How to Eat Healthy When You
Are a Working Mom
By Rachel Jackson
Eating healthy when you are super busy is no easy task. The needs of your kids or the office often come before your own. But it’s important that you take care of yourself too. Here are a few tips on how to eat more healthily even when you’re a working mom:
Plan Easy but Healthy Breakfasts
Your mother always told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. And she wasn’t wrong. A healthy breakfast kick starts your metabolism and helps you avoid the temptation of snacks before lunch. But when you’re a busy mom, focused on getting everyone out of the door in the morning, breakfast can fall down the list of priorities.
To make sure you’re getting a healthy start try overnight oats. You leave them to soak before you go to bed so you can just grab and go in the morning. Add a few seeds and berries and (if you’re feeling naughty) a drizzle of honey to add color and flavor.
Carry Healthy Snacks
The office is a dangerous place for a wannabe healthy eater. There’s always a colleague bringing in birthday cake or a vending machine full of tempting goodies. But snacking on junk food is bad for your body, your mind and your energy levels. It also fails to fill you up for very long.
Instead pre-prepare a few healthy snack pots to last you the week. Dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, crackers, yogurt and plain popcorn are all tasty alternatives to that chocolate bar or bag of chips.
After a busy day at work, who has time to cook a healthy meal from scratch? It’s unrealistic to aim for this every night of the week. Instead, try to batch cook and freeze meals at weekends. Big pasta sauces, curries or stews freeze really well. You can also freeze small pots of curry paste or stock that can act as an easy base for your weekday meals.
Plan Your Weekly Meals
Militantly planning meals isn’t for everyone. It does take the spontaneity out of your eating habits somewhat. But planning and buying ingredients for meals at the start of each week means you’re less likely to go off piste. That means fewer takeaways, fewer restaurant trips and more home-cooked food. Planning your meals in this way also allows you to make the most of leftovers. You’ll waste less food and spend less time cooking each new meal.
Try New Recipes
When you’re busy, it’s easy to get stuck in a culinary rut. You churn out the same old recipes week in, week out. This can make you bored with food and more likely to crave something extra after a meal. But if you set yourself the target of trying one new meal every few weeks, you could add a new and exciting dish to your repertoire. And, who knows, it could be one of your quickest and tastiest to date.
Give Yourself A Break
Managing life as a working mom is full on enough without giving yourself a hard time over your eating habits. Try to incorporate a few healthier options into your weekly schedule. But don’t head down that shame spiral if you resort to a biscuit or a slice of cake every now and then. Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up to get you through a whirlwind of a day.
Choosing healthy snacks and meals that will fill you up for longer is the key to a healthy diet. Find recipes that work for you, batch cook where you can and remember that an occasional treat isn’t the end of the world.