Nutrition for busy parents


Nutrition for busy parents

With the summer holidays well and truly underway, this time of year can bring a change in routine for many families. Whilst kids generally love the holidays for parents 6-weeks of entertaining, planning, and prepping breakfast, lunch and dinners, can seem like a burden. So, it’s understandable that routines get knocked out of whack, but with challenges comes opportunities.

With potentially more stressors and more demands on parent’s time making sure you’re eating the best kinds of foods could mean the difference between a fun-packed day and an afternoon crash that ends in frayed tempers.

Nutrient density

Regardless of your health goals: fat loss, improved energy, les brain fog, more muscle, focusing on nutrient dense foods is a great place to start. What is nutrient density? It’s a way of eating that focusses on consuming foods with the highest amount of nutrients per serving.

In our modern food environment, we can’t necessarily rely on our hunger and cravings to guide us towards foods containing nutrients that we might be lacking. For example, potassium and magnesium are two of the most common nutrients people are deficient in, however foods high in these nutrients include spinach, chard, courgette, pumpkin seeds, kale, broccoli, sprouts, chicken breast. Let’s be honest, it’s not often we ‘crave’ these types of foods.

The idea of nutrient density prioritises foods containing essential nutrients and the good news is eating with nutrient density in mind often means we end up eating less energy (i.e. calories). This is because we’re focussing on real, whole foods, which generally have a higher satiety value than ultra processed foods and aren’t laden with added sugar and fats to make them more palatable.

Foods to include

I’ve mentioned a few already but below is a list of some of the most nutrient dense foods (per serving):


  • pork chops
  • steak
  • liver
  • chicken breast
  • ground beef
  • eggs


  • salmon
  • mackerel
  • mussels
  • tuna
  • prawns


  • spinach
  • brussels sprouts
  • chard
  • broccoli
  • sweet potato
  • potato
  • kale
  • avocado

If you can include some of these foods into your meals each day, you’ll be well on your way to improving your micronutrient intake and providing your body with the fuel it needs to operate at its best.

But perhaps the best part? As these foods – particularly the animal and seafood – are high in protein and relatively low in energy density (calories), if these foods make up the majority of your diet, for most people, fat loss, improved focus and energy are likely to come along for the ride. Win-win. Of course, this is easier said than done, so start slowly and think of ways to incorporate these foods into your existing go-to meals, rather than creating brand new meals the kids might be suspicious of. Can you stir some spinach into a spag bol or cottage pie, add some broccoli onto the Friday night pizza, combine some avo and prawns in your lunchtime salad, throw some kale in your smoothie…

Nutrition makes up one element of my Good Gut Guide, which also includes Sleep, Movement, Stress management, and additional tools. If you have a problem with your energy, blood sugar levels, gut health (food intolerances, IBS, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence) you can book a free 20-minute no-obligation discovery call by clicking here.

I have a clinic in Market Harborough and Oakham, and I also see clients via video call.

Hat tip to Marty Kendal at who’s done a lot of fantastic work on nutrient density.

Photo by Angela Mulligan on Unsplash

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