Back-to-school season can be chaotic for parents who are running here and there, taking their children to school and seemingly endless extracurricular activities. It can be tempting for parents on the go to make poor food choices and give up on working out, letting their back-to-school health slide.
These healthy tips for parents will help you stay on track while you’re in the midst of the back-to-school hustle and bustle.
Prepare double batches of food
As long as you’re cooking a healthy meal and avoiding last-minute fast-food trips, make a double batch. Prepare a healthy soup or other entree, and put the extra servings in the freezer for a later meal on a particularly busy day. Make sure to label the container with the date and contents so it’s easy to identify.
Use your slow cooker
Slow-cooker meals are easy and convenient, letting you prepare your meal in the morning and come home to the wonderful smells of a home-cooked dinner. Many healthy recipes are available for use with the slow cooker, so with a little planning and time in the morning, you can avoid resorting to the drive-through or making other poor food choices during the dinnertime rush.
Pack healthy snacks
If you’re in a school pickup line or waiting while your child finishes sports or band practice, you may be starving by the time you’re ready to head out. Before you leave the house, pack some healthy snacks – such as almonds, fruit or string cheese –so you’ll have something for you and your child. You can also keep a water bottle in the refrigerator so it’s cold and ready to go. This will help you avoid getting thirsty, which can often be mistaken for hunger.
Fit in exercise where you can
Parents on the go can find it difficult to devote a large chunk of time to exercise. Instead, go for a walk around the school while you’re waiting for your kids to come out. You can also easily fit in some exercise by using part of your lunch hour to take a walk or work out, and don’t forget to use the stairs whenever possible.
Play with your kids
Children seem to have an endless amount of energy, so use that to your advantage while spending some quality time with them. Play soccer in the backyard, join in on a game of tag or shoot baskets in the driveway with your kids. The exercise and time spent together will be good for you and your kids as well.
Work out at home
Although the thought of waking up early can be daunting, it can give you the chance to sneak in a workout before the demands of your day get started. Many apps, DVDs and online videos are available to help you get motivated, and you’ll save the time of driving to and from the gym. What’s more, when you start the day in a healthy way, you’re likely to have more energy and continue to make better choices throughout the day.