Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to resist the temptation to compromise on food because you’re rushing around or otherwise away from home when you’re hungry.
Level of Commitment: Baby Steps
It’s the “real food on the go” challenge.
When you’re going from dance class to soccer practice or apple picking to a family reunion, it can be tough to keep the family fed with real food. When you’ve got 60 seconds before you have to hop in the car or you’ll be late to pick someone up, what can you grab that’s not in a package?
On the go is the trickiest time to keep fueled with the good stuff, and the key to success is all about prior planning. I don’t necessarily plan each snack in advance, but I do plan to make sure I’m prepared for when I’m unplanned – like when I have 60 seconds before I need to get out the door. Here are some of the things I make sure I have on hand so that I CAN be ready to go, with real food, that quickly:
- homemade muffins, usually either the grain-free coconut muffins from Healthy Snacks to Go or these healthy pumpkin muffins (gluten-free version coming tomorrow!)
- bananas or apples, if I’m lucky (or other seasonal whole fruits)
- dried fruit rolls, which I like to keep in my car so that I always have a little something in case of child “I’m starving” syndrome
- nuts and raisins (I ask the kids to make their own trail mix when we have three minutes instead of one)
- homemade granola bars
- string cheese
- date and nut bars (“power balls”) from Healthy Snacks to Go
- green bean chips or other dried veggie chips
It’s not a super long list, but it’s plenty. I pull muffins from the freezer and toss them into our reusable snack bags when we’re hurrying, so my prior proper planning includes making sure that these things are purchased, baked, stocked where we can get at them, and then replaced when we run out.
I keep to-do lists for the week, and the food lists include baking and food prep that doesn’t always have to do with a meal, like making baked goods and other snacks, and preserving seasonal produce in the freezer or dehydrator. Those tasks might be done during a meal prep if I can multitask, like baking a butternut squash tonight with our dinner biscuits, or during other times of day – with the kids in the morning, during naptime, while the kids are at school, or at night after the house is quiet.
Our sponsor Plan to Eat, a meal planning software that allows you to input your own recipes and plan them the way you want to, allows “notes” on the weekly meal plan calendar, which is perfect for inputting this type of thing, and there’s even a line for “snacks” so you could include the recipe in that way too. (If you’re a member of PTE, be sure to click on the KS group link to automatically be added to the group of Kitchen Stewardship readers sharing over 80,000 real food recipes.)
So for this week, put something new in your to-do list to help you keep up with real food and fight packaged food, even when you’re super busy. If you have it ready beforehand, real food on the go becomes easy. I’ll be sharing not only the gluten-free pumpkin muffin recipe this week but also a homemade electrolyte sports drink (for when you’re REALLY “on the go” if you’re running some races this fall) and even a way to keep up on your supplements when you’re eating away from home.
**Did you see the bento lunch box reviews from earlier today? 7 brands, and only a few I recommend…**
Other KS “On-the-Go” Snack Foods:
- Almond power bars
- Soaked Granola Bars
- Crispy roasted chickpeas (in Healthy Snacks to Go)
- Banana Flax Muffins
- Apple Squares
- Crispy Pumpkin Seeds
- Quinoa Oat Protein Bar
- Grain-Free Quinoa Bars
- Crispy Baked Apple Chips
- Wheat Thin Style Crackers
- Shucks, even baked oatmeal can be grabbed in bar form on the go!
Do you plan snacks? Lunches? Extra baking that goes outside the regular three mealtimes?
Note: Attune Foods is hosting a whole grain baking recipe contest judged by Chris Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen – I can’t enter because I write for them, but, dear readers: wouldn’t it be great if a traditionally prepared whole grain recipe won? The prizes are incredible (stand mixer, trip!) and I know there are some master bakers out there who would take the cake (literally) if they gave it a shot. Read more here and get inspired!
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Cultures for Health from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. Plan to Eat is a September sponsor receiving their complimentary mention in a post, and I’m just sharing the Attune Foods contest because it’s awesome! See my full disclosure statement here.