Healthy Snacking for Busy Parents

Tuesday, 5 February 2019 5:03:26 pm Pacific/Auckland

We all know life with little ones is busy. Here’s our top tips for snacking well when time is tight from our friend, Christina Leon.

As a busy mum I understand the importance of staying healthy, feeling energized and happy thought the day. Ensuring you are starting your day right, keeping hydrated and choosing nutritious snacks is essential for all of us busy parents to keep up with the busy demands of parenthood. Here are my top tips for healthy snacking on the go: 

1. Never Skip Breakfast:

Always start your day with a nutritious wholesome breakfast, I truly believe in the old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Starting your day with a nutritious balanced breakfast will set you up for the whole day and keep you full and energized until lunch. 

Choose a mix of protein, good quality fats and high fibre carbohydrates such as muesli with organic natural yogurt, almond milk and fresh berries, or a smoothie bowl topped with your favourite wholefood toppings - I love nut butter, cacao nibs, and fresh seasonal fruit.

If your mornings are hectic with juggling children, getting ready, school drop offs or heading to work a smoothie is a quick nutritious breakfast option. A great tip: prepare smoothie bags in advance- place all your smoothie ingredients into zip lock bags and place in the freezer. In the morning grab one, pop it in a blender with your choice of milk or coconut water and blend- too easy!

Try my ‘Green Goddess’ smoothie at home:

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls organic greens (mix of kale and spinach leaves)
  • 1/2 chopped apple
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup filtered water and ice
  • 1 tsp organic spirulina or super greens

Method:

Add to blender and process until smooth.

Pour into glass and enjoy. Or if you are needing to rush out the door you can place your smoothie into a reusable glass jar with a lid, reusable straw and enjoy.

Chia pots or overnight oats made the night before are another great option to start the day on the go. Prepare the evening before in a jar – here’s my favorite recipe: 

Vanilla Chia Pots:

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla paste or 11⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop organic vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 5 Tbsp chia seeds

Method :

1. To make the vanilla chia pot, place all of the ingredients, except the chia seeds, in a blender and process until smooth (or simply whisk together in a bowl). Add the chia seeds and pulse to combine.

2. Pour into a large glass jar, or several smaller jars, seal with a lid and place in the fridge. You may need to stir the mixture every 1-2 hours until fully set to ensure the chia seeds don’t settle at the bottom of the jar. Top with fresh topped fruit and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to set.

2. Water, water, water:

Drinking enough water throughout the day is so important for busy mums, keeping hydrated will keep you energized throughout your day. Keep a reusable water bottle on hand – it’s a great way to keep sipping, and track of how much water you are drinking each day.

I always like to add a little flavor. Each morning I’ll mix natural fruits and spices with filtered water. Here’s my favoutire blend:

  • 1 litre of filtered water
  • 2 sliced strawberries
  • Squeezed lemon juice
  • Slices of orange and lemon
  • A few frozen blueberries and raspberries
  • Small handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Ice

3. Weekend Prep

Spend some time over the weekend preparing your snacks for the week ahead (I like to set aside 30 minutes on a Sunday to make my homemade snacks). Get your children involved in helping, a great way to teach them about choosing healthy food.

By making your own snacks you know exactly what goes into them. Ensure your snacks are packed full of quality ingredients with a good combination of high fibre carbohydrates organic lean protein and a little quality fat. Well balanced snacks help to keep energy and blood sugar levels stable, and will keep you fuller longer.

I buy all my whole food ingredients from my local Huckleberry store. I especially love restocking my healthy pantry staples at the Refill Hub. Buying ingredients in bulk is a great way to shop more economically, and it saves on excess packaging too.

On a Sunday afternoon, my daughter and I make bliss balls, protein bars, natural nut mixes, healthy banana bread or muffins.

Here’s a few of my recipes to try

Natural Nutty Chocolate Protein Bars:

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 scoops of chocolate organic pea protein powder
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed oil
  • 1 tsp organic cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp almond Butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw Pure Coco cacao powder
  • 100 gr organic dark chocolate + 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Method:

In a food processor add all your ingredients.

Process until the mixture come together (if too dry add 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil or water).

Line a slice tin with baking paper and pour in the mixture. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and press down evenly.

Place in the fridge to set for at least 1-2 hours.

To make the chocolate topping, place a heat-proof bowl over a pot of boiling water (or use a double boiler). Place the chocolate and coconut oil into the bowl and melt slowly.

Remove the slice from the fridge and tin. Slice and drizzle the melted chocolate over the slices.

Place back in the fridge to set. Keep store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Raspberry Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp freeze dried raspberry powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp melted extra virgin coconut oil

Method:

Add all ingredients into the food processor except the dried freeze raspberries.

Process until mixture comes together and you can roll into balls.

Remove the food processor blade and add the freeze dried raspberries. Use a spoon to combine the freeze dried raspberries into the mixture, you can break them up a little or keep them whole.

Take a handful of the mixture and roll into balls.

Store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

4. Stocking up at your local Huckleberry:

Finding time for food prep isn’t always achievable, so I always pop into my local Huckleberry and stock up on wholesome snacks that are ready to eat such as organic muesli bars, slices, raw nuts, dried fruits and popcorn.   

Checkout their full range here

5. Pack Your Snacks:

As parents we are usually fantastic at remembering to pack our children’s healthy snacks and water bottles when heading out but often forget to take care of ourselves.

Remember to pack your own snacks and a water bottle. I always pop a few healthy snacks in my handbag when I pack my school lunches to keep me going, and it’s a great way to ensure I’ll always have something healthy on hand.

Written By Christina Leon, Reveal Yourself

 

Posted in Parenting By

Ally Hetherington

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