With back to school approaching, having some easy & nutritious meals on hand is always helpful. Taking advantage of wonderful fall produce is a great choice. Squashes and gourds can be easily diced and added to meals. Pears and apples are in season and at the peak of their flavor – they can be pureed as a quick snack or added to sandwiches and salads for extra crunch.
Here are some of our favorite – easy – meals you can prepare ahead of time. Freeze and dish out when needed!
- Overnight Oats. Make this dish the night before for a busy morning.
- Quinoa Granola. Paired with yogurt and fruit, this is an easy way to add more protein to your breakfast and an alternative to oatmeal.
- Omelet and Potato Breakfast Bites. These freeze wonderfully, can be popped in the oven or microwave in the morning and best, you can easily add sneaky vegetables into the egg batter.
- Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding. YUM! This is a very basic recipe, but the creaminess and sweetness are the perfect canvas to add your favorite toppings; pistachios, goji berries, coconut, or cut up berries. Personally, I think a few chocolate chips are the best addition. Chia seeds not only provides added protein, but are full of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Quiche Cups. Another great freeze ahead breakfast. Make them easily in a muffin tin and add different variations; spinach and swiss, ham and pea, squash and leek. Endless possibilities!
Nutrition Breakfast Tip: Protein Boost
Add hemp seeds or hemp hearts to dishes, like yoghurt parfaits, smoothies or topped on pancakes to add a nutty boost of protein. Poached salmon works great as a breakfast addition, and provides healthy fats that are essential for growing brains. Try adding salmon to quiche cups or omelet breakfast bites.
- Turkey and Black Bean Burgers. Substitute turkey for quinoa for a vegetarian version.
- Spaghetti Squash with Marinara. This is one of my favorite fall meals. The spaghetti squash is incredibly easy to use, and tastes deliciousness! Top the same way you would regular pasta, with tomato marinara, meatballs etc..
- Veggie Lettuce Wraps.
- Egg Salad w/ Greek Yoghurt. This is a healthier alternative than the mayo version.
- Spinach Gnocchi. Surprisingly easy to make! These chill well and you can use any greens you prefer, kale, arugula or watercress.
Nutrition Lunch Tip: Veggies Galore
Incorporate veggies wherever you can. If making a pasta dish, pizza or lasagna (typical kid favorite meals) take the opportunity to add broccoli, peas or fresh spinach or kale. Frozen veggies are often just as nutritious as fresh produce and can save time on prep for meals.
After School Snacks
- Avocado toast. All you need is bread and avocado. Add a poached egg for added protein and a gooey, delicious snack.
- Veggie Nachos. A health upgraded take on nachos. Add corn, peas, carrot puree, diced avocado and cilantro to traditional nachos.
- Crunchy Cruciferous Salad. Cauliflower, peas and mint make this a delicious, healthy snack that keeps in the fridge better traditional salads.
- White Bean and Beet Dip. Use just as you would hummus!
Some easy and healthy snacks to have on hand
- cut-up veggies
- hard boiled eggs
- nut butters
- nuts and seeds
- containers of protein rich dips like hummus
Nutrition Snack Tip: Probiotics Incorporated
Probiotics are essential for proper gut health and help build immunity. The best way to incorporate probiotics is through dairy foods like yoghurt, and kefir and fermented foods, like kraut and pickled foods. Opt for sugar free yoghurts and kefir and add fresh fruit, shredded coconut or chopped nuts. Kefir is full of calcium and can be drank like milk or added to smoothies. Add sauerkraut to sausages or egg dishes or try an apple sauerkraut cheddar quesadilla. If you are looking for a spicier kick, try adding kimchi-sauerkraut’s spicy Korean cousin- to dishes like these chicken sliders for a delicious dinner.
Weekly Prep Tip:
Use a muffin tin to bake easy mini egg and veggie frittatas, quiche cups and omelet bites. Prep, dice, chop and bag veggies for the week ahead or try using a spiralizer with raw veggies. Spiralizers are seriously fun to use, and can make veggies enticing to picky eaters. Boil eggs to have as a quick protein snack on the go, set aside smoothie ingredients, or put ingredients into ziplock bags in the freezer so they can be popped into a blender anytime.
Best tip for eating healthy throughout the week is to spend an hour or two prepping at the beginning of the week. Rotate 2-3 freezable recipes for busy weeks and enjoy!