YMCA Updates

All YMCA of Reading and Berks County locations are currently open. Any changes to these dates will be communicated through our website, Facebook, and Constant Contact. To register for email alerts, please click here.

  • 12/11/2020 | As per Governor Wolf’s order, all YMCA of Reading and Berks County branches will be closed as of Saturday, December 12, 2020 for all indoor fitness, pool, and program use. We will remain closed until Monday, January 4, 2021 or until the Governor’s order has been lifted. This closure does not include our child care facilities, which will continue to operate as normal.
    At this time, all member accounts will be frozen and bank draft payments will not be processed on December 21. If you have any specific questions about your Y membership, please contact Alyssa Bushkie at abushkie@ymcarbc.org or 610-378-4710. Participants in programs such as youth sports, clinics, and personal training will receive a communication from their branch regarding potential rescheduled dates, accommodations, or refunds.
    We will release any updates on our reopening via email, Facebook, and our website, bit.ly/YMCACOVID. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact your branch directly. If you are interested in making a donation to the programs we are still running during our closure, including childcare, transitional housing and recovery services, and Youth Educational Support for virtual learners, please visit bit.ly/SupportYourY.
    We want to sincerely thank you for continuing to support our Y during these tumultuous, uncertain, and difficult times. During the time of our closure, we ask you to continue to empower and support one another and stay strong in mind, body, and spirit. We hope to see you all in 2021!
  • 11/18/2020 | In response to the Wolf Administration’s announcement and update on face coverings on November 17, 2020, the YMCA of Reading & Berks County asks for your cooperation in keeping everyone healthy and safe by complying with the order. Effective immediately masks are REQUIRED for everyone over the age of two years in all of our branches and program sites for all activities including fitness, group exercise, youth and adult sports, rentals, massage, Parisi Speed School, aquatics (except while in the water), housing, and childcare programming. Failure to comply with the order will result in the termination of your membership or participation in Y programs.

    To read the full updated mandate issued by the Wolf Administration, please visit bit.ly/36KkpkZ. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

  • 8/29/2020 | We’re so excited to announce that, beginning Monday, October 5, we will enter Phase Three! This will be our final installment in our reopening plan, and will open several more areas within our branches, as well as add services many of our members have requested. Please be advised that any services not listed in this plan will not be open at this time. Branches will update their members on these services when additional information is available.
    We encourage you to read over our Phase Three Reopening Plan for a detailed list of offerings at your branch and health and safety guides for each program. For the Reopening Plan, please click here. For additional information or to unfreeze your membership, please contact your YMCA branch.
  • 8/29/2020 | We’re so excited to announce that, beginning Tuesday, September 8, we will enter Phase Two of our Reopening Plan! This phase will open all five of our association’s branches, bring new programs and services, add fitness classes, and more! While many safety measures will remain in place, we’re excited for this step forward and the opportunity to bring our Y families back together!
    We encourage you to read over our Phase Two Reopening Plan for a detailed list of offerings at your branch and health and safety guides for each program. For the Reopening Plan, please click here. For updated fitness schedules, please click here. For additional information or to unfreeze your membership, please contact your YMCA branch.
  • 6/30/2020 | We’re so excited to announce that starting Monday, August 3rd, we will roll out Phase 1.1 of our phased reopening plan. At this time, the Adamstown YMCA, Reading YMCA, and Mifflin Area YMCA fitness centers will remain closed; however we’re excited to roll out a few more offerings for members, including:
    • Expanded hours and Fitness Classes at Sinking Spring Family YMCA
    • One-on-One Personal Training at Sinking Spring Family YMCA
    • Silver Sneakers classes at Mifflin Area YMCA
    • Facility Rentals at Reading YMCA, Sinking Spring Family YMCA, and outdoor facility rentals at the NEW Richmond Program Center
    We encourage you to read over Phase 1.1 for more information, safety guidelines, and contact information regarding each new offering. Please click here for the full Phase 1.1 Reopening Plan, and please click here for Phase 1.1 Group Fitness Classes. Please stayed tuned for additional information on our phased reopening!
  • 5/10/2020 | We would like to thank our friends at the United Way of Berks County for their support during these unprecedented times. We are proud to be a partner agency and a recipient of the Berks COVID-19 Response Fund, enabling us to provide emergency childcare services to workers on the front lines. We would also like to thank the COVID-19 Nonprofit Continuity Grand Program Fund of Berks County Community Foundation for providing support to the Y during this difficult time. Thank you for helping the Y continue to support the community!
  • 5/10/2020 | The YMCA of Reading and Berks County is officially offering LIVE Online Group Exercise Classes! Classes will take place Monday through Friday and will be conducted through Cisco WebEx Portal. Please click here for more details.
  • 3/26/2020 | Stay with Us Support Options and Freeze Membership Options are now available during the remainder of our closure. Read the full letter here.

