Author: Brooke Coogan, Director of Woman’s Center of Wellness
Many families are finding themselves with more time at home due to the COVID-19 situation. While this can be good in many ways, it can also be quite challenging. Here are some tips on keeping the kids occupied while enjoying healthy meals and snacks.
First, take stock of what you have available by going through your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Have the kids help make a list of protein/dairy, vegetables, fruits, and grains/starches. Your list may look something like this:
- Protein/Dairy: eggs, frozen shrimp, frozen chicken breast, canned black beans, canned tuna, walnuts, peanut butter, milk, plain yogurt, cheddar cheese, feta cheese
- Vegetables: fresh broccoli, fresh spinach, baby carrots, frozen stir-fry vegetables, canned diced tomatoes
- Fruits: fresh apples, fresh oranges, frozen berry medley, dried cranberries
- Grains/Starches: oats, dried pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes, corn tortillas, frozen corn
Next, do a mix-and-match of these items, including a protein/dairy and at least one fruit or vegetable with each meal and snack. Kids can really have fun with this task! Add any spices, dressings, or sauces you may have to enhance flavor and keep things interesting. Try these example meals and snacks with what you have on hand. Take advantage of this time to use up foods already in your kitchen, and teach the kids about nutrition!
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast|| Scrambled eggs in a corn tortilla
|Oatmeal cooked with milk, topped with walnuts and chopped apples
|Smoothie made with milk, plain yogurt, frozen berries, and spinach|
|Snack||Apple with peanut butter||Energy Bites*||Apple with cheddar cheese|
|Lunch||Tuna salad on spinach|| Black bean and cheese quesadilla with baby carrots
|Pasta salad with leftover chopped broccoli and chicken
|Snack||Energy Bites*||Orange with boiled egg||Energy Bites*|
|Dinner|| Stir-fry shrimp and vegetables over brown rice
-add teriyaki or hoisin sauce
|Grilled chicken, roasted broccoli, corn||Baked sweet potato topped with black beans, diced tomatoes and feta cheese|
* Recipe for Energy Bites:
1 cup oats or crushed dry cereal
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- ½ cup peanut butter, or other nut or seed butter
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup honey, maple syrup, or agave
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until well chilled.
Roll into heaping teaspoon-sized balls. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated up to 1 week.
Makes 25 bites