Published: May 31, 2023
PCS moves can be hectic and stressful, but with the proper preparation, military families can ensure they get a balanced and healthy diet during the transition. Military families can maintain a balanced diet while moving during Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves with a few simple steps. Here are three simple ways military families can maintain a balanced diet during PCS moves.
When military families move, eating healthy can often take a backseat to all the other logistics of a PCS. However, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for keeping energy levels up and supporting overall health and wellness. One of the best ways to ensure you and your family get the nutrition you need is to plan your meals ahead of time.
Before your move, create a meal plan for the days leading up to and immediately following your move. Try to include a balance of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates to keep you full and energized. Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to give your body the nutrients it needs to handle the stress of the move.
As you plan, keep in mind any dietary restrictions or food allergies in your family to help you choose meals everyone can enjoy and avoid health issues during the move.
Once your meal plan is complete, make a grocery list and stock up on everything you need before the move. Planning your meals will make it easier to stick to your plan and ensure you have healthy options during the chaotic days of PCSing. Meal planning may take a little extra effort upfront, but it can help to reduce stress and keep you and your family healthy during the move.
Choose Healthy Options on the Road
When traveling, it’s easy to give in to fast food and unhealthy snacks. However, choosing healthy options is essential to maintain good nutrition. Consider packing a cooler with healthy snacks and meals, or look for healthier options at rest stops and gas stations. Finding healthy food options can be tough on a long road trip or a cross-country flight.
When packing snacks, opt for items that are easy to transport and don’t require refrigeration. Some examples include trail mix, fruit (such as apples or bananas), granola bars, and jerky. These snacks balance protein, fiber, and healthy fats to energize and satisfy you and your family throughout the journey.
Another tip is to portion out your snacks in advance to avoid mindlessly munching on an entire bag of chips. You can use reusable containers or ziplock bags to divide your snacks into individual servings.
By packing healthy snacks, military families moving can ensure that they have access to nutritious food options even when they’re on the move. It’s a small but essential step towards maintaining a balanced diet during PCS.
Utilizing On-Base Resources
When military families are moving, it can be tough to maintain healthy eating habits. Fortunately, many on-base resources are available to help PCSing military families keep their nutrition on track. Most bases have a commissary to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. The commissary is often less expensive than off-base grocery stores and offers a broad selection of nutritious options.
If you’re looking for prepared meals, many bases also have dining facilities that serve balanced meals. These dining facilities offer a range of options to fit any dietary restrictions or preferences.
Some bases have nutrition and wellness centers that offer classes and consultations on healthy eating and lifestyle choices. These resources can be invaluable for PCSing military families looking to prioritize their health and wellness during the moving process. By utilizing on-base resources, military families can ensure that they are maintaining a balanced diet even while on the move. With proper planning and resources, eating while moving can be healthy and delicious.
Maintaining a balanced diet during PCS moves may seem daunting, but it is crucial for military families’ overall health and well-being. By meal planning, packing healthy snacks, and utilizing on-base resources, families can ensure they have access to nutritious foods during the moving process. Remember, eating while moving doesn’t have to mean resorting to fast food and junk food. Military families can prioritize their health and nutrition even during a PCS move with a little bit of preparation and effort.
By: Marla Bautista