Here are some of my best tips for foods to purchase and have on hand for busy days!
If you haven’t already, go check out all these amazing ideas for ways to get ahead in the kitchen!
Beyond homemade food, which of course we all love best, it’s nice to have some healthy convenience items on hand for busy days.
Foods to Purchase and Have on Hand for Busy Days
You know I’m going to start with this one:
1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Just do it. These are so easy to purchase and so easy to serve and eat! Eating lots of fruits and veggies is the biggest, best way to be sure we’re getting lots of nourishment. And when we’re talking about busy days and maybe eating on the fly, we can feel good about what we’re eating or serving our families if we are making sure we’re/they’re eating an apple with their frozen pizza (or whatever). ;)
Great fresh fruit and veggie ideas that can be easily eaten on the run:
- Oranges or Clementines
- Mini-Sweet Peppers
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Grape Tomatoes
- Cucumber Slices
- Prepared mixed greens for quick salads
Regarding fresh veggies? I’m all about the dips. If ranch dip helps you or your kids eat the veggies? SERVE THE DIP. Veggies with dip is better than no veggies at all, am I right?
Need some dip ideas and recipes?
2. Frozen or Packaged Fruits and Veggies
These are great because they can be eaten or prepared quickly!
- Have frozen fruits on hand for smoothies. Add greens to your smoothies and you have incredible nutrition in a cup!
- Frozen green beans, peas, broccoli, mixed veggies, etc can be steamed quickly for a simple, nourishing side dish.
- 100% fruit cups (peaches, pears, pineapple, mandarin oranges) or 100% fruit squeezies are super convenient and fun to eat!
3. Whole Grain Breads
I prefer to make this Simple Stir-and-Pour Bread. But lately, since I haven’t had time to bake, I find that having 100% whole grain breads and bagels on hand has been very helpful.
These give us breakfast, lunch, and snack options from simple bread and butter to peanut butter sandwiches or lunch meat sandwiches.
Sometimes, on my busiest days, all I have time to serve is a peanut butter sandwich with one of the fruits or veggies listed above. It fills their bellies and offers nourishment too. I call it a win!
4. Boneless Chicken or Chicken Legs
My favorite is boneless chicken thighs. My second favorite is a package of chicken legs. If I have these in the freezer and I don’t have time for anything else, I can easily dump some sauce on some chicken and put it into the crockpot, into the oven, or onto the grill.
I serve the chicken with a steamed veggie (from the frozen veggies mentioned above) and a fresh fruit and we have a fantastic, healthy meal that hardly took any time to prepare!
I am not a fan of russets, but we love Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes! We can make so many fast meals with potatoes, specifically:
Baked Potatoes in the Crock Pot – which can be topped with anything we have in the fridge! Ham, leftover chicken or hamburger or taco meat, cheese, sour cream, broccoli, peas…
Baked potatoes make quick meals or side dishes.
6. Frozen Hashbrowns
This Mr. Dell’s brand of hashbrowns contains only potatoes, which I love! I buy them in 5-pound bags and use them to make so many of these recipes. Fast, easy, good for us!
7. Packaged Convenience Foods??!
Yep, I just said it. This is where I’m at now that we have so many kids and so much going on. Loving people is more important than standing in the kitchen. So some days, we eat the packaged nuggets and the frozen pizza. I feel no guilt about this. We eat salad with our pizza, we still have energy to smile at each other. It’s a win!
What do you purchase to help you get through busy days?