4 Healthy Back to School Meal Planning Hacks & Ideas!
If you’re like most, you’re probably not looking forward to the hustle and bustle of back-to-school meal planning. When your schedule picks up it’s easy to resort to freezer meals or eating out. Here are some of my best nutritionist tips for keeping your kids (and yourself) eating healthy even in the midst of all the craziness life brings!
Plan Plan Plan!
You’ve heard the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” right? That’s pretty accurate when it comes to eating well when you’re busy. Scheduling some time out on a Sunday afternoon (or any other day) to plan out your meals for the week and do a big shop can make a huge difference. Grab a free meal-planning chart on Pinterest, print it out and plan every last meal and snack for each day. While you’re add it, write down any meal ideas that come to mind to make your meal planning easier next week. Additionally, we have meal plans available.
Have Enough Containers Before You Prep
There’s nothing worse than prepping a huge batch of chilli and having nothing to put it in! Be sure to buy enough containers, preferably glass to avoid toxins in plastic, to make meal prep easier. Have as many containers as meals and snacks you’ll be eating out throughout the week. If dinners are at home, you won’t need individual containers for this. Have containers to keep snacks like cut up peppers, cucumbers and hummus on hand.
Don’t Be Afraid to Repeat Meals
It can seem boring repeating meals during the week, but you can easily spice things up by changing up your seasonings and adding fresh herbs to make your meals less boring! Try out different recipes such as cashew, coconut milk or tahini-based sauces.
Choose Healthy Packaged Snacks or Prep in Bulk
It can be confusing trying to find healthy snacks without modified-this and hydrogenated-that. Here’s what I recommend doing:
- Look for minimal ingredients
- Always consult the ingredient list, not just nutrition facts
- Avoid anything “hydrogenated”, “sugar-free” (usually replaced with artificial sweeteners), “low-fat” (usually high sugar) or “enriched” with synthetic nutrients.
- Remember “trans-fat free” isn’t always true. They can still add trans fats up to 0.5g.
- Look for snacks with natural fats and protein to keep your kids, and yourself, full.
- Make your own snacks (ideas below!)
Healthy Meal Ideas
- Paleo waffles (you could try freezing them)
- Egg muffins or Egg bake with veggies using dairy-free milk
- Homemade granola with coconut yogurt, fresh fruit and almond butter
- Whole food snack boxes made with pieces of whole chicken, fruits, seeds and gluten-free crackers
- Coconut or brown rice flour wraps with beans, salsa, avocado and peppers
- Salmon bites with cauliflower rice and roasted red peppers
- Instant pot chicken or ribs with vegetables and natural BBQ sauce
- Brown rice with sautéed vegetables and sugar-free, gluten-free stir-fry sauce
- Whole roasted chicken with roasted butternut squash and balsamic asparagus
- Chocolate energy balls
- Paleo granola bars
- Almond flour muffins
- Homemade hummus with carrots or Mary’s crackers
- Snack boxes (P.S. I have a recipe collection with 25 Simple, Clean & Easy Snack Box Recipes available for purchase that your kids will love! They include quick finger-meals, energy bites, and other clean treats.)
If you’re looking for more support to help you put healthy meals together as life gets busier, reach out to us! We offer meal plans and recipe collections to make meal prepping a breeze!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist™