As a working Mom, I was always on the lookout for healthy snacks to feed my kids. Our days started early, with a simple breakfast, checking homework, packing lunches, and getting the kids off to school. As a parent, my day usually ended in the wee hours of the following morning (such is the life in the entrepreneurial restaurant business!) Because we were all so busy, I knew it was important that we do whatever we could to stay healthy and one good way was to eat well and nutritiously.
I knew firsthand how difficult it was to stay healthy while working long hours. So together with our chefs, I created the Maria Menu for lunch, where every item was low in sodium, fat, and sugar and menu options included fresh and deliciously prepared vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. No matter what is on the menu that day, it will always be simple, delicious, and light. To our surprise, the menu became immensely popular, as people were craving a quality lunch option that wouldn’t cause the dreaded afternoon crash.
The Maria Menu was also created because eating healthy does not need to be boring. We all need to feel good about anticipating our next meal. Personally: I need to feel fed after eating, and that is usually based on eating the right protein. If Freekeh Harvest® Baked Pita Chips had existed then, they would have fit the bill!
I knew that for healthy eating habits to stick, it needed to be a family affair. I changed things up. When the kids were smaller, it was easy for me to give them easy snacks like crackers or peanut butter. But then I started to think that this was not OK. These snacks didn’t give them, or us, the kind of energy and protein we needed to thrive throughout the day. So, we became much healthier at home. No cookies, chocolate or soda. A big bowl of fruit on the counter was a staple at our house, always replenished with seasonal fruit.
Part of why I was so excited to jump into the world of snack food was so working moms like me could have a more nutritious and filling option other than chips or sweets.
Occasionally I miss those mornings of packing the perfect lunchbox. Freekeh Harvest® Baked Pita Chips would have been included in the daily rotation had they been available then-they are remarkably high protein for a pita chip, not to mention delicious with dip. I am so glad these chips exist today because I know they will help other moms prioritize their children’s nutrition and pack the perfect lunch. In today’s world, every bit (or bite) counts!