Whether you’re getting readjusted to having your kiddos back in school, feeling the demands of those extracurriculars, starting classes, or getting back into the swing of things as the school year ramps up, it can feel like a juggling act to stick to your nutrition or wellness goals.
The start of this new season is the best time to revisit and renew your health and wellness goals! Below you’ll find plenty of simple and time-saving ways to ensure your nutrition gets an A+.
Nutrition Tips for Meal Planning
- Recipe note cards. It’s an oldie but a goodie (or new to you!), write down a few family favorite recipes on note cards and keep them somewhere accessible. When it comes time to plan out the week’s meals and create the grocery list, you’ll already have a stash of recipes you know everyone enjoys.
- Opt for frozen produce. These days numerous different items are equally convenient and nutritious. Most grocery stores sell frozen bags of veggies that can easily be popped into the microwave. This is an excellent option for lunches when there is not enough time to cook ahead. The steamed veggies can easily be paired with leftovers or a protein of your choice. (Tip: top the veggies with your favorite dressing or sauce to add some extra flavor)
- Make a little extra. If time allows, when preparing dinner, cook an extra chicken breast or serving of that meal, that way, you’ll have something already made to eat with the steamed veggies. This cuts back on cooking time the next day and provides an easy meal without the stress.
- One pot meals. If you have a slow cooker or instant pot, one-pot meals such as chili or stew can make dinner less of a hassle. The slow cooker can also be used to cook a side dish ahead of time, such as cabbage, carrots, or potatoes. It can be as easy as throwing the ingredients in and letting them cook while you tackle the to-do list. For some one-pot slow cooker recipes, click here.
Nutrition Tips if You are On the Go
- Keep snacks in the car. There is no shame in the car snack game! If you are spending hours driving each day, keep some items like trail mix, protein bars, jerky, or whole grain crackers in your car.
- Pack breakfast AND lunch ahead of time. Not only having your lunch packed and ready to go, but also your breakfast, can set you up for success–especially if you find yourself rushing out the door. Skipping breakfast can often lead to cravings and poor food choices throughout the day. Opt for options like overnight oats, yogurt parfaits, smoothies, or egg bites that can be made the night before and are easy to grab on the way out. Another option is to have things like trail mix, protein bars, protein shakes, and fruit like bananas, apples, or oranges around that way, you can grab a few items and skip the meal prep.
- Plan ahead. If your day is booked back to back with meetings or classes, then scheduling in time for mealtime may be helpful. Some of the brilliant members of the Well Balanced Tribe have voiced how putting lunch on their schedule helped them take the time to stop working or studying to eat. Simply looking at the day or week ahead can help you get an idea of when and where you might be able to eat.
Time Efficient Recipes
- Plant-Based Rice and Beans Bowl
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Curry
- Carrot Cake Overnight Oat
Tools for Simplifying Meal Prep
- Veggie chopper: this easy-to-use tool minimizes the time you spend chopping and helps create more uniform pieces of your favorite veggies
- Veggie spiralizer: add some flare to your pasta nights with this veggie spiralizer; it can transform many veggies into noodles