Thanks to Sprout® for sponsoring this conversation.
A skipped breakfast.
A lunch packed so quickly it lacks any fruits or veggies.
A processed pack of cookies as an after school snack.
A trip to the drive-thru after soccer practice for dinner.
If yours is a busy family on the go, then one or more of these scenarios might look familiar. I know I recognize a few.
As the pace of our lives increases—and the open space on our calendars decreases—some corners have to be cut. Unfortunately, those corners often involve our health and wellbeing.
But that doesn’t have to be so.
My family is trying our best to keep our health a priority—that goes for the kids and the grown ups alike—even in the face of crazy schedules and full plates. Here are a few of the healthy eating tips we’re relying on as our lives take us here, there, and everywhere.
Healthy Eating Tips for Families On the Go
1. Cook it slow.
I get home from work most days around 4:30, and my first priority upon arrival is feeding my baby and reconnecting with my toddler. By the time my husband gets home around 5:30 or 6:00, everyone besides the baby is feeling pretty hungry—but dinner is rarely even started yet!
Our saving grace in those situations? The slow cooker.
It’s one of the only ways we can get a healthy, hot meal on the table in a reasonable amount of time, since all the effort can happen the night before.
2. Make it ice cold.
Recently I’ve been taking a tip from Elsa and unlocking the power of my freezer. Because if I’m going to go to the trouble of cooking a healthy meal, I might as well make two and save one for later.
Think about it: Making two of the same dish does not require twice the effort—or even twice the money, since buying ingredients in bulk is usually cheaper. So doubling up the meal and popping one in the freezer is a great way to save yourself time and energy later, without sacrificing your family’s health.
3. Load up the car.
The number one time my toddler asks for a snack? When we’re in the car.
Probably because it means he’s had to stop playing for long enough to notice his hunger pangs!
If the situation is dire enough, his requests can quickly turn into begs. And if I’m not prepared, there’s too good of a chance we’ll end up running into a convenience store for a quick bite—or waiting until we’re home and then shoveling in a sugary granola bar.
A better solution? A vehicle that’s always stocked with healthy, convenient, kid-friendly snacks.
My son loves to enjoy a Sprout® Organic Toddler Puree while we’re driving. His current favorite is the Pear, Cherry & Acai Super Fruit flavor (which is pretty darn good—yes, I’ve tried it!).
His fine motor skills are now developed enough that he can also enjoy crunchier snacks in the car without reducing our backseat to a sea of crumbs. The Sprout Toddler Granola Rounds are always a hit when it comes to portable snacking, and we recently tried the Cereal Snacks in the Orange Fruit and Carrot flavor.
He gave his sign of approval!
4. Open your wallet.
Yes, I know the price tag on those pre-cut fruits and veggies or that pre-cooked brown rice doesn’t look so good on your monthly budget.
In general, convenience foods are going to hit your checking account a bit harder.
But it’s worth giving the idea some serious thought and considering if, in some circumstances, it might be worth it to pay more. Because in the end, splurging on the convenience might be the only way you’ll be able to manage eating healthier.
Think about it this way: You may very well be saving yourself some health care costs down the road!
5. Become label-savvy.
If you’re anything like me, your time for grocery shopping is extremely limited.
I simply do not have time to stand in aisle four for twenty minutes scrutinizing every number on every nutrition label on every item I pick up!
Fortunately, I’ve learned that I don’t really need to do that to keep my family healthy.
All I really need to do is zero in on the item’s ingredient list.
Then I ask myself some basic questions: Do I recognize those ingredients? Can I pronounce them? Do they all seem like actual food and not random chemicals, additives, and fillers?
Yes? Then toss it in the cart.
It helps when I find brands that I know I can trust over and over again. Sprout® Organic baby/toddler food—which focuses on real, honest, pure ingredients—consistently fits the bill, so I feel good buying it for my kiddos.
6. Gather ’round the table.
Yes, we’re a family on the go. But that doesn’t mean we don’t make a point of sitting down together for a meal as often as we can.
I’m very aware of the growing body of research showing the positive effects of families eating dinner together (or breakfast or lunch, depending on your schedule). Doing so makes everyone healthier—both physically and emotionally—and it’s been shown to boost kids’ self-esteem, school performance, and intake of nourishing foods.
To which most parents respond: YES!
So no matter how hectic our lives get, we still prioritize a family meal, for the sake of our bodies and our spirits.
Many thanks to Sprout® Organic baby/toddler food for helping me keep my family healthy even when we’re on the go!
Want a $2 Sprout coupon? Click here to get it!
Is your family always on the go? How do you stay healthy even in the midst of busy schedules?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sprout® Organic Baby Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.