One of my favorite photos is of our kids in 2003 when we first moved to our Stanwood farm – crowbar in hand and ready for the remodel!
Well, I guess you could say that a lot has changed in the past 12 years. Life is full, and so is our front porch! More importantly, our hearts are full! We feel incredibly blessed. But, I have to admit that when juggling so much love, sometimes the simple day-to-day tasks can become overwhelming. One of the things that continue to be important to us is providing nourishing food for our growing family. Without determination and a plan, this can feel impossible. I have put together a list of a few things that we’ve done that have stood the test of time and helped us pursue healthy eating.
First of all, make sure “good” food enters the kitchen. Receiving a Box of Good is a practical and convenient first step. Besides produce, we also carry a wide array of healthy staples. Remember that when our foundation is good, we have something great to build on.
At the beginning of the week, or when you receive your produce, take a look and see what items are most perishable and should be used first and then plan your meals accordingly. Take 5 minutes each night and think about the next day’s meal. One of the biggest hindrances to eating healthy is running out of time at the end of a busy day. I like to think of creative ways to make my healthy food “fast food.” When you receive your Box of Good, plan to take 20-30 minutes to prepare your produce items for the week. This will reduce meal time stress and greatly decrease the prep time when it comes to actually making meals. This alone will help you and your family eat healthier.
*Take your lettuce and any greens that you have and wash them right away. Put the leaves in a salad spinner or dry thoroughly, and then store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
*Take your vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, celery and carrots, and wash them. Then, with a quality kitchen knife, chop them into bite-sized pieces and store in the refrigerator. They are ready to be snacked on with a good dip or thrown in a stir fry. What could be easier? This is fast food at its finest.
*Use your prepared veggies to make a quick sandwich, pita, or wrap. You can skip the bread and use the cleaned lettuce as a wrap itself.
*Experiment with homemade soups. When you order your grass-fed beef from us, make sure you request beef bones. Make a super nutritious broth! Add veggies to the broth that you may not otherwise use, and get all their health benefits. Then make your soups or stews ahead of time and they’ll be ready to eat on a hectic evening when you don’t have time to cook. Better yet, make extra and freeze.
*Find ways to sneak in veggies by grating zucchini or carrots and putting it in your tuna or egg sandwiches. Add bits of veggies to fried rice, pastas, meatloaf, or burgers. Keep trying new things. Don’t give up on picky eaters. Usually over time, taste buds change.
*When serving salad, serve it first, separately and then you know everyone has eaten their veggies. Experiment with homemade healthy dressings and find one that the kids like.
*Offer a choice for snacks, but keep them both healthy. Kids love choices.
*Know which fruit stores best in the refrigerator and which store best on the counter. Display counter fruit in a pretty bowl on the table and it’s sure to be one of the first things your kids ask for.
*If your bananas get over-ripe peel them and chop them into 1-inch rounds and freeze them. Use the frozen bananas for your smoothies or banana bread.
*Use fruit with yogurt to make smoothies. Buy or make cereals with less sugar and use your apples, pears, and bananas to sweeten your cereal. Chop up fruit and use as a topping over pancakes, and use less syrup. Add sliced bananas to your toast. Use fruit as a dessert or use it to make your desserts more nutritious.
Eating healthy in the midst of a busy schedule is obtainable and can be rewarding. Set your mind to it, make a plan and be creative.