17 Healthy and Delicious Snack Recipes You Can Freeze
All us moms know that snacks are a necessity when it comes to raising kids; whether healthy or not, kids can eat like nobody’s business! And, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the snacks they eat, it can be a daunting task when we want to eat healthy home made food every time they eat! That is why having an arsenal of healthy snack recipes you can freeze is so important!
To be honest, I was going to simply round up recipes for snacks that can be made ahead of time. But, I’ve found, with my own experience with my own kids, that snacks that can be stored in the freezer last a whole lot longer! Out of sight, out of mind, right? My oldest daughter is barely tall enough to see a tiny bit into the freezer.
Other than the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ aspect, there is a whole slew of advantages to making recipes you can freeze!
Using recipes you can freeze also means that you can make a few batches, or different recipes, at a time and not have to worry about snacks for an entire month, possibly longer. So, it saves you a ton of time and stress from worrying that there’s nothing healthy for you or your kids to eat. Which brings me to the next point…
You know exactly what is going into snacks, can alter ingredients when needed, and not have to worry about high sugar or salt content. Shelf stable snacks tend to have quite a bit of sugar and salt, along with other not so healthy ingredients in them. See, salt helps preserve the food, and the more salt you put into a ‘sweet’ food, the more sugar is needed to be added, as well, to keep it tasting sweet. Unfortunately, there are other preservative ingredients in some snack, shelf stable, foods; like BHT or BHA and TBHQ.
You can avoid the snack isles at the grocery store! That’s sure something to celebrate, especially if you bring your kids with you to get groceries. The less middle isles (you know- the ones with kids characters and cartoons plastered on all the unhealthy processed foods that big food companies want kids to get addicted to, so the companies have life-long customers) the better.
The Time Saving, Sanity Saving Recipes You Can Freeze!
I can’t say enough how great if feels to know you have a freezer full of snacks, so the next time your child says ‘Mom, I’m hungry’ you don’t have to feel unprepared; simply open the freezer and choose a few snacks to offer them!
So, without further ado, here are some wonderfully healthy (as in as plant based as possible, but most definitely vegan) snack recipes that you can freeze.
(Some recipes are also allergy free, gluten free, raw vegan, have hidden veggies, and picky eater friendly!)
Don’t forget to save this post for later on Pinterest!
Energy bites are a great ‘on the go’ snack that you can make ahead of time. We keep ours in the freezer and a double batch usually lasts us about a month, or it did before my youngest child started begging for them, too! They’re also perfect for anyone because you can change up the ingredients to your liking, or if you can’t have certain ingredients. But, the recipe I have here is super healthy, with peanut butter, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and more! You’re going to want to go check it out!
I love making applesauce for my girls, it has never lasted long enough to test if it freezes, though. Unlike my recipe, this one is made in an instant pot and has simple directions for either canning, refrigerating, or freezing the applesauce when done making it; making it a great make ahead snack recipe for when you have a ton of apples! I don’t know about you and your kids, but in my home we’d love to always have applesauce available.
Sure, some muffins are best fresh, actually most probably are. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t still taste good if frozen and then warmed up! Make a double batch of these muffins, the first batch doesn’t last very long, freeze on a cookie tray, and once frozen place in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. Take some out the night before you want them, or warm them in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. I do this with muffins all the time. I love having muffins on hand as an easy delicious snack, and so do my girls! Get the recipe here.
On the same note as energy bites, with being super healthy and easily thaws out after being frozen, these fruit and oat bars will surely be a nice treat for your kids in their lunches, or you through out the day! Make them once a week and they should last, at least the school days if only three people are eating them. Simply double the batch if you need more. Find the recipe here.
If you need a freezer friendly snack that has a little chocolate in it; this is for you! This recipe is super simple and great to start teaching kids how to bake, just make sure your supervise when it comes to using the food processor. It also adds a powerful punch of protein with not only chickpeas, but also peanut butter! I always have to make sure these are made and in the freezer; they’re my daughters favorite treat to bring for lunches. One batch should be enough for 2 weeks, but I usually end up having to add this to the list of foods to meal prep over the weekend…every week. Get the recipe here.
Another variation of energy bites, peanut-allergy friendly unlike the one above. They do have other nuts/nut butters and dried fruit in them, so if you’re not a chocolate and peanut butter fan (crazy), but then these would be for you! They should last in the freezer up to about a month, just like the ones above. Get the recipe here.
Just like the apple muffin recipe above, this one freezes well and only takes about 20 seconds to defrost in the microwave and be ready to eat! Your kids, and you, will be thankful when you make a double batch of these and can eat them all week long. Grab the recipe here.
The chickpea cookie recipe higher up in this post is my own, but I want to point out that I’m not the only one with kids who thinks chickpeas are a great (and healthy) addition to cookies! This recipe even has a few extra ingredients to help fill up your kids and replenish electrolytes! (And, no it does not have Gatorade in it.) These freeze well, and it would be wise to make a double batch, to make freezing them worthwhile!
These little muffins, that also freeze great, can’t get much healthier! I’ve got to be honest, if you tried convincing me as a teenager that muffins with a vegetable and quinoa tasted good, I would not have believed. Though, first I would’ve asked you what quinoa was. Luckily, we can raise our kids to appreciate these amazingly healthy foods in all types of snacks and meals, especially if we start when they’re little; they won’t even know the difference! Get the recipe here.
These bliss balls are sure to your childs favorite! They’re somewhat like energy bites, just a little bit different. And, Casey found a natural way to color these the colors of the rainbow (for the most part) without any color dyes (yay!). There’s ingredients for yellow, blue/green, chocolate (not necessarily a color, but I’ll try it) , indigo, and pink.
This dessert-like snack can be made and kept in the fridge or freezer for a later time, if it lasts that long that is! I also featured this recipe in 22 Mouth Watering No Guilt Vegan Desserts Recipes, it only includes whole and healthy ingredients in it; great for both adults and kids. Kids need a treat once in awhile anyways, and one like this recipe, with no added sugar is the best type of treat there is!
Alright, so smoothies aren’t 100% make ahead (I’ve tried freezing a whole smoothie before, it didn’t turn out well). But, you can prep all of the fruit and veggies ahead of time so all you have to do is dump it into your blender, add liquid and blend. It can’t get much easier than that! Try out the recipes included here, and check out their other suggestions.
I always loved my moms banana bread growing up…Luckily, this recipe is quite a bit healthier, vegan, and has blueberries! Usually, any type of quick bread won’t last more than a day in my household, but just in case you can get this bread to last the night, it freezes well. Maybe make a few loaves and freeze some for the future, you’ll be glad you did! Get the recipe here.
Don’t worry, there’s no added sugar in these brownies. But, since they are brownies, you’re kids will think your awesome for having the great idea to make these! Plus, they freeze well, so you can cut then and save them in the freezer so they don’t all disappear in the same day they’re made. Or, make two batches and the next time you or one of your kids is having a chocolate craving, you’ll be all set! Get the recipe here.
I know there’s a blueberry muffin recipe towards the beginning of this post, but I can’t guarantee that ones gluten free, and both recipes have quite different recipes. This recipe makes a more fluffy muffin! Check out the recipe here.
These bars are super healthy, absolutely nutritious enough for you to feel good about giving to your kids for a snack anytime! Plus, they freeze well, so make a batch, have one or a few and freeze the rest for another snack time. Get the recipe here.
I hope the recipes above will help you in your journey of raising healthy kids, staying on track with your own eating habits, and save your sanity!
There are so many unhealthy, processed, snack foods out there to tempt us; with their convenience and engineered flavoring to make them taste ‘good’. Beat of the temptation by making and freezing plenty of snacks for the month so you don’t have cave in and buy processed ones you know aren’t good for you or your kids!
Leave a comment letting me know which ones you will make this month.
In my opinion, the healthiest foods for toddlers, or for anyone for that matter, are going to be foods that are natural and as plant based as possible. Therefore, the recipes below are all 100% vegan and as close to plant based as possible; though their counterparts may have dairy, eggs, or other animal products in them.
Getting a toddler to eat can be frustrating, whether they are picky, or simply can’t tell you in words, yet, what they want to eat or what they like. Their communication skills are still developing and therefore it’s harder to feed them because of this, than with an older child who can tell you exactly what they like, or don’t like, and why.
Don’t make it any harder on yourself, try out the recipes below that other parents (myself included) have had success with for their toddlers. There are recipes for breakfasts and lunches/dinners, if you’re looking for toddler snack ideas go here or sign up below for 130+ snack ideas from A to Z.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s true!
What you, or your child eats for breakfast will determine how hungry you are for the rest of the day and the type of foods that sound good to you. Along with starting up your metabolism for the day, and more!
Plus, for little ones, we need to make sure they eat enough to hold them over til snack time, otherwise they’ll be grazing all morning long. So, go ahead and check out some of the delicious breakfasts below and try some out for your toddler, and yourself!
You can’t get much healthier than smoothie bowls; they’re all fruits, veggies, and non-dairy milk (or water). Follow the recipe as it reads, or use it as a guide and use the fruits and veggies your toddler loves most!
With only four ingredients, these date bars are absolutely healthy and pure enough to give to a toddler. Plus, it’s classified as Indian cuisine, so you can widen your childs taste buds to food of other cultures! These do contain nuts, which is the only thing I could think of that may be a downside. If they have a specific nut allergy, you can always sub out what type of nut to use, though!
If your toddler isn’t much for sweet breakfasts and would prefer a savory one; have them try this frittata! It’s bite size, ok, well, it may take a few bites for them to finish one, but you get the point; it’s small and meant for little hands. Plus, it’s a great way to get more veggies into your toddlers diet, which is always a bonus for any meal of snack.
Make this healthy, savory dish for your toddler for breakfast to add some veggies into their day early on. If you have older kids who think brusselsprouts are gross, they probably won’t even recognize them after put together like they are in this recipe!
Toddlers love pancakes, or at least my kids have always loved pancaked. And, these pancakes truly do have extra protein in them, without protein powder! Because little kids shouldn’t have protein powder in their diet. Plus, if you’re used to baking or cooking vegan or plant based, you probably already have the ingredients on hand. I know I do!
Oatmeal is such a healthy and delicious breakfast option for toddlers. If you made homemade baby food for your little ones before they started eating more solids, then oatmeal should be pretty familiar to them already. This oatmeal recipe has some added ingredients to help increase the protein and omega-3 fatty acids in it. So, it’s a win-win!
If your toddler is a bit of a picky eater (I completely know how you may be feeling), rest assured that this oatmeal recipe is quite simple with not many ‘extras’. Honestly, the only ‘extra’ they will see in it are blueberries, and in my experience toddlers love blueberries! Go ahead and give this recipe a try, just don’t expect leftovers if you try it, too.
These mini baked ziti cups are perfect for toddlers, and were actually created with toddlers in mind! Just be sure to give them more than one when they ask; my youngest easily ate about 3 of these cups when she was barely two years old! Check out the recipe here.
Remember having lunchables as a kid? I do. I don’t think our parents knew all that much about the convenience foods they were giving us, or just wanted us to stop asking for them…Either way, my point is that lunchables aren’t that healthy when store bought. But, if you make them yourself, like Rebecca does, they’re actually pretty healthy and an easy lunch to give your toddler, or pack in your older childs lunch for school!
