One of the things that people often complain about when the topic of whole foods comes up is the time involved in cooking things from scratch. Hopefully I will be able to show you through this site that there are plenty of healthy, whole food dishes that you can make which are not time consuming at all. A key to success is flexibility and, in my opinion, accepting that some times making a meal just isn’t feasible. Life happens, which is why you have to have a back-up plan. My first back-up plan is an arsenal of “go-to” foods that are quick and easy and can be served on the fly, all the while still allowing me to feel comfortable that my family is eating a nutritious snack/meal. My second back-up plan is a well-stocked freezer.
It is imperative that you have quick snack options at your disposal, especially if you have children, even more important if you have young children. Our family exercises a lot, and sometimes we just need an extra boost of energy. Perhaps we miss a meal or will be late eating and need a meal replacement of sorts. This is where the Larabar is key for us. With only a few ingredients of fruits and nuts, it is a winner for sure with us! It does not make a daily appearance in our diet because I save it for when it is really needed, but I always have some on hand (hidden in the pantry!).
Fruit is my main go-to snack item if I need something quick. I also love having plenty of fresh fruit in the house at all times because it is a great option in between meal and snack time if the kids need a little extra something to hold them over. Raw veggies are also a great option!
I always have certain items available in my pantry; some of mine are pictured above. Whole wheat pasta can be ready in 15 minutes if you have pesto sauce or another sauce available. Refried beans are a quick and easy source of protein in a meal. Your pantry staples may look different than mine, but you should have some go-to products that you can turn into a quick, nutritious meal.
Lastly, it is imperative that you build up a supply of whole food meals in your freezer. I try to stick to things that I know my family will eat. Breakfast options are great for those mornings when you are in a rush. Popular things that can be found in my freezer are pancakes, muffins and soups. Pictured below are pancakes ready to go in the freezer. On a morning when you are short of time, pull these out of the freezer and toast them in the toaster like a waffle. It could not be quicker or easier, and what kid doesn’t like pancakes before school?
Check out my Super Simple Snack Series and my Whole Food Friday Lunch posts to get some idea for snacks and school lunches. Check out my recipe section for snack, lunch, and dinner ideas. What will you stock in your whole food pantry?