Life is busy. And when you have children it can get really busy. So how do busy mums keep up with a healthy eating and exercise regime when life is so full on? Read on to find out all about the little tricks busy mums swear by…
Never skip breakfast
Even when you’re really short of time, make breakfast a priority. So if this means you get up fifteen minutes earlier than usual, so that you can shower and get dressed before the kids get up, then so be it. And eating with the kids will ensure that you all have a good meal before you leave the house, and you get the added bonus of sitting down to a meal as a family. But, if this option is just not workable for you then at the very least grab a smoothie to have on the way to wherever you need to rush off to of a morning. Pack it as full of fruit and vegetables as you can and you’ll be set.
Do as much as you can the night before
When the kids are actually in bed, busy mums find they have time to get stuff done at last! So make the most of that time (as long as you also schedule in time to sit down and chill out too!)- get tomorrow’s meals planned out and prepared, get breakfast ready, set out clothes for the next morning. Some mums use this time to squeeze in a workout too, but if you prefer to exercise in the morning then this strategy is a must for you. Prepare as much as you can in the evening so that in the morning you have time to work out.
Have a bank of go-to snacks to grab when you’re busy
Its important to keep some nutritious snacks to hand when you’re busy rushing about being mum- if only so you have the energy to just keep going. It’s a good idea to set aside some time at the weekend to plan out and prepare as many snacks as you can that can be stored for the week. And don’t be afraid to buy in bulk too. Our favourite three snack ideas include:
- Smoothies and juices. Prepare these in the mornings, but prepare the ingredients in advance. If you chop all the fruit and veg you need in one session, you can freeze them in portions and simply use as and when you need them. This can even be done with a child hanging on to your leg. Result!
- Berries and nuts. Again, these can be portioned up and stored in little pots that you can pop into your bag when you go out. If you’re running late for lunch you won’t be tempted to make healthy snack choices.
- Popcorn. Yes, really. Popcorn is much lower in fat than crisps but if you have a more savoury tooth this is a great snack option. Buy in small bags, or portion up the bigger bags for a quick and tasty healthy treat.
This one is so important! Busy mum or not, if you know what meals you need to prepare each week you’re ahead of the game already. A really good idea is to spend some time planning for an entire month. Now this will take a little longer than weekly planning but its really worth doing. Once you have a month’s worth dinners planned out, the rest of your meal planning will never be easier, because you can simply pick seven meals from the master list each week. It helps reduce the time spend grocery shopping too, and will make life a lot easier when the kids are young.
Who wants to drag the kids around the supermarket? And who has time, anyway? If you shop online not only will you be more likely to stick to your meal plan (and stay away from so-called bargains at the same time) but you’ll also save so much time and money too. Healthy foods can be found at the supermarket and there are independent retailers that sell the more exclusive items too.
Make YOU a priority too
When you’re a parent your kids are your number one priority. And thats as it should be, but who said you can’t be just as important? If your kids see that you take your own needs as seriously you take theirs, they are more likely to grow up with the same ideals. So make sure you don’t skip your own appointments. Join the gym if there is a window in your week. Take the time to make nutritious meals that nobody but you will eat. You deserve to spend some time on your own health and nobody is going to dispute that.
Remember that kids are allowed to be bored
Have you heard of helicopter parenting? It’s where we as parents have become afraid of leaving our kids to their own devices. But when kids become bored, they start to tap into their inner resources. They get creative. They use their imaginations. They play! They don’t need you hovering over them all day long, so if they’re happily playing and completely sage then why shouldn’t you take advantage of the situation? Twenty minutes on the treadmill or a quick thirty minute workout in the living room won’t hurt anyone.
What are your top tips for busy mums?