Fitness & Health Resources

Our facilities are closed, but we are still here for you! As a staff working remotely, we continue to focus on our members by securing online fitness relationships and recording fitness workouts and seminars for our members to use from home.

  • Online Group Exercise from the Y – We are proud to announce that we are now offering LIVE Online Group Exercise Classes through Cisco Webex. Please visit the site for full schedule and additional information. Thank you!
  • Y Fitness Playlist – Did you know the Y has a YouTube Channel? We do! We are slowly adding more offerings, so check back regularly for new content.
  • Les Mills Online – Les Mills classes are some of our most popular offerings with programs including strength, cardio, HIIT, dance, flexibility and more. During this time of closure we are glad to partner with Les Mills to provide this at-home option to our members. This platform is free to use and will not collect any data from users.  It has 95 workout options across 8 categories that are ready to play right now. The workouts will remain open and available as long as the coronavirus situation continues to cause disruption.
  • YMCA 360 – Check out YMCA 360 on YouTube, your perfect portal for a total Y Workout at home! Feature selections including boot camp, active older adults, yoga, and even barre classes, this is a great place to stop if you want that Y experience!
  • FitnessBlender – This free resource provides videos for all ages, including family workouts! Get the whole family fit together!
  • SilverSneakers On Demand – Are you a Silver Sneakers member? Then we’ve got just the thing to keep you in shape during this time! SilverSneakers On-Demand offers classes online just for you, simply sign in and get moving!
  • How To Quit Smoking & Vaping During COVID-19 – Have you been looking for an excuse to kick a smoking habit (or at least cut back)? Early studies of COVID-19 show that smokers and vapers are at greater risk than non-smokers, making this the perfect time to buckle down and quit!
  • Easy Obstacle Courses for Kids – Get the kids exercising… without even realizing they are! With warmer weather right around the corner, these 25 simple obstacle course ideas provide options for all ages, from crawling toddlers to full-grown adults!
  • Pool Safety – Swimming season is here and, as many public pools struggle with whether or not to open this season, we feel it’s crucial to remind parents that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children under 4, with a majority of these happening in residences, swimming holes, and rivers. While traditional swimming lessons may not be a possibility right now, there’s still plenty of ways to prevent and help in the event of an emergency.
  • Heatwave Safety – Heat waves bring a variety of problems spanning from heat-related illness to power outages. As many of us are limiting time in public spaces, it’s especially important to stay cool and prepared at home!

Resources for Parents

With kids across Pennsylvania currently experiencing social distancing and a lack of mental stimulation, it is more crucial than ever to have the tools to keep little minds and hands occupied. We have compiled a list of learning resources and activities below to help out during this time:

