Healthy Eating

10 Simple Tips for Buying Groceries on a Budget

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10 Simple Tips for Buying Groceries on a Budget

Have you ever tried buying groceries on a budget before?

The fact that you’re reading this tells me 1 or 2 things.

  1. You have tried buying groceries on a budget and you’ve failed.
  2. You’re still working on your grocery budget and are trying to find as many ways to save as possible.

Either way, you’ve come to the right place!


Related Posts:

4 Simple Ideas to Save Money on Groceries and Eat Healthier!

My Super Simple and Cheap Vegan Meal Plan for a Family of Four

How to Make a Healthy Meal Plan on a Budget


Want to Remember This? Pin 10 Simple Tips for Buying Groceries on a Budget to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

mom with groceries, plant based foods, produce, plant based food budget, whole food budget, whole foods are cheaper than processed, groceries, groceries on a budget

In this article you’ll learn 10 simple hacks to help you save as much money on your groceries as possible. Even if you only take advantage of a few of the tips below, you should still be able to see some savings on your grocery bill!

Because, let’s face it, we have kids to feed and they eat, a lot!

My kids are still little and I’m still astonished whenever they say they are actually full. So, if you have an older kid, or teenagers, pay close attention; we all know how much they can eat!

10 Tips for Saving Money on Food

1. Drink Water

The easiest tip anyone can give you, that will save you on your next grocery bill, is to have everyone drink more water.

That’s it!

Instead of buying juice, soda, or other drinks that are high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and empty calories; just have water available.

If you need to buy milk (or non-dairy milk), go ahead; but don’t have that be your go-to drink in the home. Have everyone drink milk sparingly and rely mostly on water to quench their thirst.

Whether you invest in a water purifier (this is the one I use), or buy water by the gallon; it’ll save you so much more money than buying other drinks. Plus, it’s better for your health, too!

2. Buy in Bulk

If you haven’t heard this advice before, then you might think this tip is counter intuitive because it costs more (at first) to buy in bulk.

But, in the long run, buying in bulk will save you tons of money, especially if you’re able to buy the bulk items while on sale!

If you’re starting to try to eat healthier and save money; do yourself a favor and don’t start buying fresh produce in bulk, as it’ll probably go bad before you get to eating it all.

A few things you should start buying in bulk are:

  • dried beans (make sure you go through them and put them in containers right away!)
  • legumes
  • rice
  • pasta
  • bread (and freeze it)
  • tortillas
  • peanut butter
  • oats (for oatmeal, baked goods, and more)
  • baking ingredients
  • nuts and seeds
  • bananas (to cut up and freeze for smoothies)
  • avocado (to puree, freeze, and use for toast/sandwiches)
  • frozen fruit
  • frozen veggies

Along with any food you and your family eat a lot of that is non-perishable, or will last a long time in the freezer! We all have different standards when it comes to what we eat and feed our family, so your list of food to stock up on may look differently.

However, you’ll get the most savings from buying whole foods in bulk and making the meals yourself, instead of stocking up on processed food- even if they do come in a bulk package.

 

3. Have the Same Type of Meal All Week

Maybe you’ve heard that some people meal plan and have the same type of food depending on the day of the week. For example, taco Tuesdays or having Italian food on Wednesdays, Mexican food on Thursday, or pizza every Friday. While this technique is great for making meal planning a little bit easier; it’s not doing any favors for your wallet.

If you’re trying to save money and want to plan themes for your meal planning; try doing it by week, instead. This way, if you have leftover ingredients from one meal in the week, you can use it for another meal later in the week.

For example, if you and your family really want to have tacos, have tacos! But, plan for other, similar meals, for the other meals in the week. Such as homemade pizza made on soft tortilla shells, with the same type of cheese (or non-dairy cheese) as you used for the tacos, and plenty of veggies. Then another night, maybe make burritos with similar ingredients, or a taco bowl.

This way, leftovers don’t go to waste and you can save money by buying ingredients you’ll need in bulk!

4. Make Freezer Meals

If you have the space in your freezer, or have a chest/deep freezer, then making freezer meals will help you out in more ways than just saving money!

Sure, you’ll be saving money because you’ll be able to:

  • buy ingredients in bulk
  • make quite a few freezer meals all at once
  • avoid wasting food
  • use a freezer meal as a quick alternative to eating out

But, you’ll also save tons of time by prepping several freezer meals at once.

You’ll save your own sanity by having something easy to make when everyone thinks there’s nothing to eat for dinner.

You’ll save money on gas by not having to go out to buy ingredients for a last minute meal, before it’s that time of the week to get groceries again.

And, you can do these with more than just dinners! Personally, my favorite freezer meals are breakfasts; pancakes, waffles, muffins, etc. It doesn’t take much extra time, either. Simply double, triple, or quadruple the recipe while your making it for breakfast anyways.

 

5. Make Your Own Baked Goods

As tempting as the bakery in your grocery store is, it is expensive!

In general, the ‘fresh baked’ donuts are anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar a piece, and if you’re buying more than one in a package, it’s going to be even more!

Plus, forget about trying to find a ‘healthy’ baked good in the bakery section. Their focus is purely on taste, and ignore anything they know about nutrition in the interest of making their baked goods delicious and addictive.

So, do yourself, and family, a favor, and make your own baked goods!

Baking ingredients will last a lot longer than a 4 count of muffins. And, you get to control what goes into the baked goods when you make them yourself. No wondering if the blueberries are real or made of another ‘cheaper’ ingredient, like mostly some type of sugar.

And, no more empty calorie baked goods; there are soo many ways to make them healthier and full of nutrients! Such as using oat flour to increase flour, replacing oil with applesauce, or simply reducing the sugar. Check out this post to find out more healthy swaps you could make.


Related Post: Healthy Vegan Blueberry Muffins


6. Don’t Buy Cereal and Milk for an ‘Easy’ Breakfast

Maybe you think buying cereal and milk for you and your family for kids is super easy and cheap. Well, you have one thing right; it’s easy. But, it’s definitely not cheap.

And, it’s not cheap for a couple of reasons.

  1. It can take a lot of cereal in the morning to fill up an adult.
  2. A lot of cereals, especially the ones your kids may ask for, lack fiber and protein while having way too much added sugar and empty calories.
  3. Milk tends to go to waste once the cereal is gone, or it doesn’t but you go through it much faster.

It would be much cheaper to make healthy baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal, or even pancakes or waffles for breakfast for the week. And, you could save time with most of those breakfasts by making them in batches and freezing them!


Related Post: 12 deliciously healthy kid friendly breakfast recipes for easy school mornings


7. Avoid Meat and Seafood

Now, I personally may be a bit biased, because my diet is basically vegan (and I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years), but meat and seafood are expensive!

How do I know? Because my husband still eats meat, seafood, and dairy. And, every time I see what he picked out and look at the price, I roll my eyes. He’s the only one who eats it, so seeing that a small piece of meat or fish costs $8-9 on average, and will be one meal for just him; it just doesn’t sit well with me.

Even if everyone in your family eats meat and seafood, it’s not going to change the price tag. It’s still going to be expensive, and loaded with saturated fats which aren’t that great for you.

You’d save a ton of money by eating plant based, or vegan, protein sources instead. Such as:

  • tofu (1 package is generally less than $2)
  • beans (buy dried to save even more)
  • lentils
  • vegetables (yes, they have protein in them!)
  • edamame (these are great as a snack and generally around $2 a bag)
  • nuts and seeds
  • and more!

Plus, all of those sources of protein can be bought for far less than $8-9! Unless you’re buying nuts in bulk, in which case they can get a bit expensive, but will last a whole lot longer than 1 small package of meat or fish.

8. Meal Prep

If you have never meal prepped before, and have only made food on demand; then you are missing out on a whole lot more just saving money on groceries.

It will save you time and help you out when you just don’t feel like cooking, especially in the summer when it’s hot out and you don’t even want to be in your kitchen making hot food.

And, there are more than just one way meal prepping will save you money!

It’ll save you money by:

  • helping you avoid wasting the food you spent money on
  • preventing you from eating out or ordering in
  • preventing you from having to go to the store for an ingredient for a last minute meal idea
  • force you to meal plan and write a grocery list (you’ll save even more by sticking to that list)

If you’re still unsure if meal prepping is something you should do, you can check out more benefits of meal prepping by reading the related post below, or by downloading the pros and cons of meal prepping below.


Related Post: The Benefits of Meal Prepping


9. Ibotta

Are you a couponer?

If so, good for you!

If not, you’re not alone!

I never got into couponing. I’ve always seen it as a huge waste of time, effort, and why would I ever want to buy what the coupons are for (in the quantity you need to buy) in the first place?!

So, to say the least, I’m not a fan of coupons, finding them, cutting them out, remembering to buy the items, and then remembering to actually hand them over to get the savings.

Luckily, there’s another way to save money on groceries, and it’s like reverse couponing, if that’s even a thing. It involves you buying what you would normally buy, then going on your phone, bringing up an app (Ibotta), and scanning your receipt! Simple as that.

If you want even bigger savings, then check out the offerings in the app and save them before you get groceries. That way you’ll have a rough estimate of how much money you can get back while grabbing your groceries, then simply scan your receipt and make sure all the offers you bought are on the list to get money back with.

(There’s even an offer for between 10 cents and 50 cents, depending on the week, that you can get simply by scanning a grocery receipt, it doesn’t even matter what you bought!)

That’s Ibotta for you, and I’ve earned over $130 since I started using it. So, it’s paid for at least a weeks worth of groceries since I installed it.

How would you feel if you could pay for a weeks worth of groceries simply by scanning in your receipts and getting money back on the items you already buy?

You can sign up here and start earning today!

10. Don’t Be a Brand Snob

Have you ever compared prices between name brand products and store brand products?

If not, you may be very surprised at how much more name brand products cost, and when every little bit adds up; no wonder your grocery bill is so high. So, stop feeling pressured by whoever to have only name brand products in your home, and start saving money by buying generic brands.

Honestly, there isn’t much of a taste difference, if there is any. And, any difference in taste you do notice is probably more psychological than physical. Meaning, if you were to try both name brand and a store brand food at the same time, without knowing which was which; you wouldn’t be able to tell which was name brand and which was generic.

Do yourself, and wallet, a favor, and just don’t be a brand snob, ok?

How Will You Start Saving on Groceries First!?!

