Busy Mom Shortcuts: Healthy Foods

Christmas is almost here!  We are less than a week away from the holiday, which means that school is on winter break and I get two weeks to spend with my husband and son with no worrying about grading or lesson planning!  Woo hoo!

I’m not posting my meal plan this week because there isn’t much point–the meals we will be eating at home are repeats from last week, and half of the week we will be eating with family for Christmas celebrations.

During weeks like this, it seems like even though vacation weeks are supposed to mean slowing down and relaxing, it’s as busy as ever. It is so important to have go-to healthy foods that are quick and easy. Busy moms don’t have time to do a lot of prepping and cooking!  I wanted to share a few of my favorite shortcut healthy foods to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle!

  1.  Pre-cut veggies: my grocery sells pre-cut celery, jicama, and carrot sticks in the produce section.  Between these and bags of baby carrots and pre-cut broccoli, I have easily portable snacks to take to work.  I usually take hummus to pair a healthy fat with the veggies to help keep me satiated.
  2. Beef or turkey jerky: although jerky is not the “cleanest” food in the world, it is a quick and easy protein snack for me.  I read the labels before I buy it to look for the lowest sugar count; some flavors/brands have as much as 12g per serving and as little as 2g.  Read your labels and limit portions to make sure you aren’t accidentally consuming too much sugar!
  3. Frozen, pre-cooked, diced grilled chicken: this is a recent find from the frozen food section that I’m really excited about!  Grilled chicken is a great healthy snack, but I don’t have time to cook grilled chicken just for a snack!  Buying it precooked makes it a quick reheat situation for my protein snacks or a quick meal with some veggies.
  4. Instant steel cut oatmeal: Steel cut oatmeal is a better option that regular oatmeal because it is lower on the glycemic index, but I personally don’t have time to cook them the old fashioned way.  I buy 100-calorie packs of flavored steel cut oats that take 2-3 minutes to cook.  That’s a little controversial because with the added sugar and flavoring it’s not really clean eating, but it’s better than the fried chicken bagel or doughnut that used to be my “quick” breakfast!
  5. Cheese sticks: I have started buying sharp cheddar cheese sticks and I love them!  Sometimes cheese sticks are very processed and don’t have a lot of flavor; sharp cheddar gives a lot of flavor, so I feel satisfied eating a smaller amount.  I can get some healthy fat from a cheese stick, and that snack tides me over without affecting my health goals!

When you are committed to living a healthy lifestyle, whether you’re a mom, a dad, a student, or whatever your life circumstances are, it’s essential to find healthy shortcuts that work for you to make your life easier!  If you aren’t prepared, you will give in to temptation a lot more often.  Keep your eyes open at your grocery store to find these shortcuts for yourself!

What is your favorite healthy shortcut?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

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