September means back to school. This year, it also means many of us will need to juggle work from home, the office or both while “home schooling” our children and transporting them to and from school, activities or daycare. At times when we have “a lot on our plate”, we turn to food for comfort. It can seem overwhelming to take the time to make something healthy and nutritious for ourselves and our families.
Eating healthy is essential especially when feeling overwhelmed. It can help you feel and sleep better! Making decisions on what to cook each night when you are tired and hungry is stressful and typically results in unhealthy choices.
Some quick tips:
- make a weekly meal plan before you head to the grocery store
- take the time to prep for the week on Sundays
- consider batch cooking
Cooking extra vegetables, whole grain pasta or rice, beans, chicken or eggs ahead saves time throughout the week and can be stored safely in the refrigerator (3-4 for animal products, 5-7 days for vegetables, beans and grains). This cuts down on prep time and makes putting a meal together much simpler. Some ideas include:
- Hard-boil 6-12 eggs for a quick breakfast with fresh fruit or yogurt, as a great snack or toss in a salad.
- Turn a dinner of brown rice and roasted chicken into a quick burrito with chopped lettuce and salsa another night.
- Beans can be used in breakfast or dinner burritos, tossed in a salad or as a main dish with rice.
- Fresh cut vegetables such as peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, celery or carrots are a great quick snack or can be added to whole wheat pasta with some garbanzo beans, a drizzle of your favorite dressing and a little feta cheese for a healthy pasta salad.
Many of our homes have turned into classrooms! Extend the classroom into the kitchen. Your children will need to read the directions and use their math and science when adding ingredients. When you involve your whole family in finding recipes, planning, prepping and cooking, mealtime can be healthy, fun and much less stressful.
Visit our Nutrition page for more information about counseling and classes.