Life can get busy.
It can be challenging to balance an active schedule around mealtime. Always pack a cooler with food to last while you are away from home.
This will keep your family satisfied and happy while providing the nutrition they need.
For information on feeding your hungry athletes, visit the Healthy Eating for Teen Athletes page.
Here are some simple tips for feeding your family on-the-go:
- Plan ahead: This is a key step in having food available to pack and go. Make a shopping list each week based on scheduled events. Then make a menu. This takes all the last minute stress out of daily meal planning.
- Use left overs: Fixing meals to take with you is a great way to use up left overs and cut back on food waste. Incorporate these items in your menu planning or as last minute go-to items.
- Add whole grains: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have set dietary guidelines for Americans. These include having half of your grain consumption come from whole grains. Just look on the label for “whole” as in 100% whole wheat or whole wheat.
- Pack water bottles: The best way to stay hydrated is by drinking water. Avoid sugar sweetened beverages and soda. These only add high amounts of calories with little or no nutritional benefits. Water is a refreshing way to keep your body going.
- Have portable snacks ready for kids to grab: Kids and adults alike will be more likely to choose healthy foods to take with them if they are ready to go. Fill baggies with portable snacks that will fuel the body. See suggestions listed below or come up with some of your own!
- Choose lean protein: Turkey, chicken, salmon and tuna have less fat and preservatives than processes luncheon meats. Peanut butter is also a good choice.
- Carry sanitizing hand wipes and napkins: Staying healthy includes avoiding germs and contamination. Have wipes and napkins in your lunch bag to stay clean and “bug” free.
- Purchase insulated lunch bag with freezer pack: Your kids will be more likely to take a lunch with them if they have their own lunch bag. It is also important to keep refrigerated foods cold.