Inspired by Moe’s Mexican Restaurant, these burritos are full of good stuff for your little one. If they won’t eat it as a burrito (like my girls wouldn’t), you can always use the filling as a dip and have them dip tortilla chips in it! Check it out here.
Did you love Spaghettios growing up? I didn’t, but my husband did. And, when he was a stay at home dad he would feed them to my oldest daughter for lunch or dinner. I, on the other hand, won’t. Instead I make it homemade for myself, toddler, and kindergartner. It’s really not that difficult either, check out the recipe here!
Ok, so some of the recipes on here may take some time to make, and what happened to a simple sandwich for lunches (or dinners), anyways? This recipe does require some type of heat, whether from a toaster or on the stove, but it’s the perfect, healthy alternative to a grilled cheese! Not only your toddler will love it, but you will, too! Seriously, when I worked outside the home, I used to bring these to work for lunch.
Yes, there are more than one mac and cheese recipe on this list. When it comes to vegan mac and ‘cheese’, there are so many different ways to make it; the first recipe your toddler tries they may or may not like, so make sure you give all the recipes a try! Check out this mac and cheese recipe here.
This recipe is super simple to make, and quick. I know you see tofu in the name, and might be thinking it may take awhile because you’ll have to press the tofu; but you don’t! In this recipe, we use heat to get rid of the excess water in the tofu, which is much quicker than pressing it (especially without a tofu press).
I know, I know, another mac and cheese recipe. But, let me tell you something, it took my girls 3 or 4 different healthy vegan mac and ‘cheese’ recipes before we found one that everyone liked! So, go ahead and give this one a try.
Another side dish to consider for your little one. Or, let them have it as a full small meal. Toddlers love to dip their food in sauces, and other things; find the recipe for these mozzarella sticks here.
Another version of vegan mac and cheese! Whether your toddler has already tried several vegan mac recipes and hated them all, or loved them all, this is another one that you need to make for them. It’s great for older kids (and us, as parents) too.
Wraps are always an easy meal to make. My toddler always tends to open it up and eat only what’s on the inside, though. Luckily, this wrap has you cut the veggies into strips and includes hummus, so your toddler could easily just dip the veggies in the hummus and call it a meal!
This pasta recipe will make it really easy to get some extra veggies into your toddlers diet. This one may work best if you don’t have older children, who thinks anything green to eat is gross, telling younger children it’s gross. (I may just be talking from experience on this one!)
Chili isn’t usually on a toddlers favorites menu, but maybe with this recipe it will be! Super easy to make, though you will need a slow cooker/crockpot. And, with the toppings for this recipe, like avocado, I know my toddler will love it. My girls are huge fans of avocado, they’d eat half an avocado everyday if I bought enough of them every week.
Feeding a toddler isn’t always that easy, especially if they are picky eaters or have picky eater older siblings who try to influence their decisions. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything, haha.
And, yes, there are plenty more meal ideas for toddlers than the ones mentioned above. I just wanted to make sure you had plenty of different ideas, and recipes to refer to, for trying to help your toddler find healthy meals that they’ll actually enjoy.
How to Keep Your Healthy New Year’s Resolution in 8 Easy Steps!!
We all make at least one of our Healthy New Year’s Resolutions about eating better, right? Well, at least for those of us who actually make resolutions. And, if it’s not about eating healthier, it’s about losing weight, getting fit, or being happier in some way!
And, let’s face it; accomplishing any of those resolutions will only come from eating well, staying active, and feeling successful. So, let me at least help you out with one of those: eating well!
**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or a professional nutritionist. I simply believe in eating well for people of all ages, and I believe that a whole foods plant based diet is eating well, whereas processed foods are not.
Cause’ you know what they say; 70-80% of your health or fitness comes from what you eat, only 20-30% comes from exercise. Plus, I’m a bit of a health nut, so I know a thing or two about eating well!
That’s not the only reason I want to show you how to eat better; eating better, and the right foods, can help you on so many levels. Eating well can:
help you find your natural body shape
fight fatigue and help you feel less groggy
give you more energy
prevent chronic disorders (and even help cure some)
reduce the number of cravings you get (after eating well for a period of time)
help with so much more!!
So, now you’re thinking; how do I eat well to get some of the benefits above!?!
And, that’s exactly what you’ll learn in the steps below.
I so, soooo, hope that you can fly by the first step or two (or three) because you’re already doing these on a regular basis.
But, if not, that’s alright, it’s not too late to start!
And, if you love pinterest and are on it everyday like I am; you may want to pin this post and come back to it once in awhile simply to refer to. (Especially if you find yourself losing momentum through out the year to keep your healthy eating resolution going strong.)
Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for fresh ideas everyday; to help you with your healthy lifestyle journey (and mom life)!
Step One: Get Inspired
One of the best things you can do to start eating healthy, or eating slightly better than you’re used to, is to inspire yourself to eat better.
(This first step is important, the New Year feeling won’t last forever; you may have to come back to this step every once in awhile.)
Now, depending on your goal, or resolution, you may get inspired to eat better from something different than I do. If you want to eat better so you can lose weight, then that may be inspiration enough. Same with being healthy.
But, if you’re unsure of your why behind your resolution of eating better; then this step is vital to sticking with your resolution.
Maybe you know you should be eating better but you don’t really want to; you don’t have a strong enough why, yet. I’m going to share with you a little trick to help you get inspired!! One that even worked with my husband.
I’m serious, go ahead and watch one (or two, or ten). Netflix has them, Amazon has them: they’re not that hard to find. And it’s way better than doing all of the research yourself!! (You get to sit on your couch, eating whatever you want and watch Netflix- that is, until they tell you about what actually goes into that ice cream you’re enjoying…)
And, you don’t even really need to do too much research yourself to find the most inspiring documentaries to watch! If you have Netflix, you could start with What the Health! And then look at similar films, to find out which documentaries you should watch to be inspired and motivated to eat better!
This is the second most important step, and one you can start right now. I soo hope that you are already drinking water, and hopefully enough water, too!
I know, you’ve been told 8 eight ounce glasses a day.
Have you been drinking that much? Because that is a great start!
Different sources will tell you different amounts. But, whatever the recommended amount, know that it’s for all of your fluid intake during the day; including the fluid from your food, like from fruits and veggies, too!
So, if you’re eating plenty of fruits and veggies and drinking 8 eight oz glasses of water a day; you’re golden! Keep it up!
How much water you require will also depend on if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, men need more water than women, and children need less (except for teenagers, who need just as much as adults).
In general, if you’re pregnant you need more water than if you’re not, but not too much more (thank goodness, we’re running to the bathroom enough during pregnancy). I hope this makes sense to you; you’re providing water to two human beings, you have a ton of extra blood in your body and your body is working harder than usual.
And then, when you’re breastfeeding, you need even more water. When I was breastfeeding my first daughter I was actually taking a nutrition course in college. The professor had us buy expensive nutrition software (that expired after 6 months *sad face*), and according to that I had to drink at least a gallon of water a day! Other sources will tell you differently. But, if you can aim for about a gallon a day when breastfeeding, it’s only going to benefit you and your baby…or toddler.
(Something else I remember clearly about water from that course was that we should be sipping water all day long, not just drinking a few glasses with each meal.)
A few benefits of drinking enough water:
helps prevent constipation
helps you lose weight, or stay full longer
keeps your skin stay healthy and looking hydrated (young)
helps reduce headaches (and helps get rid of headaches)
helps keep your kidneys functioning normally
To be honest, I didn’t get serious about drinking enough water until I was in college; I didn’t know any better.
But, when I did know better, I was that person carrying around a huge water bottle everywhere I went. And, I still do. If you want a water bottle that you don’t have to fill up every couple of hours, this one holds 52 ounces of water!!
I highly recommend investing in a good water bottle to keep by your side at all times!
Step Three: Eat More Fruits and Veggies
I hope this step is obvious.
I know you know this one; so, why aren’t you doing it?
Fruits and veggies add extra liquid, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and even protein to your diet. This is where you could get most of your variety of what you eat from, not different flavors of ice cream or juice.
Have you ever heard that you should be eating all of the colors of the rainbow? (I’m not talking about skittles here!)
Different colored fruits and veggies have different vitamins and minerals.
You probably already know that many warm colored fruit, like oranges and strawberries, are famous for vitamin C. And that warm colored veggies, like carrots and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene (a precursor for vitamin A). But, there are a ton of other vitamins and minerals than just those, just think of all the B vitamins and all of the minerals I didn’t mention. (Like potassium; bananas probably come to mind when you think of this mineral.)
To be completely honest, the way I was able to get in enough fruits and veggies daily was by making it a challenge for myself!! I wrote down on my habit tracker to eat 6-10 fruits or veggies a day for the first month. And, after that, I wrote down to eat 8-10. I follow through almost everyday!
Now, I don’t want to sound pushy or anything in this step (vegans get a bad rap for this), so I’m just going to recommend some healthy proteins below that anyone could enjoy (vegan or not). And since eating meat and dairy doesn’t have too many benefits, these would not really be considered healthy. They raise your cholesterol, are high in saturated fat, contributes to diabetes, heart conditions, and more. Plus, if you’re trying to lose weight; consuming meat and dairy will prove counter productive (yes, even skim milk).
So, what are you supposed to eat if you want to reduce the unhealthy protein (animal protein) from your diet?
Tofu (add silken to smoothies or extra firm and cubed- cook and serve with brown rice, sweet potatoes, and broccoli!)
Veggies (yes, veggies have protein!)
Nuts and Seeds (my daughters favorite is peanut butter)
Lentils (I’ve been loving split pea sweet potato soup lately!)
Non-dairy milk (I drink unsweetened soy milk)
It’s really not that difficult to add different, healthier, proteins into your diet. This will help you reduce the other protein in your diet that may not be as good for you. (If you want more details for why animal protein isn’t the best kind of protein for you, please watch some health documentaries- they will change the way you think!!)
Step Five: Know What You’re Eating
In this step you will find out what you are actually putting into your body!
Do you know what you’re eating?
Have you ever looked at the nutrition label on the back of the package?
I sure hope so, and not just for the calories!
In this step, I don’t want you to worry about the calories, protein, carbs, or fat in a product.
Focus on the ingredients.
Read them out loud (maybe wait til you get home).
Can you pronounce all the ingredients on the list?
Should you be able to?
Yes, at least for the most part!
If there’s an ingredient in your food that you can’t even pronounce, chances are that it’s not very good for you.
Now, if you’re thinking my food doesn’t have a nutrition label; then you’re probably eating something from a bulk food bin from the health section at the store or it’s produce. And in that case, go ahead and buy all of these you want. It’s probably just that one food that would be on the ingredient list. (Like an apple, or dates.)
Be careful of some of the items in bulk food bins though, read the ingredient list on the bin before dumping them into a bag!
Watch out for added sugars and MSG; these have a ton of different names that they go by on the ingredient list, to either make them undetectable to the average shopper, or to appear like there’s not as much.
If you’re trying to lose weight, then you will want to avoid MSG as much as possible.
Did you know, the way scientists study obesity with rats is by giving lab rats MSG to make them obese? (Because they won’t naturally become obese.)
It’s true! (Unfortunately, in my psych lab in college I didn’t get to experiment this way with the rats. We did teach rats how to dispense their own food, though.)
Here’s a few different names that MSG goes by (so you can watch out for them):
Make sure you are aware of what you are putting into your body. And, if you don’t know what an ingredient in your food is; look it up. Isn’t that what our smartphones are for?
