Moving can be stressful! There’s always more to do than expected, and usually under a time crunch (our family just went through it so I’m speaking from experience!). One thing that doesn’t need to add undue worry is what to eat when you are moving.
Balancing proper fuel, emptying the fridge, and packing up your kitchen can be perplexing, but a little forethought can make a world of difference in how you feel and how efficient you are while packing.
This article is here to assist you in nourishing your body with real food options, while keeping what you eat stress-free during the days leading up to a big move. We’ll take a look at my top tips for staying fueled and healthy, simple moving meals, and snacking ideas on the day of.
Moving food: Tips to stay fueled and healthy during a move
Packing boxes — I always find it to be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle — and coordinating your change of address is enough to think about while moving. Here are my favorite tips to help keep meals and healthy eating simple during a move.
1. As always, plan ahead!
Just as I encourage during normal circumstances, make a basic meal plan for the week before your departure. Remember to include any frozen veggies you have to use up!
2. Make food in advance
Any meals you can make ahead and freeze are invaluable for the week of moving! Casseroles, chilis, soups, and meatloaves are always freezable winners.
3. Take inventory
Moving often requires cleaning out the pantry and fridge. Heading into the last week in your home, take a quick inventory of what food is left so that you can eat it up rather than have to throw it out.
4. Be creative with what you have
If a dish you normally make calls for asparagus, but all you have is broccoli, make the swap! Try subbing different meats and herbs as well to check the creative box and reduce food waste.
5. Aim for balance, let go of perfection
Moving isn’t an excuse to let your nutrition completely slip — besides you’ll need as much energy and focus as you can muster up. Still aim for most meals to consist of quality protein, healthy fats, and colorful veggies — but, let go of perfection.
6. Keep snacks simple
If you, or your kids, need a midday pick-me-up, keep snacks simple. Homemade trail mix, hard boiled eggs and fresh fruit, and Guac for a Crowd with veggie sticks are all healthy and quick options to have on hand.
7. Drink plenty of water
It’s tempting to load up on caffeinated or sugary drinks to try and push through long days, but they can actually leave us more fatigued and impair sleep. Water — maybe with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of sea salt — is the best hydrator and energy booster.
8. Nourish your mental and spiritual health
Considering how to nourish your physical body during a move is important, but so is filling up your mental and emotional needs. Pausing, deep breathing, and jotting down a few things you are grateful for — alongside a cup of green or herbal tea — can do wonders in busy times.
9. Keep a few kitchen items handy
Leaving out a handful of kitchen tools until last minute packing is helpful. A saute pan, a pot, a few utensils, and a chef’s knife are a few standard items that can make your last meals easy to pull together. We keep our camping plates and utensils in the truck and pull those out for the last day of a move.
10. Opt for healthier take out
If you end up in the take-out line towards the end of your packing days, choose healthier restaurants. Skip the pizza and fries — grab salads, rotisserie chicken, and baked sweet potatoes.
11. Ask for help!
You may have friends, family and neighbors asking if they can help with anything as you near your moving date. Don’t be afraid to ask for a meal!
12. Make a food list for your new destination
Not only is it helpful to think through the days before you leave your old dwelling, but it’s also important to get a head start on what you’ll need in your new home. Start a list of pantry staples and fridge essentials that you know you’ll need to establish your new kitchen.
Simple moving meals
Moving meals can be healthy, simple, and require minimal kitchen equipment. Here are a few ideas for when moving week hits your household.
Dinners for moving week
These dinners are either easy to throw together while the kitchen is half-packed, or can be made ahead and reheated.
- Primal Chili: This is one of my favorite make-ahead meals (freeze and reheat when hunger calls). It’s comforting, colorful, and delicious.
- Simple Ground Beef Tacos: A saute pan, a cutting board and a chef’s knife is all you really need to pull together these tasty tacos with fresh ingredients.
- Curious Cobb Salad: Cobb salads are great for using up ingredients in the fridge, and can be made ahead in mason jars.
- Garden Harvest Meatloaf: Full of protein, and colorful veggies, meatloaf can easily be made ahead and frozen for crunch time!
- Chicken “Pasta” with Sundried Tomato Pesto: I love a good one-pot meal — especially during moving week! This yummy dish is easy to make in advance and reheat servings as needed.
These minimal effort breakfast ideas are perfect for busy weeks (like when you are moving).
- Nutty Banana Overnight Oats: Overnight oats are made in a flash the night before for easy mornings!
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes: These grain-free griddle cakes are nutrient-dense and can be made in advance, or quickly cooked up in a large saute pan.
- Clean Out the Fridge Frittata: What a great way to use up leftovers and create a deliciously healthy meal that can be enjoyed cold or hot.
- Raspberry Chia Pudding: Prep the night before and enjoy a creamy and fruity treat the next morning to energize your day.
- Hearty Vegetable Egg Muffins: Make a batch of these satisfying morsels before you pack those muffin tins! They keep in the fridge or freezer for easy reheating.
What to eat on moving day (and feed friends who help you move)
Healthy moving day food includes snacks to have on hand. These go a long way when you (or those helping you) need a little boost. Here are my favorites.
- Charcuterie Board: Quick to put together, great for cleaning out the fridge and pantry, and satisfying for long work days — try a charcuterie board!
- Chocolate Gingerbread Bites: Before your food processor hits the cardboard box, whip up some of these snack bites. Store in the fridge or freezer.
- Healthy Banana Boats: Bananas, nut butter, and fun pantry toppings that you have on hand will quickly complete this tasty snack.
- Fancy Bugs on a Log: Healthy and playful, bugs on a log are perfect finger foods for simple moving day snacks.
Long-distance moves may also require eating on the road. Be sure to check out 115 Healthy Road Trip Snack Ideas and Packing Guide for helpful suggestions while in transit.
Plan your moving food, get prepared, and start packing!
Now you’re ready for your next move with moving meals to keep your body nourished and your mind sane. These tips, meal ideas, and snack suggestions you’ll leave you energized to tackle all the other elements of your moving adventure.