Running errands and shopping seem to be the hardest times for me in regards to eating healthy…especially with 3 little ones in tow! All moms know how hard it is to shop with hungry, cranky kids (or a hungry, cranky mom!).
One thing I have found though is that, as with most things in life, my success depends largely on one thing…planning ahead.
Planning ahead is easier said than done most days when you have a million things on your “To Do” list and not enough time to get it all done. But we value good eating habits and I really want to teach my kids that even when we are on the go we can still stick to good habits. It only takes an extra 5-10 minutes to throw it all in a lunch bag before you run out the door.
The few extra minutes that you plan ahead actually saves you a ton of stress later! You have food readily available when they start saying they’re hungry, no waiting in fast food lines, and you know you’re getting something good in them that will fuel their little bodies!
We went out shopping today and this was our stash that we grabbed before we ran out. Oh, and don’t forget to fill stainless steal water bottles for each kid! Again, a quick, simple step that saves you time and money later when inevitably, you’re in a store with your hands full and they ask you to go find a water fountain.
Also, I’ve found that a simple thing like drinking water and keeping everyone hydrated prevents cranky kids. Think about it…how do YOU feel when you go hard all day and forget to drink water? I sometimes get a headache and am pretty grumpy!! We add a scoop of Performance into our water bottles and shake it up to make sure the kids are really hydrated all day!
Here are a few ideas of things you can throw together before you’re off to your errands! Put each item in individuals baggies so there is no fighting (and they are easy to toss from the front seat to the back seat…even while driving!)
Pick anything (and more) off this list but one good rule of thumb is to eat something ALIVE at every meal. I know I feel terrible when I just eat snacky foods all day. Your kids are no different. They need REAL vs. all processed. Even organic food can be deceiving if all their eating is pre-packaged or processed organic foods for a whole meal. Even if it’s a few carrots or an apple, get something fresh in their meal!
- Veggie Straws or Chips
- Apples and Peanut Butter (in small Tupperware containers)
- Cutie Clementines (so easy to peel, the kids can do it. And no seeds!)
- Carrot Sticks
- Celery and Peanut Butter
- Homemade Trail Mix (almonds, pecans, walnuts, raisins, cranberries, small chocolate chips)
- Gold Fish (No colored ones!! Avoid snacks with food coloring…crackers, fruit snacks, or juices)
- Fruit Roll Up (100% fruit…No fake fruit snacks with High Fructose Corn Syrup and sugar)
- Cheese Slices and Crackers
- Mixed berries (in baggies or small bowls with lids)
- Shaklee 180 Snack Bars or Meal-in-a-Bars (it’s a couple bucks for a full Meal bar…Fast food costs more and offers little to no nutrition – quite the opposite of these bars. We plan ahead, stock up every month, and save them for these occasions when we are out and need a meal replacement for the kids)
- PB & J sandwich (choose Whole Wheat or grain bread, Natural, no sugar PB, and REAL fruit jam sweetened with fruit juice rather than sugar…Polamers All Fruit is a great one)
- Yummy Earth Gummy Bears...a special treat so they feel like it’s a fun “picnic”
This list is by no means exhaustive, but will maybe give you a few ideas of how you can quickly plan ahead to help your family stay healthy…even on the go!!
What ideas have you tried with your family? I’d love to hear what’s working for you!