There are so many different ways to save money on groceries, and I didn’t even mention them all above. (Like, growing your own fruits, veggies, and herbs, or making sure you eat before getting groceries, and always following your grocery list.)

Some tips will be easier for you to follow than others. Some tips you may just ignore all together because you’re stubborn (it’s ok, you’re not the only one). But, I’m hoping there’s at least one tip above that catches your eye that you want to try out as soon as you can; I’d love to know which one that is!

Let me know in the comments which tip you’ll start using first for buying groceries on a budget!

 

34 Kid Friendly Freezer Meals: Breakfast

kid friendly freezer meals

34 Kid Friendly Freezer Meals: Breakfast

Ever wake up in the morning wanting something delicious that you know will take too long to make? Or, maybe your kids want pancakes, or something else for breakfast that you just don’t have the time for before dropping them off at school. If so, then you need to take advantage of the kid friendly freezer meals below that are just for breakfast, and maybe snacks, too!

When you take a little time over the weekend to bake or make breakfast foods for the week; then eating those foods you want when you first wake up, before truly starting your day, is possible!

When you have to be out the door at a certain time in the morning; it feels so good to only have to warm up breakfast for your kids and get them to eat before leaving, instead of having to actually  make it in the morning, too!

So, take a look at the recipes below and make a few batches to freeze; it’ll save you time, money, and your sanity on busy mornings!!

Sign up for this 5 day Bootcamp to Simplify Mealtime in your home!

little girl in kitchen

Be sure to check out all the items for Back to School Needs and Inexpensive Kitchen Stuff for Moms and Kids HERE for all your back to school and easy breakfast needs!!

Related Posts:

12 deliciously healthy kid friendly breakfast recipes for easy school mornings

27 Healthy Smoothie Bowls and Smoothie Recipes for Kids

Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal Recipe – The Best Oatmeal Recipe You’ll Ever Find!!


Want to Remember This? Pin 34 Kid Friendly Freezer Meals: Breakfast to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

kid friendly freezer meals

 

Waffles

One of my girls, and my own, favorite breakfast foods are waffles!

Luckily, they are easy to make and freeze really well. We usually make them on the weekend and I simply double or triple the recipe and freeze what we don’t eat. Makes for a super easy breakfast on another day; just pop in the toaster or microwave and add some syrup!

Easy Freezable Applesauce Waffles (Dippable!)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

Banana Waffles

Toasty, golden, crunchy Banana Waffles are in your breakfasting future and they couldn't be simpler to make because you can whip the batter up in your blender!
Photo from avirtualvegan.com

 

Easy Vegan Gluten Free Waffles

Photo from delightfuladventures.com

 

Crispy Vegan Waffles with Lentil Protein

Photo from mypureplants.com

 

Frittatas

We’re not big on a savory breakfast, but if you and your kids are, check out the recipes below!

Mini Chickpea Flour Vegan Frittata Bites (Gluten-Free, Allergy-Free)

 

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

BAKED VEGGIE SWEET POTATO FRITTERS {VEGAN+GF}

Photo from thepetitecook.com

 

Pancakes

Pancakes are another great breakfast option to make and double or triple the batch over the weekend to freeze!

Mini Gluten-Free Cinnamon Pancake Bites (Vegan, Allergy-Free)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

Pink Beet Pancakes [V+GF+Oil Free]

beet pancakes stacked on plate with blueberries, shredded coconut, chocolate chips
Photo from thishealthykitchen.com

 

Beghrir – Moroccan Semolina Pancakes With Maple Nutmeg Roasted Plantains – {Vegan}

Photo from recipesfromapantry.com

(recipe from a different culture-something fun and new to try with kids-Beghrir / Baghrir aka Moroccan pancakes)

 

The Best Vegan Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Recipe

This apple cinnamon pancake recipe is easy, healthy, and delicious. WIth the sweetness from brown sugar and maple syrup to top; you're kids will barely know they are eating something that's good for them during breakfast! #apples #pancakes #pancakerecipes #veganrecipes #healthyrecipes #stresslessbehealthy
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

 

fluffy vegan buttermilk pancakes

fluffy vegan buttermilk pancakes | The Baking Fairy
Photo from thebakingfairy.net

 

The Best Vegan Pancakes (gluten-free)

Photo from shivanilovesfood.com

 

Apple pancakes – Easy healthy breakfast (Vegan)

Photo from cookingjourneyblog.com

 

VEGAN COCONUT PANCAKES WITH CARAMELISED BANANAS

Photo from littlesunnykitchen.com

 

French Toast

Finding a french toast recipe not loaded in saturated fats (aka- not using eggs) and still tasting great, I thought was going to be impossible. But, it’s not! Check out the recipes below for some delicious french toast!

Gluten-Free Cinnamon French Toast Bites (Allergy-Free, Vegan)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

Dairy Free French Toast (Vegan)

Photo from makeitdairyfree.com

 

Sign up for this 5 day Bootcamp to Simplify Mealtime in your home!

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Muffins

always have muffins in the freezer! Whether we eat them for breakfast or just a snack, they are great to have on hand with kids. My girls even love helping me make them. And by that I mean that they get very upset when I don’t let them help, even if ‘helping’ is just placing the silicone baking cups on a tray for me to fill with the batter. (But, they like to fill the cups with the batter, too!)

Healthy Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

 

Surprisingly Delicious Healthy Apple Muffin Recipe!!!

Healthy Apple Muffin Recipe
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

 

Gluten-Free Bakery-Style Blueberry Muffins (Vegan, Allergy-Free)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

Gluten-Free Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins (Vegan, Allergy-Free)

Gluten-Free Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins (Vegan, Allergy-Free) | Strength and Sunshine @RebeccaGF666 A healthier, tender and fluffy, muffin recipe studded with dark chocolate chips! Gluten-Free Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins that are vegan and allergy-free! Your favorite bakeshop classic, now enjoyable for everyone as a breakfast, brunch or snack bite; perfect with a cup of coffee or tea! #chocolatechipmuffins #muffins #glutenfree #vegan #allergyfree #strengthandsunshine
Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Photo from rhiansrecipes.com

 

Easy Vegan Banana Nut Bread Bites

Photo from jollyslice.com

 

Easy Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Photo from recipesfromapantry.com

 

Quick Breads

Quick breads are a delicious breakfast option and freezes well, too! I’d recommend letting it completely cool, slicing it, and then freezing; that way you can warm up only the amount you (and your kids) want to eat, instead of having to warm up the whole loaf. Unless of course, if you make quite a few loaves at once to freeze and want to take one out a week to eat. (Be prepared that they may disappear in a day! At least they always seem to in my house.)

Classic Gluten-Free Banana Bread (Vegan, Allergy-Free)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

 

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN BLUEBERRY BANANA BREAD

Photo from rhiansrecipes.com

 

Cookies

I don’t know a kid who wouldn’t want to eat cookies for breakfast!

Allergen Friendly Sweet Potato Cookies [V+GF & Nut Free!]

Photo from thishealthykitchen.com

 

Burritos and Breakfast Pockets

If you like eating savory and filling breakfasts, be sure to check out the recipes below! I would personally make and freeze these for lunches or dinners because my taste buds likes sweet or fruity things in the morning.

Tofu Breakfast Burritos (Freezer-Friendly!)

Photo from delightfuladventures.com

 

vegan tofu scramble breakfast pockets

vegan tofu scramble breakfast pockets | The Baking Fairy
Photo from thebakingfairy.net

 

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great breakfast option, whether you make it ahead of time and freeze it, or make it on the spot! Just be sure to portion it out before freezing; you shouldn’t refreeze food that has already been frozen and then warmed up.

Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal Recipe

Looking for a quick and healthy homemade recipe for breakfast that your kids won't refuse? You have got to try this blueberry oatmeal! It's 100% plant based and so delicious you may need to double the recipe! #blueberry #blueberries #oatmeal #veganrecipes #healthyrecipes #stresslessbehealthy
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

 

EASY BANANA BAKED OATMEAL

Photo from runningonrealfood.com

 

 

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Recipe

Looking for a quick and healthy homemade recipe for breakfast that will remind you of fall? You have got to try this apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe! #apples #applerecipes #oatmeal #veganrecipes #healthyrecipes #stresslessbehealthy
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

 

HOW TO COOK BUCKWHEAT PORRIDGE

Photo from littlesunnykitchen.com

 

Bars

Breakfast bars are great! They freeze well, and to defrost them you simply just have to leave them out of the freezer long enough for them to get soft enough to eat. They’re a great size for kids, and perfect for eating while breastfeeding (in case you have a newborn and little kids, like I do, this is very important!).

Chewy Banana Quinoa Bars – Vegan, Gluten, and Peanut Free

Photo from servedfromscratch.com

 

Healthy Blueberry Breakfast Bars (3 Ingredient,Vegan,Gluten-free)

Four Blueberry Breakfast bars stacked on top of each other
Photo from allergyummy.com

 

The Best Kind of Breakfasts!!

Honestly, the best kind of breakfast in my home is one that I don’t have to make in the morning!

The freezable breakfast recipes above make that possible. Simply make a batch of a few of the recipes above, or double or triple a couple of the recipes, over the weekend so you have breakfast made for all week! All you’ll need to do is warm them up.

This is how my girls and I are able to have healthy breakfasts every day when I don’t feel like cooking in the morning, or don’t have the time or energy to do so.

What are your kids favorite kid friendly freezer meals to have for breakfast? Leave a comment to let me know!

Sign up for this 5 day Bootcamp to Simplify Mealtime in your home!

little girl in kitchen

Be sure to check out all the items for Back to School Needs and Inexpensive Kitchen Stuff for Moms and Kids HERE for all your back to school and easy breakfast needs!!

24 Nut Free School Lunch Ideas

nut free school lunch ideas

24 Nut Free School Lunch Ideas

Is your child starting school this next year and you have no idea what to give them in their lunch? And, to make it even harder, your childs new school prides itself on being allergy friendly and completely nut free? So, now you have to come up with healthy nut free school lunch ideas!

I would say ‘good luck’ because it can be difficult to come up with healthy nut free school lunches that kids actually like. (My oldest, who just finished up her first year in school, would’ve had a hard time going to school without peanut butter in her lunch.)

But, instead, I’ll provide you with a list of healthy lunch ideas that do not contain any nuts (and are vegan- in case that matters to you)!

