Mommy guilt is real . . . especially when it comes to feeding our kids. This likely won’t surprise you, but Working Mother published an article recently finding that when you factor in family duties, the average working mom, works 98 hours a week! The article concluded by asking, “so what’s helping moms get through their busy weeks?” One of the top answers was “drive-thru meals.” We’ve all done it, but can we do better?
“so what’s helping moms get through their busy weeks?”
Summer is an especially challenging time. Kids have summer camp, sports practice, and numerous other activities along with numerous family adventures. But all this activity away from home, provides even more temptation to run through the drive-thru or grab a quick snack at the gas station. But with just a little planning, summer can also provide a great opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of good nutrition and physical activity. After all, the research is clear! The better nutrition and more physical exercise your kids get, the healthier they will be and the better they will perform in school.
So, what if we use summer to challenge ourselves and our kids to make a change? With just a little pre-planning we can avoid the drive-thru and provide much healthier options for ourselves and our kids! And why not make it fun! Invite your friends over and while your kids are outside playing (getting that physical exercise they need), whip up some of these make-ahead, healthy, on-the- go meals/snacks.
- Healthy Snack Balls – These gems are full of nutritious goodness, can be made on the weekend and kept in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks – although they’ll never last that long. A great grab and go option! My favorite recipe below.
- Hummus – Hummus is packed full of healthy protein and nutritious ingredients and if you make it at home, its even better. Hummus is so easy to make ahead and put in small snack size containers for a quick and easy snack with veggies or healthy crackers. Or bring frozen hummus along on road trips, to sports tournaments or anytime you won’t need it right away but want it to stay cold. It lasts in the freezer for months! Hummus Recipe
- Smoothies – Smoothies can be a meal or a snack. In the time it takes you to stop at a drive thru, you can whip up a smoothie and your kiddos can drink it on the way to school or practice. Take a handful of spinach (I promise they won’t even know it’s there); frozen fruit; avocado (it makes the smoothie creamy and adds healthy fat); peanut, almond, or cashew butter; and a healthy protein powder. Mix it up in your blender with your favorite milk and they’re ready in minutes. These can be made ahead of time too! Just put all the ingredients except milk in Ziploc bags and have them in the freezer ready to drop in the blender for an even faster smoothie.
- Overnight Oatmeal – Make a batch with your kids and let them choose what to add – there’s no end to the ideas for this make ahead breakfast that you prepare in a small mason jar. Just before running out the door in the morning, pop it in the microwave and your kiddos will enjoy a healthy breakfast on the way to school. Great for a snack too! 15 Overnight Oats Recipes
When the kids are done playing outside, challenge them to come up with five physical activities they can do for 30 minutes each day during this week. Help them create a fun chart that they can check off each day. Here are a few ideas to get you started – rollerblade in the cul-de-sac, play kickball in the back yard, walk the dog, help rake the yard, go for a bike ride, or run a mile around the track at school. Just 30 minutes to help them see that exercise can be fun and easy.
Once you finish the week, why not do this all again the next week? Maybe you’ll create a new habit!