Between daily training practice pick-ups and drop offs, working regular jobs, keeping the house in order and everything else that goes with ensuring the kids are looked after, parents often struggle with finding the time to buy and prepare healthy and nutritious meals to fuel the family.
To help take the stress out of mealtimes, we’ve put together 5 simple tips to help keep you and your family healthy.
With such hectic schedules, preparation and planning is key. Spend some time at the start of the week planning what the family is going to eat and when. Planning in snacks and always having some healthy options at hand is a great idea too. This way you won’t get caught in a panic with not knowing what to cook or needing a last-minute dash to the shops at night.
Get the other family members involved as much as possible. Not only will this take some of the pressure away from you, but it also makes your youth athletes more accountable for their own food choices and helps with building healthy eating habits for later life too. Start with simple things like getting them to help out at mealtimes, prepare their own snacks or even make a meal plan for the week ahead.
Finding time to cook a meal for the family can be one of the biggest challenges for busy parents, especially when you’re driving from venue to venue to pick up the kids from practice or getting home late at night after waiting for them to finish.
Cook an extra portion or two with each meal on the quieter nights you have and store them in the fridge or freezer ready to grab and reheat on the nights where you’re short on time and need a quick and easy meal that’s healthy too.
Frozen fruit and veg are great options to have in for quick and easy meals. They’re frozen as soon as they’re picked, so just as nutritious as fresh produce and they have a much longer shelf life than fresh. The best thing though is that they usually come pre chopped making meal prep a whole lot quicker!
If you’ve got youth athletes with a busy training schedule then having snacks and meals to grab and go is a must. Whether you need to get them to the pool for 6am, or to the training ground straight from school, having snacks ready to go will save so much time and hassle. Fruit, cereal bars, sandwiches and rice crackers are all great options to quickly fuel before a training session and day to day. Or why not try homemade smoothies or overnight oats ready in the fridge for those early morning starts.
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Just as your youth athlete will need to fuel well to stay healthy, the same goes for parents too. Ensuring you eat a healthy and balanced diet will help to keep your energy levels high, so you’re better equipped to handle the stress and challenges that life throws at you.