Parenting is one of the most rewarding jobs, but it can also be very draining. Whether they’re babes-in-arms or active teenagers, there’s no denying that kids keep Mom busy. And the result is that parents often feel stretched for time, tired and in desperate need of a way to recharge their energy reserves.
Particularly during that first year of parenting, a good night’s sleep with a solid seven-to-eight hours isn’t always possible. So, it’s important to opt for foods that will give Mom the pick-me-up she needs.
Kristen Trudel, the Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) at our Natural Food Pantry “store within a store” advises that busy moms eat smaller, more frequent meals and snacks throughout the day, with an emphasis on veggies, fruits and lean proteins. From dawn to dusk, here are a few more ideas to improve your energy levels.
Breakfast – The Most Important Meal of the Day
Mornings can be hectic and although parents go to great effort to ensure their little ones start their day with a nutritious breakfast, often Mom or Dad run out the door with just a coffee in hand.
“Never skip breakfast! If you don’t have time to make something, it takes two seconds to mix up healthy shake,” says Kristen. She advises adding in a supplement like Garden of Life’s RAW Protein, which is an excellent source of protein with 17 grams per serving, 33% of your recommended daily intake.
Pack a Snack!
Snacks can be a source of quick energy when you feel your levels flagging, or start to get “hangry.” Bars are always a great option, especially ones that aren’t sugar-filled – like Lara Bars or Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Energy Bars. But, if you want to think outside the bar, there are plenty of healthy, energy-boosting options.
Kristen suggests SeaSnax, which is a nutrient-packed roasted seaweed snack that is vegan, gluten free and non-GMO. Not so sure about munching on seaweed? “I’m not a huge fan of seaweed, but these are GREAT!” confirms Kristen. For a smaller “stroller-friendly” option, consider smaller packets of apple chips, which are naturally sweet and rich in fibre.
Quick, Easy & Yummy Dinners
At the end of a long day, it can be a real chore to put a healthy dinner on the table. One super-fast and super-delicious option is Explore Asian’s line of bean pastas. Kristen says, “They fly off the shelves – that’s how good they are!” Consider the Black Bean Pasta, which has 25 grams of protein, 12 grams fibre and 36% of your daily iron requirements. (Tip: Team it up with julienned veggies and a red coconut sauce to create an exotic Thai inspired and flavourful dinner.)
As well, Explore Asian's Gluten-Free Soybean Spaghetti has 23 grams of protein, 11 grams of fibre and 40% of daily iron needs. Just add a little sautéed garlic and onion with crushed tomatoes and olives, and – voilà! – dinner is served! Not only are both these pasta ideas nutritious for the whole family, they are so good little ones will gobble them up. And, Mom gets the energy-boost she needs to get through the bath and bedtime routine with the kids before she can chillax herself!
If you are looking for new ways to eat healthily, or want ideas to keep your energy levels high, drop by Natural Food Pantry in terra20’s Pinecrest location and see Kristen or any of her team members.