Back to School & Work Tips

You may have done the shopping for all the school supplies but what about the school or the work lunchboxes? This is the time to think about YOUR and the family's health and well being. What you do is what your kids follow. Back to school or work can be from the holidays or literally each Sunday. The problem is that many of us get a bit tired, then the planning goes out the window and subsequently the food prep gets cut and the convenience food can start creeping in, many of it not healthy for kids or adults. Many parent's also tend to just think about the kids and not themselves but without looking after your own health, means life becomes more stressful without adequate nutrition. 

So here are a few tips to help you save TIME with less preparation during the week, spend less MONEY at the supermarket (always good for everyone's budgets) or buying lunches out and less STRESS with having to always think about lunches or what you are going to have for dinner. 

1) Sit down for 10 minutes possibly with the family and plan your meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and then write a correlating shopping list. This will save you time walking around the supermarket and will save you money by not adding in items that are not needed. 

2) If you do have a busy week ahead best to also spend an hour or so slicing or dicing vege sticks or fruit pieces and putting them into containers or snap lock bags already to go. Same with making up a scroggin mix or doing a large salad e.g. quinoa & chicken salad or roasting up vegetables so that you have lunch for 3 days. I also tend to a bircher muesli for 3 portions so that it saves time each morning.

3) If you are an early riser and prefer to get your lunches sorted the morning of that is great but I tend to say aim to have things done the night before, that way it saves the stress for the school runs or work rush in the morning. 

4) Lastly delegate or get the kids or significant other involved. Whether it be meal suggestions, finding new recipes or snacks or slicing or putting things in containers. 

5) Always keep up the motivation to think about the benefits of being a little organised with nutritious food can help you save you time and money and ultimately help you feel great in health with energy and less stress.

Some things to stock in your pantry

Prepackaged snack items:

·         Prune snack size packs, are a great lower sugar dried fruit option

·         Zoaties snack balls are handy to have, nice and natural low sugar than bliss balls (dates can get stuck in little one teeth)

·         Nice n Natural low sugar Protein bars

·         Tinned tuna or tuna/ salmon pouches and rice crackers

·         Mixed nuts and seeds- pumpkin, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, brazil and cashew nuts.

·         Wholemeal low sodium wraps and pita pockets

·         Roast chickpeas or broad beans

Fruits and Vegetables- Packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Carrot/capsicum/zucchini/celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, apple, banana, grapes, watermelon. Look at hummus for dips for something different or nut/seed butters for protein and healthy fats

Dairy- For strong bones and teeth, get the calcium intake up through the day! Pot of natural yoghurt, for extra flavor add some fresh or frozen fruit. Cheese sticks are a handy lunchbox item, or cottage cheese to dip vegetable sticks in.

Protein sources- boiled eggs, nuts, deli meats, chicken drumsticks, dairy, falafels, chickpeans, edamame beans, tofu.

Think outside the box especially for breakfast foods, most cereals on the market are highly processed and are high in sugar. Take a few minutes to quickly scramble or poach some eggs, take a natural yoghurt and mix some nuts/seeds through with some berries, make a smoothie, whip up some quick banana and egg pancakes, top toast with healthier options such as peanut butter and banana.

The key is to aim for foods the same as what we are trying to eat as adults; minimally processed, nutrient dense foods to nourish the body.

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