My work day has come to an end. I should be humming a happy tune as I skip to the elevators to start my descent toward the fresh air. Instead I walk slowly, with trepidation… I take a few deep breathes. In & Out. In & Out. These breathes are not that of relief that the day is over. Oh no… it’s quite the opposite. They are cleansing breaths, a stress reliever of some sorts. I am mentally preparing myself for my next job…my family life! This is my reality with 2 preteens and activities. The minute I walk through my front door, it will be in fast forward. I need to get home, get us fed and ready before we rush off to activities.
I wish I could say I’ve prepared meals over the weekend and baked fresh muffins to get me through the week; this would be soooo helpful. But again reality sets in and our weekends are often just as busy.
So how to survive? Sometimes our only option is to pick up food on the run. When we do pick up food on the run, we try and make healthier choices, such as salads and smaller portions. However, believe it or not, even my kids prefer to eat at home. So that’s our goal!
To get a healthy meal done in 30 minutes requires all hands on deck. The kids have to pitch in and we make easy meals together.
I have also started cooking enough for 2 meals, making extra chicken, etc., to then add to pasta or a stir-fry for the next night. Easy healthy foods need to be on hand. This unfortunately means hitting the grocery store late at night… but it’s worth it. Sometimes even just a good healthy snack can satisfy us through our activities and then we can all sit together afterwards with dinner.
I recognize this is much easier said than done… but plan ahead. Take a few minutes to think about what will be for dinner the night before and thaw what is needed. I’m not as organized as I would like… but it really helps when I am. I feel less stressed if I can get organized and have a ready supply of basics and favorites. We eat better, spend time together and actually feel better.
So don’t despair. Commit to quick healthy eating. You’ll be glad you did. And my kids are learning very important cooking skills along the way…
What works for your busy family?