Utah mom meal preps to keep her family fueled during summer

Jun 28, 2018, 6:10 PM | Updated: 9:17 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – With school out for the summer, it’s easy for kids to grab whatever they can find in the pantry and veg in front of the TV. One smart mom is prepping meals for her family to stay ahead of the game.

Tamara and Josue Andrade are the parents of two active boys who love sports. To keep her boys fueled this summer, Tamara Andrade is putting their busy hands to work by meal prepping with the whole family.

Tamara Andrade meal preps snacks like fruit so they are ready to grab before they head to the pool.

She enlists her boys’ help to make protein balls and prep fruit in baggies so they have snacks ready to take to the pool. Her husband also helps her by grilling seasoned chicken, corn, and other veggies for lunches and dinner the rest of the week.

Tamara Andrade is a certified personal trainer and says meal prepping helps her family eat healthily. By preparing her own food, she feels more confident knowing it’s a good option.

“You know exactly what’s going on the food itself, you know how it’s being prepared, how it’s being cooked. Everything!” Tamara says.

Josue Andrade, Tamara’s husband, helps her meal prep by grilling chicken and veggies.

She says meal prepping intimidates many of her clients.

“They see things on social media and get overwhelmed with the perfectly-fit Tupperware full of perfectly-portioned food,” she says.

She says they often complain they don’t have enough time. Tamara splits up the work to make it easier.

“I’ll meal prep a protein on Monday and we will have that protein for the rest of the week, but I’ll run out of veggies on Wednesday, so I’ll meal prep veggies on Wednesday,” she says.

She keeps her cooked protein, fats, and carbs in separate containers to build various meals throughout the week.

Tamara Andrade is a certified personal trainer and helps other moms stay fit. (Courtesy: Tamara Andrade)

“It’s easier to control what you’re eating and how much when you’re doing it all yourself,” Tamara says.

Alaina Neary, a registered dietician with Intermountain Healthcare, encourages people to plan a balanced diet including a carbohydrate, “some produce, some healthy proteins, (and) a healthy source of fat.”

“If we have healthy snacks that kids like to eat that are ready and available, it’s easier for them to pick those things,” Neary says.

She also says if parents keep unhealthy snacks out of the house, kids won’t be tempted to eat junk since the only choice in the house is a healthy choice.

Neary says planning will pay off.

Tamara Andrade is a mom of two active boys. She meal preps each week to keep her family eating healthy.

“We’re laying down their eating habits, they will take into adulthood with them,” she says.

Tamara Andrade’s planning has saved her family on a few occasions since they don’t get home until late sometimes. She will use her meal prepped food to make a sandwich for one of her sons, or a taco or burrito for another.

“Although we are all eating different things, it’s all made from the food prep,” Tamara says.

Tamara Andrade teachers her oldest son how to make protein balls while they meal prep.

She says this helps her family just enjoy the time they have together eating dinner and catching up on each other’s day, rather than rushing to make dinner.

Tamara says this keeps her family away from fast-food places and is often cheaper than going out to dinner. She is able to reduce the number of calories she eats by avoiding restaurant dressings and sauces that have extra sugar and carbs when she preps her food at home.

Tamara hopes to teach her kids while they are young.

“I loved seeing the change in my life in learning how to implement healthier habits,” she says.

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Utah mom meal preps to keep her family fueled during summer