Step Six: Know What You Love to Eat
If you’re concerned with more than just your own eating habits, or cook for more than just yourself, like us moms do on a daily basis; this step may take a little bit more time and a lot more thought, and not just from ourselves.
In this step you’ll need to figure out what meals and snacks you actually enjoy, and which ones are actually good for you to eat. Tell your kids sorry and let them know that cake and ice cream don’t belong on the list (unless it’s home made ice cream, in that case- go for it).
I would recommend you sign up to receive my meal planning templates; there’s one page for you to write down all of your (or your families) favorite foods. Use pencil; these can sometimes change, plus after you write them down you’ll have to figure out which ones actually benefit your health, rather than sabotage it.
Which meals are based around veggies? These are the ones you’ll want to put at the top of your list.
Do you have any without a lot of nutritional value; like white pasta with white bread and butter? Erase those.
Anything with a ton of sugar? Erase those too, or try to reduce the sugar or find an alternative to use instead, like maple syrup.
Don’t skimp on this step; it’s a stepping stone to the next step in this how to guide.
Use what you learned about your (or your families) tastes, and preferred snacks and meals, from the last step to create a meal plan. You could plan for one week, 2 weeks, or even a whole month.
I recommend planning for two weeks at a time, which is why my meal planning template has enough space for two weeks on it. With two weeks, you’ll know what ingredients you’ll need for half of the month, without being overwhelmed.
Trying to find meals, or snacks, with similar ingredients for two weeks worth of food, and not feeling like you’re eating the same thing everyday; it’s a lot easier than you’d think than just planning for one week. Plus, the only thing you may have to buy every other week when you go to the store is produce, or things you run out of in a week, like soy milk.
For this step I recommend prepping for only one week at a time; unless you want to buy all of your food for two weeks at a time and freeze the meals for the second week. And, you may be thinking that you don’t have enough time to plan out your meals, let alone make them ahead of time.
But, if you think like this; then you don’t have time to not take this step! It will save you a ton of time in the long run; time thinking about what you want to eat, going to the store to buy last minute ingredients, and making the meal on the spot.
Making all of your food for the week ahead will actually save you quite a bit of time through out the week. And it may not take as long as you think!
When I was working full time outside my home, running my older daughter to preschool and then back home; meal prepping was a life saver.
Every single day of the week I was busy. I didn’t have a break; I had an infant, a preschooler, a husband, and a 40 hour a week job. If I didn’t prepare all of my food during my weekend, then I didn’t eat. (Well, I did eat, but the food wasn’t as healthy, and at times may have been questionable.)
It really won’t take as long as you might think, either. Even on weeks where I made meals that required the stove and the oven; it only ever took me a few hours.
Plus, I only had to do dishes once for all of the baking and cooking for the week. (Alright, so this is a major bonus for me, as I have to wash dishes by hand.)
Meal planning and prepping will help you save money and avoid waste; who doesn’t want that!
Step Eight: Don’t Lose Focus!!
This step is what’s going to help you keep your resolution for eating better through out the whole year!
Stay focused on your goal.
Stay focused on what goes into your body, and why you care.
If you start to lose focus, then go back to step one. It’s alright if you need to go through this process multiple times through out the year.
No one’s perfect and we all get off track sometimes. Situations change, and we may get distracted by life for a few weeks and rely on packaged foods to keep our hunger down.
Start focusing on drinking more water than coffee again, and eating more fruits and veggies.
You’ll want to figure out some new delicious meals with healthier proteins in them and start reading the ingredient list on the back of the food that you’ve been eating lately.
Write down any new favorite meals you have or find, and get back into the habit of meal planning and meal prepping if you’ve been too relaxed about it lately (it happens)! And, that’s why we need to stay focused!
Sure, there can be a lot to do, or know, about sticking to a healthy lifestyle and eating well all the time.
But, it’s totally worth it!
No one’s asking you to be perfect, and no one will pick on you if you slip up and eat a whole bag of Reese’s in one sitting because you caved just one time.
We’re human, we can’t expect ourselves to have perfection when it comes to eating. Just do your best to stay focused and eat well!!
My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four
So, you had an unexpected expense come up….again, and you’re determine to still come up with a way for your family to eat healthy. Even when you have a tiny budget to get your groceries; much less than the average amount people spend on groceries in this country!
Because, let’s face it, in the U.S. food prices are constantly creeping up; whether you eat a vegan diet or S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), and there’s no increase in pay to help even out costs.
According to the USDA, the cost of food for a family of four ranges from $130 and $300…a week! (Source can be found here, I’m not making it up!)
That price range simply blows my mind.
I knew I was a bit frugal when it came to my families grocery budget and trying to keep it around $60 to $80 a week. But, I didn’t know that wasn’t even close to the norm. It’s amazing what you find out when you do a little bit of research!
Even for families who aren’t really frugal, but are simply living paycheck to paycheck, can have difficulty keeping their grocery bill in line.
And, what about with your unexpected expense? How are you to lower your grocery bill then?
You may already feel like you’re stingy when you go to the store.
That’s where meal planning and being intentional about the food your family eats during the week comes in!
With a few tips and a super simple meal plan (with a few repeat meals) you can make it through the tough times and not have to give up eating healthy, or give in to eating non-vegan foods (that contribute to animal cruelty and the destruction of the planet).
Though, my husband thinks it’s perfectly alright to eat ramen during these times- sodium filled packets and all; I like to opt for meals that actually contain nutrients for myself and two girls.
A Few Quick Tips for a Vegan Meal Plan on a Budget
Make sure you make a vegan meal plan for a week!
You won’t stay in your small budget for the week if you don’t write down your families meals. And, then make a grocery list from your meal plan.
Being as detailed as possible when doing this is key.
Make sure you write down EVERYTHING anyone will be consuming that week, and include EVERYTHING that you will need on the grocery list. No one likes running out to the store because they forgot something they needed.
This includes items you’ll need that you have everyday but may not think to write down, such as if you need more coffee. That is something you won’t want to forget to write down!
Meal plan around the food you already have.
If you’re already used to making healthy meal plans on a budget, then you may have some ingredients you can use during the weeks where you’re barely scraping by.
Or, if you’re planning out your budget in advance and can see that money will be tight for a week in the future, consider stocking up on some cheap and healthy food now.
Some suggestions for what to stock up on:
bread (and freeze it)
oats (for oatmeal, baked goods, and more)
bananas (to cut up and freeze for smoothies)
avocado (to puree, freeze, and use for toast/sandwiches)
What you may want to stock up on may be slightly different than my list; what we eat tends to be a personal decision. I know many people who hate being told what they should eat. (My children included!)
This should be relatively easy, seeing as how you may not have the extra money to do so. And, with being on a vegan diet, there aren’t as many choices for eating out. (Unless of course, if you live in or near a city with vegan restaurants. And, in that case, I’m a bit jealous!)
Never Buy Name Brand
Name brand products are almost always more expensive than store brand products. And, in some cases the ONLY difference is the outside box or container; you’re literally paying for the name.
Don’t Forget Your Cheap Vegan Meal Prep!
Once you have your meal plan (or use mine below), your grocery list, and have bought your groceries; make sure you prep your meals as much as you can.
Doing this will ensure no one will have to eat out during the week; everything will be ready for them to take to work or school. And, if you’re a stay at home parent, like me, you won’t have to spend time making food everyday. Which means more time to get things done, spend with your kids, or read that book you keep trying to get to while your kids nap!
Ironically, many people associate a healthy or vegan diet with an expensive diet, but the opposite it true.
It’s the unhealthy, heavily processed food that is the most expensive. Plus, when you eat junk food, you have to eat more of it because your cells are starving for nutrients. So, not only are you spending more money because the processed food is more expensive to begin with; but you’re also buying more of it to try to fill yourself and family up.
(Along with increasing your chances of becoming obese, getting diabetes, and other food related chronic illnesses.)
By focusing on nutrition, you’ll be thinking of how to get healthy proteins, carbs, and fats. And, how to get them in your shopping cart as cheap as possible.
This is where your beans, legumes, rice, veggies, and fruits come in.
Dried beans and rice are ridiculously cheap and often overlooked. And, a cup of brown rice contains 5 grams of protein and 3 and a half grams of fiber. Combine that with half a cup or broccoli and your up to about 7 grams of protein and 5 and a half grams of fiber. (Who was it again that said vegans don’t get enough protein in their diets? This isn’t even a full meal calculated out.)
You can get a 5 pound bag of brown rice and 2 pounds of frozen broccoli for about $6 and it’ll last you quite awhile, seeing as how the rice doubles when cooked.
Now that you know a few of my inside secrets on how I’m able to spend so little on my families groceries every week, let’s get to My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four!
My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four!
I may meal plan differently than others, and as a fair warning I’m not a nutritionist, dietitian, or will ever claim to make a perfect meal plan (because a perfect meal plan doesn’t exist). But, I do consider myself to be fairly healthy and follow a vegan diet. I only ever want the healthier food being consumed by my children!
Instead of going day by day for meal planning; I meal plan by the meal or snack for each day. This allows me to move around different meals depending on what myself or family are in the mood for.
Like I said before, what we eat is a personal choice, and sometimes we can’t even stick to our own strict meal. Instead of driving myself crazy, I created a system to be more lenient, and that allows us more flexibility in what we eat when.
The cheapest and healthiest vegan breakfast options (that are also child approved and requested) are:
oatmeal (my 2 girls under 6 suggest apple cinnamon oatmeal- recipe coming soon!)
crepes (depending on the filling/toppings)
green smoothies (or peanut butter smoothies- recipe coming soon, you’ll just need to omit the cocoa)
All of these options are very cheap and the ingredients can even be bought ahead if you have some time to prepare for your low food budget week. Plus, many of the ingredients are ones you probably already have in your cupboards.
If you don’t have any the ingredients, it of course, will be a little more expensive. To give an example, let’s go over all the ingredients for my girls favorite oatmeal recipe (be advised prices may differ depending on where you live):
oats: just under $3 for about 3 lbs
apples: $3 for a bag of about 9 (you only need one apple per 1 cup of oats)
brown sugar: $2
(optional: raisins, but they can get a little pricey, as in almost $4 for the larger 20oz container)
water: free (it’s getting boiled, but you can use filtered water if you prefer)
So, there you have it; $10 for breakfast that will last your whole family at least a week. Feel free to mix it up, especially if you already have ingredients in your home for other breakfasts!
I am a huge advocate on eating snacks during the day, for children and adults alike!
Just check out the A to Z healthy snack challenge my girls and I did when they were a little younger, you’ll find over 130 snacks we tried in a 26 week time frame!
With that being said, I also admit that making 130+ different snacks over 26 weeks wasn’t the cheapest challenge we’ve ever done. Some weeks were much cheaper than others, and we felt that hit our bank account. Luckily, it wasn’t too expensive where we couldn’t afford it, but we would’ve saved money by choosing two or 3 snacks per week instead!
and single serving of fruit (my girls love cuties and bananas)
The cheapest way to buy smoothie ingredients is by buying the 64 oz frozen bag of fruit you find at stores, buying bananas in bulk (and cutting them up to freeze and save them), buying greens not prewashed, and using water instead of non-dairy milk. Anything else you add to the smoothie is an extra and not crucial, like flaxseeds or chia seeds; however, when bought in bulk they’re pretty cheap.
