Today I’m sharing a guest post from Petra Kravos about health eating hacks for busy parents. I don’t know about you, but there’s definitely not enough hours in the day for me, and I only have one child! Mums with more than one kid and those juggling work and parenting are my superheroes and I think any little life hacks can really help. Petra Kravos is a healthy lifestyle blogger who runs one of the top UK’s health blogs, Be Healthy Now. Petra is very passionate about health and loves helping people on their healthy living journey. On her health blog, you will find a variety of topics, from natural health and healthy eating to fitness and natural living. You can follow Petra on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
6 Healthy Eating Hacks for Busy Parents
Life can be really hectic as a parent and many times, although parents do want to be healthy, it’s almost impossible with a busy schedule and a hectic family lifestyle. Lack of sleep and tiredness can easily take over and as a result, when it comes to food choices, many times parents resort to convenience food and quick and less healthy meals.
While once in a while eating less healthy won’t do much harm, if this occurs on a regular basis, it can really impact your health – your weight can go up, you miss out on certain nutrients and you lack energy due to poor food choices. Luckily, healthy eating is possible if you are a little bit organised, plan ahead and buy the right type of foods. Here are my top healthy eating hacks which will help you get back on track:
Buy frozen vegetables
To save time, you can buy frozen vegetables which are already prepared for you, some of them even already cut into cubes. Quite a big time saver, if you ask me! I, for example, don’t like cutting butternut squash for the soup so sometimes I buy frozen, already cubed butternut squash.
You can find all kind of frozen vegetables in the freezer section of your supermarket, even onions! So if you are short of time, make use of this option. It’s better than not using any veggies at all because of the time they take to prepare. Also, keep in mind that already prepared frozen vegetables are better than the ones you buy from the fridge section of your supermarket as they are fresher.
Make use of a food processor
While chopped and already prepared vegetables are an attractive option, they are more expensive than the vegetables you prepare yourself from scratch and over time this could really eat into your monthly food budget.
Luckily you can chop, slice and grate food easily with a help of a food processor. I use it for chopping tons of parsley for tabbouleh salad and when preparing a healthy coleslaw. A big time saver! If you don’t have a food processor or you need to buy a new one, check out some of the best food processors you can buy, as recommended by wellness gurus.
Make use of your freezer
You may not have time to cook proper meals every day but when you do, it does make sense to cook more so that you can freeze some and have it ready for those busy days. Soups are the best for this but you can also freeze things like lasagne, ragu, healthy pies, tomato sauce, casseroles and stews. So when you are tired and cannot be bothered to cook, rather than having an unhealthy takeaway or some other unhealthy meal, just take one of your home-made meals out from the freezer, defrost it and heat it up.
When you have little time to prepare food and don’t want to wait for ages for oven food to be ready, pan-frying is a good alternative. I sometimes pan-fry salmon to get dinner on the plate faster, but you can do the same with a beef steak, chicken breasts or some other meat.
Stir-frying is also a brilliant idea as it does save you time. You can conveniently buy a ready-made bag of stir-fry vegetables from the supermarket which you can then use together with seafood, chicken or beef to create a quick and healthy stir-fry dinner (if you are having your stir-fry with noodles, choose healthier ones if you can).
Buy ready-made grains and pulses
These days supermarkets cater very well for busy people and in the last few years the choice we have has really widened. So now, when you go food shopping, you can even buy things like pre-cooked lentils, quinoa, brown rice and other pre-cooked grains.
While it’s always better to make this type of food at home, it can be forgiven when you are busy. Just try and go for wholegrain products as these have more fibre (avoid white rice).
Of course, this type of food will be a little bit expensive, but it’s handy to keep in your kitchen for times when you really busy and stressed and you just want to prepare something quick.
When buying one of those ready-made grains in a microwaveable bag, try to go for the one which doesn’t have a long list of ingredients (it’s healthier).
Prepare food in advance
When you have a less busy day, you could use it to prepare food in advance. This is good to do because when you are prepared and lots of things are ready for you, then it will be much easier for the whole family to eat healthily. Here are just some of the things you could do on your ‘less busy’ days:
- Wash fresh fruits such as berries, grapes and cherries and store them in a container in a fridge so that they are ready to eat as part of your breakfast or as a kids’ snack
- Cut carrots into sticks so that you can eat them with hummus or as snack throughout the week
- Make a homemade trail mix
- Wash and chop lettuce and store it in the fridge, ready for a healthy salad in the next few days
- Prepare breakfast in advance, such as overnight oats or this low-carb breakfast
- Boil eggs (if you like eating them for breakfast or as a snack)
- Anything else you could think of!
So there you have it, some of my top healthy eating hacks you can try to make your life easier and to be healthier.
How do you make sure that you eat healthily as a busy parent? Do you have any healthy eating hacks that you could share?