Working dad? Here's how to start your day well...

  • By
    Kerry Torrens - Nutritional therapist

Keep your energy up by eating a good breakfast, enjoying healthy snacks and by staying hydrated, says nutritionist Kerry Torrens...

Working dad? Here's how to start your day well...

If, like many working dads, you have to manage the school run, ferry kids to after school clubs and provide a teenager's taxi service in the evenings - fitting all this and your work commitments into one day can feel like an uphill battle. But a little planning and some careful forethought will ensure you're firing on all cylinders from dawn to dusk. These simple strategies from nutritionist, Kerry Torrens take into account men's daily nutritional needs and will help super-charge energy levels...

 

Salmon wrapsDon't be a skipper

Breakfast is the cornerstone of your energy strategy, so eat within an hour of waking and not when you're on the road or, worse still, skip breakfast altogether. Those who do miss this important meal inevitably end up snacking on sugary sweets by mid-morning, which results in an energy crash by lunch time. Don't fall into this trap - skipping breakfast is a false economy. Time is always short in the mornings so prepare the night before - boil some eggs and keep some salmon or ham slices in the fridge, then in the morning get the whole family assembling wraps or making nutritious toast toppers to eat at home or, if time is short, to take with them.

Alternatively, mash some hard-boiled eggs with a little mustard then simply spread on toast or enjoy sliced ham with grilled tomatoes or mushrooms on crusty granary bread. By combining protein like meat, fish, eggs and dairy with carbs such as bread and cereals, you'll be maximising your energy potential. When time is more plentiful, make breakfast special and enjoy scrambled eggs or a posh version of cheese on toast - Croque-monsieur.

Breakfast recipe suggestions
Salmon & egg wraps with mustard mayo
Baked eggs with spinach & tomato
Quick Croque-monsieur
Scrambled egg muffin
Anytime eggs


Fuel up frequentlySpiced chilli popcorn

Refuel your body regularly, which means eating little and often. This not only sustains energy levels but helps keep you alert and concentrating well so that you get your full day's work done. Keep plain popcorn, oatcakes or unsalted nuts with some dried fruit to hand so you're never short of a ready energy boost.

Snack recipe suggestions:
Spiced chilli popcorn
Seeded oatcakes
Spicy chickpeas
Spicy seed mix

 

Stay hydratedHydrate

With a 'to-do' list as long as your arm, keeping your mind sharp is vital. Staying hydrated helps you think more clearly, which means you won't make mistakes or forget that important meeting. Topping up your fluid level can be as simple as taking regular glugs from a water bottle - keep one on your desk so you can see how much you've had and alternate caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee with extra water.

 

Power lunchAsian chicken salad

Protein at lunch can make a real difference because it keeps you focused and motivated right through the afternoon. Opt for an omelette or frittata, or choose lean cuts of meat or fish and add plenty of spices for a lip-smacking salad or a spicy noodle dish. Don't forget to include plenty of green veggies - they're rich in magnesium, a mineral that's important for energy metabolism.

Lunch recipe suggestions:
Asian chicken salad
Prawn sweet chilli noodle salad
Chicken soba noodles

 

Chickpea & coriander burgersWork as a team

Two sets of hands are most definitely better than one, so work as a team and share the responsibility for the week's shopping and meal preparation. An hour spent planning the week ahead can make all the difference and help keep costs down. Batch cooking when you have the time can make evenings easier and will save you falling back on a take away when time is short. Opt for healthier versions of family favourites like burgers made from lean meats like turkey or even fish such as tuna, but hold on the cheese and enjoy with creamy avocado or a tangy salsa instead.

Dinner recipe suggestions
Lemon & thyme turkey burgers
Tangy tuna burgers
Big-batch Bolognese
Fuss-free lasagne
Family meals: Chicken & veg casserole


Working mum? Energise your day with Kerry's top tips.

Are you a working parent? Tell us your tips for staying energised when the going gets tough...

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments

Show comments

We’d love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?

Be the first to comment on this recipe…

Questions

Tips