  • Scholastic Learn at Home – Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!
  • PBS Newsletter – This helpful daily newsletter offers activities for kids and tips for parents as we play and learn at home. Plus, the PBS Games and Video Apps offer nonstop educational content kids will love!
  • Google Arts & Culture – Visit the museum… virtually! Google Arts and Culture uses the power of Google Earth to allow you to explore more than 500 museums worldwide.
  • School Breakfast and Lunch Pickup Locations – Many school districts are providing free meals in the interim to area students. Click to find out if your school is participating and where to pick up!
  • How to Talk to Children About COVID-19 – In this unprecedented time, you may find yourself struggling with how to talk to kids about our current situation. This helpful article from PBS offers parents an approach to help children understand COVID-19, correct untrue information, and teach children to take precaution without fear.
  • E-Books, Movies, and More – Check out Hoopla for an extensive library of movies, books, and more that you can “borrow” while your local library is closed. It’s compatible with e-readers as well as web browsers, so all you’ll need is internet access to get going!
  • The Crash Course – There’s so many educational resources out there for younger kids during this time… but what about teens? The Crash Course provides helpful, short videos on all topics, from world history, science, literature, and even film studies!
  • Elephant Toothpaste Experiment – Elephant toothpaste is a super cool science experiment to do at home with your kids and can be made with just a few household items! Take a fifteen minute break from your routine and try this one out yourself!
  • Foamy Bubbles – Simply use soap, water, and a mixer and get ready for an afternoon of fun! For a little extra “wow” factor, add food coloring and make rainbow bubbles!
  • Homemade Watercolor Paints –  These super simple watercolor paints from DIY Network require very few ingredients and just a few minutes to make. Let them dry out overnight and get artsy with us!
  • Recycling Crafts for Earth Day – Use milk bottles, tin cans, plastic wrap, and more common household items and upcycle them into unique decor items, jewelry, and instruments!
  • Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk Paints – Running low on sidewalk chalk? No need to run to the store! You can make your very own Sidewalk Chalk Paint using just cornstarch, water, and food coloring!
  • Making the Most Out of Screen Time – With working from home, at home schooling, and more daily tasks taking place in our homes right now, it’s easy to lean on our screens to help keep the youngest family members busy. However, you can still make the most of that screen time by engaging your child’s mind with some questions and conversation!
  • Zoom Games for Kids – Looking to bring more fun to Zoom calls with family and friends? Try out a virtual game night!
  • How to Make Oobleck – Oobleck is a Non-Newtonian fluid, meaning it’s a solid and liquid all in one! Throw down a tarp, mix up this super simple recipe, grab a handful, and be AMAZED!
  • Pour Painted Pots – All you need for this one is some terra cotta flower pots, acrylic paint, and a little bit of tape to seal off the drainage holes! Just pour and let it dry and you’ve got super cool, one-of-a-kind garden decor!
  • Water Blob – Use plastic sheeting, an iron, some duct tape, and water to create your own water blob to jump, play, and lounge on! Turn on the sprinkler or hose on a hot day for a waterpark experience!
  • The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Camping – Missing out on a long awaited vacation? Spend a night exploring your own backyard! This article offers plenty of tips and tricks to make a camp out at home feel like so much more, whether you have all the camping supplies or just a few blankets and a clothesline.
  • DIY Sprinkler – Pools might be closed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fun day in the water. You can make your very own sprinkler with just a garden hose, duct tape, and a pool noodle!
  • Outdoor Games For Practicing Sight Words – These four awesome games from Scholastic help kids learn their sight words while also having some aquatic fun!
  • ABCYa! – ABCYa! provides videos, games, and more for Pre-K through 6th grade which are fun and engaging– absolutely perfect for kids to keep kids learning without feeling like it’s a chore! Best of all, it’s available on web or available on Android and iOS, so it can be played at home or on the go!
  • Squirt Gun Painting – Are typical art projects beginning to get boring for your little ones? Put a fresh twist on watercolor painting by using a squirt gun instead of a brush!
  • Homemade Instruments – This awesome list gives 21 totally different instruments to DIY, so whether your kid loves guitars or you have your own little drummer boy, there’s an instrument that will work for you.
  • Outdoor Alphabet Match – This super fun game teaches kids to recognize and identify letters by fishing them out of the pool and matching them to letters drawn on the sidewalk or patio! This game provides hours of fun in the sun and a great lesson for those learning their ABC’s!
  • Beginners ASL Phrases – Summer is a perfect time to learn a new skill– why not make it a helpful one?! American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most commonly used language in the U.S. and, luckily, YouTube offers plenty of free instructional videos to begin learning at home!
  • Sponge Water Bombs – These homemade sponge water bombs are made using just household sponges and string. Whip them up in a snap and get playing!
  • Homemade Invisible Ink – Invisible Ink is a super fun way to teach kids about chemistry and reactions. This particular article demonstrates lemon juice, milk, and baking soda ink recipes, but don’t limit your imagination! Try out various substances around your house and see what works!
  • iNaturalist App – This totally free app is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, encouraging scientific discovery through community. Take a walk with the kids, snap a few pictures, and even help others identify some of their findings. Some of your photos could even be used for scientific research!