The bulk frozen bag of fruit may seem a bit pricey at first, costing almost $10. However, this bag should last you at least two weeks for smoothies everyday for your family, if not longer. It lasts my family about a month because my husband opts out of these.
You should also consider that this is much cheaper than buying fresh produce, even when bought in bulk. The frozen bag has the produce already peeled, cut up, and pits removed; all of which would be weighed and paid by pound if bought fresh.
You can also get about 10-12 bananas for around $3, which is plenty for the week, whether in smoothies, all by themselves, with peanut butter (my girls favorite), or used in baked goods. As for greens, you can get a enough kale for the week (or two weeks) for about $1 when it’s not prewashed or bagged. So, that’s less than $15 for a breakfast or snack that will last you about 2 weeks.
Lunch can be a tricky meal for some, as many people aren’t home to eat lunch, but rather at school or work.
But, one of the cheapest ways to save money for lunches is by simply eating leftovers from dinner the night before, whatever it may have been. I know, that’s vague and not too helpful, especially when you have picky eaters.
In this case, let’s get back to basics, and our childhood favorites!
If you can’t feed your family leftovers for lunch, what about sandwiches?
My picky eater insists on eating sandwiches for lunch at school; so, why not let her! They’re not that unhealthy and they can be good on the wallet, too.
To ensure a healthier sandwich than a simple peanut butter and jelly, try peanut butter and banana sandwiches, or avocado and tomato.
You can get bread for as cheap as $2 a loaf, which will make about 12 or so sandwiches (so you’d need 2 loaves). Or, make the bread yourself. This is my go to bread recipe.
Peanut butter is a bit more expensive, but you can get a 4 lb jar for about $6; which should last you a month. (Or, at least 2 weeks, depending on if your kids eat it right out of the jar with a spoon like mine do.)
So, you could get away with spending only $10 additional on lunch for your whole family for the week. (Bananas were calculated above.)
You can do one of other options for afternoon snack as was listed for morning snack, or make it more fun and something your children can look forward to for after school. Such as apple donuts (apples cut with a whole in the middle and peanut butter on top), or chickpea cookies!
If you check out the chickpea cookie recipe, you’ll see that it doesn’t have many ingredients, and most of the ingredients you probably already have. The ones you may be missing are probably chocolate chips, which you can get fairly cheap or omit, and chickpeas. A one pound bag of dried chickpeas is about $1.50, and is enough to make 6 batches of those cookies! (Hint- use the same amount of brown sugar mixed with water to replace the maple syrup, since maple syrup tends to be a little pricey, and omit vanilla.)
To help even more with your budget, and to prevent the ‘Mom, I’m hungry’ rant from your kids every afternoon; make sure this afternoon snack is full of protein. This is why I don’t mind feeding my girls my protein rich chickpea cookies!
Whenever I know my families budget for food is going to be tight; I always rely on the stockpile of brown rice, beans, and pasta I have, along with frozen veggies.
A common meal my family may have is a rice, tofu, and veggie bowl. Brown rice can be as cheap as $1.50 for a 2 pound bag, tofu as cheap $1.50, and the price for veggies varies depending on the type.
Another meal we rely on when on a tight budget is homemade soup. I tend to stockpile veggie stock, dried beans, and pasta.
The soup I make will sometimes be based off of this one, with the ingredients adjusted for my families preference and to ensure savings.
For this soup you’ll basically need veggies, veggie stock or a bouillon cube, beans, and pasta.
You could easily get all your veggies, including the onion and garlic, for under $5, pasta at $1, veggie stock for $2, and the beans at $3 (dried, and will last quite awhile). And, this soup make A LOT! As in, it lasts my family of four 2 weeks if I chop and freeze the veggies and don’t cook the beans or pasta til needed.
That’s $11 for dinner for 2 weeks, though, you may want to do the rice, tofu, and veggie bowl as well. So, it could creep up to $20 for dinner for 2 weeks.
If you may have noticed, everything you may consume in a week may not be noted above. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘but where’s the coffee?’
Extra items that we believe we need, we can simply go without when need be. OR, simplified to make them cheaper.
For the coffee that we, as parents, always need so badly; never buy it out, and buy the big container at the store that will last you at least a month. This way you won’t have to worry about your coffee fix when your budget is tight.
And, instead of buying non dairy coffee creamer, buy flavored soy milk instead! It’s a bit healthier and a lot cheaper, plus it’ll last you longer. If it’s not sweet enough, add some brown sugar to it; you probably already bought it for the oatmeal or cookies anyways!
So, what does this look like in a meal plan template?
Click here to download the meal plan! Feel free to print it out and use it for yourself, or use the extra adjustable meal planning template for your own cheap meal plan. (This also includes the grocery list for the meal plan, for your convenience!)
Grocery list for a super cheap vegan meal plan
To make this section as simple and as easy to digest as possibly, I’m just writing it out in lists depending on sections in a regular grocery store.
Veggies for soup: ~$5 (broken down below)
onion: ~75 cents
garlic: ~50 cents
yellow squash: ~75 cents
(optional) Avocados: ~$4
(optional) Tomatoes: ~$1.50
Mixed Fruit: ~$10 (will last at least 2-3 weeks)
Soy Milk: ~$2.50
Brown Sugar: ~$2
Peanut Butter: ~$6 (will last 2-3 weeks)
Baking Powder: ~$1
White Beans: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
Kidney Beans: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
Chickpeas: ~$1.50 (dried- will make equivalent to 6 cans)
Rice: ~$1.50 (should last all month)
Veggie Stock: ~$2
Pasta Sauce: ~$2
Olive Oil: ~$2
Italian Seasoning: ~$2
Alright, so if you added up all of those groceries you’ll end up with a grocery bill of about $66.50.
This may seem super cheap to some people, but a little high for others (such as myself) when thinking of a super cheap vegan meal plan for a family of four.
What you need to consider is the fact that you probably already have some of these ingredients, especially if you’re used to eating vegan on a budget.
For example, this is what I usually have already in stock (and recommend you keeping in stock as well) just in case the budget gets tight:
These ingredients are non-perishables and I buy in bulk when getting them, making them cheaper to buy for the long run.
Having these items already at home brings the grocery bill down to $24.50. That’s the power of buying in bulk when you can!
And, if that is still too much; don’t make avocado and tomato sandwiches and replace that with peanut butter and banana sandwiches. It’ll bring the bill down to $19, and even if your budget is extremely tight; you should be able to spend $20 on groceries for the week.
You can’t get much cheaper than that!
A few things to remember to for a super cheap vegan meal plan
To recap, let’s go over the gist of eating healthy (and vegan) when money is tight.
Make sure you make a meal plan
Make your meal plan based on food you already have
Avoid eating out at all costs
DON’T buy name brand
Write down your grocery list and stick to the list
Meal Prep as much as you can
Focus on Nutrition and whole foods
Don’t buy pre-washed veggies
Buy dried beans and rice
Buy in bulk when you can to save money when times are tough
It’s never fun to be on a tight budget, especially with kids or when it changes what you normally eat. But, it is still possible to eat vegan on a budget; just don’t expect to be eating something different everyday of the week or buying the highly processed fake meats, or anything else like that.
The closer we get to whole unprocessed, or even local, foods; the cheaper our grocery bill gets. If you live in a place where you’re able to grow your own produce, then you’ll be able to save even more money on your grocery bill. However, that takes time and won’t help out in an immediate situation.
So, take this for what it is; use it to the t, adjust it as need be, or only use the tips I provided. Anyways, I hope it’s able to help you out in a time of need, or if you’re simply trying to cut back on expenses to pay off debt or save up for something.
Don’t forget to grab the print outs for this exact meal plan, grocery list, and blank templates to help you become organized and save money!
p.s. Also share with friends and family; they don’t have to be vegan to appreciate this cheap meal plan!
9 Ways to Help You Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is coming up, and so are all the other holidays; if you’re like me then you eat a lot during this time of year. (And, I mean a lot a lot.)
I can’t remember a year in December when I didn’t have to make extra batches of cookies because the ones I made wouldn’t make it to Christmas; oops.
Luckily, for me, I don’t have a problem with overeating during Thanksgiving; I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 20 years. But, I know for many people, they eat to their hearts content this day; which is far past feeling full.
I’m gonna say it now, there’s nothing wrong with overeating one day a year. It’s perfectly fine and normal.
Even our ancestors who were hunters and gatherers would do this. That’s where the phrase ‘feast or famine’ came about. So, if you pig out on this day, no problem, chances are you won’t even gain an ounce from it. The problem with overeating is if it starts to become the ‘norm’ for you.
**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or a professional nutritionist. I am simply passionate about health and nutrition. I studied a little bit of nutrition in college and have been learning outside of college ever since, and I specialized in eating disorders my last year of college before graduating with a bachelors degree in psychology.
If you don’t want to overeat this Thanksgiving, due to any reason you have come up with; then let me at least give you a few helpful tips. These tips will help you avoid overeating, but also make sure you can still enjoy your Thanksgiving ‘feast’.
1. Grab a smaller plate
This is a psychological trick to make you take a smaller amount of food. And, it works, for the most part.
If you want to see this experiment in action, there’s a documentary currently on Netflix called In Defense of Food which shows how this trick works.
But, the basic concept is that you don’t dish yourself up as much food when you have a smaller plate than if you had a large plate. So, if you’re having a hard time with portion sizes because you feel like you need to fill your entire plate up at Thanksgiving, or in everyday life; go with a smaller plate.
This way you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything, or tempted to consume more food because your first plate of food didn’t have room on it for everything you wanted.
Plus, if some of your relatives experimented with some recipes this year, you can still try what they made and eat everything on your plate; and, if you don’t like it, simply don’t take seconds. You can do this with more than just the dinner; do this with the dessert, too. That way you don’t feel deprived of you favorite dessert when you have more than one favorite.
3. Eat normal during the day
If you try to ‘save’ all of your calories for the day for Thanksgiving dinner, then you’re most likely going to eat close to that many calories at dinner, if not more.
The problem with this is that when you try to ‘save’ calories for later in the day it also slows down your metabolism, and you feel starving. (This is when your body will try to go into starvation mode; so if you’re trying to lose weight, doing this may have the reverse effect.)
Don’t be so harsh on your body or mess up your metabolism; it’s worse to do this than to eat normal during the day and then slightly more for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Remember, this ‘feast’ is one day out of the year; it’s not going to make you gain weight if you eat a little bit more than normal. Don’t starve yourself so you can eat more later on; no one likes the feeling of starving. (At least, you shouldn’t like the feeling of starving. If you do enjoy this feeling and do it to yourself on a regular basis; please seek professional help.)
4. Drink more water
The more water you drink, the more full you will get.
The signals your body sends you when you’re dehydrate, or even just thirsty, can sometimes be misread as hunger.
Sometimes when this happens and you try to fix the problem with eating, you can’t, so you continue to eat until the signal goes away. And, eventually it will because many type of foods contain water in them, like fruits and veggies.
Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid overeating. Drink a cup of water before the meal and keep sipping water all throughout the day, especially during your ‘feast’. This will help prevent you from overeating.
(But, I’m also the type of person known to carry their water bottle with them everywhere; so, I may be a little biased when it comes to the many benefits of drinking plenty of water.)
