When you’re transferring a household of belongings, nourishment plays a key role.
“You want to make sure the people helping are full and not ravenous,” explains nutritionist Vanessa Rissetto.
Friends and family members may also have specific dietary requirements, such as allergies or vegetarian preferences.
Further complicating the situation is the kitchen status: you’ll likely pack up pots, pans and utensils prior to moving day. You also may not have access to a cool refrigerator.
For the best meal results, plan ahead and prepare for a crowd.
Follow these guidelines to make the most of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between for moving day.
If you have time in the days prior to moving, prep a batch of breakfast burritos. Then heat them up in the morning of the big day and serve on paper plates with juice or coffee.
Other easy breakfast options include overnight oats topped with fruit, bagels with cream cheese, make-ahead egg muffins, or vegan peanut butter banana breakfast cookies.
To avoid missing a mid-day meal, prepare a few choices for those helping ahead of time.
Sandwiches such as ham and cheese or egg salad can be stored in a cooler and pulled out for a fast lunch. Other options to prepare before moving day: pasta salad, hard-boiled eggs, quiche, or make-ahead sandwich rolls.
“Since many of your dishes might be packed up and your appliances might be unplugged for moving day, I’d prepare a healthy shelf-stable snack,” suggests Megan Gilmore, author of No Excuses Detox.
Look for recipes that are packed with fiber and healthy fats to sustain everyone’s energy levels. A few to try: date energy balls, peanut butter and honey chewy granola bars, and muesli snacking cookies.
“If you don’t want to prepare anything yourself for moving day, there are plenty of easy and healthy snacks available, too,” adds Gilmore.
Reach for apples, unsweetened dried fruit, Larabars, or pre-sliced carrots with store-bought hummus.
Yogurt topped with almonds and granola can provide a creamy snack with a crunch. If you want to set out protein bars, look for selections that are high in protein and low in sugar, such as Country Archer’s Frontier meat-based protein bars.
For a savory spread, try cheese with crackers such as Mary’s Gone Crackers or Simple Mills almond flour crackers.
Ice cold watermelon is also a great energizer. Cut up a watermelon the day before the move and place it in a cooler until you’re ready to share it.
To keep helpers hydrated, purchase plenty of bottled water beforehand and keep it chilled in a cooler packed with ice.
Also stock up on 100 percent fruit juice and electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade to provide an ample supply of energy. Cold brew coffee in a can, like High Brew, can help provide a quick fix in the morning and throughout the day.
Avoid sugar-packed soft drinks and alcohol while loading and unloading.
“When meal time rolls around, you might find it easiest to dine out so that you don’t have to worry about clean-up during your move,” explains Gilmore.
If you’re relocating to a different part of town, check online to see what options are available in your neighborhood. “One of my go-to convenience options is a salad from Chipotle,” adds Gilmore. Load it up with black beans, fajita veggies, salsa and guacamole for a filling meal.
Takeout from a local place may be another crowd-pleasing option. If you’re in the mood for a buffet-style meal, select sides like baked potatoes, steamed vegetables, and macaroni and cheese.
If a deli is nearby, consider a spread of sub sandwiches and pasta dishes.
And while pizza for lunch may weigh down workers in the afternoon, it can be the perfect way to end a long moving day. In fact, it is probably expected.