Don’t forget to grab these templates to help you prepare for healthy school lunches!
Grab these FREE Printables!!
Be sure to check out all the items for Back to School Needs and Inexpensive Kitchen Stuff for Moms and Kids HERE for all your back to school and lunch box needs!!

Related Posts:

12 Healthy Vegan School Lunch Ideas

The Best School Lunch Must Haves from Amazon

How to use the Lunch Box Meal Prep Method…and save your sanity this summer!

How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for Kids


Want to Remember This? Pin 24 Nut Free School Lunch Ideas to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

nut free school lunch ideas

 

Nut Free Lunch Ideas

Below you’ll find plenty of main dishes and sides for nut free school lunches for your kids. Feel free to use these for lunches for work or home, as well!

And, don’t forget to send your kids off with some plain fruits and veggies in their lunches as well to have a more well rounded and healthy lunch at school!

Vegan Rainbow Vegetable Tortilla Wrap 

Photo from recipesfromapantry.com

This lunch isn’t only nut free, but also loaded with veggies! Be sure to check out the recipe if you’re trying to get more veggies into your child. And, honestly, what parent isn’t trying to get their child to eat more veggies?!

 

Oven Baked Beet Chips

Photo from pinkfortitude.com

Check out the recipe for these beet chips and replace the processed chips that your kids may insist you put in their lunch.

 

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Photo from recipesfromapantry.com

This dish is best served warm, so be sure to send it in a good quality thermos for you child!

 

MUFFIN TIN SUSHI CUPS (VEGAN + GF)

Photo from rhiansrecipes.com

Want to send your child off with something unique, and that the other kids in school won’t check? Check out this recipe!

 

Strawberry Salad With Cherries and Blueberries — Vegan

Photo from tastygalaxy.com

This fruit salad is a perfect side dish to go with pretty much anything else you put in their lunch. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants and tons of vitamins and minerals to help keep your kids healthy!

 

Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza Lunchables (Vegan, Allergy-Free, Grain-Free)

Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza Lunchables (Vegan, Allergy-Free, Grain-Free) | Strength and Sunshine @RebeccaGF666 Lunchables without the scary ingredients! Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza Lunchables that are vegan, allergy-free, & grain-free too! This healthy, kid-loved, and mom-approved make-ahead lunch recipe will make the school year a bit more fun! #glutenfree #vegan
Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

Does your child beg you for lunchables when you go to the store? Do you have any idea how horrible lunchables are? Unless you’ve turned it over and read the ingredient list and nutrition label, you may not! Check out this recipe instead and send them off with something that will nourish their bodies and keep them feeling good all day long.

 

Homemade Gluten-Free Vegan Copycat Pizza Bagel Bites (Allergy-Free)

half-white-plate-gluten-free-vegan-pizza-bagel-bites-pin
Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

Do you remember pizza bagels? My mom used to buy them for my siblings and I when we were young. I don’t think she knew how bad they were for us. Check out the recipe above for a healthier (and gluten-free/vegan/allergy friendly) version!

 

Homemade Gluten-Free + Allergy-Free Uncrustables (Vegan)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

Remember crustables? I think my school used to put them in vending machines- meaning that these food like products had loads of preservatives to keep them from going ‘bad’. The original ones were just peanut butter and jelly, so why am I bringing them up in an article about nut free school lunches? These ones use sunbutter instead of peanut butter, making them nut free, home made, and healthy!

 

Homemade Spaghetti O’s (Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Photo from strengthandsunshine.com

My oldest used to eat regular spaghetti o’s when she was little, and when I worked full time. I was not a fan of her eating this stuff from a can. But, I didn’t have much of a say, the most I could do is make sure there was plenty of healthy food in the fridge for my husband to warm up and give her. And, home made spaghetti o’s was one of those things I would make! Which doesn’t have even nearly the amount of sodium, and no harmful ingredients in it, so go check it out and make it yourself. Be sure to have  good quality thermos to pack it in, too, to keep it warm til lunchtime.

 

Be sure to check out all the items for Back to School Needs and Inexpensive Kitchen Stuff for Moms and Kids HERE for all your back to school and lunch box needs!!

 

Microwave Gluten-Free + Vegan Mac & Cheese For One (Allergy-Free ‘Easy Mac’)

I don’t know a kid who doesn’t like mac and cheese! My girls will eat it no matter what, and we’ve tried quite a few different vegan versions. Check out this easy mac and cheese recipe and pack it up in a good quality thermos for them to take to school!

 

KID FRIENDLY PASTA SALAD

Photo from littlesunnykitchen.com

If your kids like their food to be colorful (and you’re a fan of them eating more veggies at school), then be sure to check out this simple pasta recipe!

 

Flatbread Pizza

Photo from littlesunnykitchen.com

Be sure to use non-dairy cheese if vegan. I usually just sub in nutritional yeast in place of cheese on foods like pizza and my three year old and I still love it! So maybe give that a try.

Grab these FREE Printables!!

 

EASY QUINOA SALAD

Photo from foodmeanderings.com

If your kids love quinoa, then this dish is a must try!

 

Vegan Tuna Salad (Made with Jackfruit, not Chickpeas!)

Photo from veryveganval.com

Looking for a classic tuna salad replacement that’s actually healthy (and doesn’t smell like fish)? Check out this recipe!

 

Air Fried Chickpeas

Welcome to my Air Fried Chickpeas recipe. A delicious blend of Mediterranean spices, a touch of olive oil and my trusted Air Fryer.
Photo from recipethis.com

These make for a great protein rich side with any lunch!

 

BEEFLESS VEGAN STEW

Photo from wereparents.com

Be sure to put this in a good quality thermos to keep it warm til lunch time!

 

Vegan “Chicken” Salad

Photo from makeitdairyfree.com

 

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE COCONUT SLICE

Photo from cookitrealgood.com

Don’t forget to add in home healthy snacks for your child to eat with their lunch to help keep them full! Check out this recipe and the next one for a couple of great ideas and recipes!

 

Healthy Date Loaf

Photo from cookitrealgood.com

 

Easy Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Photo from shivanilovesfood.com

Does your child want a burger for lunch because they keep seeing their friends get it from school? Try out this  burger recipe (that’s also nut free) for a healthy (meat-free) version!

 

VEGAN EGG SALAD

Photo from vegannie.com

 

Vegan Tuna Salad

Photo from vegannie.com

Looking for a classic tuna salad replacement that’s actually healthy (and doesn’t smell like fish)? Check out this recipe!

 

Vegan Mac and Cheese Bites

Photo from avirtualvegan.com

Are you just as obsessed with these silicone baking cups as I am? If so, make these kid size portioned mac and cheese bites to send with your kids to school!

 

Cheese & Onion Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Photo from avirtualvegan.com

Do your kids think they need something that tastes savory and cheesy in their lunch, like chips or popcorn? Check out this recipe and send them with these delicious chickpeas instead!

 

Be sure to check out all the items for Back to School Needs and Inexpensive Kitchen Stuff for Moms and Kids HERE for all your back to school and lunch box needs!!

 

It’s Not Too Hard to Find Nut Free School Lunch Ideas

As you can see, it’s not all that difficult to find healthy lunch ideas for kids that don’t have nuts in them.

Plus, if all else fails and you simply feel like giving them a classic PB&J sandwich with plain fruits and veggies, just switch out the peanut butter for sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) and there you go with a nut free lunch!

Do you have any other nut free school lunch ideas that I missed? Leave a comment below if so, or with your childs favorite nut free lunch!

Don’t forget to grab these templates to help you prepare for healthy school lunches!
Grab these FREE Printables!!

 

How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for Kids

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How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for Kids

Packing a lunch for your child can be challenging enough; but when you ask the question ‘how to pack a healthy lunch for kids?’. Now, that’s a whole other story and could possibly be stressful, if you don’t even know where to start!

Not knowing how to pack a healthy lunch for you child should NOT stop you from doing so; whether you’re packing their lunch for school, or taking advantage of the lunch box meal prep method this summer to save your sanity!

And, in reality, packing a healthy lunch isn’t much more difficult than packing an unhealthy lunch, just a little more prepping to do. But, the benefits for you and your child for packing a healthier lunch is absolutely worth the little extra work and care that goes into it.

So, ditch those store bought granola bars and other highly processed foods, and keep reading to find out exactly how to make your childs lunch healthier!

 

Grab these FREE Printables!!

Related Posts:

How to use the Lunch Box Meal Prep Method…and save your sanity this summer!

12 Healthy Vegan School Lunch Ideas

How to Teach Children to Build a Healthy Plate


Want to Remember This? Pin How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for Kids to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

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Start with What They Like!

If your child is already used to the highly processed and convenient lunch bag toss ins you get from the grocery store, or maybe the lunches they serve at school (that really aren’t that healthy); then you’ll want to start swapping out the unhealthy for the healthier options slowly.

One part of the lunch at a time.

Say they do really like the store bought granola bars; try instead, to make your own granola bars, or cereal bars, or even the copycat protein type bars. I’ve been using this nakd bar recipe lately, and my 6 year old will not stop asking for them; it’s a great special treat to put in her lunch everyday. And, it’s soo much healthier (and cheaper) than buying the bars at the store.

If they love the lunches they serve at school, try making a healthier version at home for them to take with them. If it’s warm food they like at school, get them their own thermos to keep the home made version warm til lunchtime.

 

Make Sure All Main Food Groups are Included

And, by all food groups, I mean….

  • Carbs
  • Protein
  • Fruits
  • and Veggies

For a drink, they do not need milk, you can simply give them water. No need to worry about keeping their milk cold til lunch, or sending them to school with money for milk.

And, if you’re wondering why I suggest this and don’t have the dairy ‘food group’ listed above that we all grew up learning about; it’s because dairy is not necessary. The main nutrient in dairy the people are concerned about is calcium, and that can easily be found in veggies and other foods. The dairy ‘food group’ is a made up food group to help sell more milk, cheese, and other animal products high in saturated fat that are also very addictive in nature.

As for the other food groups, half the lunch should be carbs and proteins, and half fruits and veggies. If you want more information on how to put together a healthy meal, check out: How to Teach Children to Build a Healthy Plate 

You can also add in a healthy dessert, but it should be healthy and not processed. Some recent desserts my 6 year has been loving in her lunchbox are:

But, lately with the warm weather, she’s been fine without a dessert, and just eating her fruit as a dessert, instead.

 

Avoid Processed Foods

One of the key things that differs in a healthy lunch vs. a not healthy lunch, is the absence of processed foods.