Stress Management and Mental Health Resources

We understand stress and fear are running very high right now, and we believe mental health is just as crucial as physical health. We’ve prepared a list below of resources, which you can utilize if you’re looking to de-stress, need someone to talk to, or need some support during this time.

  • How You and Your Kids Can Destress During Coronavirus – This helpful article from PBS gives tips and tricks for calming yourself and children, managing moods, and approaching this time with kindness and compassion. Plus, it provides deep breathing exercises the family can do together!
  • Managing Anxiety and Stress During COVID-19 – This helpful resource from the CDC offers tips for managing mental health related to COVID-19 and quarantine as well as gives a list of signs and symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression to watch out for in yourself and others.
  • Creating “For Now” Routines – When so much feels so out of control, it’s easy for the whole family to fall out of routine and feel lost as a result. The solution? Make a “for now” routine. This helpful article from Sesame Street in Communities details how to set attainable goals, communicate with the family, and set clear standards for family time versus work and school.
  • Mental Health Hotlines & Forums – If you are unable to visit a therapist, counselor, or support group during this time, this helpful list provides a variety of online support groups, around the clock hotlines, and more for those struggling with mental health, including resources specifically for individuals with depression and anxiety, Veterans with PTSD, individuals with OCD, and many more.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise -Times like these may be causing you to carry tension in your muscles leading not only to pain in the body, but also heightened anxiety. Progressive Muscle Relaxation calls you to tense and relax muscles in your body head to toe, leaving your body fully relaxed at the end!
  • Animal Sanctuary Live Streams – sometimes you just need to tune out and focus on something else for a while. Studies show that viewing videos of cute animals can improve a person’s mood and help boost productivity and concentration!
  • Childrens Relaxation Activities – We hope you’re practicing self-care at home… but how do you help the littlest members of the family to soothe themselves and release anxiety during this difficult time? This awesome resource from Save the Children US gives tips for getting kids to breathe, stretch, and calm themselves.
  • Virtual Book Clubs – Human connection and socialization can do wonders for the brain, but in a time of social distancing, those connections are hard to come by. A solution? Start or join a virtual book club!
  • Helping Friends and Relatives with Anxiety – This helpful article “What To Say (And What Not To Say) To Someone With Anxiety” lays out a few simple ways to provide support to your friends and family in the most meaningful way, while avoiding well-intentioned missteps.
  • Music Therapy – Music therapy has long been touted for its mental health benefits and, in this time of stress, it’s possible to apply some of its principles right at home!
  • Journaling for Mental Wellness – Have you been looking for a new hobby to take up while social distancing? Give journaling a try! This article details the benefits of journaling for stress relief, management of depression and anxiety, and overall mental wellbeing.
  • Taking a Mindful Moment – While many of us have tried to take up meditation, yoga, or other calming practices during these unprecedented times, it may still be a struggle to find the time or ability to commit to these activities. Sometimes, it’s enough to slow down and appreciate everyday activities.
  • What is Compassion Fatigue? – To put it simply, compassion fatigue is an emotional numbing most commonly experienced by healthcare workers and law enforcement during times of great distress and suffering. However, it’s possible that even more individuals are suffering from it, but may not have the words for it yet. This helpful article details signs and symptoms to watch for as well as ways to cope and combat compassion fatigue.
  • Dealing with a Dropped Nap – “Rebrand” your child’s dropped nap into “quiet time,” allowing for parents to still get those moments to themselves, even if their child never falls asleep.
  • Calm Down Kits – If you’re a parent going through this pandemic, chances are your child has had a meltdown. Next time your child is having these intense emotions, try a Calm Down Kit filled with anxiety-calming toys, comfort objects, and activities that will make them slow down, process emotions, and self-soothe.
  • Balancing Screen Time – In a time where almost all interactions we have with our friends, family, and colleagues is digital, we’re seeing a severe uptick in screen time. While our devices make our lives easier and help us pass the time, at what point are they detrimental to our mental health? Journalist and author Catherine Price breaks down positive versus negative screen time, how to divert attention away from your screen, and how to set healthy boundaries in an age where everybody is online.
  • Setting Boundaries for New Parents – New parents routinely struggle to choose what’s best for baby during pregnancy and their first few weeks of life, and in this time of social distancing, those choices are even more daunting. Birth plans, visitor policies, and more may need to change to keep the newborn healthy. This article breaks down the importance of boundaries for new parents in light of COVID-19, how to effectively set them, and how to manage expectations and guilt from loved ones when it comes time for the little one to arrive.
