Family Life

Food Prep Tips for Moms With Young Children

My schedule has been all over the place with caring for my son and taking care of myself since I am carrying the new addition to our family. However, maintaining proper health is a priority for my family. It is so easy to be tempted to go out to a fast food joint for convenience, and doing so once in a great while is okay. However, eating fast food can become a habit that is not a good one, and can be very hard to break.

Because I am trying to stay healthy through this pregnancy, and want to only feed my husband and son healthy meals, I have learned some tips and tricks that I would like to share that have helped me to eat and serve nutritional foods. Of course the little guy is a picky eater, so I have had to experiment to find healthy foods that he will eat without kicking up a fuss!

Life is crazy, and anything can get into the way of planning healthy meals! When I think about the future, I know I’ll be packing lunches for school, and things will be even more hectic since the kids will be going to extra-curricular activities then as well. Oh my! When I think about the future, it overwhelms me. That is motivating enough for me to start now so good habits are instilled long before we get to that stage!

Start Small

Planning a whole week of snacks and meals and preparing most of it in advance sounds so overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The best thing to do is start small. Plan one meal, and once you get the hang of that, you can add more planning, and so on. In order to be successful with this, you have to find what works for you. While things are somewhat hectic even now, and since I am tired due to my pregnancy a lot of the time, I usually find myself being able to meal prep twice a week. That is manageable for me right now.

Meal Planning

The challenge happens to lie in trying to figure out what to eat because I have to consider appointments, other meetings, using my time for shopping, and so on. The best advice I can give is to map out your events and responsibilities each week to figure out which meals to plan out. Create a meal plan with your favourite recipes. You can always research more simple recipes in books or online!

You may think that meal prepping can be boring and that you have to be a chef, but that is so far from the truth! All you have to do is set aside a few hours to focus on it, and then you are done. That’s it! You can put some great music on in the kitchen while preparing. I promise that if you focus a few hours on meal planning, you will find that your weeks will go by so much smoother. Snacks and meals are prepared, and during the week you will not even give it a second thought.

Some examples of the foods I use for planning are: veggies for snacks, sides and salads; oats and flatbread; fresh fruit; poultry; eggs; brown rice; yogurt and milk; hummus, popcorn, nuts, crackers and pretzels for snacks!

Ready-to-Eat Snacks

If you have some extra time which I know so many of us don’t, you can make some fun and healthy snacks by using easy recipes like my blueberry oat cheesecake delight! See, it is that easy and tasty!

After I get back home from grocery shopping, I immediately remove the fruits and veggies from the bag and wash, dry, and chop. Always store produce immediately. It’s best to store mixed greens and lettuce with a paper towel in the bag. Gently press all of the air out of the bags to reduce space for moisture. Use air-tight containers to store washed fruit and chopped veggies that stack well in the fridge. This way, everything is prepped and very accessible! When I am in the mood for a snack, I can go right to the fridge to get something to eat instead of hovering around the pantry. My little one loves fruits and veggies too because I have set the best example by eating healthy!

Stephanie is a military spouse and travel and food blogger at Military Travel Mama. As a military spouse, she has lived in nine homes in the past eight years due to Uncle Sam. She has been blogging since 2009 and has since written for various outlets. She enjoys sharing her love of travel and adventures she shares with her family.

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