Sure, processed foods makes making a lunch early in the morning (when we’re barely awake) convenient and super easy. But, it doesn’t do much for our kids after they eat it and still feel hungry. With a little prep work on the weekends, or simpler foods the day of, packing a healthy lunch can be just as easy.

If your kids love fruit bars or granola bars in their lunches, try making your own and doubling or tripling the batch. Just make sure your kids like them before making more than one batch, then you can freeze them and throw them in their lunch bags the day of. (This recipe was a huge win in my home!)

Packing fruits and veggies (like you should be, for any healthy meal), makes avoiding processed foods easy. Simply wash and put in their lunch! Or, peel/cut them and add them in, depending on your childs preference. (For apples, sprinkle some lemon juice on top to help it stay good.)

If your kids are fans of uncrustables, or another processed food item as the ‘main’ part of their meal (the carbs and protein part); see if you can make it at home with less processed ingredients. (Here’s a healthy recipe for uncrustables from one of my favorite gluten-free, allergy friendly, vegan food bloggers!)

 

Keep it Simple

Whoever said making a healthy lunch is hard and super time-consuming was obviously trying to re-invent the wheel! Either that, or they were trying too hard to please their kids with their lunches.

Hint- kids don’t need to be given everything they want in their lunch! They can help with making it, or the decisions; but ultimately, you’re the one who decides what goes in.

A really simple lunch could be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple and some baby carrots. To make it healthy, be sure to use whole wheat bread and read the ingredient list for the jam if buying it (the less ingredients the better, avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup), or make your own.

Or, make a batch of homemade spaghettios on the weekend, or another favorite dish; heat it up in the morning (possibly too hot) and put it in a thermos for your kids to bring. Then you just need to add in the fruits and veggies, add in some hummus or nut butter for some extra protein and to dip the fruits and veggies in.

 

Make it Fun!

Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to be a boring lunch!

Add in some cute notes for lunch time, or use cookie cutters to cut melons, or other fruits and veggies, into fun shapes.

If you’re real creative, maybe you can pull off some of the picture like foods that can be found on Pinterest, like these!

Honestly, I am not that creative. Believe me, I tried during the A to Z snack challenge my girls and I went through. Luckily, my girls were having fun watching and helping me make the pictures, they didn’t care how it turned out!

Sometimes adding in a healthy special snack will be fun enough for your kids! It certainly is for my daughter!

 

Keep it Mess-Free

Just because unhealthy, processed foods, come in nice, neat wrappers, doesn’t mean that healthy food needs to be messy!

Make sure you use containers that don’t leak. I still have some that I bought on clearance about ten years ago that are probably discontinued, but go here to check out some other great options!

Also, be sure to add in a napkin, just in case. My daughter also likes to use her napkin to wrap up any utensils she used to eat her lunch, so her lunch bag doesn’t get wet or gross from the food.

Oh, and don’t pack liquids in anything other than a very secure thermos. Whether the ‘leak proof’ containers say they will leak, or not, they will.

 

Make Sure It’ll Stay Good Til Lunch Time

Making sure your childs lunch will stay good until lunch time is probably one of the most difficult parts of packing a lunch. If they had a fridge at school to keep their lunches in, or a microwave to use to heat up their food, it’d be so much easier. But, they don’t.

There’s a few different ways to overcome this challenge.

First, you could pack them foods that aren’t supposed to be warm or cold, but room temperature. This includes sandwiches, some fruits and veggies, nut butters for dipping, home made granola or fruit bars, etc.

Or, to keep foods cold til lunch time, put some ice packs in their lunch. I even tend to buy frozen fruit and add that to my daughters lunch while still frozen; that way, by lunch time it’s thawed and still cold! Plus, frozen fruit tends to be cheaper than fresh fruit and is just as healthy.

If you’re trying to keep food warm; heat it up too hot and then put it in a thermos in their lunch bag.

If you have any other ideas for healthy food that stays good til lunch time, please comment below!!

 

Don’t Forget About Water

Water is probably one of the most important thing to put in your childs lunch to help make it healthy!

Though, honestly, they should have their water with them all through out the day whenever possible because of all of it’s benefits. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure most teachers will let kids keep water on their tables/desks all day; I know my daughters teacher this past year did.

If you’re still not convinced that your child doesn’t need milk at lunch, then that’s your opinion and you have your right to it.

Regardless, you need to be sending your child to school with a full water bottle everyday. It’ll help them learn better (by helping them have a clear mind) and keep them hydrated during the day, which is super important, especially on days they have gym!

Let’s Summarize How to Pack a Healthy Lunch for Kids

First of all, it isn’t as difficult as everyone seems to think it is. With a little prep work, or just giving your kids simpler meals, it’s just as easy to pack a healthy lunch as it is to pack an unhealthy lunch.

Ok, so you may need to spend on hour on the weekend batching snacks or making a meal for them to take to school all week, but it isn’t necessary.

Simply:

  • start with what they like
  • make sure you include protein, carbs, fruits, and veggies
  • avoid processed foods
  • keep it simple (how much simpler could it be than throwing in some fruits and veggies)
  • make it fun (as easy as adding in a special home made treat that you made and froze over the weekend)
  • keep it mess free
  • make sure it’ll stay good til lunch
  • and give them WATER!!

There are tons of options for healthy lunches you can pack for kids. You can check out 12 Healthy Vegan School Lunch Ideas or simply search on Pinterest for even more ideas!

If your child wants to help make decisions about what’s in their healthy lunch, they can fill out these lunch bag printables!

Grab these FREE Printables!!

 

 

How to Create Curiosity Around Healthy Produce

variety of fruits and veggies, teaching kids about healthy produce

Teaching kids about nutrition and the healthy produce they should be eating isn’t always easy!

From explaining it in an easy to understand way to actually getting our kids interested in learning more about it; it can be downright hard! That is, if you don’t even know how to talk about the food you’re eating.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help create curiosity around healthy produce! (Even if you’re not a health nut like I am!)

Virginia, from Happy Healthy Abundance, has come up with tips on how to talk with kids about 8 different types of produce. Tips that she uses herself in her household, and uses to encourage her children to want to actually eat the produce based on their health benefits, not just the taste!

Keep reading to find out what she has to say!


Related Posts:

The Best Food Bloggers to Follow for Healthy Kid Friendly Recipes!

7 Ways to Encourage Health Eating in Kids for When You Can’t Decide for Them

How to Teach Children to Build a Healthy Plate


Want to Remember This? Pin How to Create Curiosity Around Healthy Produce to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

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How to Create Curiosity Around Healthy Produce

Raising kids is challenging enough without even considering the spit out food, disgusted faces made at dinner, and the perpetual questions they ask. Just these three things alone could drive a mom up the wall.

You’re not alone in this. We’re all experiencing these things daily. No matter how much positivity you’re projecting or how well you try, these behaviors are bound to get to you at some point.

Once I learned that children don’t develop reasoning skills until the age of 7, my whole parenting philosophy took a shift. My eyes were opened to the puzzle in their little heads that they were constantly trying to find the pieces to. And the incessant “but, why?” question quit frustrating me so much.

I decided I want to be that mom who stops and takes the time to explain and teach while making eye contact and really connecting with that tiny growing mind. In pursuit of my dreams for their future, I focus on teaching them about health and money daily, in hopes their lives will be easier than mine.

Less far flung food, please

The hubs and I value nutrition and focus on eating foods containing nutritious ingredients, but motherhood had a big fat lesson in store for me: Just because I feel this way doesn’t mean the kids will eat healthy foods willingly.

I specifically remember asparagus being flung onto the wall by a certain cute little blondie.

We began speaking openly about the benefits of the foods we eat when the kids were just toddlers. Whether they could understand what we were saying or not back then, we knew it was important to start discussing the benefits of the nutrients in our foods and why we need to eat them.

Now that the kids are older, these conversations really satisfy my kids’ curiosity. Conversation about the nutritional value of the foods on our dinner plate inspires more discussion about our bodies and how to properly support our needs.

Here are the most common items we eat and some discussion pointers I hope you can share with your kids, too!

 

8 Healthy Foods & What I Tell My Kids About Them

asparagus

1. Asparagus

Asparagus contains Vitamin K which assists the body in absorbing calcium and is a key player in blood health.

I tell my kids it makes strong bones and helps their body heal when they get a boo boo.

If they are still listening, I’ll remind them that they need strong bones to grow up and be taller than me. That always riles them up and gets the questions flowing.

I find a way to circle back and talk about how amazing the body is because when we get a scraped knee or a cut, our blood forms a scab and our body grows the skin back. Vitamin K helps the body do that & that’s a very cool super power to have.

If you have boys, they love pointing out their most recent scrape and being compared to Wolverine!

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is filled with Vitamin C and sulphur, both of which are excellent at boosting our immune system and warding off disease and even cancer.

I talk to the kids about avoiding getting sick, and although we wash hands and cover our mouths, germs still get in sometimes. I tell them that our body contains special cells dedicated to stopping sickness and that eating broccoli helps those cells.

Vitamin C is also fabulous for the skin’s texture and helps the skin fight damage from the sun. My daughter loves to hear about how she can take good care of her skin and keep it beautiful.

3. Berries

Berries are bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatories help reduce swelling during injury, tension in the muscles, and even reduce the chances of heart disease. Antioxidants protect the skin and encourage the production of collagen.

These are big, complicated subjects for kids. So, I simplify it by telling them that berries help their skin stay beautiful and their muscles from hurting after exercise. My sports players really go for that one.

I told my son how beautiful his skin is too and remind him that it can’t hurt to be a good lookin’ athlete. I gave him a wink and said “just eat them for your muscles”. He catches my drift and gives me a smirk. We had a moment. That made my day!

oranges

4. Oranges

Oranges are full of Vitamin C. Depending on your kids’ ages, this one could lead into a whole discussion about the immune system and how our bodies are constantly fighting off sickness and disease.

This is a great opportunity to explain how eating oranges can help us have less colds and yucky ear infections. Nobody likes those things anyway and I use this chance to talk about less doctors visits and less shots.

carrots

5. Carrots

Carrots are loaded with vitamin A and betakerotene. These nutrients help our eyes focus and help us see at night.

My kids love talking about owls and wolves, so to compare your night vision to that of these amazing animals is a really fun conversation.

peas

6. Peas

Peas contain protein. Protein is a major building block for our bones and our blood, not to mention that our hair and nails are made of protein.

