In September, you can almost hear a collective “sigh” breathed together by parents around the globe as their children go back to school this month. Summer is great and most kids get a break, but by the end of August, everyone is ready to get back into the swing of things and back to a routine.
The biggest question I get when everyone goes back to school is “how do I make healthy, quick meals for me and my family during the week?” That is an excellent question! Considering September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and 1 in 3 Children are obese, it is great month to make changes! It is very important to make sure you’re not only preparing meals that are appealing for your family, but nutritious. If your family is busy and you have less time to prepare, it is hard not to fall into the fast food trap, here are some ideas to keep your family healthy:
- make small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within reach or going on a family walk after dinner.
- Use your crockpot! It is easy to put protein and veggies in first thing in the morning and have dinner done when you get home.
- Go for homemade lunches, instead of hot school lunch. You have more control over your nutrition this way. Pack lunches at night before bed, get your kids involved.
- Prepare double batches of food when you’re less rushed so you can cook once, eat twice.
- Keep it simple. Family meals don’t have to be elaborate to be healthy and effective. Come up with easy ways to balance your meal with simple vegetable side dishes or fruit and yogurt for dessert.
- One of the best ways to ensure a healthy meal is to plan it out ahead of time. When people are short on time, exhausted from a long day, or overly hungry, they often reach for food that cooks quickly with little effort or simply order out. Unfortunately, these quick and easy foods are often frozen convenience foods that are high in sodium or have little to no nutritional value.
Some of the tastiest recipes can be the easiest! Next time you want an easy, nutritious meal that will get rave reviews from the family, try my recipe for this hot & healthy Asian stir-fry dinner that you can get on the table in under 10 minutes (and only 1 pan to wash!).
- 1 tablespoon Organic Coconut Oil (Trader Joe’s)
- 1lb Foster Farms frozen grilled Chicken Breast Strips,
- Kirkland Select Stir Fry Vegetables (Costco)
- 1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce (Iron Chef or Island Soyaki from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked (I highly recommend Village Harvest brown rice from Costco if you can find it)
Dessert doesn’t have to be elaborate either! Remember the sound of the Ice Cream Man? I remember all us kids went running for a dollar and our bicycles when we heard those chimes. Remember Rocketpops? Well here’s my little healthy throwback.
- 1 cup fresh watermelon
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or ZSweet
September is also National Yoga Month! I love Yoga; it’s a great way to balance body and mind, center yourself, and it’s an incredible way to strengthen your body. Here are some other health benefits of Yoga:
- Lower blood pressure
- Greater flexibility
- Enhanced brain function
- Lower cholesterol
- Better skeletal alignment
- Strengthened bones and joints
- Weight loss
- Decreased Stress
- Deeper peace of mind
- Mental focus
- Mind-body integration
- Deeper Spirituality
- Happiness & Inner Peace
During this month, did you know you may even be able to receive a free Yoga class in your area? You can find out more about Yoga and it’s benefits online here.
Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, as it officially ends on September 21!
Here’s to Fall and new beginnings!