In this post, I’m sharing 8 food essentials that you must have in your pantry. Trust me when I tell you that these food essentials are going to make mealtime so much easier! And you’ll be spending more time with your family v.s. cooking and cleaning up every day!
8 Food Essentials You MUST Have
I’m a big fan of quick and easy snacks…because as most of you know, life with kids is BUSY! Many times, stopping everything you’re doing to cook a full meal isn’t really possible.
Also, here’s a #FunFact about me: I love my kitchen (and my whole house, really) to always be clean and somewhat organized. So cooking (all the time) and having to deal with all the mess that comes with it…isn’t really my thing. (SO.MANY.DISHES.)
So when the most important thing is making quick and easy snacks/meals, you HAVE to have a few staples on hand!
Here are my eight “go to” Food Essentials you Must Have:
- Frozen microwavable vegetables that can be cooked in just 5 minutes. They taste good, they get something nutritious on the table FAST, and best of all, they’re easy. (I’ll share pictures of the ones I love!)
- Bagged quinoa or brown rice that you can throw into a pot of boiling water to have it ready in 10-15 mins. This works great as a side for whatever you’re having.
- Grilled chicken breast for a quick protein that doesn’t take a ton of time. In the spring and summer when we’re always using the BBQ grill outside, I ask my husband to cook a few chicken breasts. Then, I keep them in the fridge and eat them for lunch over the next few days.
- Plain greek yogurt is amazing because you can literally mix it with anything. Plus, it’s super-rich in protein and very filling. I normally have mine with half a scoop of chocolate protein powder and a handful of almonds.
- Good quality protein powder for those days when life gets extra busy, and I struggle to get enough protein. It’s also perfect for when I crave something sweet and have already gone a little bit over on my calories…protein powder always hits the spot. (I love the ISO 100 chocolate peanut butter protein powder from Dymatize.)
- Whole wheat wraps ALWAYS come in handy when I’m starving and have literally only 5 minutes (if that!) to get something ready. I normally toast them on a frying pan with a little bit of cheese and some sliced deli turkey breast.
- Cooking spray will seriously save you SO. MANY. CALORIES. Did you know just a tablespoon of oil has on average 120 calories? If you’re watching your calories and macros, a good cooking spray is a great alternative to stay within your calorie budget.
- Ice cream or cookies, and not the low-calorie ones, but the good stuff! I’ve noticed that whenever I try to trick myself into eating low-calorie ice creams, I always end up overeating because in my head they’re “healthy snacks.” At that point, it’s counterproductive. Because I’m actually eating something I don’t even like that much, just because it has fewer calories… So I like ice cream. And I keep the real thing at home. Whenever I want it, I’m more conscious about eating it because I know it is very calorie-dense…but I still get to eat what I enjoy!
All About Balance
I know it’s tricky to balance it all (especially when we are constantly being told about ‘’bad and good food’’): eating healthy and nutritious food, not spending a ton of time cooking (when you need time for your busy life!), and getting to eat more of what you love. But that’s the balance you have to reach if you want to make long-lasting changes to the way you eat. Find something that works for your life! This is how I personally pull it off, so hopefully, these tips will help you restock your pantry with food essentials in a way that makes your life just a little bit easier. =)
Joining the Mother Strong League
If this is the kind of food and nutrition support you’re looking for, don’t forget that the MSL has an extremely flexible approach to nutrition. Our aim is to make it easier for you to eat healthily and reach your goals. And do this in a way that fits around your life and schedule—without all the “you must eat 6 times a day’’ BS. Jump over to check it out, and let me help you make life a little easier (and healthier) for yourself!
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