It’s spring, which means outside events, sports, and other activities are in full swing. Many times, families are so busy, that dinner is an afterthought. Dinners that are “home-prepared” can still be just as healthy as “home-cooked”. Here are some tips for on-the-go meals:
- Make Your Own.
o Create your own healthier lunchable by including all food the food groups in the divided sections of a lunch box. Pair whole grains with lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables for a balanced meal.
o Wrap all the food groups up in a whole grain tortilla for easy eating.
o When you are really pressed for time, pack snack foods to tide you over. Focus on a lean protein and high-fiber carbohydrate, which will help you keep you fuller longer and give you energy.
- Frozen Meals. Frozen entrees or meals are often high in sodium, but when you are in a bind, look for these characteristics in a healthier frozen meal: 1) 500mg or less of sodium and, 2) high in fiber and protein. Frozen meals are often too low calorie for a meal especially for active teens, so add an additional serving of fruits or veggies to make it more balanced and filling.
- Mason Jars. Mason jars are perfect for combining food groups in a simple container that goes with you.
o Enjoy breakfast for dinner: Overnight Oats: Combine oats and low-fat milk, allow to sit in the fridge for a few hours and then top with nuts and fruit. Frittata: bake a combination of cooked turkey sausage and veggies like kale, spinach, peppers, and mushrooms with whisked eggs and milk.
o Lighter fair: Parfait: Layer Greek yogurt with berries and granola or honey roasted chickpeas. Smoothie: Prepare ahead of time, pour into jar (leaving room for liquid to expand as it freezes) and store in freezer. Remove when you need a quick meal!
o Salad-in-a-Jar: Make your own creation with salad veggies or zoodles (zucchini noodles). Add a protein such as beans or chicken. Put your heartier veggies on the bottom so fragile ones are less likely to wilt.
o Layered Burritos: Mix leftover cooked chicken, rice, beans, and a fresh salsa for a festive on the go meal.