This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and the Maple Leaf Foods #FoodsThatFuel sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank-you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.
We get bombarded a lot these days with information about what we should or should not be eating. It seems like every month there is a new “super” food and another warning about a food we should avoid. It can be a lot of info to digest. So, how do you know what you, and your family, should be eating? Personally, I have always lived under the basic premise of all things in moderation. I think it’s a reasonable and healthy approach. Of course, it also needs to be backed up with some basic knowledge of what we actually NEED to keep our bodies fuelled up and running properly.
How do you start your day? A bowl of cereal? A coffee and muffin? I learned a long time ago that if I don’t make protein part of my morning I’m going to be crashing (and starving) long before lunch hits. And, again, if I skip the protein at lunch I run into the same problem mid afternoon. So, I make a pretty good effort to make sure I get what I need to feel good throughout the day and not turn into a “hangry” monster when I need to get things done.
I have to admit there are days where it can be tricky. Like most people I know these days – I’m busy! It’s not always easy to find the time to pack a healthy or delicious lunch. I have my go to protein rich lunch items that I love – like peanut butter sandwiches or hard boiled eggs – but having the same thing over and over can get kind of boring. So, I was pretty intrigued when I heard about the new Protinis from Maple Leaf Foods. Protinis are handy packages of fully cooked pieces of chicken, or chicken and fruit. They are the perfect size for a snack but I also find they make a great addition to my lunch.
These handy and delicious snacks come in varieties like Honey Garlic Chicken (my favorite), Oven Roasted Chicken & Mango and Sweet Tai Chili Chicken. There are eight varieties all together. Some of them come with dried fruit for a sweet little healthy bonus. I’m really loving having a new protein choice to add to my lunch, or to keep in the office fridge for an afternoon snack. I also love that they are made with all natural ingredients. And since each package contains at least 11 grams of protein they are pretty satisfying too.
Of course, being a mom, I have more than just myself to think about when it comes to eating properly. My daughter is almost four now and, thank goodness, we have pretty much gotten over the really picky stage – the stage where she wanted to eat the same thing every single day. She’s now getting really good at trying new things which makes meal time a lot easier. But, she does still have her favorites. And on those days where she tries to convince me she’s not hungry I will pull out a classic and suddenly she has an appetite again.
A ham and cheese sandwich (with a little mayo) is a meal that rarely gets refused around here. Add a little fruit, some fresh carrots and a nice cold glass of milk and you’ve got yourself a pretty well balanced lunch. I am pretty picky when it comes to deli meat. I know that some of it can be full of preservatives and MSG (which I have an aversion to). Schneiders Country Naturals deli meats are free of all those unnecessary additives so it’s one thing I don’t have to worry about. My little one also loves hotdogs and the Country Natural Beef Weiners are the only ones I will buy.
With both my husband and I working fulltime outside of the home, dinner time can be pretty hectic. By the time we are all home from work and the little one is picked up from daycare it’s getting pretty close to 6:00 pm. That doesn’t leave a whole of time before the little one has to go to bed. That time is precious to us. It’s prime family time. I also need to get a healthy meal on the table. I do my best to plan ahead. And most of the time I do pretty good with that. Sometimes not too much. There are nights when I find myself running down to the freezer hoping I have something good in there. A couple of our go to busy dinner meals, that are kid approved, are chicken fingers and chicken burgers. Luckily mom and dad like them too. To be honest, before we were parent’s I’m not sure I ever bought a box of frozen chicken anything. I have always loved cooking from scratch and that’s actually even more important to me now that I’m a mom but the plain truth is I just don’t have the time, or energy, to do that every single night. Luckily there are options that I can feel good about and actually enjoy. Maple Leaf Prime has a variety of family friendly products – like strips, nuggets, burgers and wings – that fill that need. And, once again, they are products I can feel good about serving my family. Maple Leaf Prime uses only Canadian farm raised chicken. I like that.
How do you get your protein? There are a lot of options. Nuts, cheese, protein rich vegetables, eggs and, of course, meat. Protein is important for all us of – your body needs protein. Do you now that some proteins are complete proteins and some are not? What does that even mean? Well complete proteins – like meat, poultry, fish and eggs contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Incomplete proteins like nuts, grains and legumes do not have them on their own and must be combined to be complete. So, of course it’s possible to get the right combination of incomplete proteins to get all of the essential amino acids you need – vegetarians and vegans depend on that – but for those of that do enjoy meat and poultry, it’s pretty simple and easy to make sure we are getting what we need.
What are your favorite protein sources? Do you keep protein rich snacks handy to refuel during the day? Share your Foods that Fuel tips!
Visit your local Loblaws store to make adding protein to your family’s diet super easy! Maple Leaf products like Country Naturals Turkey Burgers, Chicken Pepperettes, and Protinis are all smart ways to help fuel your busy days.
Enter now for your chance to Win Groceries For A Year courtesy of Maple Leaf Foods! It’s a prize valued at $5,000!
Then visit YMC’s ‘Learn How To Power Through Your Day’ page for tips to help you sneak exercise into your day, how you can feed your family on-the-go, and for recipes that will help you power through your day. (Hint: You’ll need to visit this page to enter the contest).