5. Fill your plate like you do for your children
You’re most likely to fill your children’s plates with plenty of healthy options for them to choose from; in a child sized Thanksgiving portion. This is a larger portion of food than what they’re used to, but not so much that they’ll have a food coma afterwards. And, you maybe allow them to choose one dessert after dinner.
Try using the same portion size for yourself; a child’s Thanksgiving portion size, with one dessert after.
It’ll be enough to fill you up, but not make you feel stuffed, and not even close to a food coma.
(Though, a food coma tends to come about from the turkey you eat rather than the amount of food you consume. Turkey, and some other foods, contain tryptophan which increases the production of melatonin. Or, if you wanted to explain this to your child; eating a lot of turkey can help them be sleepy. Some carbohydrates and other types of proteins can do this, as well. Like milk and bananas combined.)
6. Play games afterwards
Or, have something else planned for after Thanksgiving dinner so you have a reason to not stay at the table til the night is over.
If you simply stay at the table all night talking, you’re more likely to continue eating all night, as well. So, even if you don’t plan anything for after dinner, at least try to get up and move to another room so you’re not tempted to continue eating.
Don’t forget to help pack up the leftover before they go bad. Just because you’re not eating it all now, doesn’t mean it should go to waste.
7. Keep the serving dishes off the table
If hosting, have the serving dishes away from the table, if not hosting try to suggest it.
This was always how Thanksgiving was when I was growing up, for the most part. There were small side dishes at the table, like the cranberry sauce or mashed potatoes. But, everything else was either on another table in another room, or on counters or an island in the kitchen.
This makes you think twice before getting up for seconds; you’ll lose time chatting with friends and family, and everyone will notice if you left for more food.
Plus, you’d have to get up.
When I was growing up, I didn’t want to bring attention on myself, so I usually wouldn’t get up for seconds (until dessert).
8. Be mindful when you’re eating
You’ve probably heard this before; when you eat mindlessly, you eat more.
Guess what, it’s true.
Have you ever been watching a show, or on your computer with a drink, or food, next to you and you go to have another sip, or bite, and there’s nothing left?
I have, and I hate that feeling because I thought I had some left and I’m so disappointed when I don’t.
That feeling is the result of mindless eating; you don’t even realize that you’re eating as much as you are. Though, I’m usually drinking coffee mindlessly most of the time, it’s just as bad, if not worse, with food. You’re still hungry because your mind didn’t grasp that you were eating because you were doing something else.
Simply, pay attention to what you’re eating and how it tastes.
What’s the texture like? Is it sweet or savory?
Does it have a flavor in it you don’t recognize?
If you think of these things while you eat, it will help you to stop eating mindlessly. You can also give better compliments to whomever made the homemade dish you just enjoyed.
Maybe you’ll even ask for the recipe!
9. Remember there will be leftovers
Leftovers are great, aren’t they?
I know some people aren’t fans of huge leftovers and food goes bad before they can get to it.
But, when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t enjoy them. Some people may even go crazy over them. Ever see the episode of Friends when Ross’s leftover Thanksgiving sandwich was stolen, and half of it was thrown out, by one of his co-workers?
Of course, there are always some foods, like the homemade applesauce, that will never be placed in a container as a leftover, but there are many other delicious dishes that will.
If you don’t stuff your face during Thanksgiving, these leftovers could last you a week.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful to not have to go grocery shopping for a week after Thanksgiving?
Especially when you spent a whole weeks worth of grocery money, or more, on Thanksgiving dinner.
Don’t overeat, if that’s what you want
I hope you enjoyed and found my tips for reducing overeating helpful.
I hope some of these you already know, but I also hope you learned something, as well. Like I said, I’ve never really over ate during Thanksgiving because I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years, but I’ve also used many of these tips myself, without even realizing it.
And again, if you accidentally overeat this Thanksgiving; don’t worry about it.
I don’t know of a single person who has gained weight from overeating at a single meal. Our ancestors use to have ‘feast’ or ‘famine’, and if you want to use that as your excuse to eat to your heart’s content this Thanksgiving, go for it (unless you have a medical condition in which you shouldn’t).
Share this, or pin it on pinterest, if you found it interesting or helpful. You may want to read it over again next year!!
10 Clever Nutribullet Uses You Probably Haven’t Thought Of
Have you ever wanted something that made it easier for you and your children to eat healthier?
Something that maybe had more than one use to it?
Well, I’ve had my nutribullet for over four years now, and I’ve found at least 10 different nutribullet uses, and I’m not talking different types of nutriblasts, or smoothies, I’m talking different foods and uses!!
It took the place of 3 other small appliances I had, saving me time, space in my tiny kitchen, and money from trying to keep everything working. I’ve never once had an issue with my nutribullet for the time I’ve had it!
I got rid of a blender, that seriously needed to be replaced, my coffee grinder, and the baby bullet that I used to make baby food, til it broke (not even a year after I got it).
**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or a professional nutritionist. I simply believe in eating well for people of all ages, and I believe that a whole foods plant based diet is eating well, whereas processed foods are not.
Now, you’re probably wondering, what all does it make?
These are the SUPER healthy drinks it makes that includes fruits, veggies, and some type of super food! And, to be honest, this is probably the one thing you did think of when a nutribullet comes to mind.
These blasts have a blast of nutrients in them after the ingredients are pulverized in the nutribullet, releasing all, or most, of their nutrients. Making it easily digestible and ensuring you get all the health benefits you can from the real food you put into it!
Nutribullet uses #2: Healthy Smoothies for your Kids
If your kids, or you, aren’t keen on adding veggies or super foods into a drinkable form (yet) you can still us this to make a healthy smoothie.
Use the same ingredients you would as always. No need to have that bulky blender anymore!
This small appliance makes it super easy to make milkshakes. My 5 year old is constantly asking me to make her a strawberry milkshake. It certainly beats spending money on fast food, or letting my daughter get a milkshake from a fast food restaurant; who knows what’s in those things!
It’s super simple to make a milkshake with a nutribullet, too. First, chop up and freeze a banana or two. Once frozen, add that and frozen strawberries to the cup, then add in some soy milk (or your preferred milk), and blend. That’s it!
Just make sure you add more milk than fruit, and add a little bit more at a time to find the right consistency for you! You can add a sweetener, too, if you like. Maple syrup works well to sweeten things up, or add some vanilla extract.
Nutribullet uses #4: Popsicles!
My two little girls love popsicles, even in the winter!
I don’t love keeping them in the house, or maybe it’s that I can’t keep them in the house because my girls love them so much!
Either way, it’s cheaper, healthier, and easier, to make my own popsicles for my girls; simply by freezing a nutriblast, or fruit smoothie, in popsicle molds.
This way I have complete control over what goes into the popsicle, and can customize it exactly how my girls want them!
An ice cream recipe did not come in the recipe book that comes with the nutribullet, so it took me a few months to figure this one out.
I figured it out by accident; but, I am so glad I did! I’m a woman, who loves chocolate and peanut butter.
You know the nutribullet is meant to get the most that it can out of fruits, veggies, and super foods to help provide you with optimal health. But hey, sometimes we need that chocolate fix, am I right?
Do yourself a favor; cut up a banana or two and let it freeze for a few hours, add it to the nutribullet cup, add in a quarter cup or so of peanut butter, about a tablespoon of cocoa powder, and some soy or almond milk. Blend it all together; it makes a creamy, and delicious, super soft serve ice cream! It’s amazing! Plus, it’s still healthy, much healthier than regular ice cream!
I got the nutribullet about a year after my first daughter was born, and had been given a baby bullet when she was almost three months old so I could make her home made baby food. So, for my first daughter I used the baby bullet…it broke just as she was transitioning to real food from baby food. I would not recommend the baby bullet, unless you only need it for less than a year and don’t care if it stops working on you.
For my second daughter, however, I already had my nutribullet for about two years, and it has basically the same blades as the baby bullet (but it doesn’t wear out over time). So, I decided to simply use my nutribullet to make baby food. It worked flawlessly! Even better than a baby bullet because it has more power to it! With the nutribullet I could make weeks worth of baby food and freeze it. This was such a time saver, and sanity saver!
When we had our second child, I was working full time. My second daughter exclusively drank breast milk til she was three months old, then I started making her home made baby food. You should have seen our freezer during this time; it was completely full of breast milk and baby food! This way I knew my husband wouldn’t run out of milk or food for our baby while I was at work. We actually had such a large supply that we decided to get a chest freezer for our other freezer food. With me working, I was a little obsessed with batch cooking and batch baking and then freezing, so we would always have some type of healthy food available!
Nutribullet uses #7: Makes baby cereal
I wasn’t only able to make baby food with fruits and veggies for my second daughter, I was also able to make her baby cereal with it, too. When I saw the nutribullet had a grinding blade, along with the regular extracting blade, I was so happy!
No need for buying commercial baby cereal, not that we had to with our first, because we had the baby bullet at the time. But, I hated the thought of having to buy any of the expensive store bought baby food or baby cereal. I loved the idea of making it all myself! And, I may have been the type of mom with an infant that would get offended when other people tried buying my baby store bought baby food.
(Just because I went to college full time and worked part time when my first daughter was born, and then worked full time an hour away from home with my second, did not mean I couldn’t find the time to make healthy home made baby food to provide for my little girls.)
Wouldn’t you love to have complete control over the food that goes into your precious child, right from the start? No store bought food that you don’t know how it was made or kept, just fresh homemade baby food and baby cereal from nutrient rich ingredients!
Nutribullet uses #8: Grind oats into flour
I never knew how nutrient lacking regular flour was until I started watching health documentaries, and actually started learning some common sense about nutrition.
Like, you shouldn’t only look at the nutrition label, you should look at the ingredient list, and the vitamins and minerals that the food provides, too.
Regular flour isn’t all that great for you, as I started to realize; having little kids and being responsible for providing them the nutrients they need in life; I didn’t want to mess that up.
I want to give my girls the best, especially when it comes to what they are putting into their bodies to help them grow into healthy, strong, and independent little girls.
And, as much as I enjoyed eating cookies and breads made from all purpose flour when I was little; I wanted to make sure my girls were benefiting, not only from enjoying these baked goods, but also from the nutrients the baked goods can provide them.
I even ground up quinoa in my nutribullet to make quinoa flour. Now, that makes an amazing replacement for flour in blondies!! But, with cookies, breads, or muffins, I opt for oat flour!
Nutribullet uses #9: Grind flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are known for a few of their super-food-like health benefits. From being high in omega-3’s to helping people lose weight from the high fiber content.
However, you can’t benefit from flaxseeds when they’re whole; they need to be ground into flaxmeal, first. The nutribullet, unlike a regular blender, has the power to grind these seeds up and make them digestible, so you can actually benefit from them!
Flaxmeal is also used by vegans, or people trying to avoid the high cholesterol and fat from eggs, to make flax eggs to use in baked goods.
So, combine this with the oat flour and other healthy baking ingredients, and you’ll be eating super-powered, and delicious, baked goods. Something every mom needs; making it easier to get the nutrients our kids need into them, and making it more delicious for us to eat healthy! It’s a win-win!
Nutribullet uses #10: Grinds Coffee
And, of course, if the nutribullet can grind oats and flaxseeds into a flour like consistency, then it can grind coffee! No need to have small kitchen appliances that only have one use to them!
A powerful little machine
So, you see, a nutribullet has many more functions than it was probably even meant to have. It helps us, as moms, feed our children from the day they start eating food, til the day they leave our home.
It helps us eat better and have more energy.
