"Meals” can be a fluid concept.
Fact: Some days I don’t eat lunch. I instead have two big snacks during the day, one late morning and one midafternoon.
Another Fact: Some days I don’t eat breakfast first thing. When I’m rushed in the morning, I eat a snack first thing then maybe breakfast or another larger snack later.
My point is, meals don’t always have to be what you think of as a traditional meal. You don’t have to follow the breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, then dinner formula every day. Do what fits your life and your schedule. If you are in a hurry in the morning, plan a simple snack instead of a full-on breakfast. If you tend to get hungry in the evening after dinner, plan a snack for then.
PLAN is in bold above for a very important reason. Don’t fall into the trap where you focus so much into fitting a mold that doesn’t work for you that you can’t get into a routine. Don’t try to eat “perfectly” all day without thinking about how it works with your life. Scary Mommy got it right her image below.
When in the day are you the hungriest?
When in the day do you tend to reach for the junk?
Plan something balanced to eat then.
For you, that might mean a quick snack on the go or switching meals around.
A “meal” can be a “snack” as long as it is balanced.
The table below show some “snacks” that I often use as “meals” on a busy day.
Bottom line: Do your best to maintain balance throughout the day. The Balanced Meals for Busy Moms Cheat Sheet is the perfect tool to help you do that. Don’t worry about being perfect, but do your best to be intentional. For example, if you eat one meal/snack that is mostly carbs (maybe even more than a serving), shift the balance of meal later in the day to be more protein and fat.
One Final Fact: On more than one occasion I have eaten a chunk of sliced chicken breast deli meat, a cheese stick or hummus and some crackers for dinner. One time, I even left the deli meat in the container it came in and put the mustard (for dipping the meat in) directly in the container with it. #thisisreallife
Some days are crazy, some days you may be too tired to put together a “meal” some days you have nothing in the fridge. On those days you can still achieve balance. Just pick one protein, one fat and one carb and put it together the best you can. Bonus if you can get in the veggies.