Let’s face it – the sit down meal at 5 o’clock just isn’t going to happen in your house tonight, or most nights, or maybe any night.
A typical family evening may not see all the family members together until it’s time to say goodnight.
Between work, school, sports, clubs, music, and other activities, we are on the go from sun-up to sun-down, and beyond.
Once everyone gets their activities on the family’s calendar, you can make your schedule and everything turns out just fine, right?
Wrong. As you are traveling through your day, you notice nutrition has taken a back seat.
If most days are spent taking one or more trips through the drive-thru fast food place or calling in for pizza delivery, you know no one is eating a balanced diet. This is detrimental to your family’s health and happiness.
But, is there a way to change this? Yes. Let’s take a look at some suggestions for having nutritious food ready and waiting for your frenzied family to grab and go.
Wrap It Up
This is one meal that satisfies everyone and is so easy to make and to store. Keep the ingredients simple, and don’t use anything like lettuce, cucumbers, or tomatoes, or other things that wilt or get watery if you want the wraps to last for a while.
Use good whole grain, sun-dried tomato, or spinach tortillas. Spread hummus in the middle and top with shredded cooked chicken, black beans, or other protein like fish or tofu. You can include chopped bell peppers or celery, or cooked brown rice or quinoa.
Just remember, if you want the wraps to last, limit the vegetables to non-runny kinds. Wrap these up into burrito shapes, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. You may want to wrap them up again in aluminum foil to make them easier to transport.
Make a big batch of chicken fingers and store them in the refrigerator for an easy, protein rich meal. But, you don’t just want a bowl of chicken sitting there. Create small grab-and-go meals that are fast and nutritious.
Most kids like to dip chicken in dressing of some sort. Make your own healthier version of Ranch style dip using yogurt and lots of herbs. You may also like to make some spicy salsa style dip with fresh tomatoes.
When you package up your homemade chicken fingers with a couple dips alongside, this fast food seems more like a meal. Don’t forget to include a biscuit and your kid-on-the-run will have a full tummy in no time.
Tex Mex Meal
Black beans are an excellent source of nutrition that can be used in countless ways to make a fast meal. Expand the classic black bean dip you might enjoy at a Mexican restaurant to a more filling dish.
Lightly smash some rinsed black beans in a big bowl, add diced tomatoes, salsa, corn, chopped avocado, onion, and any other ingredients that sound good to you. Mix and chill. Divide the dip into little bowls, then package up with a couple handfuls of good whole wheat tortilla chips.
Remember, black beans are loaded with protein and dietary fiber, so even though this dish is often considered a snack, with all that goodness going on in there, it is really a full-meal-deal.
Those are just three nutritious dishes that you can have ready and waiting for your busy family to grab anytime, day or night. It just goes to show you that you don’t have to miss out on nutrition no matter how frenzied your family gets.
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