  • Video Games and Mental Health – We’ve heard of exercise, getting outside, talking to friends and family, and other activities to use as methods for grounding yourself during these stressful times. But, studies show that a good old fashioned video game can also be a great form of escapism– and it’s not just the younger generations saying it.
  • How To Talk To Family About Mental Illness – For many who struggle with mental health, speaking about their diagnosis to loved ones can be a daunting and painful process, yet an incredibly important conversation to have. The question is: how do you begin that dialogue with loved ones, and how do you help them understand?
  • Improving Communication With Your Teen -Let’s face it– with or without quarantine, it can be difficult to parent a teenager. As kids head into teen years, they often become more hesitant to share their thoughts and feelings with parents. As a parent, there are a few things you can do to open the lines of communication and better connect with your child. The key? It’s all about listening and compromise.
  • Fighting Fear And Anxiety Post-Quarantine – As our county, and many others across PA, prepares to enter the green phase, many people are experienced heightened anxiety and fear of what’s to come. We’re here to say that’s totally normal and, if you are experiencing that, you’re not alone. This helpful article breaks down the reasons behind this anxiety, how to better understand it, and most importantly, how to stave it off through action.
  • Stress Relieving Stretches – This article provides four simple, beginner stretches to relieve stress and tension. Do them before your workout to get your body ready to move or just do them throughout your day for a quick way to center yourself.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Diet During COVID – Is stress affecting your appetite? While changes in diet during the past few months may seem coincidental, stress can play a large role in these shifts in our eating habits.
  • How to Get Free Mental Health Resources – This helpful article details how to access free or low cost mental health care, in a time where money is tight and everything feels very uncertain.
  • Creating a Social Bubble – As we approach our fourth month of social distancing you– and your family– are probably feeling the mental and emotional strain of these restrictions. While limiting interaction outside your household is still highly recommended, a “social bubble” may help you to socialize with others in a low-risk manner.
  • Helping Kids Get Used To Masks – This helpful article not only explains some anxieties kids may have about masks and what causes them, but also how to ease your child into them and make it a more enjoyable experience.
  • What Is “Tech Apnea?” – Does social media, reading emails, and browsing the web make you feel anxious? You’re not alone. Online content can be incredibly stressful right now, and whether you realize it or not, you may be worsening those symptoms.
  • How Autism Parents Can Deal With Stress and Online School During COVID-19 – As the end of summer draws near, school districts are making a tough decision: should we return to in-person instruction or continue online schooling? It’s a stressful situation for all parents, but for parents of children on the autism spectrum it presents an even larger problem: how do you help a child who thrives on routine and normalcy learn effectively during these strange times?
  • Is Your Pandemic Anxiety Normal? – While it’s normal to feel anxious in times like these, it’s important to take it as a sign to check in with yourself and determine whether the cause of your fear is real or perceived. This article breaks down pandemic anxiety, explains how to analyze the risk, and when an individual should seek help managing their anxieties.
  • Suicide Prevention – September is Suicide Awareness Month and, in these increasingly difficult times, many are facing severe mental distress and illness. This resource helps readers to recognize the warning signs, addresses common misconceptions, and even gives resources on how to help somebody who is contemplating suicide.
  • Overcoming Mental Health Stigma – A huge barrier to recovery is often the stigma surrounding mental health. This article explains the adversity that individuals with mental illnesses face, how misconceptions about mental illnesses impede treatment, and most importantly, how to get to a better space emotionally in spite of it all.
  • Grief Support for Suicide Loss Survivors – As we all know, mental illness impacts more than just the person suffering from the illness. A loved one’s suicide can trigger lasting trauma and intense grief, and it’s important to actively seek out a healthy, safe healing process.
  • 11 Ways To Curb Your Drinking – During quarantine, both mental health issues and alcohol consumption have been shown to be on the rise. While having a drink or two may seem to help anxiety and stress in the moment, frequent to heavy consumption can have serious consequences on both mental and physical health. This helpful article details some easy and inexpensive ways to keep your consumption in check, occupy time with other activities, and ask for support in your journey.
  • How Pets Support Mental Health – Have you considered adding a furry friend to your household throughout this pandemic? A recent study from the CDC suggests that, in this time of increased social isolation and uncertainty, a pet can be extremely beneficial for an individual’s mental health.

