When my kids came to an age that I could leave them at home for an hour or 2 after school until I got home from work (before I created my own business) I realized their "GO TO" foods were less than desirable to me. Heck, even when I'm home I notice the, what I would refer to as junkier food is what they are reached for first.
Don't get me wrong, I seldom stock any "junk" in our house, but if there was anything questionable, it was eaten first because it was quick & because my kids aren't allowed to use the stove or oven when I'm not home. I decided to make them a list of foods and drinks that were appropriate to snack on that are fairly quick to make. It just so happens it's a great list for adults on the go too. Especially Moms that don't have a lot of time to put into their work lunches or whatnot. This way you can prepare yourself a meal where you know what is in it rather than having to grab lunch out everyday. They are categorized below & color coordinated to their topic: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, & Drinks.
Obviously a child will not be able to make everything in each list. Some items are just for adults to prepare or require adult preparation to refrigerate & go to later. Like the grilled chicken strips, for example.
Good Breakfast Choices:
*Hard- boiled eggs (or any cooked egg except for a fried egg.) The white’s are the healthiest part.
*Bacon, egg, & cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread or bagel with real American cheese & Bacon (NOT turkey bacon). Yum!
*Whole wheat toast.
*Cereal. Whole grain & high fiber. You can mix some berries/ fruit in it for extra taste. Skim ,milk is the healthiest, low fat option for cows milk.
*Bagel with a bit of cream cheese (this has very little nutritional value so I suggest eating a yogurt or something with some substance to go with it like a piece of fruit. Breakfasts started with a high - carbohydrate/ low protein diet will start your day off with a high blood - sugar level)
*A fruit salad concoction is wonderful for breakfast or a snack. Cut up of 1 of each of your favorite fruits and mix them together. (Make sure you rinse the ones that aren’t wrapped first.)
*English muffin with honey.
*Waffles. With any high-carb breakfast, however, you should always eat some fruit or yogurt with it. Something with nutritional value to start of the day.
*Fun fact: People who eat more whole grains are at lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.
*Another Fun fact: Sunlight is very important because your body produces Vitamin D in response to Sunlight. Therefore, at bare minimum, you should spend atleast 15 minutes per day out in the Sunlight.
Good Lunch Choices:
*Spinach salad with sweet tomatoes, feta cheese, and white balsalmic vinagarette dressing. Add a small side cup of cottage cheese and a glass of skim milk to make a superb meal!
*Peanut butter & banana sandwich on whole wheat bread, 1 cup of milk & 15 pretzels.
*English muffin pizza’s. (Whole wheat English Muffins (toasted), red tomato/meat sauce, & shredded cheese baked on 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.) 15 grapes and a glass of milk.
*Turkey & Cheese tortilla’s. Fill a 10 inch tortilla shell with turkey & cheese and roll them up. Add an apple with peanut butter for dipping & a glass of milk to make a meal.
*Grilled Cheese on whole wheat bread with REAL cheese. Pair this up with some carrots, ranch dip & a glass of milk and, Voila! You have an excellent lunch.
*Peanut butter & jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread or in a wheat tortilla! That’s a fun twist!
*Grilled chicken salad with dressing of choice. Add 10 wheat crackers, broccoli & cucumbers with a light dip and a glass of milk to make a great meal.
*Turkey Wrap. Made with a whole wheat tortilla, light mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and some veggies of choice. Add a half cup of sugar free pudding and a glass of milk to make a delish meal!
*Strips of grilled chicken with Honey Mustard dip. Pair this up with a side of raisins & a glass of milk.
*Fun fact: You need 1,000 milligrams per day of Calcium to keep your bones strong! One 8 oz. glass of milk contains 300 milligrams of Calcium. A couple glasses of milk paired with a few other dairy products per day will get you your full serving of calcium for a day.
*Another fun fact: The more salt you eat, the more Calcium gets carried away by urine. Thus , keeping salt out of your diet will help you keep more Calcium to strengthen your bones!
*And another…: Fast- paced walking, dancing, tennis, and yoga have shown as the top "weight bearing" exercises to benefit your bones. Weight bearing means: using the weight of your body to stress the bones and muscles. Your body will lay down bone material and your bones will become denser.
Good Dinner Choices:
*Homemade hamburgers w/ whole wheat buns or bread cooked medium. Paired with baked beans, corn, and a glass of skim milk makes a good, easy dinner.
*Steak (sirloin is best, but for the most part, steak is always a healthy choice). Add a baked potato with pepper, maybe a dallop of sour cream, green beans and a glass of skim milk will make a fantastic meal choice.
*Salmon. Pair this with some whole grain rice, some mixed vegetables, apple slices & a glass of skim milk & YUM! Chow down!
*Mostaccioli with whole grain noodles or egg noodles & meat sauce. Add some Asparagus, sliced strawberries & bananas, and an ice, cold glass of skim milk and you’ve got yourself one heck of a tasty meal.
*Chicken Parmesan. Baked or grilled chicken drizzled with a bit of marinara or meat sauce with ½ a melted piece of swiss or provel cheese atop. Some mixed steamed veggies and a glass of skim milk would go great with this.
*Butter, Parmesan Noodles. Any type of whole grain noodle you’d like mixed with butter (real butter) and shredded or grated Parmesan. This isn’t the most nutritional meal, but if you pair it with a fruit, vegetable & glass of skim milk, it will suffice.
Fun Fact: Salmon (and some other fatty fish) offers a variety of bone boosting nutrients. They contain Calcium & Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb Calcium. These particular fish’ are also high in Omega3 Fatty Acids which have been proven to reduce bone loss and prevent osteoporosis.
Good Snack Choices:
*Carrots and a little ranch dip.
*Crackers & Cheese (adding a little salami is always good too, if available.)
*Hard- boiled eggs.
*Pistachio’s & Sunflower Seeds (high in Calcium).
*Dried Cranberries & Cherries are a good alternative to Raisins.
*Celery with crème cheese or peanut butter.
*Trail Mix (with nuts, pretzels, dried fruits, raisins and a FEW chocolate morsels).
*Whole Tomato’s - sliced, with real melted Provel or Swiss Cheese. Baked.
*Cheese cubes & Grapes.
*Apples and Peanut Butter.
*Broccoli & Cucumber’s with a light dip.
*Sugar free pudding.
*Wraps. (they are good as a meal or for a snack).
*Walnuts & Flaxseeds (they are packed with Omega3 Fatty Acids).
*Homemade mashed potatoes.
Healthy Drink Choices:
*Water ( and lots of it. You should drink half your weight in ounces per day of water.) You can also squeeze some lemon into your water or juice from another fruit to make it a bit tastier.
*Milk. (Skim is healthiest if you drink cows milk, but you will get your Calcium from any type).
*Orange Juice (100% orange juice).
*Cranberry Juice. Real Cranberry Juice. Some have high sugar content, but it is extremely valuable for yielding off urinary tract & bladder infections.
*Making your own juices with a "juicer" is always a family friendly & healthy alternative to anything store- bought. Plus, you can freeze them and thaw when needed.
I'm not saying eating these foods will get you fit for a bodybuilding competition or anything, but they are certainly better choices than a McRib or a Toaster Strudel.
What quick snacks & meals that inspire healthy do you feed your kiddo's? Do you have any fun concoctions you'd add to this list?! Tell us below!
By: Liv H
Proud Mom of 3 beautiful children. Creator, designer, & owner of Liv & Co.
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