I tell the kids they need to consume protein if they want long, healthy hair and nails, or if they want strong muscles and bones. Different kiddos will take what they want out of the discussion.

spinach

7. Spinach

Spinach has iron and calcium in it, but I really like to highlight the magnesium component.

Magnesium dissolves lactic acid in the muscles (helps prevent soreness and cramping) and assists with the brains electric signals to the muscles throughout the body.

Anyone who wants to grow big and strong loves learning about muscles. Remember Popeye the Sailor Man? Now I totally get the whole spinach thing!

cantaloupe

8. Cantaloupe

Last, but not least, we love melon. Cantaloupe contains vitamin A, which assists our bodies’ absorption of calcium. This combination helps us have strong teeth and bones. Vitamin A also helps us form strong white blood cells, which if you remember a little grade school biology, those are a key component in the immune system.

My older kiddo already has a few adult teeth, so we’ve started to talk about the importance of taking good care of them since they have to last your whole life.

A delicious melon snack on a spring day gives us yet another opportunity to discuss the immune system and the white blood cells fighting off unwanted bacteria and viruses in the body to keep us functioning well.

Holy Biology Lesson, Batman!

Of course, this is a lot of information. Keep from dumping it all on them at once.

There are way more vitamins and nutrients in each fruit and vegetable mentioned, but this is meant to be easy to understand for kids, so remember to keep it simple.

Uncomplicated conversation will hold their attention longer and provide for more open feedback and discussion about the foods and the health benefits they provide.

I suggest mentioning the benefits of berries over breakfast while enjoying some berry covered waffles and then having a separate discussion about the benefits of broccoli over dinner.

It helps the conversation if the kiddo can see and eat the healthy food in a relaxed setting during this “lesson”. Allow the conversation to ebb and flow and allow them to have input and ask questions.

Taking advantage of the teaching opportunity in these moments in a positive way is key. They love to learn about how to help their bodies grow bigger and stronger and I love using the benefits in the food as a tool to teach them healthy eating habits.

Understanding why we should choose veggies over cookies and the benefit our bodies get from making healthy choices is key to long term health. What a priceless gift we have the power to provide!

The Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Healthy Living

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The Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Healthy Living

Are you a mom into healthy living and don’t know what to ask for, for Mother’s Day? Or, are you trying to find gifts for healthy living for a health nut of a mom you know?

Then you will love the list below of gifts, and essentials that a healthy living obsessed mom needs in her life!

These gifts for healthy living for Mother’s Day will put a smile on her face; knowing that you appreciate her so much that you want her to be healthy and happy!

So, go take a look and get something for the health nut mom in your life!!

Get this workbook 50% Off for Mother’s Day, use coupon code: “50OFF”

Related Posts:

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How to Find Me Time as a Stay at Home Mom (when you’re stubborn and won’t ask for help)


Want to Remember This? Pin The Best Mother’s Day Gifts for Healthy Living to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

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Be sure to check out more things for health nut moms here!!

Gifts to Make Healthy Living in the Kitchen Easier

Have you ever heard that 70-80% of being healthy, or getting in shape, is done in the kitchen?

Well, it’s completely true!

You may not be able to get toned in the kitchen, but what you eat is quite a bit more important than exercising.

Because, again, there’s another saying that tells us that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Meaning if you want to be healthy; it all starts in the kitchen, and you can’t be healthy if you eat junk. Not even if you’re at the gym 24/7.

The gifts below are items that a health nut mom needs in her kitchen, either out of necessity to make healthy things she wants to eat, or to make life easier in the kitchen!

Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper

A food processor is one thing I went without for so many years. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without it! Did you know you can make your own bars with it?!? Like Larabars, Nakd bar, and more! I even use it to make the chickpea cookies my girls and I love, and vegan mac and ‘cheese’. There’s just so many things it can do to make cooking and baking, as a health nut of a mom, so much easier.

Get one HERE.

Swivel Peeler

If a mom into healthy living does not have a peeler yet, do her a favor and grab her one! They’re not expensive, and they make life a whole lot easier in the kitchen. I can’t believe I went so long without one!

Get one HERE.

Professional Chefs Knife 8 inch

I went so long using the pathetic knives that came in the cheap knife sets, because I hate spending money on myself. But, if you’re a health nut, or know a mom who is; please, get her a nice chefs knife. Have you ever tried to cut up a melon or pineapple with a flimsy knife? It’s almost impossible! Make life easy for the health nut in your life and get them a quality chefs knife!

Get one HERE.

Silicone Baking Cups

These may be more for the kids, but silicone baking cups are much easier to clean, and more earth friendly, than a regular muffin tin. Plus, they take up less space, can be used to make home made healthy reese’s, fudge, and a ton more! I love them, the heart set pictured above was the first set I got, I have regular round ones, too. Having 24 makes it possible to batch make and freeze your favorite baked good, or any other recipe that needs to be baked in the oven or frozen in the freezer in small portions!!

Get them HERE.

NUTRIBULLET

As a mom, it can be difficult to get in all the fruits and veggies we’d love to have in a day. Drinking it in the form of a smoothie or nutri-blast makes it ten times easier! Plus, this little machine can do much more, from grinding flax seeds and oats into flour, to even making baby food. It’s a health nut moms best friend!

Get it HERE.


Related Posts:

10 Nutribullet Benefits for Mom’s

10 Clever Nutribullet Uses You Probably Haven’t Thought of


Salad Spinner

Every mom who is trying to eat healthy, and is into healthy living, should have a salad spinner. With the amount of salads we should be eating, it’s not practical (or cheap) to always get the prewashed and chopped salads. Buy in bulk and wash and chop your own. It’s probably what she’s already doing, and a salad spinner will help keep her greens good longer!

Get them HERE.

Healthy Living Gifts to for Exercise

New Yoga Pants


Let’s face it, whether we work out or not, us moms love our yoga pants. They’re super comfy for when we’re home. Stretchy for when we need to squat down to our kids level, or pick up after our little ones. In fact, moms who do exercise should have many pairs of yoga pants; some for lounging around and housework, and some specifically for exercising. So, go grab her another pair, in which ever brand she prefers!

Get them HERE.

A Large Water Bottle


Water is vital to our health, any health nut mom can tell you that. So, why not surprise her with a brand new super large water bottle that she can take with her anywhere! I’m personally a fan of bubba water bottles, but to each their own.

Get one HERE!

New Yoga Mat

Because let’s face it, the one she has needs to be replaced; with sticky finger prints on it, drawings from kids, and play-doh stuck to the bottom of it; she deserves a new one!

Get one HERE.

Looking for more Mother’s Day Gifts?

Go HERE.

Now You Know What to Get a Mom into Healthy Living…

Depending on her specific preferences, there could be a lot more on this list. So, I welcome you to check out all of these gift ideas, as well!

But, it’s not so much what you get her, or how much you spend; it’s really the thought that counts.

If you’re taking the effort to try to find her the perfect gift, one that fits her and her personality, her passions; then she will love it no matter what!

So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, she’s a mom after all, and will appreciate any gift that she gets that’s specifically for her!

With all that said, what gift for healthy living stands out the most? Which one would you love to get or give?

Why You Need a Meal Planning System as A Super Busy Mom

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Why You Need a Meal Planning System as A Super Busy Mom

If you’re a busy mom who also wants to be healthy and bring up healthy kids; then you need to use a meal planning system. Without one, you will likely fail and fall into the trap that many Americans do; eating out and relying on heavily processed foods.

Why?

Because you’re busy. You don’t have time to cook fancy healthy meals everyday of the week.

If you don’t plan an prepare what’s for dinner ahead of time; there’s a good chance it may be fast food or boxed mac and cheese…again. (Which, by the way, kids love, but it’s not good for them.)

So, maybe you’re wondering:

What’s a meal planning system?

How do I even start a meal plan?

How do you actually stick to a meal plan for good? I’ve tried so many times and have failed over and over again.

Do I need to meal prep? Why do people meal prep anyways?

And, all of these are great questions!

I know exactly where you’re coming from with these questions; I used to be the same way.

Sign up for this 5 Day Bootcamp to Simplify Mealtime!

 


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The Pros and Cons of Meal Prep for Already Busy Moms

Meal Planning Ideas and Tips to Stay on Track!

One Simple Trick to Actually Stick to a Meal Plan


Want to Remember This? Pin Why You Need a Meal Planning System as A Super Busy Mom to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

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I would try over and over again to get my meal plan to work for me, but every week it would end up failing; food would go to waste, money would be lost, and we’d end up eating the super quick (not so healthy) meals for dinner because I didn’t have time to make anything else before the kids started throwing tantrums about want being hungry and wanting dinner.

This is when I realized that a ‘normal’ meal plan would probably never work for me; I needed something different. Something to help me stick to the meal plan, I needed a fail proof system I could set up and use week after week.

This is where a meal planning system comes into play; it’s simply what you do with your meal plan (whichever kind of meal plan you create) to make it almost impossible to get off track with your meals for the week.

So, why do you need a meal planning system?

I hope you can see from above why it’s vital to yours, and your families health, that you set up a meal planning system in your home. But, just in case, I’ll give you a few more reasons.

Know what you will eat, and serve, for breakfast before you get up

With a meal planning system, there’s no guess work during the week for what you’ll eat.

You can either plan everything out on the weekend, or the night before.

It can be a discussion that you have with other family members, where they choose what they want for breakfast (from a list of breakfasts that were chosen for the week), or you could choose for them.

Breakfast should be healthy and easy, especially on busy mornings where you’re rushing out the door.

But, a quick breakfast doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

If you plan and prepare, you could be serving your family pancakes with fruit on top for breakfast, without having to wake up early to make all those pancakes. (I don’t know about you, but it seems to take me forever to make a batch of pancakes so they turn out golden instead of brown.)

 

Know the answer to the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”

One goal that a meal planning system has in mind is reducing the amount of times you hear the question “what’s for dinner?”

One method that can be used in a meal planning system is posting what all the meals are for the day, on the fridge for everyone to see.

I say reduce the amount you hear the question, because some people may not look at the fridge, or maybe you have younger kids who can’t read yet. I can’t guarantee you’ll never hear that question again, just like no one can guarantee they can stop your kids from saying “mom, I’m hungry”. But, there is a way to reduce that, as well!

 

Save your sanity during the summer with hungry kids

Or, anytime of the year, really! Especially if you have kids who are old enough to go into the fridge and get their own food.

