time and will help ease the stress that comes with quickly whipping up a meal for the house.
Making extra food for the week is simple: just increase the amount of ingredients and you’re set! Plus, it’ll be easy to store it in the fridge and freezer – the hard work will be done, and all you have to do is heat it up.
TIP #2: PREPARE FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Moms want to make sure their kids are eating healthy, but convenient snacks like artificial fruit strips and cookies don’t help. When you have spare time – even just half an hour is fine – start making your kid’s own snacks. Prepare fruits and veggies by washing, cutting, and storing them in bags and small containers.
These are great ideas for the little ones but they’re also convenient for busy adults! Pre-prepared fruits and veggies can be used in smoothies and on-the-go snacks that are both nutritious and fun to eat. You can even add side dressings, peanut butter, and toppings like dried fruit.
TIP #3: MAKE A WEEKLY MENU AND SHOPPING LIST
We’ve probably all taken a little extra time in grocery stores figuring out what to buy – and buying stuff we don’t like to be in the house (cookies, chips, ice cream). How can you avoid it? Well, it may be easier said than done…but making a weekly shopping list to accommodate a family menu is a fantastic way to start.
You’ll find your trips are easier to manage, less expensive, and quicker! With no room to ‘impulse buy’ unhealthy products, you’re going to be one step further in changing your family’s eating.
If you don’t have enough time to shop, consider subscribing to either a grocery delivery or even a meal planning service. Grocery deliveries are the modern solution if you can’t get out during the week but still need ingredients or essential home items. On the other hand, most meal planning services allow you to hand-pick meals you’re interested in cooking and will send you the ingredients (most are pre-prepared) and a list of steps.
TIP #4: DISCOVER QUICK AND EASY RECIPES
Making family favorites are great but sometimes they take too much time or require a lot of ingredients. Fortunately, there’s always room to update your favorite recipes! With websites like Pinterest, the Food Network, Simply Recipes, and Reddit, you can find easy and quick ideas. The ideal recipe for a busy mom is having a simple and limited list of ingredients and steps.
When it comes to discovering innovative ideas for meals, consider having a discussion with your family. Make sure you’re all on the same page and talk about likes, dislikes, and alternative options. It may even surprise you what everyone’s up to trying. Some families are even flexible to experiment with vegetable alternatives for pasta, putting vegetables in casseroles, and grilling instead of frying.
TIP #5: ALWAYS HAVE HEALTHY SNACKS READY TO GO
From cookies and chips to toaster pastries and artificial gummies, kids in the 21st century have come to know snacks with sugar and saturated fat to be normal ingredients. Unfortunately, this is also the reason so many kids become obese and have other health issues. With a little extra preparation, you can make sure they’re putting healthier foods in their body.
You don’t have to necessarily cook your own snacks because some companies have already made their options healthy. When you go grocery shopping, check products to make sure they’re 100% natural and are minimally processed with no artificial ingredients.
Whether you buy or put together your food, you should encourage healthier and creative ideas for your kids. Instead of packing chips, throw in some sliced up fruits or veggies. Rather than giving them cookies, give them some cheese and whole-grain crackers. For after school, pre-make trail mixes so you can come home and quickly give them something to eat.
There's no doubt that being a mom is a full-time job, so most will resort to convenient options like processed foods and drive-thrus. But reading this, you’re now one step ahead in the game. Your family will be eating healthier, and you’ll be saving time. So instead of rushing around the kitchen, you now have options like pre-cooking meals so you can spend your evenings with your family because that’s the most important thing of all!