Do you ever feel like you are in too much of a hurry to eat healthy? With today’s busy, fast-paced lifestyles healthy eating can be tricky. It is important to make nutritious food choices as often as possible. You’ll find below ten tips to eat healthy in a hurry.
1. Plan ahead. The first step to healthy eating is to have a plan. If you don’t plan to eat healthy, you won’t eat healthy. It’s as simple as that! Take time to plan out your menus, make a shopping list, and do necessary food prep to have healthy foods on hand and ready to go.
Spend Smart Eat Smart from Iowa State Extension has some great information on menu planning.
2. Keep a well stocked pantry. A well stocked pantry with staple items like rice, pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, and herbs and spices can be thrown together for a quick, yet healthy meal when your day didn’t quite go as planned. For a list of good foods to have on hand, click here.
3. Pick recipes that fit your lifestyle and preferences. If you don’t have time or don’t enjoy preparing big meals that require a lot of work, don’t do it! Quick and easy recipes can still be packed full of nutrition. Green Chili Enchiladas is one of my favorite quick and easy recipes. Served with a side salad and some canned peaches it makes a perfect MyPlate meal.
4. Cook once eat twice. Make a large batch of a favorite food and serve it different ways throughout the week or freeze it to use later. Many soups, stew, and casseroles freeze well. Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken works great to cook once and eat twice. Use it to top a salad, rolled up in a tortilla, or on top of a bed or rice.
5. Do some food prep. Take some time when you get home from the grocery store to chop veggies, grate cheese, or throw a salad together. Having these foods prepped and ready in the refrigerator makes them easy to grab when you are in a hurry.
6. Use a slow cooker. Many slow cooker recipes call for little prep time and long, slow cooking times. Take a minute to throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and leave it for a quick meal later. This week I tried Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes and it was a hit!
7. Keep a running list. Hang a blank sheet of paper in your kitchen or find an app for your phone that lets you create a list. Keep a running list of what you need the next time you visit the store. That way you’ll be prepped with a list of healthy items as you do your shopping and can avoid less healthy impulse purchases.
8. Keep health in mind when eating out. When you eat at a restaurant look for menu times that are marked as healthier options or choose smaller portions. Limit fried foods and ask for dressing on the side. Click here for ten tips on eating healthy when eating out.
9. Plan a cooking day. On a day when you have some time, cook foods that you can use later in the week. Some good examples are rice, beans, chicken, or ground beef. Cook these foods and portion them out in individual serving sizes so you can grab them to add to a quick meal.
10. Combine convenience items with healthy options. Sometimes we need to choose convenience which may leave nutrition by the wayside. When choosing a convenience item make sure to pair with with a something nutritious. For example, if you choose a pre-packaged, boxed meal add a bag of frozen veggies to boost the nutrition.
Leave a comment letting me know your favorite tip for healthy eating in a hurry.
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant