*Note from Sarah: This latest post comes from Dana; our Director of Operations who is also a Baseball Mom Extraordinaire! Dana has food prep for her family down to a science and this summer she’s been traveling on the weekends to baseball tournaments for her two boys; which means preparing and planning ahead! In this post Dana explains how her quick and easy food prep is not only setting her family up for healthy meals while away on the weekends, but also saves big money while they travel. May this post help and inspire your family!
Busy Family Life, Summer Days, and Packing Paleo for Sports Tournaments!
Here I am, sipping coffee while grilling burgers and flank steak at 9am on a Saturday morning, as well as packing the cooler as we head out to yet another baseball tournament! While it’s possible to eat out successfully as a Paleo family, it’s certainly not something we want to do 2-3 times a day while traveling. Why? Not only is restaurant food inundated with unhealthy oils and hidden, unwanted ingredients; it’s just plain expensive. So here are some ways we feed our busy family daily and also how we pack our cooler for baseball tournaments.
It’s all about the grill in the summertime! When grilling dinner the night before an event it’s easy to just slap a few extra cuts of your favorite grass-fed meat to the grill! Pictured here is flank steak and burgers. (In a food processor I grind up some garlic, onion, a little kale and some roasted bell peppers and add it to my grass fed burgers with a little sea salt and pepper).
Here’s the finished flank steak, cut into strips, ready to be packed into a container for tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch, or just snacks!
I’m also a huge fan of saving money! By bringing these burgers and flank steak strips we will save hundreds of dollars spent otherwise on trips to restaurants. Not to mention how much better my son will feel and perform during his tournament filled with our food as opposed to restaurant food!
The next step is quick and easy. Grab big containers and fill with any fruits and veggies you have on-hand. I love this Environee fruit wash.
I can’t always buy organic so I follow the directions on the back and remove all waxes, pesticides, and chemicals from our veggies and fruits before packing it. We also like being adventurous when we travel, and we will stop at local produce stands along the way and let the boys pick out their favorites; usually carrots and peppers!
We happen to be a HUGE seed-loving family! Our favorite brand is Bigs. Salty? Yes, but we drink tons of water all day, too, so we’re okay with it. Nothing’s better to chew on during nerve-wracking baseball games and Garrett’s bacon seeds are a big hit with his friends in the dugout!
I’m a big fan of saving time! When getting gas to head out of town, we run into the mini-mart for our sunflower seeds and ice. Our family also finds that it’s just as fast to zip into a Trader Joes’ and buy grab and go snacks, like dried unsweetened apricots, organic raisins, bags of organic apple slices, pistachios, cashews, etc.
And, of course, we can’t forget our beloved “Ants on A Log.” You can add coconut flakes for extra flavor and delicious fat, if you wish, and our boys love these snacks!
Honestly; grilling the meat and preparing the ants on a log were the only things that really took any time. All I had to do with rest was put it in containers or a big bag, stack it in the cooler and go! It took me about an hour to do the above mentioned food prep and taking that little bit of extra time is always well worth the effort for both our health and our pocketbooks!
I also make sure to grab our camping plates, utensils, dish towels/cloth napkins and toss those in a bag as well. Our hotel room has a microwave, so we are all set! We love having a “blanket picnic” in our room before jumping in the pool!
And I don’t know about you, but my house has a revolving door for the boys’ friends during the summer! So I put these same kinds of snacks out every single day and just have it out for the kids to graze on all day long. One big protein tray plus this snack tray filled with fruits and veggies keeps them full, fueled and happy.
It has been a learning curve, knowing how to do this “Family Paleo Thing” successfully, but it feels so great to have a conquered that learning curve, never mind the money saving bonus as well! I hope this helps your busy family too! Have a Fabulous Summer!