I believe that one of the biggest reasons we, as a society, eat so poorly is because we have adopted a culture of convenience. Fast food, microwaveable meals, pre-packaged meals, sliced up fruits and vegetables…. These companies know that we want fast and easy. I guess we’ve gotten lazy but its not all laziness. We live in dual-working homes now. Moms can’t start cooking meals at 3 pm because they’re not getting home until 6. And that’s only on the days that they don’t have to take the kids to swimming or ballet or baseball. And don’t forget homework, I haven’t had to start homework with my children yet but i’ve been warned!!!!! We pack in work, school, extracurricular activities, tv time, family time, groceries, shopping, birthday parties, social events essentially into 16-hour days. And amidst all this chaos, we need to eat.
So large companies understand this and cater to it. Lunchables, lean cuisines, frozen pizza, sliced apples, drive-through. Of course this comes at a price – health.
So when you make the transition to eating healthy, you’re not only adapting your tastebuds to new flavors and trying to overcome the awful addiction that is sugar….you’re also having to deal with what has become most precious to us: TIME. You need to plan your meals, pack your lunches, cook in batches…it is quite an adjustment. It has happened to Orlando and I many times where we are tired and hungry and getting home from a long day (mainly on weekends) of running errands, or attending social events, and we say to each other… God, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just stop at Burger King and pick up a whopper!!!! Or pop a mac and cheese in the microwave and voila! I guess we could once in a while do this, but the truth is we don’t. And its very simple why. There are too many exceptions made on our lifestyle due to external factors. Birthday parties, social events, school, grandparents…too often we make exceptions because we don’t want our kids to miss out on the school pizza party or have that juice like all the other kids at the birthday party. We don’t want them to feel deprived and therefore reject our lifestyle when they’re older so we make these exceptions . But we have to draw our boundaries somewhere. And if I know that when grandma comes on saturday afternoon they’re going to eat ice cream, then i’m not going to give them mac and cheese on a tuesday night because I want 90% of their food to be good food. So that’s how I make my choices. We all find what works for us.
I will tell you that it gets easier. If you’re committed to the cause, you adapt because everything in life is about adaptation. Most of the time I’m prepared because I make my smoothies and salads very quickly; I always have my almonds and seeds ready to take with me; and leftovers are big in my house now! But every once in a while, I am in a hurry and all I want is something quick and easy so I can feed my children and put them to bed.
I found at Whole Foods a pre-packaged meal (in the frozen section) that looks pretty good to me for the kids.
I like that there is a label on the front of the box that reads “where you recognize all the ingredients.”
They also have Littles – Spinach which is delicious and a few others that I have not tried.
It takes about 15 minutes to cook through and I give it to them when I’m in a pinch.
Depending on what they’ve had for breakfast and lunch I determine if they can have this alone for dinner. I want them to have balanced meals, so if they had a good portion of protein for lunch, I may not worry about a protein for dinner. So I could give them the bites alone or with left over cauliflower mash or black beans for example. Or if they only had a yogurt or peanut butter and jelly for lunch then I’ll make sure to make them quick grilled chicken or fish to add to the bites.
I will confess that sometimes I make extra so I can have some! They are delicious and the boys love them.
Here is Justin eating the bites with left over black beans one night that I was in a rush.
These may also be good to pack in a lunch box for school but I haven’t tried that yet. I’ll keep you posted when I do!!!!!
We all need a little convenience sometimes so hopefully this is a good option for your kids also.
If you know of any other healthy, convenient products that are good for adults or for kids, please tell us in the comment section of this post. We are always searching for cool stuff!