It’s the time of the year where we get Spring fever, counting down the days until summer, ready for a nice vacation, wrapping up school projects, Spring activities are in full swing, and the schedule feels full and chaotic. This does not give you an excuse to check out on dinner and swing thru the drive thru for a quick meal. I know it seems like an easy option that appeals to everyone but don’t give in so quickly!
Dinner is usually the best opportunity to get your vegetables in that you missed at breakfast, snacks and possibly at lunch. Yes, you can get some vegetables at some drive-thrus but they can sometimes be accompanied with refined carbohydrates, high fat and always lots of sodium. The vegetables are important component of dinner because we fall short of the recommended servings of vegetables so we cannot afford to lose the opportunity regularly by picking up dinner through the window of fast food establishments.
So what can you do to help you get through the difficult evenings when dinner falls low on the priority list?
1. Plan for the week! Look at the schedule and see what nights will be busy for the week and plan meals that you can prepare ahead of time so food is ready when you get home.
2. Use the grill to prepare lean proteins for a couple of meals such as chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, turkey burgers, salmon, or lean steaks and grill some vegetables at the same time-zucchini, squash, asparagus, broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms.
3. Stock up on frozen vegetables to have with any meal within a matter of minutes.
4. Prep salads ahead of time so you can throw together a nice salad with a variety of vegetables of all colors. Top salads with beans, tuna, or grilled chicken from freezer section for a protein source.
5. Make a sandwich and top it with some spinach or tomatoes to boost the nutrition and serve with a side of vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, celery or peppers.
Before you make that pit stop through the drive-thru window, think about some options that you have at home that include a serving of vegetables. The drive-thrus may seem delicious at the time but they often times are not nutritious.