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Family meal planning for busy runners

Amy and Jacob Puzey have six kids, run multiple businesses, and they both train a lot. Amy shares her tips for feeding a large, busy family

Amy Puzey is a holistic nutritionist and the national race director for 5 Peaks Trail Running, based in Canmore, Alta. Her husband, Jacob Puzeyis the head coach for 5 Peaks. They have six children aged 4 months to 13 years, and jointly run three different businesses from home. (They also both train for at least 90 minutes almost every day.) Like all running parents, the Puzeys need to keep everyone well nourished and healthy, but they don’t have time for elaborate meals or fancy ingredients. “I know how important clean nutrition is,” Amy says, “but it also has to be simple, otherwise it just doesn’t work for our family.” Amy shares some tips for feeding a busy and growing family:

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  • Cook in batches. Rather than only making enough chicken breasts for one meal, roast a whole chicken (or another large portion of meat or beans) on Sundays and save the leftovers to use in soups, salads, fajitas etc. The kids take the leftovers from dinner in their lunches the next day. And the bones can be used for a nutritious and comforting broth.

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Happy 🎃!

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  • Get the kids to help. We pay our daughter to cook a few nights each week, rather than giving her an allowance, since cooking is a passion of hers. She gives us a grocery list, and does all the cooking and cleanup. The meals have been incredible. It’s been really helpful.

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Forest time with my little. 🌲 🏔

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  • Keep cut-up veggies in the fridge. We always have a few containers of cucumbers, celery, jicama, carrots, snap peas and peppers cut up and ready to serve in the fridge. This makes it easy when everyone is ravenous before dinner. Hummus, guacamole or other spreads can be a great addition, as can olives, or nuts.

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You would think I could have pulled it together for the 19 seconds between 1st and 2nd place today to be able to win the $500 to donate to Mito Canada. But, honestly, I just didn’t have it in me. Mama truth: I didn’t sleep last night. Noah was up five times despite our best efforts to sleep train him. The seemingly monumental effort of even getting to the start line had just about worn me out. I was still pumping milk at 9:42 am while trying to remember to at least take down something other than coffee before the 10am race start. The course was literally a skating rink of black ice and so as we trepidatiously skated the first 5k along Memorial, all I could ask for was the ability to stay vertical. The extra effort from all of my family of even making it to the start line these days can seem like too much. Forget the training. Try to figure out the social aspects of two 13 year olds. Keeping a 2.5 year old entertained and engaged. Being gracious and grateful to your husband who holds down the fort while you race. There was no way in hell I was quitting, no matter how treacherous the conditions. And the best part of the race was crossing the line with my family waiting there for me and my daughter in my arms. So today was a victory. Because I finished. Period. #momswhorun

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  • Pre-make smoothies the night before. As we’re getting the coffee ready before bedtime, we also pre-make our smoothies in the Magic Bullet. Each person can grab theirs, add milk or water and just blend–anything to save time and prep in the morning.

  • Make your own salad dressings. We love the Glory Bowl dressing from Whitewater Cooks and it’s a great way to get B vitamins and healthy oils into our kids.