Of course eating at a table with minimal distractions is the best way to eat for your health, but today’s busy families often find themselves grabbing and going from one after-school after another and what they’re grabbing isn’t always the best choice. Save time, money and your health by avoiding so-called fast food restaurants and vending machines and choose to bring your own foods.
Here are some simple steps:
1. Know your family and your schedule, then shop accordingly.
2. When grocery shopping, have a separate list and bag for foods that will be eaten on the go. (Think “forkless foods) This becomes your “go to” bag for meals and snacks on the road. Keep handy wipes and a roll of paper towels for easy clean-up.
3. Make a list of healthy items your family likes to eat on the go, add to the list, and refer to it for easy shopping.
4. Include foods from different food groups at each meal to help satisfy hunger, and remember to hydrate. A lot of times we eat when we’re really thirsty so remember to keep a drink with you.
Get Everyone Involved
1. With change can come resistance, so include your child in the process by having them select some of the foods on the “to go” list for the week. This will help save you money from having uneaten foods.
2. While you’re packing lunches, have your kids pack their after school snack at the same time. Take it a step further by reorganizing your kitchen for kid friendly meals by devoting a section of the fridge and/or pantry for their lunches and snack foods. So they’re easy to grab and go when you need them.
Some Items for “foods on the go” can include:
• Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, banana chips)
• Dried veggie chips instead of potato chips.
• Fresh fruit is a true eco-friendly snack, since it comes in its own wrapper and they travel well- oranges, Clementines, grapes, bananas, apples
• Fresh cut veggies- carrots, celery, broccoli, bell pepper strips.
• Snack containers filled with pre-measured whole-wheat cereals or crackers, air-popped popcorn, pretzels.
• Roasted or raw nuts in whole form when possible or nut butters in to-go packets to be used on fresh fruit or veggies.
• Applesauce to-go squeeze packs, breakfast bars or whole ingredient Lara bars
• Reusable water bottles – Fill them up at night and keep in the freezer until the morning. Then leave the water bottle in the car to thaw during the day and be ready for the kids.
• Other beverages include: shelf stable milk, coconut water instead of sports drinks, and low sugar 100% fruit juices.
Set expectations early
Talk to your kids about your plan to eat healthy on the go. “Today, when I pick you up from school, I’m going to give you an apple with sunflower butter to eat on your way to soccer practice. After practice, we’re going home to eat dinner at the table.”
Get the whole family on board
Healthy eating works best when the adults of the household work together. That doesn’t mean that everyone cooks, it means that everyone talks positively about eating healthy, trying new foods, complimenting the cook(s), and having fun in the process.
Presented by Whole Foods Marketing Specialist Jennifer Matascik for Generation XL2: Healthy Family Habits