There are so many things we can make with this little machine! I don’t know what I did before I had one. Then again, I didn’t eat as well back then!
I’m sure I’m missing something in this list of what a nutribullet can do or make, so please leave a comment if you can think of anything else! Don’t forget to pin this for later and share!
A nutribullet was a game changer for me when it came to being healthier!
When people think of creating a budget, they tend to think about the bills they have and things they enjoy spending money on; not on making a healthy meal plan on a budget.
Many people overlook the amount of money they spend on food. Which could end up being a thousand dollars or more if you’re not careful; whether trying to eat healthy or not!
You may just say ‘well, we have to eat’ and leave it at that.
Not really thinking about how much you spend every month because it’s such a necessity!
Or, maybe you just don’t know how to make a meal plan on a budget, or honestly just don’t want to know how much you are really spending on food!
But, thinking of spending money on food in this way is dangerous…food isn’t as cheap as it used to be!!
I used to be a cashier at a grocery store; I know how much some people spent on food weekly. And that was 5 years ago, prices have only increased since then!!
I knew those with kids spent way more on food than those who lived alone; by a lot!
Yet, it’s us people with kids who may want to eat better or at least feed their kids healthy food and spend less on food. But, how?
Well, there’s some obvious things to do, like stop eating out. But, other than that; MEAL PLAN!
**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or a professional nutritionist. I simply believe in eating well for people of all ages, and I believe that a whole foods plant based diet is eating well, whereas processed foods are not.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to spend $500+ on food every month, even with a family of 4.
According to the USDA back in 2013 (which was also around the time I quit my job as a cashier) the average family of 4 spent between ~$150 and ~$300 a week on groceries ₍₁₎. And, that was 5 years ago! Prices have gone up since then, even if you haven’t noticed it. Even in the past year, prices on somethings have gone up. I used to get my 5 year old the individual nutella snacks when we got groceries. They were only a dollar, but about 8 months ago they increased to $1.50! Therefore, I stopped buying them.
So, if you’re concerned with setting a budget, and staying in that budget while food prices continue to sky rocket; keep reading for some ways to save money on food!!
You’ll need them!
I’ll guide you each step of the way and provide helpful tips. What I can’t do, is actually make you do it. (Or, make you follow through with the meal plan, which is a struggle all in itself.)
I do have some helpful printables for meal planning that’ll make it easier on you, though, get them here!
Let’s Get Started on Making a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget
Step 1 for Making a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget: Work out your food budget
Yes, I said food budget, not groceries.
Because some people will create a budget for their weekly grocery trip and then completely forget about it when they go out to eat. Like my husband, who will go get fast food on his lunch, or spend $10 on prepared food at the grocery store, after I tell him how much we can spend on food for the month. (If you couldn’t guess, I’m the one who handles finances in our home. If I let my husband do it then we’d be living on the street.)
So, make sure everyone in your home who has access to money understands the budget and that it is for all the food that is bought. Otherwise, you’re going to go way over; a $10 meal for one person, or $20 on food out for the whole family is going to hurt if your budget is $100 or less a week.
But, to set the budget; there’s a couple different ways you can do it, and it’ll depend on the amount of money you have to play around with for your budget.
If you’re like me and are living paycheck to paycheck, then you’ll want to budget like I do.
Figure out your average monthly income (estimate low)
Subtract all your monthly bills (estimate high)
Subtract what you spend on gas each month and other necessities (I’m talking things like toilet paper and toothpaste)
The leftover money for the month can be your monthly budget for food (if you feel this number is too high, you can always lower it; save the rest, or pay off some debt so you don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck!)
Divide your monthly food budget by 4 to get how much you can spend weekly on food
If you want more in depth instructions on how to budget when living paycheck to paycheck; read How to Budget (When You Have No Money)I even explain how we’re able to afford all the small purchases my husband has to make, when, from the outside looking in, it looks like we’d never be able to afford them!
If you have more money to play around with, there’s a better solution to finding your budget; one that will be a little easier to stick with and more realistic with the rising prices of food!
Go through your receipts from grocery stores and from when you eat out (or go through bank statements)
Find the average you spend each week, or each month; use this as your base for setting a budget
Depending on your goal for your budget, you may need to adjust this amount
(Many people want to lower the amount they spend, because they looked at how much they’re spending and are shocked by the amount they spend! Try lowering it by ~$25 each week until you get to a reasonable budget for you and your family. Since everyone’s budget is going to be a little different, and since we all don’t eat the same food; we can’t all be expected to have the same budget.)
Once you figured out your budget, move on to the next step.
Step 2 for Making a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget: What are your Food Necessities?
What food do you have to have in your home at all times?
For my family, we need coffee creamer, coffee, soy milk, bananas, apples, peanut butter, frozen fruit, and frozen veggies. And, besides the frozen food and coffee, we need to purchase the other items once a week.
(Yes, we go through a whole jar of peanut butter a week; the 40oz jar. Update: We can get a 5 pound jar to last us 3 weeks now and is only $6.50, so much cheaper to buy in bulk!!)
These are the things that we can’t live without and are always on our grocery list, budget or not.
I’m sure your list of absolutes are different than mine.
So, go find out!
Ask others in your home if you need to.
If you know you always have to have bread, pasta, or veggies for salads stocked at all times, write them on the list.
Then, find out how often they need to be bought.
Some items will need to be bought every week, other items may last 2 or 4 weeks, maybe even longer.
If you’re not sure how long they last; write down the date the next time you buy them. This way you can budget in the more expensive items (like the 64oz bag of frozen fruit I get for smoothies), and not go over budget. (Either by saving a few dollars each week for the item, or by planning cheaper meals the week you need to get the more expensive monthly item.)
Figure out what you need and how much they cost before moving onto the next step.
Check out some new fun, or old and loved, recipes and see which ones have ingredients that you may already have.
Or, if you don’t have any of the ingredients; find out how much they’ll cost.
You’ll need enough meals to fill out your meal planner. If you have a tight budget, this needs to be considered when you’re planning meals. Sometimes having a certain type of food all week is cheaper than doing a different kind of meal each night. Or, eat leftovers from dinner the night before, for lunch the next day!
I know other people may tell you to have a taco Tuesday, Italian food on another day, Chinese food on another, and so on.
But, with being on a budget, is that even realistic?
How many of those meals have ingredients in common?
How about you have all Mexican food one week, Italian the next, and so on. That way, if you have extra ingredients, you can use it in another recipe later that week; no waste.
For example, if you chopped up tomatoes for your pizza on Monday, you could use them the next night in your pasta, salad, or veggie lasagna.
If you’ve been able to find a enough recipes that you and your family will enjoy; it’s time to move onto the next step. Which is the best step if you like scheduling!!
Keep this current step in mind, though, when you and your family try new dishes and keep a running list of food you like. If you need a place to write them down; go ahead and print out my meal planning templates!
Step 4for Making a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget: Schedule your Meals (in pencil)
Once you have your meals picked and recipes at hand; fill out your meal plan for the next week or 2 in a way that makes sense and prevents waste. No one likes spending money on food for it to just go waste!
You can see above what my meal plan looked like at the beginning of the year.
That’s for a family of four, of course the portions could always be changed to accommodate for more or less! And, at the time, I didn’t know how much soup the minestrone soup recipe was going to make; it was a lot!
That’s why it’s good to choose some meals with ingredients that don’t go bad within a week or two; ingredients that are shelf stable.
On the days I didn’t have the minestrone soup scheduled for dinner, I replaced the pasta for lunch with the soup. Easy enough, now I still have pasta in my cupboard for another week!
If you’re unsure if you and your family will like one of the meals, or if you’re unsure how much the recipe will actually make; give your schedule some wiggle room.
Have back up meals with ingredients that won’t go bad. Or, if you do end up with too many perishables that you can’t get to with meals that week; try freezing them, or making some snacks out of them. Try smoothies or juicing if you have extra fruits and veggies!
Also, don’t forget about snacks and drinks, especially if you have kids!
And, remember, plans don’t always go as they should; don’t be afraid to move meals around when something comes up.
It’s not set in stone, and as moms, it’s sometimes hard to come up with the energy to make an extravagant meal, even when planned. Have some easy meals in the mix for those particularly hard days!
When you’re set with your meal plan and are happy with how it looks, head on to step 5.
Step 5for Making a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget: Make your grocery list!
Consider what you already have in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer (if you subscribed to get my meal planner above, you’ll also get a cute printable for writing down what you have in each of these places and a place to write down your grocery list for 3 weeks!).
Then estimate how much everything, that you don’t already have at home, that you need for your planned meals and snacks, will cost.
Is it within your budget? If so, great!!
If not; you have a little bit of editing to do with your meal plan.
This is why you wrote your meal plan in pencil! Or, at least I hope you did. If not, then you may have to rewrite it, or not mind things being crossed off and changed!
If you need to edit it; you’ll want to see if you have any obviously expensive meals you can replace with cheaper meals, or even swapping out some of the ingredients; so it’s not so expensive.
Do you have a lot of dishes with beans and veggies planned for the week; use any leftovers to make a soup one night.
Or, even doubling your dinner recipe to provide lunch for the next day; this can be cheaper than making two different meals, or worse, eating out!
When you’re done editing your meal plan to fit within your budget you can move onto the next step.
Step 6for Making a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget: Go grocery shopping
If you really want to stay in your budget, you may want to go alone, too!
I know when my family goes with me grocery shopping, we never stay in our budget.
There’s too many people looking at all the food and the ads in the store.
It just doesn’t work!
I’ll have a nice neat grocery list with everything I need, and then my husband will say that he doesn’t like sticking to a list and adds in about $40 worth of food! It’s even worse when I ask him to pick up a few things at the store on his way home from work. I’ll ask for things that cost about $10 altogether, and he’ll come home and had spent $35. It’s a struggle sometimes to stay in budget!
So, my advice is to go alone, on a full stomach, and with a good list, and don’t stray from the list.
When I was the working parent (and worked 3pm to midnight), I’d always get groceries after work by myself and always stay within budget! (It’s so peaceful getting groceries when hardly anyone else is in the store!)
Also, don’t forget to download the Ibotta app on your phone; it’ll give you cash back depending on what you buy! Their offers change, but they range anywhere from bananas to name brand food to diapers! My first month using Ibotta I got $26 cash back, no joke! (Update: I’m up to ~$100 now!)
Step 7for Making a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget: Meal prep
Believe it or not, this can actually be one of the toughest steps of all!
But, don’t worry, it’s totally worth it; you can even recruit your kids, if they’re old enough.
My girls love helping me in the kitchen. They even sometimes get mad at me if I make something without them; and they’re 5 and 2!
And, you know what?
Anyone can plan to do well on a budget. But, to go through with it and make it work; that’s another story!
And with food, part of making your budget work is eating what you actually plan and having it ready for you and your family so you don’t hear the headache inducing question of “what’s for dinner?”
If you skip this step you may be tempted to eat out, grab some fast food, or make another stop at the grocery store for convenience foods; like a frozen pizza. Simply because it’s easier!
This is what we’re trying to avoid here!
So, go through those recipes you have planned and see what you can prep ahead of time. Are you making a soup that needs chopped veggies? Need to cook some dried beans for chili later in the week?
Spend an hour or so when you come home from grocery shopping and prep all the food you can for the week.
