Between carpool lines, after-school activities and the basic responsibility to keep small humans alive, eating healthy while parenting can seem impossible. The default option often becomes swinging by the drive-thru to get a to-go meal (that’s likely packed with calories and low in nutrients).
If you’ve ever stressed about sticking to your nutrition goals while also sticking to all your parental obligations, check out these tips!
1. Prep ahead
Designating one hour a week solely for meal planning can save you serious time in the long run. Our best advice? Make it simple! Rinse, slice and season your favorite vegetables so they’re ready to be cooked later. Make big batches of soups, sauces and quality grains like brown rice and quinoa. Prep your protein ahead of time so all you have to do is throw it in a salad or wrap for when you’re on the go. Also, take advantage of appliances like slow cookers, which allow you to let your food cook in bulk while you tend to other needs and errands.
2. Consider Ordering Groceries Online
Who has time for long lines and walking through aisles to find exactly what you need? Shave time off your grocery visits by ordering what you need online beforehand. Many stores — namely Walmart — offer this handy service. Pick out what you need for the week from the comfort of your home. Then, simply show up and pick up everything in one easy step. It’s a serious time saver!
3. Enroll in a Meal Delivery Service
Even better than ordering your groceries online, enroll in a meal-delivery service and have your food conveniently delivered to your doorstep! Research and determine the best option for you and your family. Many of the services that offer fully-prepared meals provide nutritional information — so you can know exactly how much protein, carbs and fats are in each meal.
4. Be Smart About Fast Food
If worse comes to worst and you find yourself resorting to the drive-thru, take some time to make an informed decision on what to order. Instead of fried chicken nuggets, opt for grilled. Ditch the fries and order a side salad or cup of fruit. Eliminate calorie-high add-ons like cheese and sauces. Instead of a large soda, get a water instead. These small changes will add up to big results! Plus, you’ll feel better and have more energy to tackle your busy schedule.
5. Promote Your Kids to Sous Chef!
Tell your kids to roll up their sleeves, because they can help with the family’s nutrition plan, too! Save time by getting your little ones to do easy tasks like setting the table or prepping the salad. Assign one of your children the task of filling up water cups. These tasks might seem tiny, but they play a big role in freeing up your time to focus on bigger tasks. Plus, your kids will feel more a part of the process and hopefully pick up on the importance of healthy living.
We hope these tips helped! Most importantly, remember that no one is perfect and it’s ok to have a less than perfect diet. If you find yourself slipping up, hit the re-set button tomorrow. This is a journey, not a destination.