Energy Packed Snacks for Busy Moms
In our month of celebrating moms, I want to address something we all feel: tired. I remember talking to one client who said, after her child turned two, she sat and cried for an hour because of constantly being tired. She’d felt like she hit a wall. She wondered when the tired would go away.
There are gimmicks and ads for energy boosters. I read them all the time. The bad news? There are no magic formulas to get un-tired.
The good news? Boosting your energy levels is possible. And it’s all about what’s on your plate. So, in a way, there is a magic formula for energizing yourself.
Here are 7 nutrition tips for busy moms. Try these easy-to-follow ideas to boost your energy levels.
- Don’t skip breakfast! That old adage of breakfast being the most important meal of the day … is true! It’s hard to get up, get organized, get the kids organized, and get out the door on time for school or work. That said, your body needs breakfast, and skipping out on it is a surefire way to start off the day sluggish. Harvard Health has some great energy-boosting breakfast tips.
- Choose whole grains. Skip the white bread, and choose a nutty, grain bread. Cut up an avocado and top with cheese, olive oil, and ground pepper. If you like cereals, try bran or steel cut oats.
- Include protein, whether it be cheese, yogurt, or eggs. Protein at breakfast helps you balance out proteins during the day and helps keep you fuller longer.
- Try a smoothie. Freeze your favorite fruits in individual serving-size smoothies. Blend with yogurt, add some wheat germ or chia seeds, and drink a delicious breakfast.
- Stop. Sit. Be mindful of what is on your plate. It’s not always what you eat but how you eat. Don’t eat in the car or on the run. Don’t make a habit of helping with homework while organizing the next PTA meeting while you rush through dinner. Sit at the table and give yourself the minutes you need to really nourish yourself. Turn off the TV. Turn off your phone. Your children learn from you and how you take care of yourself. Teach them the importance of sitting down, enjoying a meal, and making every bite count.
- Drink water! Keep water next to your desk. Keep water tempting with cut up lemons or strawberries, ice-cold in the fridge. Dehydration leads to fatigue, which wears down other body functions. Water is the miracle drink as it helps with healthy bowel function, helps your liver weed out toxins, keeps your skin healthy among thousands of other things.
- Time to snack. Steer clear of potato chips and those tempting quick-fix solutions. They’ll end up clogging your system. Choose energy-boosting snacks, like peanuts and dried fruit. Cut up fruit and veggies. Dip them in yogurt, peanut butter, or hummus. If you don’t have time to prepare a snack, buy pre-made hummus or avocado at the grocery store. Read labels and choose snacks that have the most natural ingredients as possible.
- Don’t ditch the carbs. With the carb-free trend, many people are running on empty. Choose whole-grain, whole-wheat options. Oatmeal, brown rice, and wheat pasta are great options. Make a pasta salad with olives, olive oil, your favorite fresh veggies, and cut up cheese. What a great lunch or afternoon snack option!
- Eat often. Every three to four hours, your body needs a boost. If you’re waiting too long between meals, you might overeat later, which will end up making you feel worse. Set an alarm to eat snacks. Make it a habit to pack fresh fruit and diced cheese.
- Sweeten your day. Enjoy a scoop of ice cream with fresh berries, a chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk, dark chocolate and nuts. Indulge in your grandma’s apple pie with a slice of cheese. You don’t have to cut sweets out of your diet. Eating and energy is so much about the experience of it. Too many sweets and high-sugar treats, though, will have the opposite effect and bring you down. But don’t miss out on those flavors that bring you joy!
Like I said, there’s no magic one-shot energy booster. But by making a habit out of choosing healthy options, being mindful of what you’re eating, and taking the minutes necessary to nourish yourself, you’re giving yourself a lifetime of energy, not a quick-fix moment.