Trust me, they can do this younger than you may think. If you have their lunch and a few snacks all prepared for them to grab from the fridge and eat, they will do so!

No more making food on demand because you hear the words ‘mom, I’m hungry’.

I call it the lunch box method. And, it’s truly amazing; the best thing I started doing to reduce the amount of work I have to do during the day as a pregnant work at home mom to two little girls! You can learn more about this method here.

 

Save you money

Having a meal planning system in place will save you tons of money.

It will save you money from having to buy fast food or eat out.

You’ll save money by actually eating what you bought at the store.

And, you may even save money on future meals by buying in bulk or making freezer meals!

There are so many ways to save money when you take control of your families meals and use a meal planning system to keep everyone on track!

 

Save you time

Maybe saving money isn’t your biggest concern, maybe it’s that you don’t believe you have time to eat healthy or feed your family healthy meals.

Well, you do!

A meal planning system helps you streamline the meals you and your family will eat, in whichever way makes sense for you and your family. You’ll spend a whole lot less time implementing a meal planning system than you would making a trip out to get food, or rushing to make a ‘quick’ unhealthy meal each night.

You can learn how in this free 5 Day Bootcamp to simplify mealtimes.

Plus, if you don’t take the time now to eat healthy, you’ll be forced to take time later in your life dealing with nutrition related chronic illnesses. And, you don’t want that, for yourself or your family.

 

Be in control of yours and your families health

Somehow, it always seems to be us moms who are responsible for what everyone is going to eat.

It’s up to us to feed our families, day in and day out. And, maybe you can get your husband to do it once in a blue moon. But, it’s rare, and possibly not very healthy, either. (Or, maybe that’s just how it is for me!)

Luckily, implementing a meal planning system will take the stress off of you day in and day out from having to decide what to give everyone to eat.

Sure, you’ll still have to decide and make the food. But, with a system in place you have more control over the food your family eats, because you’re not exhausted from the day and making decisions last minute.

You can plan and prepare to make your family healthier meals, meals that will improve their health, not diminish it. And, isn’t that what we all really want when it comes to feeding our families?

 

Need help starting your meal planning system?

Now, that you know why you need a meal planning system, the next question is…

Do you know how to create one or get one in place that will actually work?

If your answer is yes; good for you, why haven’t you started already?

Go start now!!!

If your answer is no, and you don’t even know where to begin; I welcome you to take my course to Simplify Mealtime.

In it, you will:

  • determine what healthy means to you and your family
  • find out what your family actually likes to eat
  • learn how to make healthy swaps to the food you and your family eat
  • take inventory of your food
  • learn how to meal plan (a few different ways because one way does not work for everyone)
  • learn about 5 different methods you can place in your meal planning system to succeed with your meal plan
  • make a customized meal planning system that will work for you and your family
  • start using your system
  • learn about ways to overcome common obstacles when it comes to healthy eating

You’ll also be provided with a 98 page interactive workbook to use through out the course to help solidify what you learn and take action on it!

You’ll also have access to me via email to answer any questions you may have while going through the course.

Are you ready to start feeding your family healthy meals on a busy schedule?

Let’s begin!!

Sign up here to start the course and start using a meal planning system: Simplify Mealtime E-course

The Best Food Bloggers to Follow for Healthy Kid Friendly Recipes!

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The Best Food Bloggers to Follow for Healthy Kid Friendly Recipes!

Have you ever tried to healthy recipes online that your kids will actually eat? It can be tough! There are so many websites, beautiful images of food on Pinterest (that seem impossible to recreate), and then if your child scrolls through Pinterest with you; they’re probably going to pick out all of the ‘unicorn’ or ‘mermaid’ colored desserts! Finding healthy kid friendly recipes can be a challenge!

That is why I put together this list of amazing food bloggers who create healthy recipes.

Most of the food bloggers below are moms who understand the struggles of getting our kids to eat healthy.

Some have recipes that even my picky eater won’t deny!

All are focused on healthy kid friendly foods. (Even if that wasn’t their intention.)


Sign up for this FREE 5 Day Bootcamp to simplify mealtime with kids!


Related Posts:

28 Healthy Toddler Meal Ideas (with Recipes)

12 deliciously healthy kid friendly breakfast recipes for easy school mornings

130+ Healthy Snacks From A to Z


Want to Remember This? Pin The Best Food Bloggers to Follow for Healthy Kid Friendly Recipes! to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

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The amazing food bloggers below have so much to offer!

They come from different backgrounds, have different food preferences, allergies, and have to work around what they (or their kids) can eat, to come up with the recipes that they share with the rest of us.

So, whether your child will eat anything and everything, are picky eaters, have celiac disease, or allergies that you’ve been trying to buy or make food around; these bloggers below know what it’s like and will feel like a lifesaver when trying to figure out what to feed your kids!

Go check out their recipes!!

 

Strength and Sunshine

Meet Rebecca

food blogger with kid friendly recipes

“At Strength and Sunshine, I help families with celiac disease and food allergies navigate the free-from lifestyle with ease by providing delicious gluten-free, top allergen-free, plant-based recipes the entire family will love. Food and cooking can still be easy, fun, and healthy and I’m here to show you how through my recipes, tips, and celiac disease/food allergy coaching!

Rebecca started Strength and Sunshine in 2013 as an outlet to share her knowledge and recipes for those with celiac disease and food allergies. She was diagnosed with celiac disease 10+ years ago, as well as navigates other food allergies, like soy, and autoimmune conditions. She holds a BS in Public Health and has a mission to make free-from living easier, wholesome, and delicious no matter the dietary restriction!”

Find her recipes here!

 

This Healthy Kitchen

Meet Rosa

food blogger with kid friendly recipes

“Hi, I’m Rosa! I’m a mom of 2 young boys and always looking to create new and exciting family meals, while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. I was born into an Italian household, so cooking is practically in my blood. Although fluent in Italian cooking, I love to experiment with different types of cuisines. My primary focus is on healthy recipes suitable for the entire family.  Mostly plant based, and all under 400 calories per serving, with the occasional cheat day, of course!”

Find her recipes here!

 

Wee Little Vegans

Meet Melissa

“I’m  Melissa, the mother and creator behind Wee Little Vegans, a site dedicated to helping you raise a vibrant and healthy vegan family. On the site you’ll find tons of kid tested and approved recipes, as well as links to resources to keep you and your littles eating well and thriving – all without meat, eggs, dairy and animal by products.”

Find her recipes here!

 

 

 

 

Healthy Little Foodies

Meet Amy

“Healthy Little Foodies is a site packed with healthy family-friendly recipes as well as finger food ideas for babies, toddlers and the lunchbox.

Amy, a Mum of two boys (age 4 & 7), is the recipe developer, writer and photographer of the site. She is dedicated to sharing recipes that are packed with fruit and veggies, low in salt and have no refined sugar.

Amy has a degree in Food Science and for several years she worked in the food industry developing new products for the leading UK supermarkets. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and worked as a primary school teacher until her eldest was born. Now she combines her experience of both jobs, in addition to her experience raising two children, to help parents raise their own Healthy Little Foodies.”

Find her recipes here!

Other Food Blogs with Kid Friendly Recipes

I love all of the food blogs above, and so do my girls! But, there are other food blogs focused on healthy recipes for kids, too. So, to give you even more options, and to help you find other food bloggers to drool over their delicious food follow and try out their healthy, for you and your kids; here are some more that I hand picked!

Weelicious

“Weelicious offers fast fresh and easy recipes for the entire family with over 1500 recipes, over 500 cooking videos, feeding tips and ideas to make kids great eaters from day one.”

Find their recipes here!

 

The Pretty Bee

Kelly from The Pretty Bee focuses on creating allergy friendly recipes for the whole family. And, believe me, you won’t miss anything with her recipes; they may be allergy friendly, but they don’t taste like it! She has even sorted all her recipes based on allergies, so if you or your child has a specific allergy, just look under that section under ‘Sort by Allergen’ in the Recipe Menu!

My girls are actually obsessed with one of her waffle recipes, and won’t let me use any other recipe for waffles!

Find all her recipes here!

 

The Healthy Family and Home

I first found Karielyn’s food blog because of her Healthy Peanut Butter Cups. Yep, the chocolate brought me in, and the focus on clean eating kept me coming back for more! She has a huge assortment of recipes suited for all different types of diets, not fad diets, the regular kind, such as; vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, lectin free, and more!

Find all their recipes here!

 

Vegan Insanity

Cassie from Vegan Insanity is dedicated to making healthy and delicious vegan recipes for all to enjoy! I’ve been following her blog and recipes for a few years now. But, I just took a look at the front page of her site and am already seeing new recipes that I’m adding to my meal plan right now to try making this next week, like her 3 Ingredient Vegan Gnocchi recipe.

Find all her recipes here!

 

Karrisa’s Vegan Kitchen

If you can’t guess by the name of the blog, the food bloggers name is Karrisa, and she creates delicious vegan recipes. I’ve even features some of her recipes in other posts on my site which are focused on healthy food for kids, such as: 12 HEALTHY VEGAN SCHOOL LUNCH IDEAS

Find all her recipes here!

 

A Few More Food Blogs Focused on Healthy Eating for Kids

In case you want a few more food blogs to check out that cater to healthy food for kids, with recipes created by parents who knows what it’s like to feed kids, here are few more!

Know Your Produce

Just What We Eat

My Kids Lick the Bowl

Tiny Tummy Tales

My Fussy Eater


Sign up for this FREE 5 Day Bootcamp to simplify mealtime with kids!


So Many Food Bloggers and Resources!

There are so many more food bloggers that you can find online, either by searching on Google or browsing Pinterest. Trust me, I have barely scraped the surface!!

It may even seem a tad bit overwhelming with the amount of delicious, and healthy, recipes available online, and maybe you don’t know where to start.

Start with one of the food bloggers above, maybe one catches your eye, or you’re looking for specific types of recipes and one of them creates it; take your time going through their recipes, one by one, and try them for yourself, and of course have your kids try them, too!

When you start digging through their recipes, I’d love to know which healthy kid friendly recipe you chose to try first! Leave a comment to let me know!

 

How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: 12 Different Ways!

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How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: 12 Different Ways!

We all know that veggies are good for us and our children. It’s one of the first foods we give our children as babies, in baby food, along with fruits and baby cereal. But, once they become toddlers it can be difficult to get them to eat veggies, and parents will often ask How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables now?

Which veggies for kids do we try to even start with now?


