In the past three years, I have completely changed how I eat and how I feed my family. My husband and I recently completed the Whole30 (an elimination diet) for the first time too, and I learned a lot while on that. I’ve had a number of different health issues that have been cured with food and changing my diet. My challenges were actually a blessing in disguise as they gave me the opportunity to see the power and healing capabilities of food. My hope for this post is to help you start small or to just give you some new ideas. I’m going to list a few ideas for each meal of the day if you struggle to come up with ideas.
*Breakfast doesn’t have to be sugary cereal or some baked good every morning! I know they are easy and quick, but with just a little preparation, you can find some healthier options!
- Oatmeal or quinoa bowl: Prepackaged, flavored oatmeal is full of sugar and other things that aren’t healthy. Buy plain oatmeal and/or quinoa and flavor it on your own. Add bananas, berries, some nut butter (I LOVE cashew butter) and a little bit of a natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey and you’re set! This is a great way to start your day with some good fiber, protein, and iron and it will hopefully keep you full longer.
- Fruit and yogurt parfait: We buy plain (greek) yogurt and again sweeten it ourselves with just a touch of maple syrup and then add our own toppings, like fresh fruit and a homemade or healthy packaged granola. Always look at the sugar content of granolas.
- Egg cups or a crustless quiche: Usually on Sundays, I’ll prep some kind of egg dish so that it’s ready for the week. I usually combine eggs, veggies and a meat like sausage or ham if I have it, and make a quiche or I put the eggs in a muffin pan so they are ready to go.
- Healthy toasts: Make sure you get sprouted or whole grain bread. Toast it and then top it with eggs, avocado and some red pepper flakes, a nut butter and some fruit. The options are endless with toast.
*Lunch is usually leftovers for us from whatever we ate the night before, but when we don’t have anything left, we love….
- Salads: There are so many awesome salad options and you can make them in advance! I love throwing tuna or some chicken on it for protein and then a bunch of veggies. Avocado makes an awesome salad topping, heck, it makes an awesome topping on just about everything. My kids claim to not like salads because they don’t like lettuce, so we deconstruct the salad and give them the meat with raw veggies and a dip of some kind.
- Lettuce wraps: “Against all Grain” did an awesome video on making lettuce wraps. Since I saw that, I’ve been playing around with adding different ingredients. It’s an awesome way to get your veggies in!
*Snacks are definitely a problem for my five-year-old twins. I’ve tried to stop buying the “crap” they love and give them healthier options.
- Fresh fruit and veggies: Always have these options available and easy for them to access. Carrot sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, berries, melon, bananas, etc. These are always ok to have in our house.
- Nuts: My girls love grabbing a handful of almonds or cashews. Mix them with some dried fruit (with no added sugar) like raisins or dried cherries.
- Crackers and hummus: We are obsessed with hummus in our house and it’s a great option dipping. If your kids are like mine, everything is better when it can be dipped in something!
- Fruit and nut bars: There are a lot of great options at the store for “granola” bars with limited ingredients.
- Beef sticks: I love the ones from Trader Joe’s, but you can find good options at a variety of stores. Just check over the ingredient list first!
*After a day of work, making dinner is usually one of the last things that I feel like doing when I get home. I’ve realized though, if I have a plan it’s so much easier. I wrote this post a few months ago on how I meal plan my week. There are some good ideas in there, but here are a few more.
- One pan sausage and veggie bake: I buy good chicken sausages, slice them up and throw them on a pan with any veggie I have (peppers, onions, broccoli, zucchini, etc). Toss in olive or avocado oil, salt, pepper, garlic and some red pepper flakes if you like spice. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and serve on rice or quinoa.
- Spaghetti: There are so many options with spaghetti and that’s why I love it. You can make it with or without meat. You can use regular pasta, gluten free pasta or no pasta at all. We do all of the above. We love a good meat sauce over spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini. It’s fast and everyone loves it.
There are so many awesome dinner ideas out there. If you feel stuck making the same things each week, or want to try something new, I would encourage you to check out these websites. They have awesome variety and a lot of great options. I also follow a ton of healthy food bloggers on Instagram and I am constantly inspired and motivated to try new things and to fuel my body with the foods I eat.