By Lindsey Brumm, R.D., L.D.

It’s that time again! Back to school! As we get into our new routines, meal planning can present a challenge, not only for ourselves but the rest of the family as well. These days it seems that there are even more obstacles that can get in the way of healthy eating! Our work hours can vary. Sometimes we even bring work home with us. Kids have band practice, football practice, dance lessons, homework, etc. So how can we possibly make sure we are eating healthy with all of this going on? Well, let’s talk through a few options for you and your family.

Eating on-the-go is more and more common with so many commitments to attend to. Here are some healthy choices for those nights that you just don’t have time for a sit-down family meal:

  •  Subway is a great choice for anyone wanting to manage their weight because they let you create your own salad! They also have a “Fresh Fit for Kids” meal in which kids can get a sandwich with the choice of whole grain bread as well as apple slices and a milk option.
  • Chik-Fil-A has salad options as well as a healthy kid’s meal that includes grilled chicken nuggets, fruit, and milk.
  • Noodles and Company now has the option to use “Zoodles” or zucchini noodles in place of regular noodles in your favorite pasta dishes for a lower carb/higher nutrition option. They also have a very healthy kid’s meal that includes grilled chicken with marinara, broccoli, and pineapple!
  • Chipotle is another place you can build your own salad with fresh ingredients! Kids can build a taco and can get fruit and milk instead of chips and pop!

When the opportunity does present itself to make a meal at home, try to avoid making separate meals for everyone. Preparing multiple different meals to satisfy everyone’s wants and needs can be overwhelming. If you’re trying to watch your weight or even lose weight you will want to stay away from certain foods that could sabotage your goals. However, we can work with staple meals that your family has always enjoyed and still make healthy choices for the entire family. Tacos are the perfect example of this.

Here are some simple swaps to create a nutritious meal for the whole family on taco night:

  • Choose a lean beef or lean ground turkey instead of a higher fat beef
  • Low sodium taco seasoning
  • Whole grain tortillas instead of white flour tortillas
  • Black beans instead of higher sodium refried beans
  • Plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream (trust me)
  • Make sure there is plenty of lettuce and tomatoes to go around
  • To create a Lean and Green meal, put together a taco salad!

Now taco night is a healthy meal for the whole family that they will even enjoy! If you’re at all worried about the reaction you may get from your picky eaters, work in the adjustments slowly so they are more accepting.

For more ideas and even recipes, ask your Medifast consultant or check out our website:!