Even though there may be a few leaves left on the trees, the retail markets are pushing in the holiday season. I know that this can be an anxious time for moms — it takes “busy” up to a new level!
Eating well is even more important when you’re feeling a bit more pressure or stress, so I have a few easy tips for you to get you through those busy morning and hectic days. When you’re on the go think of snacks as mini meals. They may actually substitute for a rushed morning when you literally don’t have time for breakfast or have a day that drives right through lunch.
Don’t skip meals and miss out on important protein and energy when you’ve got a busy day ahead. Sure a hot bowl of oatmeal can hit the spot in the morning, but if you’re on the run and don’t have the time, you need something that travels well. And while an ideal lunch may be a sit-down soup and salad, or a rice bowl with veggies, busy afternoons may call for something simpler to snack on between last-minute mad dashes from store to store.
Here are some easy ideas:
- Yogurt smoothie. Using a blender bottle, add 4-6 ounces vanilla yogurt with 4 ounces milk, 3 ounces of fruit juice, then shake. You can also add a packet of protein powder for an extra boost, or try our breakfast shake.
- A fruit and nut bar – look for bars that include nuts. Choose a flavor that suits you, but nuts will generally ensure that you’ll get extra protein from the bar.
- Trail mix. Make your own with peanuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries and mini pretzels. Portion it out into a small sandwich bag to take with you.
- Fresh fruit. You can’t go wrong with fruit. When you know your day is going to be rushed, be sure to grab and extra banana or apple to go.
- Cheese sticks. Individually wrapped cheese sticks pair well with a piece of fresh fruit for a mini meal.
- Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat. PBJs are simple and quick to make, travel well and don’t require refrigeration. They’re easy to throw into your briefcase or take with you on a shopping trip.
- Instead of calorie-free black coffee, grab a tall latte when you’re on the go. Ask for nonfat or low-fat milk to control calories but deliver the protein and calcium. If you enjoy it, ask for one pump of your favorite flavor.
- Chocolate milk. When all else fails, grab a glass of chocolate milk. It will satisfy your sweet tooth and deliver 8 grams of protein per cup along with carbohydrate for energy.
Do your best not to skip meals when you’re busy and stress. It’s also a good idea to stick to your exercise regime. Exercise can help alleviate stress and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Rosanne Rust MS, RDN, LDN is a registered, licensed dietitian-nutritionist with over 25 years experience. As a Nutrition Communications Consultant she delivers clear messages helping you understand the science of nutrition so you can enjoy eating for better health. Rosanne is the co-author of several books, including DASH Diet For Dummies® and the The Glycemic Index Cookbook For Dummies®. A wife, and mother of 3 boys, she practices what she preaches, enjoying regular exercise, good food and festive entertaining. Follow her on Twitter @RustNutrition.