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Five Tips for Balancing Busy Schedules & Healthy Meals

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Five Tips for Balancing Busy Schedules and Healthy Family Meals

by Jeremiah Rees, CrossFit Algiers CF-L1 Trainer

and Traci Rees, CrossFit Algiers Executive Officer

 

Raise your hand if you glance at your calendar on Sunday only to find that your work week is packed full of hustling through traffic to take kids to football practice, dance class, homework checks, and school events.  Do you wonder to yourself if you will have time to fit in a few workouts for yourself during all of the chaos?  Is your next thought, when the heck am I going to have time to cook?  If so, welcome to our world, friends!  In a time when everyone is overscheduled, it is hard to find the perfect balance for family activities and healthy meals, but we’d like to share some things that help calm the chaos for us.  We aren’t always successful, but we do our best using these tips.

 

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Plan your family’s meals for an entire week, at the very least.  Make a list.  Have a budget.  Try your best to stick to it at the grocery store.  Add your meals to a family calendar.  Our boys check our calendar each morning to see what they’ll be having for dinner.  This also includes planning your own workouts for the week.  Get those reservations in and stick to it!

 

Keep it Simple

Be honest with yourself about how much gas you’ll have left in your tank to prepare meals.  If you’re like me, most days you are just happy you survived the workday.  If you know your family won’t be home from activities until 7:00 pm, the odds of you preparing an elaborate meal that takes more than 30 minutes are slim.  Focus on simple meals that will get your family fed as quickly as possible: grilled chicken, steamed vegetables, and a side of fruit.  The crock-pot and insta-pot are both amazing.  There are tons of recipes out there.  Give them a try.  Save the links for future use.

 

Plan Theme Nights

It makes planning easier and the kids learn to look forward to their favorite meals.  For us, it’s Taco Tuesday.  Sometimes, we’ll make a taco soup in the Crock Pot.  Other times, we make ground chicken and everyone makes their own tacos with favorite toppings.  Pizza is another great theme.  One variation we like to make is pizza chicken, which is baked chicken with pizza sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni.

 

Share the Work

Our boys help us make the meal plan for each week.  It’s fun for them and less work for us to come up with the meals each week.  Plus, they are more likely to eat the meals they come up with.  We let our kids help in the kitchen with gathering the ingredients, preparation, and most importantly the clean up.

 

Enjoy Meals Together

If you can, sit at the table and enjoy some fun and meaningful conversation together.  Have the kids tell you about their day.  Share details about your day.  Keep it light, though.  Laugh.  Put your phone away and allow this time to be free of distractions.

 

With just a bit of planning and motivation on the front end, family meals can easily become the best part of your day, even if you are all absolutely exhausted.  They certainly are for us!  Make the best of any time you have with your loved ones, as a family!