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Many parents are now home with their kiddos and while we are all practicing social distancing. It can be stressful when you’re doing your best to limit trips to the grocery store AND purchase foods that nourish your family. My best advice is to keep it simple.

There always seems to be pressure on parents to feed their kiddos the absolute best and Pinterest-worthy meals. Parents need to know that no meal or snack is perfect, and at the end of the day, the most important thing is that our kids are happy, healthy and full. Below are a few snack and meal ideas to help parents pivot their thinking when it comes to healthy eating and feeding their family.

Simple Snacking

We recommend snacks to include a carbohydrate + a protein/healthy fat. And remember, we don’t need to over engineer it. Examples of healthy carbohydrates include fruit (all forms count), dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), and whole grains (such as crackers, bread, rice, oats, granola, etc.) When it comes to produce, don’t forget that all forms of fruits and vegetables are nutritious! Of course, keep purchasing fresh produce, but don’t forget about canned, frozen, or dried. Purchase no sugar added frozen, canned, and dried fruit, and purchase no salt added canned and frozen vegetables. These are great options to choose at the store to help you and your family #haveaplant

Here are a couple fun & easy recipe ideas:

Banana Sushi (1 serving)
Ingredients

  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon nut butter
  • Toppings: ½ cup granola, whole grain cereal, or dried fruit (such as raisins)

Directions

Spread nut butter over banana evenly. Either sprinkle or roll banana in toppings until well coated. Using a knife, cut the banana into ½ inch pieces. Enjoy your banana sushi!

Tuna Cracker Stackers
Ingredients

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Cheese
  • Canned or Pouch Tuna
  • Pickles

Directions

Add some cheese to each cracker (can be string cheese, sliced cheese, shredded cheese). Top each cracker with some tuna & top with a pickle. Serve with a side of fruit (fresh, frozen, canned, or dried).

Simple Meals

Snack Platters – perfect for meals or snacks!

What is a snack platter? It’s a blend of different fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and proteins that you spread out on a large plate or a cutting board. The purpose of this snack platter is to give your family nutritious, yet simple options that they can choose from. This is a great opportunity to put out some thawed frozen fruit, cheese, crackers, nuts/seeds, peanut butter, canned fruit, dried fruit, tuna packets, etc. It’s a perfect solution for one of those times when no one wants to cook! Here is what was on my most recent snack platter:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Nut butter
  • Walnuts, Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Carrots and Grape tomatoes
  • Fruit Cups (in 100% juice)
  • Dried fruit
  • Luncheon meat (lower sodium ham and turkey)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cheese Sticks
  • Tuna

One-Pot Meal! Ground Beef Pasta Primavera

And last, but certainly not least, here is one of our favorite recipes using pantry staples and it cooks all in one pot! Check out the link for the full recipe of our Ground Beef Pasta Primavera. Here are a few substitutions you can make to use the items you have on hand:

  • Although lean (93%) lean ground beef is recommended, you can also pick 80% lean and drain the extra fat after cooking. No beef? Try ground turkey, ground chicken, or even substitute it out for some beans!
  • The zucchini can be swapped for any other fresh or frozen vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower, green bell peppers, etc! Use what you have on hand.

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