Meal Prepping is most commonly associated with fitness and nutrition and rarely thought about for its everyday convenience. Not only can it be a task to cook meals for your children but their nutrition can also be easily forgotten when cooking quick kid friendly food. Jess and I are guilty of quickly heating up bagged chicken nuggets and Mac n’ Cheese for our two children, and with our busy schedules gas station pizza and fast food are still a common practice. We have discussed our short comings with our children’s nutrition and thought why not prepare meals for them just as we would ourselves. The following are just a few of our favorite meal preps to help drop the frozen pizza and fast food for a more healthy and nutritious meal for your children.
Meal Prepping Pasta
A child favorite is always going to be any form of pasta. Its delicious flavor and quick carbohydrates make for a tasty filling meal. Ditch the regular pasta noodles for whole wheat noodles to ensure your kids are getting the whole grains their growing body’s need. Preparing your own pasta sauce will always be better than canned sauce, if you have time and ingredients I would recommend homemade. If homemade sauce is not an option simply shop with a healthy conscience and avoid sauces full of sugar. Don’t drive yourself crazy comparing ground turkey to ground beef. Both are widely debated as better than the other, just choose your preference. Both are proteins that your children need. Prepare a large pot of pasta to have many meals ready to go. Do not forget to let the pasta cool before placing in the freezer. Meal prepping pasta in two compartment containers is best whereas one side can fit a piece of garlic toast.
Meal prepping chicken
Another favorite among children is chicken. Though the chicken most children are used to is breaded and deep fried in nugget form, baked chicken is just as delicious if not more. Season chicken breasts to their taste and slice into strips for convenient eating. Use a two compartment container to ensure they are getting their vegetables and slow burning carbohydrates. You know that drawer you have full of sauce packets from various places? They can now be put to good use as a great way to ensure portion control of those processed sugars we all love.
Meal prepping PB&J
Prepping sandwiches is easy, make the sandwich and put it in a resealable bag. But they don’t thaw well so making multiple sandwiches for convenience is impossible. Except the all around favorite PB&J. Peanut Butter and Jelly may not be the healthiest snack, but replacing the white bread with whole wheat and using a low sugar peanut butter can make this food a little better. Skip the pre-prepped Uncrustables and their large cost for a simple Cut N Seal tool to create the exact same sandwiches at a fraction of the cost.
Meal Prepping Breakfast
The most beloved food in our household is breakfast, we could eat breakfast foods for every meal of the day. Meal prepping for breakfast is only limited to your imagination and your appetite. We all love frozen waffles and cold cereal, both of which are lacking in nutrients we need everyday. Prepping eggs and bacon is simple and heats up quickly. With just a few ingredients you can create nutritious breakfasts with the convenience of their unhealthy counterparts.
One medium banana, two eggs, and a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder mashed and mixed together cooks exactly like a pancake without all the simple carbohydrates. These can easily be frozen for a quick heat and eat breakfast or spread peanut butter and honey for a delicious breakfast roll up. Add a little extra protein powder to make much healthier frozen waffles.
A house hold favorite that gives us the slow burning carbohydrates we need for our workouts and fills us up for hours is Oats. Though our children are rather picky when it comes to oatmeal, overnight oats can be flavored to whatever your children’s taste. We simply use small mason jars filled with our favorite Oats(rolled and/or steel cut), milk or water, and fruits. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight and all they need is a quick heat up in the morning and you are ready to eat. For an added sweetener use honey instead of processed sugar.
These are just a few of our favorite Meal Prepping ideas for children, we always recommend cooking fresh as much as possible. The benefits of cooking fresh are not only nutritional but also ensures eating at the dinner table together, which is very important for a healthy family. There are very few limits to what can be prepped, as long as it can be reheated from frozen it can be prepped. Meal prepping for your kids can have a great impact on their health and nutrition whereas you control the ingredients. Share your favorite meals to prep in the comments section!
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