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We all know the importance of healthy eating for ourselves and our families. We are bombarded with messages on television, in magazines, on social media, and maybe you even religiously follow a fitness blogger who regularly posts about their tasty, healthy recipes. But learning about eating healthy and actually doing it are very different things. For the average busy mother, this lifestyle can be quite challenging to achieve when we have so many other responsibilities.
It is for this reason that many of us end up grabbing food on the go, whether it is for ourselves or for our children. But this fast food is never as healthy as fresh home-cooked meals because we can never be certain what is really in it. Of course, we all know to stay away from fast food restaurants if we are trying to make healthier choices, but even your average pre-packaged sandwiches sold at the supermarket can contain way more calories and additives than those you can create yourself at home.
Just look at all the ingredients on the back of the package–chances are, you won’t know what half of them are. So how can you ensure that you and your family are eating healthy, even when rushing around? Here are some ways to guarantee that you have great food, even on the go.
Make Use Of Leftovers
If you are tossing extra food after you go out to eat or cook at home, please STOP! You are missing out on a valuable meal for the next day, which will save you time and money. Plus, you will be helping to reduce waste. Roughly 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away, which adds up to 60 million tons (or $160 billion) worth of produce annually. You can play a role in protecting the environment by reusing your leftovers.
I make a habit of packaging up leftover food, even a little bit here and there, to use for lunch or dinner the next day. Certain bulk meals like homemade pasta sauces, curries, and salads are great to pop into a reusable lunch bag for work or school the next day. One trick that I like to do when cooking dinner is to always make more than my family needs. When you do this, you guarantee that lunch is ready to go when you need to quickly grab your next meal with little effort, and no additional waste.
Another way to use leftovers and add more fruit and vegetables into your family’s diet is to blend your own fruit smoothies and green juices to take out with you. This is a great way to make sure that your kids are getting the vitamins and minerals they need for a well-balanced diet. Websites such as HealthyButSmart.com have plenty of information on how you can make your own healthy juices at home, including the top notch equipment to use. Simply blend fruit together, put it in a sealed water bottle, and you are all set for the day.
Get Creative With How You Carry Food
Some people avoid taking leftover food with them on the go because they think it will be hard to package up and carry around. Sure, fast food places and supermarkets make it extremely convenient with their many packaged food options. But bringing leftovers with you on the go does not need to be complex.
The best solution for taking your own sandwiches to work or sending your kids to schools with a healthy pasta salad is to use some handy airtight plastic containers. Many of these also come with various sections, so you can separate certain foods if you have a fussy eater on your hands. To minimize waste, you can also reuse the plastic containers that you receive with take out food or glass options like mason jars.
Find Healthy Food Spots
With all this being said, there will be times when you simply cannot prepare a takeout meal in advance for the next day. In these cases, you can look for a store or a restaurant that carries healthy options. How do you determine which places actually have healthy food for you? Stores like Wholefoods offer a huge variety of delicious natural and organic options, while a quick stop restaurant like Chipotle is famous for its healthy burrito bowls. These options are perfect when you just do not have time to make lunch in advance but want to stick to a healthy diet.
How does your family eat healthy on the go?