Soccer practice, final exams, graduations and end of school pool parties and field trips … who has time to cook? Having a young family is a busy time. This is a stage when nutrition can take a backseat to other priorities. Sometimes just getting through the week is difficult enough!
But this is also a stage where MORE THAN EVER, nutrition matters. The stats in Canada tell an alarming story: obesity rates are at an all-time high, with kids ages 9 to 13 getting 57% of their calories from foods low in nutrient value. These nutrient-poor foods are displacing the foods kids need to stay healthy and energized.
The key at this stage is to develop strategies that help you get wholesome foods on the table fast. Strategies like pre-prepping, using the slow cooker, batch cooking and developing a weekly menu plan can all help you avoid the drive-through.
Some tips for success…
- Have kids help choose homemade meals
- Cook an extra steak to use in a wrap for tomorrow’s lunch
- Use leftovers to give you a head start on the next meal
- Get kids in the kitchen and in the grocery store to be part of the meal-prep process
Need a recipe to get you going on the right track? Let’s start off simple: All Kinds of Meatballs. Who doesn’t love meatballs? Meatballs freeze well, so you can whip up a big batch on a Sunday and reap the benefits all week long. Plus, it is an easy recipe to get the kids to be involved with. To keep the cooking simple, bake the meatballs instead of pan-frying.
Keep in mind, beef has an important role to play at every stage in life. Rich in protein, dense with nutrients, beef not only makes a great meal, but can make a significant contribution to the wellness of you and those you love at all ages and stages.