Meals in the Field

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Combines are beginning to roll and that means long hours and irregular mealtimes for farm families. For generations, families have packed food into their cars to share a meal with those working in the field. We must remember that just as we need to fuel and tune up the equipment, the same thing is true for our bodies. We want to make sure we are giving our bodies what they need---no junk in our gas tanks—this time of year we need the high octane supercharged stuff!

Here are a few tips to help you keep your family well-fed in this hectic season:

  • Food safety
  • Bring hand sanitizer and baby wipes for pre-meal hand "washing"
  • Keep cold things cold (41°) and hot things hot (135°)–use separate coolers
  • Convenience
  • Simple recipes: (see booklet attached)
  • The slow cooker is your friend, one with a locking lid is golden!
  • Think easy to eat, handheld or drinkable soups
  • Semi-homemade is OK—the deli is a quick fix or lunchmeat sandwiches paired with a hot soup
  • Prepackage snacks for in between meals (granola bars, trail mix, washed fruits, and hard-boiled eggs, string cheese in a cooler)
  • It's ok to use paper plates— the Styrofoam clamshells work really well if you are pre-portioning
  • Nutrition
  • Think high octane—oatmeal cookie rather than pound cake, trail mix rather than chips
  • Try for a couple of servings of fruits & veggies—carrots sticks with sandwiches, apples and peanut butter, broccoli/cauliflower salad, vegetable soup
  • Whole grain bread and crackers
  • Water—lots of it! Tea or coffee for caffeine, try to avoid sugary soda

With a little organization you can feed your family well—so load up the SUV—head to the field and participate in the time honored tradition of meals in the field…….