Healthy and Easy Recipes

In a time like this, it’s easy to turn to unhealthy, processed foods for the sake of convenience and cost. For that reason, we’re sharing a few easy, budget friendly, and balanced meals that the whole family will love! You can even get your kids involved in some of these for a fun, family activity!

  • Apple-Raisin Baked Oatmeal – This recipe is not only super easy to make, but also features ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Best of all, it’s great fresh or can be frozen for leftovers. Make it ahead and have a healthy breakfast on hand all weel!
  • Three-Ingredient Black Bean Soup – A super easy soup that only requires three ingredients: broth, canned tomatoes, and black beans! Add spices, cheese, and garnishes to really give it some extra flair!
  • Barbeque Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, very filling, and super affordable. Add some chicken and your favorite barbecue sauce and enjoy this quick and delicious treat!
  • Sausage and Cannellini Bean Soup – This is a super simple soup packed with protein! As a bonus, you can sneak some greens in to your kids diet in a super delicious way!
  • Banana Bread – Have a few bananas that are getting a bit too brown? Don’t throw them away, give them a second life with this quick dessert!
  • Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies – These absolutely awesome breakfast cookies are made using just peanut butter, bananas and oats! The best part? No added sugar, making them a breakfast you can feel good about while satisfying that sweet tooth!
  • Cucumber Tomato Salad – Who says you need lettuce to make a salad? Get your daily dose of veggies with this delicious and fresh salad. This recipe features minimal ingredients, takes just minutes to prepare, and is a great way to clear out those extra ingredients in your crisper drawer!
  • Hardboiled Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies – Did you know you can make chocolate chip cookies… out of hardboiled eggs?! We didn’t believe it either until we came across this recipe. We know it sounds crazy, but if you’re looking to use up your leftover Easter eggs, give these protein-packed treats a try!
  • Baked Veggie Chips – Is being home causing your family to snack more than usual? Make your snacks count and substitute traditional potato chips for these awesome Oven Baked Veggie Chips from The Big Man’s World!
  • Inside Out Cabbage Roll Stew – This recipe packs in the veggies with sweet and vitamin-rich butternut squash and fiber-dense green cabbage, plus green peppers and a hefty helping of vegetable juice. Looking to cut down on the salt? Opt for low sodium vegetable juice and reduce the amount of onion soup mix!
  • Tuna Patties – Stocked up on canned tuna, but not sure what to do with it? Don’t resign yourself to the simple tuna fish sandwich! These awesome Tuna Patties f take the ordinary and make it into an extraordinary meal with just a few simple ingredients!
  • Italian Poached Eggs – These are the perfect at-home brunch food, made just from pantry staples! Serve with toast, an English Muffin, or maybe even some garlic bread!
  • Creamy Greek Yogurt Pasta – Got pasta and yogurt? Then you’ve got dinner! This Creamy Greek Yogurt Pasta combines these two pantry basics with common herbs and spices to create a unique take on Fettuccine Alfredo.
  • Egg Cups – Move over breakfast sandwiches, because these Egg Cups from Wholefully bring all the flavor with absolutely NO BREAD!
  • The Best Black Bean Burger – No ground beef? No problem! Substitute your barbecue favorite with this vegetarian classic made from pantry staples!
  • Granitas – Looking for an easy, fruity, sweet treat to cool down with this weekend? Use that produce that has been taking up space in your fridge to make a granita!
  • Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta – If you’re in the midst of spring cleaning your cupboards right now, chances are you have those off-season ingredients that you don’t want to go bad, but can’t quite find a use for. One of the most common culprits? Canned pumpkin. This Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta from Budget Bytes gives a new life to the holiday food staple by using it as a hearty, zesty pasta sauce!
