The best cooks develop routines that make them more efficient in the kitchen. The same rule applies to just about everything in life. Developing routines and planing ahead for meals and snacks makes healthy eating easy.
As soon as I jump out of bed in the morning I immediately make my bed. If nothing else in the day gets done, at least I feel like I got one thing accomplished. This small gesture sets the tone for the day and I appreciate walking into a clean tidy room. Next I run straight for the coffee. There is no talking to me unless I have my coffee. Can you relate? Then I make and prepare any snacks and granola bars for the next few days. This way there are healthy non processed easy-to-grab foods for the kids and I. And when I say kids, that does include my husband, wink! wink!
- Make a list of snacks you want for the week such as breakfast bars, muffins, pancakes, granola bars, sliced fruit and vegetable sticks.
- Read a recipe all the way through; knowing what ingredients you need.
- Keep lots of fruits and vegetables on hand. Cut vegetables right when you get them and store them in sealed containers in the refrigerator for easy grabbing when hungry.
- Make homemade dips such as hummus or Greek yogurt mixed with almond butter.
- Plan your kitchen spaces efficiently. Make sure you have things you use a lot within easy reach and have ample room for chopping and prep work.
- Create a system for organizing recipes. Be it on your phone, through Pinterest, printed in a binder, cookbooks, or stored on a computer have it easy access.
A few favorite make ahead snack recipes:
- Hummus served with a bunch of carrots, tomatoes on the vine, cucumber sticks
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Chocolate chip spinach muffins
- Energy rich treats such as Granola bars and No bake protein balls
- Granola for breakfast or over plain Greek yogurt sweetened with berries
- Pancakes with a spread of peanut butter or almond butter
- Nut Butters and apples
- Fruit infused water with mint
- Coconut oil popcorn
Most of my go-to recipes are stored on my blog or via Pinterest so I have a bunch of browser pages open on my phone.
A perfect sports and after school snack to make is sugar free lemonade with hummus. Veggie sticks can be cut and hummus made the night before a game. Just scoop about 1-2 tablespoons of hummus into cups and add veggie sticks. Lemonade can also be made ahead of time and when it is not store bought, you control the sugar content. We use Stevia drops in ours for this sugar free version.
For the hummus I used Ina Garten’s Hummus recipe and tweaked it a bit. I omitted the hot sauce (so its plain for kids) and used olive oil instead of tahini (sesame paste) since I did not have any on hand.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 6 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 3 lemons
- 1 orange
- 1 pitcher of water
- 2 eye droppers of Stevia
- Put all Hummus ingredients into a food processor. Blend until pureed. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Fill pitcher up with water. Add juice of 3 lemons and one orange. Remove any seeds. Add Stevia drops. Serve cold over ice.