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Nutrition Barriers as a Mom of Two

There's no denying that being a mom takes up a lot of your time. And if it isn't regularly prioritized, nutrition often takes a hit when it comes to working, raising kids, and managing all the other things that comes your way.


Instead of fixing yourself a nutrient-dense breakfast, you find yourself forgetting to eat and only realizing it at 11:00a when your stomach growls angrily. Instead of fixing a meal for yourself throughout the day, you live off of eating whatever your kids didn't eat or what you can find in the pantry that's quick.


I get it. I'm a mom of TWO under 4 and life can often be a bit overwhelming. So much so that feeding myself can often fall to the bottom of the totem pole. But here's the thing -- prioritizing nutrition as a mom has numerous benefits and I'm here to break those down AND provide you with my go-to practices that keeps optimal nutrition for me (and my family) possible each week.


 

Prioritizing Nutrition Means Prioritizing...


Your Own Needs & Goals

Being a parent comes with a lot of sacrifice, BUT it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice or give up on your health goals. Achieving those goals may look different and require a different "approach" than they would without children, but having kids SHOULD NOT be a reason to neglect yourself and your health.


Being a Positive Role Model

The foundation of how we eat, how we see and feel towards food, and what we eat happen in the early years of childhood. By modeling healthy eating habits and passing those down to your children, you are setting your kids up for the potential to keep those habits going for a lifetime.

 

My Top Tips for Staying on Top of Your Nutrition Goals as a Mom


1. PLAN ahead as much as possible. I set aside 20-30 minutes every Thursday to write out what meals we will have for the following week (Sunday - Thursday). Here's an example of what a week of meals would look like for our family:

  • Meal 1 (breakfast): Scrambled egg casserole bake + avocado toast

  • Meal 2: overnight oats + fruit

  • Meal 3: Shrimp + brown rice + broccoli | Turkey burgers + bun + veggie

  • Meal 4: Protein iced latte

  • Meal 5: Sirloin steak + roasted potatoes + veggie | Ground beef + Banza pasta + sauteed veggies and sauce

As you can see, I plan for 2 different Meal 3s and Meal 5s as these serve as our lunch and dinner meals. While we could eat the same thing every day for 5 days, we don't really like to, so I choose 2 dishes each for some variety.


Our oldest child will typically eat the same breakfast and dinner that we eat. Her lunch is a bit different and I usually have on hand staples that I can always rely on for her lunches and some snacks: Examples are:

  • Peanut butter and honey sandwich (local honey and whole wheat bread)

  • Protein waffles (we use Kodiak cake mix)

  • Pita and hummus

  • Raw veggies and hummus or Laughing Cow cheese (cucumbers and mini peppers)

  • LOTS of fruit (kids can go through some fruit!)

2. Order groceries based on the meals planned. This one is a HUGE time-saver for our family. Once I determine what meals we will eat for the week, I place my grocery pick-up order on Thursday nights to pick up on Friday. (usually by lunch).


I know some people are hesitant about other people picking out their groceries and produce, but I'll be the first to say that I can count on one hand the number of "bad" experiences I've had with ordering online...and I've been ordering my groceries like this for 5+ years EVERY SINGLE WEEK.


Ordering online saves me significant time, especially as a mom. And I don't know about you, but loading up 2 kids and having them tagging along in the grocery store while trying to shop efficiently isn't the easiest. In my opinion, it's MUCH easier just keeping them in the car and paying a $5 fee for someone else to do my shopping and load it in my car.


3. Keep pantry and freezer staples stocked. About once a month, I will "restock" our staple pantry and freezer items that we rely on weekly. I do this monthly so that my weekly grocery orders aren't so "big". Some of our staples we ALWAYS keep on hand:

  • Plant-based pasta (we like the Banza brand, but there are lots of different options).

    • Plant-based pasta is our go-to because it packs a solid punch for fiber and protein, unlike regular pasta.

  • Kodiak cake mix because protein waffles and pancakes are a regular staple in our house, both for adults and kids.

  • Oats (old-fashioned is what we prefer)

    • Oatmeal is a great complex carbohydrate to consume regularly; whether that's as hot oatmeal, cold oatmeal (hello, overnight oats), for homemade granola, or as a baking ingredient.

  • Rice

    • Rice is such an easy carbohydrate to incorporate in any dish and we usually eat it daily in one of our meals. We have both brown and white rice on hand.

  • Protein bars and protein powder

    • They are convenient and easy, so therefore, they are available. I make either a protein shake OR add protein powder to my overnight oats and make iced protein lattes regularly. We are a Legion Athletics family here and love all flavors of their protein.

4. Bulk cook what you can. For us, this usually means the protein sources (i.e. meats). And because I have 2 meals planned for our lunches and dinners, I can cook all the meat since it is only for 2-3 days. I do find it I cook a certain meat for the whole week, by day 3 or 4 it's just not doing it for me and I really have to force myself to eat it. Breaking the week up with 2 different meals makes all the difference.

 

I'm fully aware that these tips may not work for everyone or align with every family's goals, but maybe one or two of them could work for you!



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