Weight Loss Food Prep Tricks for Busy Parents
Are you a busy working parent with type 2 diabetes? Does someone in your household need help with diabetes management? Even if no one in your family has diabetes but you, you may be interested in strategies to prevent its onset. Amazingly, a full 90% of type 2 diabetes cases are preventable by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active!
So whether you’re working towards a healthy weight for better diabetes control or trying to prevent its onset – you can achieve weight loss, even with a tight schedule. The key for weight loss on a busy schedule is planning ahead! Just you like to plan in order to arrive at work on time, make sure that you have clean clothes, gas for your car, food for breakfast, and know an alternative route to work in case of an accident, you have to plan for healthy eating on a busy schedule. Plus planning helps lower the risk of stress eating.
Tips & tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help make weight loss easier for your busy family:
- Consider using a weekly meal rotation menu to keep it simple. Even if you just commit to Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, and Take Out Thursday (using healthydiningfinder.com), you’ll eliminate some of the work involved in planning dinner, and your kids will be fed and happy.
- Use your weekends to prepare big batches of staple items, such as baked chicken breast, chopped vegetables, and pre-cooked grains. Pre-cooked proteins can be cut into strips and easily added to soups, salads, or open face sandwiches. Pre-chopped produce makes a quick and easy snack or salad, and pre-cooked grains make it easier to throw together pilafs and stir-fries on a busy weeknight.
- Broil or oven-roast large batches of chopped veggies to add to salads, chili, tacos and lean meat dishes. These items hold up and reheat well for a quick lunch or dinner during the week.
- Take advantage of your freezer space. Purchase individually frozen chicken breasts or fish fillets to store in your freezer. Having them quickly available will make weeknight dinners a breeze.
- Portion out healthy grab-and go-snacks for you and the kids so you have them at the ready for busy days. Try to combine at least two food groups and make them easy to assemble and transport. Some good standbys for both you and the kids include:
- Apple and string cheese
- Banana and peanut butter (you can even buy peanut butter in single-serve packs)
- Vegetables and hummus (you can buy hummus in single-serve packs too)
- Real Greek Yogurt (with out fillers or additives) and fruit
- Have ready-to eat fruits and veggies prepped, easily accessible and visible in the center of the fridge. Remember, out of sight is out of mind! Bonus if you make fruit visibly appealing the kids will eat more and complain less about restricting junk that comes into the house.
- Stock up on frozen vegetables. They’re just as nutritious as fresh, but you can keep them on hand longer for a quick and easy addition to any meal.
- Keep glass jarred veggies in store for when you run low on fresh or frozen. Marinated artichoke hearts or roasted red bell peppers go great with many meals, including on top of sandwiches, salads or as side dish.
- Pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home and use it as a meal starter. There are so many things you can do with chicken!
- Use liquid egg whites to speed up your breakfast prep (they are low in calories and cholesterol, yet high in protein). A high-protein breakfast helps fill your family up and keeps you full throughout the morning. Add veggies to your omelet or scramble for some extra nutrients and filling fiber. Eggs are great on top of toasted no-salt added corn tacos!
- Combine “me-time” with family time. Make the effort to play with your kids! Try a new outdoor game like tag, hide and seek, frisbee, or hopscotch. You’ll burn calories and get some quality time together.
- Don’t eat off your kid’s plates. Always portion out a plate for yourself, and sit down to eat. It’s a great way to get a break from the busy day.
- Soups help supplement any meal. Make a pot of soup and freeze in bulk or use low-sodium canned varieties. Stick with broth based soups and avoid their creamy counterparts to keep calories and fat in check.