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**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.

It was so simple back then when they were babies, right?

And, for some reason we forget how easy it was to get veggies into their diets; especially when our kids start being more independent and trying to choose what they eat all by themselves!

But, there are a few options to choose from when trying to help, or guide, your kids’ eating habits to those veggies you know are good for them!

Options for “How do you get kids to eat veggies?”

You could explain to them how important veggies are for them to grow healthy and strong.

Or, if they’re still young, you could just sneak the veggies into their food and avoid the ‘I don’t want to eat it’ fight, all together!

Then, explain to them, when they’re older that they actually do like the veggies!

Don’t forget to show them how you hid their veggies in their food, so they know how to do it themselves. But, you may want to wait to tell them this until they understand the importance of eating veggies, and will eat them willingly. Such as, what vitamins and minerals they contain and what would happen to them if they didn’t get a certain nutrient.

(And, you might want to expect for them to be a little irritated by your tactics, but don’t worry; they’ll thank you when they’re older and living on their own…hopefully!)

If you would rather have the fight with them every day, several times a day, about eating their veggies; go right ahead! It’s up to you!

I tend to do half and half with my two little girls. Half the time I hide my girls veggies, half the time they’re right there in the open on their plates. Can you guess which ones they eat first!?

Other Ways to Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables WITHOUT Hiding Them

If you’re dead set against hiding veggies in your childs food, you could try:

  • turning their veggie options into a rainbow (and challenge them to eat the rainbow everyday)
  • season their veggies, some kids don’t like them plain
  • experiment with roasted, raw, steamed veggies, or you could even turn the veggies into a sauce
  • have your kids help you in the kitchen
  • have them try ‘just one bite’
  • make veggies fun
  • add veggies as a side to a favorite meal
  • let them know that their favorite character loves veggies and trying new things
  • reverse psychology (tell them ‘not’ to eat it- learn more about this method here)

I am sure there are many more ideas for what you can do to get your child to eat veggies, but let’s get on to how to add veggies to food to actually help get veggies into your childs diet; whether or not they think they will like them!


Related Posts:

18 Healthy Recipes with Hidden Veggies for Kids

A Stupid-Simple Way to Get Toddlers to Eat Veggies

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO GET KIDS TO EAT VEGETABLES


Want to Remember This? Pin How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: 12 Different Ways! to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

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12 Different Ways to Get Veggies into Your Childs Diet

The best way to ensure your child is getting enough veggies is by adding them to food your child already loves. These foods may show that that the veggies are in them, and some may hide the veggies!

1. Start with Smoothies!

I love smoothies! I got a nutribullet almost 4 and a half years ago and have used it practically everyday since!

My girls also love to have what I’m having!

Even if they have the same exact food in front of them; they want my food.

So, instead of getting upset that I can never eat my own food, or drink my own drinks; I double the food, or in this case drink, and just share it with them!

Win-win; I get to actually have some of my smoothie, and I get tons of fruits, veggies, and healthy fats and proteins, into my girls!

You can put so many amazing things in smoothies, and adding in certain veggies won’t really alter the taste too much.

My girls will drink my all time favorite smoothie without a second thought! And, I put in at least half a cup of squished down spinach in it!

They love it!

If you want to really hide the veggies, using a green leafy veggie may not be your best choice. They tend to turn the whole smoothie green.

I’d recommend adding in softened beets, or another softened veggie that has the same color as the fruits in it. Unless of course, if it’s St Patrick’s Day, then go right ahead and keep it green and tell them a leprechaun did it!!

Find out why else you need a nutribullet and what other things you can do with it, in my posts below!!

27 Healthy Smoothie Bowls and Smoothie Recipes for Kids

10 Reasons You Need a Nutribullet as a Mom

10 Amazingly Healthy Things You Can Make with a Nutribullet 

 

2. Popsicles

If your kids love popsicles, whether in the summertime like most people do, or in the winter time like my girls do; you can certainly make your own and add in veggies!

It’s much better for them this way, even without the veggies! It’s always best to have complete control over what ingredients go into your kids food!

In fact, I usually make popsicles from the smoothie recipe above! It’s as simple as making a smoothie, adding it to a popsicle mold, and then leaving it in the freezer over night.

You could be as creative, or as lazy, with this as you want. If you’re kids don’t get offended with you adding veggies into these, they could even help make them!

 

3. Pancakes

Whether you want a sweet or savory breakfast, you can do so by adding in veggies!

You’re kids may not even notice a difference! (Depending on which veggies you add in.)

The pancake recipes I usually make for my kids, I thought were pretty healthy; until I came across the recipe below!

See, I usually add fruit to my girls pancakes; like bananas, and apples or blueberries. But, the thing is, I can get my girls to eat fruit plain, and anytime during the day. They love fruit, and if I ask them what they want for snacks; 9 times out of 10, it’s going to be a piece of fruit!

So, adding in a veggie, like sweet potatoes, instead of bananas is just brilliant! It’s still going to be sweet, but add in different nutrients.

In the recipe below, the sweet potato takes the place of eggs in the pancakes, which in my eyes makes them way healthier. It takes the cholesterol and saturated fat right out of them; and adds in healthy carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Yay!

Check it out:

Sweet potato pancakes recipe!


 

4. Waffles

Like pancakes, you can also make waffles with different veggie ingredients.

Take the recipe below for example. Those waffles won’t only give you more energy through out the morning from the extra nutrients from the pumpkin, it also just looks pretty!

Of course, what the waffles look like will depend on your waffle maker. Mine will have a spiderman spider imprint on it…always. Get it here to have some superhero fun at breakfast with your kids; they may even enjoy what you make with it more, simply because of the way it looks!

Check out the recipe:

Pumpkin waffles recipe

 

5. Muffins

Who doesn’t love muffins!

Both my girls are big fans of muffins, as am I! Hmmm….I wonder where they get that from….

But, in all seriousness, I make a couple dozen of muffins a month and keep them in my freezer for snacks or quick breakfasts. Or, early breakfasts, when we’re starving and wake up too early to think about what we want, or I just don’t feel like making anything.

And, I have a few go to muffin recipes. The two recipes below are always made every couple of months, along with my blueberry muffin recipe and/or a chocolate chip muffin recipe. We have to have some sort of balance; one muffin focused on fruits or veggies, and then one that is super sweet and healthy!

Try out this Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Recipe; the chocolate will hide the fact that there’s even a vegetable in it, plus make it super moist and delicious!

And, we absolutely love this Sweet potato muffins recipeBy the way, the recipes on this site are amazing, whenever I search for some healthy and vegan dessert, his recipes always come up; I try them, and I’m always super impressed by the outcome! I don’t know why I get so surprised by this anymore, I’ve been coming across his recipes for almost 2 years now!!

 

6. Breads

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Kids love bread, or at least my kids love bread, especially when it’s banana bread, pumpkin, or even zucchini bread.

And, what’s not to love! It’s moist, delicious, and you don’t even taste the zucchini; perfect for feeding our picky eaters who claim to ‘hate’ veggies, or think they’re ‘disgusting’!

You could even make chocolate zucchini bread using the muffin recipe above! You may need to add some extra time for it to fully bake, though. The time, in general, just needs to be doubled. It’s usually about 20 minutes for muffins and 40 minutes for ‘quick’ bread, at the same temperature. Just check it with a fork or toothpick to make sure it’s done!

 

7. Cakes

Just like breads, you can include veggies in cakes, too!

Ever heard of carrot cake?

Just cut the sugar in half if you can, and maybe make some other substitutions to make it a bit healthier. As parents, we don’t need our kids to have any more sugar than absolutely necessary for the cake to taste good.

When searching through recipes, I tend to find that I can easily cut the sugar in half, or even replace it with maple syrup to make it even healthier, and less harmful for our kids.

You could even take a bread recipe, cook it in a cake pan instead and add some frosting or icing to it. Do this with carrot cake, or a zucchini bread/muffin recipe. What kid is going to turn down cake?!

It’s kind of amazing how many different types of food we can make with the same recipe, simply by changing the shape and baking time!

 

8. Cookies (yes, I said cookies!!)

Cookies for breakfast!! And, no I’m not talking about Cookie Crisp; that cereal is horrible for you!

I’m talking healthy, nutrient filled, cookies for breakfast.

The kind that has some fiber, vitamins, and minerals to them.

The kind that you’re kids will ask you for in the morning, simply because they want to get away with eating cookies for breakfast!

Cookies that even you will approve for them to eat first thing when they wake up! Go ahead, and try out the ones below!

Pumpkin cookies recipe.

Carrot cookies recipe. 

Zucchini cookies recipe.

 

9. Banana Ice cream

vegan ice cream recipes
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com

Call it monster ice cream and add some spinach to home made banana ice cream, or completely hide it in chocolate peanut butter banana ice cream!

Either way, I find it hard that a child wouldn’t eat this; unless they’re just entirely against any type of cold treat, or despise bananas!

For the chocolate version; simply cut up a few bananas and freeze them for a few hours, or overnight. When they’re frozen, blend them with some soy milk (or milk of your choice), add in some peanut butter (or almond butter), some cocoa, spinach, and a drop or two of vanilla (optional) and blend!

If they like it extremely soft serve; use a nutribullet. If they like it thick; use a food processor. Or, you could always use a regular blender, but I honestly don’t even own a regular blender. So, I’m not sure on how it’ll turn out.

 

10. Home Made Vegan MAC

There seems to be a lot of ideas on this list about getting veggies into our kids through their snacks and sweet breakfasts, so I’m going to try to add in some actual meals for lunches or dinners!

So, for a lunch or a dinner, you could really hide veggies into this mac and cheese recipe. It’s just like macaroni and cheese, but a super food powered version (and without the cheese)! It’s from Vegan Insanity, and my girls actually beg me for this, and they’re 2 and 5 years old. If I use the small shell pasta to make this, my older daughter calls it the mac and cheese from Panera.

Vegan Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe.

 

11. Home made fries (call them french fries)

Craving fast food or something sweet, but don't want to ruin your healthy eating streak? Learn how to make these healthy and simple sweet potato fries! These homemade fries simply bake in your oven, and are toddler and kid approved. Check out this 3 ingredient recipe now, and save yourself from eating something you'd rather not eat! #sweetpotatofries #sweetpotatorecipes #veganrecipes #healthyrecipes #stresslessbehealthy

One food that your kids may actually eat without even having to sneak in the veggie, are fries.

