Teachers are busy. It’s the understatement of the century. To make your lives a little easier and healthier, follow these 25 healthy hacks from Shape Your Future (and find tons more healthy recipes and tips at ShapeYourFutureOK.com.
1. Make breakfast the night before.
Make a big batch of oatmeal over the weekend. Then, divide the cooked oatmeal into a muffin tin, place some fresh fruit on top and freeze. When you’re ready to eat throughout the week, just pop one in the microwave and top with milk if needed!
2. For dinner, make two, freeze one.
When preparing dinner, make enough food for two nights. Then, eat one and freeze the other. With a fully prepared meal in the freezer, little time is needed to reheat it. That makes for a quick, easy dinner on nights spent grading papers and writing lesson plans. Try this hack tonight with this Healthy Mexican Casserole.
3. Use baggies to portion out servings.
If you need a snack on the go, place fruit into sandwich baggies and store in the fridge! Make a medley of berries, or cut up some watermelon and cantaloupe cubes.
4. Reorganize the fridge.
If you have kids of your own, help them stay healthy by reorganizing the fridge. Choosing healthy options can be easier for kids if the options are right in front of them. Reorganize your refrigerator and place healthier snacks like fruit and low-fat yogurt toward the bottom.
5. Keep to-go waters in the fridge.
Next to fruit and low-fat yogurt, keep some ready-to-drink bottles of water or low-fat milk in the fridge too. Kids can grab the milk and pour it into their cereal or oatmeal in the morning, saving you time. Plus, they’ll have plenty of water to drink without having to pester you for refills.
6. PB & Bs.
Switch up your normal PB and J with this simple idea. Try using whole wheat bread instead of white and bananas instead of jelly. Adding a dash of honey will make your kids love it.
7. Cook crockpot meals.
If you’re short on time, simply throw ingredients into a slow cooker or crockpot and let it do the cooking. By the time you get home from school, a healthy dinner will be done! Plus, you can make a lot and save the leftovers. Try it out with these delicious recipes:
8. Try sheet pan dinners.
With these easy sheet pan recipes, you can cook up a healthy, delicious dinner and avoid a big cleanup afterward. One dish, endless deliciousness!
9. Use rotisserie chicken.
Here’s a nugget of truth: a rotisserie chicken makes it easy to create a variety of healthy lunches. Simply buy the chicken, shred it, prepare lunch and enjoy! Get cluckin’ — err, cookin’ — today with these recipe ideas:
10. Snack on some smoothie freezer packs.
During snack time, chill out with these smoothie freezer packs. Just freeze some yogurt, freeze some fruit and combine them in Ziploc baggies! They make for a great on-the-go snack. Or you could even take one for breakfast at work. Get the recipe here.
11. Store fruits and veggies in containers in the fridge.
To save time later in the week, chop up fruits and veggies when you bring them home from the store. Then, store them in containers in the fridge. It’ll help them last longer. Plus, when cooking, you’ll have pre-cut produce at the ready.
12. Reuse plastic containers.
Need containers to store your fruits and veggies? Just reuse other ones! When you use up all of your peanut butter, coffee creamer, pasta sauces or other bottled/jarred food, wash out the containers and use them to store other foods. Fill ‘em with fruits and veggies for the fridge, or fill them with nuts and keep them in the cupboard.
13. Pack a snack basket.
Similar to having healthy options readily available in your fridge, do the same for your countertop! Set out a basket filled with healthy snacks that you (and your kids) can pick out whenever, like apples, bananas, pears, granola bars — even healthy cookies.
14. Freeze some protein balls.
Pro-tip: try some protein balls. They’re easy-to-make and make for an easy breakfast or snack when you’re in a hurry. Simply mix together 2 cups of oatmeal, 1 cup of peanut butter, ½ cup of chocolate chips and ½ cup of honey. Then, roll them into balls and freeze them!
15. Boil some eggs.
Hard-boiling eggs is eggs-tremely easy. By making 8-10 of them, you’ll have a quick snack or lunch side for each day of the week. For some extra fun, turn them into little “chick” eggs with this playful recipe.
16. Chop all your herbs at once.
When you buy fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, chop them all up the first time you use them. Then, portion out the leftovers in an ice cube tray and drizzle in some olive oil. Freeze the herb-cubes, then just pop them out and add to recipes as needed!
17. Save your sauce.
Instead of letting leftover pasta sauce sit and spoil in the fridge, simply freeze it and use for later! Try this hack when you try our 5-Minute Tomato Sauce.
18. Get kids moving with these 16 classroom activities.
Regular movement strengthens learning skills and classroom participation. Help your students boost their academic success with these fun and engaging classroom activities.
19. Post educational posters.
It’s a fact: healthier students are more successful in school. Make your classroom a hub for healthy behavior by inspiring kids with motivational messaging. Print out and hang up these colorful posters around your classroom. You’ll find a poster filled with healthy snack ideas you can hang in the teacher’s lounge, too!
20. Print out activity and coloring sheets.
If students finish early during testing, keep them busy by passing out some fun activity and coloring sheets. They’ll inspire kids to get creative, plus they’ll teach them a thing or two about making healthy choices.
21. Store activity gear in your car.
The opportunity for a fun adventure could strike at any moment. Be prepared for a random trip to the park by storing activity equipment in your car. Toss a soccer ball or a football into your trunk, or stuff them into an activity bag.
22. Plan activity pit stops on road trips.
If you plan on hitting the road during the holidays and other breaks from school, plan some pit stops along the way where you know you can get outside and get active. Even if it’s as simple as throwing the football around at a rest stop parking lot, any activity will help everyone stretch their legs and make for a more memorable time.
23. Keep extra clothes in your car.
Along with your activity bag, keep comfortable workout clothes like a t-shirt and shorts in your car at all times. Be sure you’ve got appropriate shoes too!
24. Find workout gear around the house.
Search through your garage, basement or kitchen for items you could use to get active at home. Cans of food, condiment bottles and jugs of laundry detergent make great dumbbells. You can use chairs for exercises like push-ups and triceps dips, and a towel for resistance training.
25. Try at-work exercises.
No time to get moving before or after work? No problem! These easy office and workplace exercises will help you stay active in the workplace.
It takes a lot of effort to balance family, work, nutrition and physical activity. But with these hacks, you can make life a little easier and healthier for yourself and your family. For more bite-sized tips, healthy recipes, simple lifestyle changes and more, visit ShapeYourFutureOK.com.