This will prevent you from eating out because you don’t feel like cooking, and it’ll make sure the ingredients don’t get used for something they’re not intended for. I know from experience how frustrating it is when you plan a meal, go to make it, and realize someone else in the home used one of the key ingredients for something else.
Plus, if you suffer from the ‘mom, I’m hungry’ syndrome that kids have everyday between lunch and dinner; simply prep some snacks for your kids and show them where they are. I do this for my 5 year old and she loves it. It helps her feel more independent and lessons the stress for me.
Have you ever wanted to be healthier, but don’t know where to start?
Or, know that as a mom, you probably should start caring about your own health, now that you’re responsible for another human beings health, as well?
Well, what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be hard or take an hour of prep work to start being healthier, for yourself and child(ren)!?!
What if I told you that you can add at least 3 more fruits and veggies, along with amazing (and cheap) super foods, into your diet in about 5 minutes a day?
And, what if, the same small appliance that can help you do that can also grind oats into flour, for healthier desserts like cookies and muffins, and make home made baby food and baby cereal. No more buying baby food at one or two dollars a serving! No serving your toddler, or older child, baked goods with nutrient lacking white, or all purpose, flour!
As a mom, I think we could all appreciate something that allows us to provide healthier food to ourselves and our children, while saving money and possibly even time! A nutribullet can do all of that for us, plus more!
I had been doing my research and comparing it with other products similar to it, and I so hoped that someone in my family would be awesome enough to get it for me. (At the time it was more expensive than it is today and my husband was laid off from his job right before Christmas that year.) I was so thankful that his grandma bought for me, it’s helped me out in so many ways since then!
I’m much healthier because of it, and others see me as much healthier, as well.
Ask anyone I’ve worked with when I worked outside the home! People saw me as super healthy, especially when they saw me drinking something green in the break room.
I was like the health guru, wherever I worked, or at least that’s how it made me feel!
I have used this small machine almost everyday since I’ve gotten it, over 4 years ago, and there is no sign that it’s going to break down anytime soon! If I don’t use it to make a nutriblast (the healthy smoothies it creates by pulverizing fruits and veggies), then I use it for something else, like grinding oats for flour, or flaxseeds to make flax eggs.
Ok, ok, I may be a bit of a health nut. But, is that really a bad thing to be, as a mom?
Let’s get onto those 10 Nutribullet Benefits for Moms!
Nutribullet Benefits #1. It’s fast
On average, it takes about 20 seconds to make a nutriblast.
It may take 10 to 20 seconds longer to grind oats for flour.
But, with the power this product has, it doesn’t take long to get the consistency you are looking for, no matter what you grind or blend!
Nutribullet Benefits #2. It’s Safe
The nutribullet is safe to use, not only for you as an adult, but also for kids.
My 5 year old helps me use this all the time, she actually gets upset when I don’t let her help, because she thinks it’s so much fun to use!
The part with the blade screws onto the cup and can be difficult for a child, or yourself, to get off quickly so you don’t have to worry about chopping off a finger with a blade before it stops blending, like with a regular blender. And, when you’re using it, the cup can lock into place on the base.
This way you can lock it onto the base and let your little one hold onto it, making them think they’re doing it all by themselves; just help them, or unlock it, when they’re done!
Note: You must supervise little ones with the nutribullet to ensure safety. Do not let them use it all by themselves, it could potentially be dangerous.
Nutribullet Benefits #3. Everyone around you will envy you for your good nutrition
No joke on this one. I used to work at call centers and I’d always bring a nutriblast to work to drink.
I would always get so many comments when drinking it. From disgust because it was green, to people who wish they had the will power to eat as healthy as I do, and not just buy something from the vending machine!
So, if you want to start being thought of as a health guru where you work, or just want to be seen as healthy; start bringing and drinking these at work!
Some people have even seen weight loss after starting to use the nutribullet. I never used it as a weight loss aid, but anything that will help you eat more fruits and veggies, and less junk, is always going to have the potential to help you lose weight!
Nutribullet Benefits #4. Show your kids how delicious it is to be healthy!
As moms, we want our kids to be healthy, but we don’t want to have to shove veggies down their throats. So, let’s meet them in the middle and make them milkshakes and ice cream!
Kids love desserts, and we love for them to eat what’s good for them. The nutribullet makes it possible for both of us to get our ways! If you need suggestions on how to make delicious desserts for your kids using the nutribullet; check out this post!! Or, use my go to smoothie recipe from below!
Add the healthiest ingredients into your kids favorite desserts, without them even knowing!
Nutribullet Benefits #5. Teach your kids how EASY it is to be healthy!
Using a nutribullet is so easy, a kid can use it; so let them.
(Make sure you supervise, though, you know your child better than I do and whether they will need help or not. Maybe, pretend to let them help…)
There’s no better way to teach a child to be healthy than to be a good example and let them experiment with food themselves. They are much more likely to try eating something healthy if they are the ones who made it!
So, let them see you use your nutribullet and drink your nutriblasts on a daily basis. If they’re anything like my girls, you won’t be able to finish it without sharing!
Pretty soon they’ll be asking for their own and begging you if they can help make it!
Nutribullet Benefits #6. It Pulverizes ingredients, making it easier to digest
The nutribullet isn’t just a blender, it’s an extractor!
It extracts the nutrients from the fruits, veggies, and other healthy ingredients you put into it; making them more easily digested by our bodies. Which in turn provides us with more health benefits than a regular blender ever could!
This makes nutriblasts the perfect revitalizing drink for when you start to feel low on energy or simply not feel at your best. It literally takes only about 5 minutes for me to start feeling better after starting to drink a nutriblast! (More specifically, the recipe above!)
Nutribullet Benefits #7. It Can Replace multiple Small Kitchen Appliances to save you valuable space!
So far, I’ve replaced 3 of my small kitchen appliances with the nutribullet!
and baby bullet
It saves me space in my small kitchen by having multiple functions, and it saves me money and frustration by not having to deal with blenders that wear out, and replacing a baby bullet that fully gave out within a year! This appliance is still going strong after 4 years of everyday use!
Nutribullet Benefits #8. It comes with a Healthy Recipe Book
The recipe book isn’t just full of nutriblast recipes, it has information about how to eat healthy, and basically a meal plan to help you eat better!
There’s a recipe for a wrap with quinoa in it, that’s just amazing!
It’s focused on real foods, not processed or chemically laden foods like weight loss companies.
With the nutribullet, it’s all about health and getting the most out of real food that you can!
When I first started working full time after I gave birth to my oldest daughter, coffee was not enough to give me the energy I needed through out the day.
So, I tried a little experiment and brought a nutriblast to work to sip on instead of coffee!
I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of energy I had to stay awake during the training and the tedious everyday tasks at my job; it was amazing!
Even now, staying home with my two girls, if I start to feel faint, or just sick or weak; I make myself a nutriblast, sit down on the couch, and start drinking it. Within 5 to 10 minutes after I start drinking it; I feel better!
I have my energy back and I’m ready to take on the rest of the day!
My girls tend to get a few sips of it, too. I can never have one all to myself!
So, if you’re serious about being a healthy mom with energy to get through each and every day, and providing your little ones with healthy baked goods, home made baby food, or delicious (and healthy) ‘milkshakes’, then I’d highly recommend this product!
Know anyone researching the Nutribullet, or trying to be healthy; share this honest nutribullet review with them!
Have you ever wondered how you can best nurture your children with food?
Provide them with the best nutrients on this planet?
Well, when thinking of this, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably to give them tons of fruits and veggies.
Because they come from the earth, and are loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that our bodies need to thrive.
But then, why do some people criticize vegans so heavily for not eating meat?
(Seriously, it’s literally rotting carcass. How is someone supposed to thrive eating rotting carcasses?)
Because our society, at least in the U.S., has been brainwashed to believe that we need a ton more protein than we really do; or that vegan sources of protein aren’t good enough (which is certainly not true).
As you’re reading this, I’m not going to sugar coat things.
I’m not going to tell you that everyone is going to be happy with your, or your child’s decision, to eat a vegan diet.
But, the closer your diet gets to being completely plant based; the better you’ll feel and the healthier your child will be!
**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or a professional nutritionist. I simply believe in eating well for people of all ages, and I believe that a whole foods plant based diet is eating well, whereas processed foods are not.
With that being said, I have a step by step guide to help you feel a little more confident when helping your child transition to a vegan diet!
Raising a Vegan Child Step 1: Congratulate yourself, or your child
…for wanting to eat healthier, and aiming to avoid the Standard American Diet (and all the chronic diseases that come along with SAD). You’ll also be sparing the lives of innocent animals, promoting a sustainable way of living, and many other great things!
They’ll learn to treat their body with respect by feeding it the right food.
They will be healthy from the inside out, and not have to worry about health concerns that others may eventually encounter on standard american diet.
Raising a Vegan Child Step 2: Do your research
If you know nothing about nutrition; now is the time to start learning!
Research the nutritional needs of children.
There are going to be plenty of people criticizing you for allowing your child to be vegan; you better have a response for all of the remarks they make and questions they have for you. Such as the oh so famous question of ‘how do they get enough protein without eating meat?’.
Apparently, when you tell someone that you or your child is vegan, or even vegetarian, they immediately assume the only way to get enough protein is by eating animals; they don’t believe that beans, tofu, or veggies have nearly enough!
To be polite, as you should be, calculate the amount of protein a child needs; then show them the labels on the food your child eats. For produce, you can bring up a nutrition label online….Or, tell them to mind their own business, as they should. Because you know best for your child!
During your research, if you feel you can’t find all the information you’re looking for; don’t be afraid to reach out.
Whether you reach out to an online vegan community, nutritionist, or other people you know in real life who are vegan or on a plant based diet; there are plenty of resources out there, you may just need a little help finding them. You could even search for facebook groups, there are some vegan or plant based facebook groups that have a ton of members in them and are really supportive! (As in, if you ask a question, you won’t have to wait too long for a response, and may even get hundreds of responses!)
Raising a Vegan Child Step 3: Create a meal plan for your child
Create a meal plan for your child.
While you’re at it, create a family meal plan. If you’re not already vegan, join them on this life long venture; it’ll make it easier on them, and help you feel healthier, too!
The meal plan is to ensure proper nutrition for your child. And, to ward off those criticizers who think they know better than you; while they’re feeding their own kids processed junk and fast food.
Seriously, go to the store and buy some. This stuff is great on vegan mac and cheese, pasta, cous cous, popcorn, or pretty much anything. Plus, it has the one vitamin that vegans may actually have to worry about getting enough of; vitamin B12.
The kind I get, which even Walmart sells, is Red Starr Nutritional Yeast Flakes. (See, you don’t even have to go to some fancy all natural, or organic store, to buy food for you vegan child.) It contains 130% daily recommended amount of vitamin B12 in one serving.
Raising a Vegan Child Step 5: Let your child’s doctor know the next time they go in
No need to make a special trip to the doctors to tell them this, unless your child has health concerns. But, if your child is in perfect health then there’s nothing to really worry about.
Always a good idea to let their doctor know, though. They may even be able to give you some recommendations!
But, don’t expect them to, most doctors aren’t required to learn a lot about nutrition. They have a medical degree, for knowing about medicine, not nutrition. Let’s just hope criticism of a vegan diet doesn’t come from the doctors office, too. It may just depend on where you live.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~Hippocrates
When my oldest daughter was just a baby and starting to eat solids, her doctor said she could eat anything we eat.