If your kids are used to eating out, or love the occasional fast food trip; then they probably love french fries.

And, sure, french fries when from fast food chains or restaurants, aren’t all that great for you. But, what if you made them. At home. In your oven. With real ingredients! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, time consuming, or difficult!

I make fries at home all the time for my girls, myself, and my husband, and no one complains that they’re eating veggies! Use white potatoes, or red, purple, or even sweet potatoes; it doesn’t matter! Or, if you want to try something really different, make them with eggplants or zucchini!

 

12. Pizza

snacks that start with k, letter k snacks, alphabet snacks, snacks for kids, healthy snacks, healthy snacks for kids

Pizza is a little different than other foods you can hide veggies in; the veggies tend to be a bit more noticeable on the top of pizza. Unless you eat cheese, like the majority of people in this country do; then you can go ahead and hide the veggies underneath the cheese. But, they’ll probably show through anyways.

Or, go ahead and make eggplant or zucchini mini pizzas! My two year old is a huge fan of these; they’re a little more her size!

 

Note on Hiding Vegetables in a Childs’ Food

I know there is controversy on whether or not you should hide veggies for kids. There’s certainly pros and cons to doing it.

Pros:

  • kids get the vitamins and minerals they need and maintain optimal health
  • if they don’t know they’re eating veggies, they can’t get mad at you for feeding them veggies

Cons:

  • they could get mad at you when they find out they are eating veggies
  • they don’t learn to love veggies on their own

All in all, it’s really up to you, what you choose to do for your kids; you can certainly use the recipes above whether you want to hide veggies in your kids meals or not. It’s going to depend a lot on you and your child and how they’re prepared.

I would highly recommend to not hide food if your child is a pre-teen or teenager.

They’re old enough to understand the importance, as long as you teach them about it!

Don’t just rely on your childs school to teach them about nutrition; good chance you’ll be disappointed in how little is actually taught. Plus, the older they get, the more independent they will want to be; they should get a choice for what goes into their body. But, you, as the parent, need to teach them how it will affect their minds and bodies; they won’t know unless they are taught!

If your child is little still, like 5 and under, and they ‘don’t like’ veggies because someone else said they don’t like veggies, then hiding them in other foods, at first, may be beneficial. Then, just make sure to explain to them how yummy those veggies actually are, and that they already eat them, they just don’t notice.

Make sure you eat veggies in front of them, as well. Otherwise they won’t want them if you’re not eating them; be a good example for your kids with your  eating habits!

My 5 year old has been at a stage lately where she thinks about 50% of the food I give her is disgusting, so believe me, I get it! It’s hard to get kids to eat what we want them to. Whether it’s making sure they get enough veggies, or protein; it can sometimes be a real struggle.

So, take the food ideas from above and use them to your advantage; either in the way I suggested, or in your own way!

If you found How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables: 12 Different Ways! useful, please share Facebook and save on Pinterest; or comment below with more suggestions or your thoughts on sneaking veggies into food for kids!

 

veggies for kids
Photo from stresslessbehealthy.com
Don’t forget to grab even more tips to help you get your kids to eat veggies HERE!!
veggies for kids

How to Eat Healthy on a Road Trip with Kids

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How to Eat Healthy on a Road Trip with Kids

Have you just started eating healthy…again? And, are about to go on a road trip with your family and are wondering ‘how in the world am I to get my family to eat healthy on a road trip?’

Well, good news;

You’re not alone!

Going on a road trip, with or without kids, can make eating healthy seem almost impossible!

You don’t have access to your kitchen, fridge, or freezer; so it’s easy to see some of the challenges that lay ahead of you as you take off on your adventure with your family.

But, just because you can’t make green smoothies or roast vegetables in the oven, doesn’t mean you have to stop at every fast food place you see, or stock up on processed snack foods for the ride!

There’s a way to still eat healthy on the road, despite what your family is trying to convince you of!

 


Related Posts:

The Complete Cross Country Road Trip Packing List (with kids)!

Basics of Healthy Eating: Do’s and Don’ts | Healthy Eating Tips

How to Start Eating Healthy Again (after getting off track)


Want to Remember This? Pin How to Eat Healthy on a Road Trip with Kids to your favorite Pinterest Board!!

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8 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Road Trip with Kids

I’m not going to tell you that eating healthy on a road trip is easy.

You have to plan and prepare for it, just like you do for any other part of your trip.

But, the benefits of eating healthy on a road trip will far outweigh the negatives of relying on fast food or eating at any restaurant you happen to pass by on the road.

Some of the benefits are:

  • not starving on the road and keeping your eyes peeled for the next place to eat
  • energy to stay awake and drive, or keep the driver company
  • not feeling horrible or having an upset stomach from not eating well
  • no hangry passengers
  • less cranky kids, because they are eating like normal and aren’t having any extra sugar or processed foods
  • being able to save your money for ‘fun things’, not just food
  • not feeling bloated from eating out
  • and I’m sure there are more!

Check out the tips below to help you reap some of the benefits above!

 

Cut up fresh fruit and veggies

This is the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about going on a road trip and trying to eat healthy, especially if it’s summer time!

There are so many delicious fruits in season in the summer time. And, bringing cut up fruits and veggies for everyone to munch on in the car, or at rest stops, sure beats processed snack foods!

Plus, they’ll help keep everyone hydrated on the trip, which is super important, and many people may not even think about staying hydrated on a car trip.

So, do yourself and family a favor and fill some containers with cut up fruits and veggies, store them in a cooler, and eat those instead of chips or crackers in the car!

Some easy suggestions:

  • grapes
  • bananas
  • strawberries
  • cuties
  • apples
  • any kind of melon
  • pineapple
  • cucumber
  • baby carrots
  • celery sticks
  • and more!

Whether you’re trying to eat healthy, or not, you can’t go wrong with bringing fruit and veggies!

 

Pack sandwiches, or picnic like meals, for when you stop

If you’re able to, pack sandwiches, sandwich ingredients, or other food that is easy to make or eat at rest stops.

Pretend it’s a picnic and pack like that!

This way you have control over what food you and your family eats. And, you can bring any special foods that any of your family members need, say for example, if they have allergies or an intolerance to certain foods; you can account for that and pack accordingly.

 

Bake healthy treats, prepare your own trail mix, and prepare other healthy food, at home to bring with you

Just because you want to eat healthy on your road trip, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to snack!

Bake some healthy treats with whole ingredients before you leave and package them up so they’ll stay good the whole trip, or at least the first couple of days.

This could be healthy muffins, brownies with a hidden protein source, home made granola, fruit, or cereal bars, or more!

Make your own trail mix to bring, or other healthy food that will stay good in the car. Make sure to bring little bags or containers if you don’t portion everything out at home.

There’s really a ton of options, just choose something that you know your family will love. Something they’ll love so much that they won’t even want to eat out!

 

Avoid eating at fast food restaurants, or other restaurants, by stopping at a grocery store, instead

Even if you plan ahead and bring healthy food with you on a road trip there’s the chance that you may run out of food, depending on how long your trip is.

Unfortunately, some food will only last so long in the car; you can’t expect fresh fruit to last more than a day or so.

So, instead of stopping at the next fast food place, or restaurant, you see when you get hungry; find a grocery store instead.

Even if it’s a grocery store you don’t like, it’s sure to have healthier options, and cheaper prices, than eating out.

You won’t be able to make all the food you did before leaving home. So, you’ll have to look for more convenient options, such as pre cut fruits and veggies, and more ingredients for picnic like meals.

But, you’ll feel so much better doing this and after eating your healthy food, than you would if you went out to eat. Not to mention the amount of money you’ll save, and the headache you won’t get from the kids complaining of belly aches!

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Bring a pack of bottled water

You need to stay hydrated when on the road. Well, at all times really, but a lot of people forget to stay hydrated while driving.

Luckily, the best thing to keep you hydrated is also the cheapest and least messy; it’s water.

So, go ahead and grab a large pack of bottle water to bring on the trip!

Or, if you’re really trying to save money and reduce waste; bring your own water bottle and buy gallons of water to refill your  water bottle when you stop.

You could always do a combination of both, too. Fill your water bottle when you stop, but if you run out of water before you stop, use the bottled water.

Whatever works for you and your family

 

Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time

Like mentioned at the beginning, you need to plan the food you eat on the road just as you’re planning all other aspects of your trip, maybe even more so.

Unfortunately, meal planning for a road trip is a bit different than meal planning for a regular week at home.

You have to account for:

  • not having a freezer with you
  • the heat in the car if traveling in the summer
  • the size of your cooler
  • the amount of space you have available for food
  • how long things will last, which will determine the order you need to eat the food in

You also need to know whether or not everyone will get to eat inside the car, or if you’ll have to stop every time you need to eat.

I know if we ever take a long road trip in my husbands car, he’d want us to stop to eat so the kids don’t make a mess in his car with food. However, I also know that would change through out the trip as we try to make good timing and our sanity can only take so much when it comes to kids whining in the backseat that they’re hungry.

So, whether you decide to let everyone eat in the car right off the bat, or are ‘dead set’ on no one eating in the car; be sure to plan some food that doesn’t make a mess, or at least much of a mess!

 

Eat at the same times you usually do, unless the kids are asleep

I don’t know how your road trips are, but when we go on road trips, we’re usually up quite early and stay up quite late trying to make good timing on where we’re going.

This may require a little extra food for energy for us adults, but for kids; they should be able to eat at the regular times they eat at, for meals and snacks.

So, if possible, plan stops around the time they usually eat meals, unless of course if they are sleeping!

And, as a friendly reminder, make sure everyone uses the restroom and has a chance to stretch or run around when you stop.

 

Stop at rest stops for meals, so you’re not tempted to get fast food

One more tip to help you and your family eat healthy on a road trip is limit the temptation of eating fast food.

You can do this by looking for rest stops to eat at and use the restrooms at, instead of in towns. That way, when you pass cities or towns, you won’t be searching for signs for places to eat, just to get gas if you need it.

 

It is Possible to Eat Healthy on Road Trips with Kids

You may need to plan and prepare a bit more than you’re used to. But, it’ll all be worth it when everyone still has their energy and still feeling good once you get to where you’re going!

Just play it smart, stop at rest stops for picnic like meals, and only stop in towns or cities for fuel and to grab some groceries.

That is how to eat healthy on a road trip with kids! Do you have any other suggestions? Leave a comment below if you do!

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