Recently, we found out there would be big changes to our current family dynamic. We are adding 6 appointments a week of therapy for our little. She will be receiving Occupational therapy for Sensory Integration, Speech Therapy for a Speech Delay and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help her with her social and emotional needs. For us, it has been a difficult process trying to help our little in everyday situations and her doctor referred us to some specialists. They evaluated our little and gave suggestions on some play therapy that can help her grow the way she desires to grow. It really seems to be exactly what she needs. This means we have 6 hours of specialists playing with her- helping her learn how to talk, play, eat and learn new skills… we are seriously so proud to be offered this type of therapy and accept it for her. I know, in time, it will be the one thing that will make the biggest positive impact on her life and the life we have as parents.
This is all so new to us and definitely near and dear to our heart. This is something that has never been a part of our life. It feels like we are heading into a new journey, with loving people alongside our little to encourage and love on her. I know that sharing can be especially shocking to some, but for us it feels right to share this real life stuff. It doesn’t need to feel isolating, lonely and like some hidden secret in our family. We want to be proud of our journey as a married couple with a child. We want to be proud of our journey as parents and we want our daughter to be proud of her growing up journey. We want to embrace this season of life wholeheartedly, much like we have with the many other seasons in our life.
Because of this change to the dynamic of our household we feel more pressure, as adults, parents, and in our own personal needs, to come up with a better plan to prevent that “hangry” feeling our family can start to feel when the going gets tough, busy or overwhelming. Considering the fact that I am no chef by any means whatsoever, nor am I a foodie person, I have had to become creative with presenting healthy meals, on a low budget, with a consistent way to execute them.
Here are some suggestions for making healthy meals throughout the week:
- Boil eggs on Sunday or Monday evening. We boil about 9-15 depending on the size pan we use. We give the toddler one and us adults have two for breakfast. You can add any seasoning you like on your egg. Our go-to with eggs is sliced avocado and tomato with lemon pepper sprinkled on top of it all. If you know you have busy mornings, peel a few in advance of the upcoming days. Grab and eat as you head out the door in the early morning (or in my case, invite in a speech therapist).
- Protein shakes- I usually will work out in the mornings and when I do I usually have a protein shake right after to help fill my belly up for the day. I definitely come to my meals ready to eat instead of starving when I implement protein shakes in the morning routine.
- For sides with meals we LOVE quinoa or rice. We actually cook twice as much as necessary and save the rest for the next big meal.
- For main courses in meals we cook our chicken in bulk. We usually bake chicken breasts all at once (2-4) and season them all the same. Then we shred or cube half for lunches and leave larger pieces for dinners.
- For lunch we grab a handful of spinach and cut some grapes in half, throw in some shredded chicken and put a little bit of our favorite dressing on for flavor.
- For fresh fruits I will usually just prep them as the meals come along. I do love getting frozen fruits for those times when our fruit gets eaten before we are ready for another shopping trip.
- For vegetables, I will have some veggies cut up and steamed, ready for upcoming meals. Once those are done, we will eat the bagged frozen veggies.
- I always keep something quick to add to meals in the freezer/fridge. This is usually mini potato rounds that are frozen and packaged pasta meals just in case I have a time or two when I just don’t want to cook or get out a ton of food because we are lazy that meal.
- Now, for snacks, I usually will have some cream cheese or regular cheese with crackers.
- For desserts you can find my favorite recipe for berry smoothies here but to be honest, if the dessert doesn’t feel healthy I just usually eat a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter before bed.
I know others may be much further along in their ability to cook and prepare wholesome and healthy meals for their family but I have found others with many of the same struggles as I have (no gifted cook here!) In time, these little tips and tricks have strengthened my marriage by lessening the daily struggle of what to eat and how to make it and who will clean it up at the end of the night. There are less messes in the kitchen, which to me is a plus on any given day in any type of circumstance.
Letticia Vickner, Creator & Editor
You can find my personal Instagram account here
I have been married to Erik for nearly three years. Minimalism, coping mechanisms and trigger warnings are all a part of my daily life as I struggle through anxiety that began at a young age. I find myself reading novel after novel, ignoring the world around me while listening to a good podcast or having time to myself to recharge and reboot for what the world asks of me on a daily basis.