Even more specifically, he mentioned that we could even start her eating meat.
She wasn’t even a year old yet!
I wasn’t vegan at that time, but I had been a vegetarian for about 13 years when he was telling my husband and me this information. So, there was no way I was about to feed my precious baby dead animals after keeping her on a healthy, home made baby food diet!
Raising a Vegan Child Step 6: Meal prep and save money!
If you’re big into saving money, there’s a ton of ways to do this for a vegan diet! Even more so than on SAD.
Don’t listen to those people who say they can’t eat healthy because it’s too expensive; that’s a complete lie, that they probably don’t even know.
Luckily, you don’t have to go into debt buying your child ‘special vegan food’. You’ll most likely be saving money, instead!
Ways to save money include (but aren’t limited to):
buy fruit and veggies in bulk by buying frozen
buy rice and beans dry and in bulk
tofu is cheaper than meat (believe it or not, I’ve been buying a pound of tofu a week for $1.44!)
don’t buy the processed fake meats (you don’t need them)
buy produce that’s in season
buy quinoa from the bulk section
chia seeds and flaxseeds last awhile, buy in bulk to save money (use in smoothies, or chia seed pudding!)
(Honestly, these are tips that anyone can use to save money, because all of these foods should be in everyone’s home if they’re trying to eat well.)
A lot of ways that you can save money with this diet is to buy in bulk and to buy items that last a long time.
Fortunately, that’s one thing that many vegan foods have in common, with a few exceptions.
With this being said, I hope you didn’t skip step 3 (create a meal plan). You’ll need this plan to figure out what you should prep for the week.
Do you need to soak and cook beans for later in the week?
Cook a large batch of brown rice?
Grind up some flaxseeds for smoothies? (Don’t add flaxseeds whole- they’ll go right through the digestive system. If you don’t want to grind them yourself; look for flaxseed meal. Or, invest in a nutribullet, it has no problem grinding flaxseeds; while making your smoothie at the same time!)
If you help getting started meal prepping and feeding your child, or yourself, healthy nourishing food all week, go check this out!!
Raising a Vegan Child Step 7: Feed your child
Now, there’s no sense in doing all of the work and then not feeding your child a healthy vegan diet. So, make sure you’re actually feeding your child these healthy meals and snacks to help them grow up nice and strong.
Also, let them have some say in which meals they want, and when, during the week. Or, let them help with the meal planning.
It’s hard enough being a child and not having much say in things. Give them choices to help them feel important and in control of what they are putting into their bodies.
If they chose this way of eating, then that’s probably a big reason why; they want the say in what they eat.
Let them be the ones making the healthy choices; it’ll go a lot further, and smoother, if they have control over it. They may even feel proud to make the right choices!
And, isn’t it completely worth it? To know that your child wants to eat to be healthy. It’s such a wonderful feeling, especially knowing that you helped and made every effort to make it possible for them and ensure outstanding nutrition for their health.
How to Start a Plant Based Diet – an easy step by step plan for beginners
Did you just watch a healthy documentary, like What the Health?, Food Choices, or Food Inc.?
If so, then you’re probably wondering how to start a plant based diet, or at least improve your eating habits.
Maybe you’re unsure how to do that; it can be overwhelming at first. And, the first thing you may be tempted to do is to simply throw out all of the things bashed in the documentaries. If you have a very strong will-power and self-discipline and won’t simply go out and buy it again, go right ahead. But, most of us aren’t that strong.
Most of us need baby steps.
We need a plan to get us to where we want to be without being too uncomfortable, and without feeling we’re missing out on the unhealthy food surrounding us.
Some of us need to be told exactly what to do (or to eat), step by step. Some of us will rebel and not eat what we’re supposed to, simply to rebel. We need to strengthen our self discipline and self control. It will help us feel better, look better, and have enough energy to chase after our little ones. (Moms, you know what I’m talking about, especially with toddlers and driving around very busy older kids. No coffee needed, promise!)
I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be super easy and I’m not going to tell you that once you start this journey to health that you won’t slip up once in awhile, it happens.
What I am going to do is provide you with a step by step plan that will get you where you want to be in terms of your eating, if you follow it.
If you don’t follow the steps I provide, I can’t help you and you may have more difficulty than necessary.
p.s. Before we begin, I’m going to let you know some of the steps are baby steps, but you still need to do them.
Step One for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Decide How Badly You Want it
If you just finished watching a health documentary and are highly motivated; how long do you think that motivation will last?
It likely won’t last for more than a couple of weeks. You could keep watching documentaries for motivation.
Or, if you’re determined to go plant based, you need to show it. You need to feel the need to improve your life.
Basically, you need to determine how badly you want this lifestyle change.
If you kind of want it, but are unsure, you may not last very long; at least not without support.
If you know you want this, the next step is to think about why you want it so badly!
Step Two for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Decide WHY You Want to Change to a Plant Based Diet
There are tons of reasons why to change to a plant based lifestyle or plant based diet. Some examples of why people change are below. Your reason why may be below, or it may not, but, take a look anyways. Maybe it’ll give you more than one reason why you should switch to a plant based diet!
Help reverse existing health issues
If you watched health documentaries, you know a plant based diet can do this. Do you have any health issues you want t reverse? (Psst….if you do, talk with a doctor or nutritionist who knows you and your condition before you change your diet. I am in no way a doctor, and it’s been years since I’ve even taken an advil.)
Prevent Health issues
If you don’t have any health issues or concerns, are there any health concerns that run in your family that you’d like to try to prevent? (I sure do. I feel like every other month I get notified of another health issue that a family member has.)
Improve your overall health and well being
This pretty much speaks for itself.
Have enough energy to be a better mom (and chase after your toddler).
I feel ya on this one, every time we go outside, my toddler darts towards the road, she’s just at that stage. I have to throw off my flip flops and dart right after her before she gets half way up the driveway. Luckily, I eat the same healthy food I feed her, so I can run after her when I need to!
Feel better and have a more clear mind
Have you ever felt ‘uhhhhg….’ or ‘blah’? I used to all the time, you can check out my journey to health if you want to know why.
Eating plants will help you feel good from the inside out!
Ridding your diet of processed foods will help you lose excess weight effortlessly, other than the change in what you eat.
Be a good example for your children and raise a healthier generation for the future.
Children copy what they see; if they see you eat healthy, they’ll start eating healthy. Simple as that.
Leave a lighter footprint on the earth
It takes more resources (land, water, etc.) for someone to eat meat or dairy, than for someone to eat a plant based diet.
Help reduce the number of animals being abused and slaughtered
This is obvious.
Help reduce health concerns of others who live near industrial sized farms and animal waste
If there’s less of a demand for animal products then they’ll be less industrial sized farms and less animal waste that is causing health issues for those living near them.
Help reduce the destruction of rain forest
This goes along leaving a lighter footprint.
Help reduce the amount of sea life that is being affected by target fish consumption
What do you think happens to all of the sea life that is pulled up in nets with the target fish that people eat?
Help save the Earth
I could go on, and on, and on. But, those are the major reasons people choose to switch to a vegan or plant based diet. If the reason you choose isn’t in the list, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great reason; it simply means it wasn’t one of the first things to come to my mind.
So, choose your why and hold on tight; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
No, seriously, hold onto it; write it down and don’t forget it. There are going to be times when you’re tempted to quit, when others tell you you’re stupid for changing your diet like this and that you’re not going to get enough protein. They’re going to use all the myths against you, and you’ll have to remember and gain strength from your why, to stay on track.
Step Three for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Go Through Your Kitchen and Remove Some Items
You want to do this anyways, so start, just don’t go overboard.
Start with the easiest things to get out of your diet. Maybe the items that you don’t really like but bought because at the time you thought they were good for you.
Then start weaning yourself from all other animal products and processed foods.
This is a lifestyle change, not a diet!
Unless you’re great at changing your life over night, which most of us aren’t; it’s better to go slow than not at all.
Step Four for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Get Prepared
Do some research
Check out some of my other posts on eating healthy. Or, google your questions about going plant based, find a nutritionist if you think you’ll need one. Do the research you need to do to feel comfortable going plant based.
Prepare your answers for all the silly questions you’ll get.
Where do you get your protein?
What do you eat?
Aren’t you missing important vitamins and minerals that you can only get from meat?
When are you going to stop depriving yourself of nutrients?
How can you afford to eat healthy food?
Well, I guess you can’t eat out with us now, right?
Don’t you miss eating ‘cheese’? (Insert any non-plant based food into the sentence.)
Yes, some of these questions may sound very silly with what you know. Just be polite and answer honestly, and try not to sound annoyed, as hard as it may be.
But, seriously, go find a notebook or open up a notepad on your phone and write out the answers to these, that way you won’t be caught off guard when asked; you’ll already know what to say, and be able to say it with confidence!
I want you to go download the Pinterest app on your phone, if you don’t already have it. If you haven’t signed up for Pinterest; sign up!
Go ahead, right now! Make sure to follow me and use the search feature to find recipes that you’d like to try.
Create a few boards for recipes. Label one ‘recipes to try’, label another ‘recipes I like’, or anything that makes sense to you. This way you can keep track of the food you want to try, what you like, and you could even create a meal plan using the recipes you find on Pinterest.
If you already have Pinterest, or once you’re signed up, spend 10 or 15 minutes searching or plant based recipes that look good, and save them to try later!
Read some books, or get some cookbooks if you’re a book person.
Following healthy bloggers will help provide you with the information you’re already looking for give you inspiration to keep moving forward, and give you more people to help support you in your journey towards better health!
Follow my friend, Farin at spiritedvegan.com, too! She’s a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, so you can be sure she knows what she’s talking about!
Step Five for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Start Swapping out Foods
Instead of going straight from whatever you currently eat, to eating an all plant based diet with foods that are foreign to you; try swapping foods.
This is supposed to make the transition easier.
If you love hot dogs, try carrot dogs.
Swap out chicken nuggets for soy nuggets; they may still be processed, but it isn’t meat and you won’t notice the difference.
Do this for any animal products you eat or drink. Swap in soymilk for cows milk, make banana ice cream in place of store bought, and so on.
And, make sure you add in plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Add in so many of these that there is literally no more room fr the animal products.
Honestly, that’s the easiest way to do it. How can you continue to eat animal products when your diet is so full of all the healthy plant based food you eat? There’s no room left!
Step Six for How to Start a Plant Based Diet: Meal Plan and Meal Prep
This last step is the most important step in this how to guide.
It goes hand in hand with the last few steps. And, these are the steps that you’ll need to constantly repeat.
You’ll constantly be searching for more recipes to try, and inspiration for continuing on this healthy eating journey.
But, the one thing that will help you the most is creating a solid meal plan, and meal prepping each week.
These two actions will ensure you stick with your plant based eating goals.
They will also help you lose excess weight, save money, and save time!
Honestly though, your health is the one thing you should invest in. You only get one body for your entire life; you need to treat it right, with respect, and feed it the food and nutrients it needs!
This course will guide you, in an easy to understand way:
to become an expert in your own kitchen
reach your health and wellness goals
to feel confident that you’re feeding yourself the nutrients your body needs
to spend less money while eating healthier food
and a lot more!
(Psst….you’ll even get bonuses, including weekly Q&A sessions with Farin that her clients in real life pay quite a bit of money to receive. It’s like going to a certified holistic nutritionist without actually having to go anywhere.)