Getting your kids to practice on time AND putting a healthy meal together on a weeknight is a small miracle for most parents and caregivers. Between the stress of the clock and multiple opinions and food preferences, finding quick, healthy, meal ideas feels overwhelming and exhausting. Here are 4 tips to help you conquer the weeknight dinner battle and avoid the unhealthy drive-through option:
1. Plan meals with your calendar in hand before the week begins, not in the moment:
Figuring out what to eat for dinner and preparing the meal are two hard things that feel overwhelming at 5pm. Remove one of those challenges by meal planning over the weekend. Simply look at your calendar to remind you what nights are practice nights and plan simple recipes for those days (remember, practice night is never the night to make a complicated meal). Sheet pan meals and slow cooker recipes are a great option when dinner and clean up needs to be quick!
2. Don’t forget to create plan B:
For most of us, when dinner plans are too complicated and we run out of time to cook, we opt for plan B: Wawa or drive-through. But eating out is NEVER plan B. That’s plan C! Plan B is a quick, healthier alternative you can pull out of your freezer or pantry and pull together in 10 minutes or less. 2 examples of plan B meals are pasta with meat sauce and a bagged salad or Perdue short cut chicken strips with minute rice, frozen stir-fry veggies, and teriyaki sauce. Always have 2 plan B meals on hand each week for when your original plan A meal doesn’t work out.
3. Get the whole family involved:
There’s nothing more defeating as a parent/caregiver when you put the time in to create a well-balanced, healthy meal and your kids complain about the food. It feels discouraging, frustrating, and aggravating! To overcome this challenge, have your kids be an active member in meal planning. Show them cookbooks or websites with easy recipe ideas for them to add to the weekly meal plan. This not only teaches them a valuable life skill but will increase the likelihood they eat (and enjoy) dinner!
4. Ask for help!
Meeting with a Registered Dietitian is a great way to learn new ideas and gather sports minded recipes for athletes of all ages. For more information, check out https://bodymetrixhealth.com//meal-planning/