Smart Snacking: Busy Mama Edition

As a work-at-home mom of two, I rarely if ever have a chance to sit down and eat breakfast or lunch. And after the birth of my second son last year, I got into the bad habit of not eating breakfast at all. Bad idea. This year, I made promise to take better care of myself, because as the saying goes, “If mama ain’t happy (and in this case, healthy), ain’t no one gonna be happy”. So true, right? : )

I decided that starting with my eating habits was a good way to begin my “take better care of mama” year. Anyone who has kids knows it’s virtually impossible to try and sit down for every meal, even though one really should. I’ve decided that with two kids ages 3 and 11 months, I needed to think of meals for myself as I would my 3 year old—meals on the run. Since the kids are virtually never sitting down, neither am I. And because I know my life isn’t slowing down any time soon, the best way I know to eat healthier and more frequently is to snack and snack RIGHT!

I decided to come up with a list of healthy snacks and tape it to my fridge door. This way, anytime I’m starving and don’t have the time to make a full meal for myself, I can take a glance at my list and pick something off of it instead of eating a sugary cookie or worse, skipping food altogether. I realize that being successful at this way of eating means I need to keep my fridge stocked with everything I need to make the snacks on my list. Seems simple enough! Just like I make sure to have my sons favorite fruits and crackers and my husbands favorite cheese whenever I do our grocery shopping, I will do the same for myself. Because, hey, I matter too!

I’m hopeful that this plan of attack will help me keep my energy levels up so I can run around after my two active boys. Good plan? What do you think?

What are your favorite on-the-go meals/snacks?

Take Better Care Of Mama Snack List:

Frozen Grapes– A trick I learned back when I belonged to Weight Watchers (don’t we just LOVE them?!?!). Buy the snack sized ziplocks and place 20 or so freshly washed grapes inside a bunch of the bags, seal and freeze. it’s the best snack when you are craving something sweet and it almost like eating popable sorbet bites! So yummy!

Hummus- Any kind of hummus will do. There are so many delicious varieties of premade hummus that make excellent dips or sandwich spreads.

Vanilla Yogurt and Fruit Dip-Make a fruit salad in advance and store in an airtight container so that it’s easily paired with a cup of yogurt as a dip.

Lox or Lean Turkey Roll-ups-Thin slices of lox rolled up inside a small flour tortilla.

Shepherd’s SaladA go-to salad in our house. It’s healthy, tasty and easy to make ahead and lasts for days in the fridge. Find the recipe here.

Frozen Edamame-One of my family’s favorite veggies! Steam up the entire bag and keep them inside a ziplock baggie the fridge for easy snacking anytime.

Cottage Cheese Parfait– Another trick from my Weight Watchers days! Layer cottage cheese with with your favorite chopped fresh fruit, sprinkle with cinnamon, chopped nuts and drizzle with honey. Don’t like the texture of cottage cheese? Pop it into the food processor and puree until smooth for a creamy and delicious protein-packed snack!

Frozen Banana Almond Choco Bites- We all need something sweet now and then, and if you’re like me you crave something sweet every day. I love sweets and rather than avoid them completely, I try to get my sugar fix in ways that aren’t too dangerous or addicting. I start by melting some chocolate chips in the microwave. Then I cut up a banana or two into small rounds and dip them into the melted chocolate and dip that into some chopped almonds. Place onto a parchment lined plate and freeze until harden. Place them inside a freezer baggie and store in the freezer until I get a craving.

Christina Stanley-Salerno is a mama, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and blogger She loves cooking for and with her family. Life is hectic, but Christina is passionate about mealtime because she believes that family meals are the glue that holds everyone together. Creating simple, quick and healthy meals is her specialty and her trick to keeping the family meal a reality, even on busy weeknights.

Follow her on Twitter @TakeBackTables

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