Planning Ahead To Save Time
When life gets busy (and lets be honest: when is life as a parent not busy) I have found that participating in healthy meal planning for the week saves me time during the busiest of busy days. You know the days in which I am referring to right? The night before a big school project is due and you have soccer practice and the cat won’t stop barfing and there is no clean clothes and little Jimmy can’t find his hamster again and I could go on and on and on. However, I know you get the idea because every day as a parent is just like this. These are the kinds of days that I could use a little break and thankfully with a little planning dinner is taken care of. This is a sponsored post on behalf of Kaiser Permanente Orange County, all opinions are my own.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kaiser Permanente Orange County clinical dietitian Kelly Brown about healthy family meal planning tips. We met at a local Kaiser Permanente Orange County farmers market to talk in person about tips and tricks to offer healthy meals to busy families. Of course, I couldn’t relate more and I desperately needed her tips. A mother of a five year old son herself, Kelly Brown knows the struggles parents face in attempting to give their children healthy meals on a daily basis. She was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful and she gave real, practical and useful advice that everyone can benefit from.
Making Healthy Meal Planning Simple
Kaiser Permanente Orange County Clinical Dietitian Kelly Brown offered me advice that was extremely useful and extremely practical. As far as healthy meal planning goes, dietitian Kelly Brown suggests making a large amount of whole grain pasta and separating it for 4-5 meals during the week (store it in a large freezer bag!). Perhaps serving the pasta one night with red sauce, the next with butter and the next with a pesto sauce. This sounds incredible simple to me and totally something I can do. My kids love eating pasta and it’s one of the few family faves that I can serve that I know everyone will love.
Offer It Up, Everyday
One of the most remarkable aspects of talking with KPOC Clinical Dietitian Kelly Brown was her ability to offer me real advice that was useful and practical. As a mom herself, Kelly Brown understands the struggles of feeding children healthy, well balanced meals. She was adamant about offering our children vegetables with every lunch and dinner, even if they only take a few bites of the vegetable. As she said: it’s about setting the foundation for healthy eating later in life. This idea relieved a lot of stress for me. I no longer have to force my kids to eat their vegetables but rather, by offering vegetables every day and being a good role model for healthy eating, my kids will learn to love their vegetables.
Tips To Healthy Meal Planning:
Be A Healthy Eating Role Model
Pile on the Fruits and Veggies
Avoid Processed Foods (they’re high in sodium!)
Stick With A Few Family Faves
Have 1-2 Switch Up Meals To Change It Up
Milk for Breakfast, Milk for Dinner
Kaiser Permanente Orange County Farmer’s Markets
Eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is an important part of staying healthy. Kaiser Permanente Orange County offers farmers markets every Friday for everyone to stock up on the freshest produce and more from local growers and vendors.
Fresh Fruit Popsicle’s FTW
My children and I adore visiting our local Kaiser Permanente Orange County farmers market. While there, I know that I’ll get the freshest local produce at an incredible price. While talking with Kelly Brown she gave me a great money saving tip: When your berries are about to turn, blend them and freeze them to make Popsicle’s! I love this idea. We purchased berries from the farmers market and had them with breakfast the next day. Less than a week later the leftover berries were about to turn. So I used Kelly Brown’s advice and blended them with ice and froze them into Popsicle molds. The kids LOVE them!
Fresh Fruit Popsicle Recipe
I’m not even sure I can call this a recipe, it’s literally just two steps! But they’re so delicious and healthy and the best way to save money on fruit that would otherwise be thrown away.
Fruit (any kind of fruit!)
Blend until blended (haha). Freeze in Popsicle molds. Enjoy!
Find Your Local Kaiser Permanente Orange County Farmers Market:
The dates of the farmers markets very from each facility. Here’s a full list of So Cal farmers market date and times KP.org.
Irvine, CA 92618
Anaheim, CA 92806
Kaiser Permanente Orange County Registered Dietitians
Kaiser Permanente Orange County dietitians are available to help you learn about healthy food choices and meal planning to control and improve issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Consultations are available for both adults and children. For more information please log on to Kaiser Permanente Orange County.