  • Foil Pack Hawaiian Chicken – Bring a taste of the islands to your grill with this Hawaiian Foil Pack Chicken from Family Fresh Meals! These delicious, simple foil packs allow you to just set them and forget them, no turning or basting necessary! Throw some vegetables in with the chicken and you’ve got a whole dinner ready to go!
  • Fruit Salad Pops – Cool things down with this sweet, natural treat! These Fruit Salad Pops from One Little Project are packed with fresh fruits and bound together with just apple juice — no added sugars here!
  • Veggie Nuggets – Turn your kid’s favorite finger food into a vitamin-packed treat! These nuggets are not only super easy to make, but a great way to introduce vegetables into the diet of a picky eater. Just pair with your child’s favorite dipping sauce and serve!
  • Frozen Yogurt Dots – Whether you’re fresh out of popsicles or are trying to make a healthy swap for an ice cold treat, these Frozen Yogurt Dots from Food Network are a delicious, healthy, and FUN way to snack!
  • Zucchini Fritters – Looking for a side dish or light snack that you can whip up in a snap? Try out these Zucchini Fritters! These tasty bites pack a punch of flavor all on their own, but pairing them with sour cream, cheese, or a marinara dipping sauce make them even more delicious!
  • 6 Ways To Upgrade Instant Ramen – Ramen noodles get a bad reputation for being high in sodium and low in nutrients. While we wouldn’t recommend eating them all the time, they can be a great base for proteins, vegetables, and other healthy ingredients!
  • Vegan Chocolate Mousse – Would you believe this delectable dessert is made out of bean juice? Well, believe it! This Vegan Chocolate Mousse is made with Aquafaba, the liquid found in a can of chickpeas which can be used as a replacement for egg white in desserts! Don’t worry, the taste is mild– you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between vegan and non-vegan mousse.
  • Baked Eggplant Fries –  This awesome recipe captures all the flavor of Eggplant Parmesan in an easy to eat, dippable, oil-free form! A bonus? They’re a great way to sneak a vegetable to a picky eater!
  • Watermelon Feta Salad – Watermelon is typically known for being a refreshing, sweet addition to a summer cookout, but did you know that watermelon also tastes great in savory dishes? It’s true, and this salad proves it!
  • Caramel Apple S’mores – Don’t have graham crackers on hand? Try out this fruity, fireside treat! We love this recipe because not only does it combine summer and fall flavors into one, but it also provides a serving of fruit!
  • Pesto Veggie & Chicken Meatballs – This recipe is not only healthier than a traditional beef or pork-based meatball due to the addition of lean ground chicken and vitamin-rich veggies like carrot and zucchini, but also stretch your dollar further with budget-friendly ingredients!
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh – Make ahead recipes are a home cook’s best friend in the heat! We love this recipe because it’s super easy to make in large batches, is eaten cold, and is packed with refreshing and water dense cucumbers and tomatoes.
  • Raspberry Lemonade Yogurt Pops – Not only are these ice pops super refreshing and packed with vitamin C, but they also provide plenty or protein. Treat yourself to one for dessert, a nice mid-day snack, or even after a hard workout!
  • Bruschetta Chicken Stuffed Avocadoes – With this heat, it’s hard to feel inspired to cook, let alone eat, a hot meal. While many of us typically settle for salad, you don’t have to! Try this dish out!
  • Sweet Chili Chicken Wraps – This dish might be served cold, but it does bring the heat! These wraps are as simple to make as they are delicious– simply marinate and cook the chicken and start assembling!
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars -Everybody deserves a treat every once in a while, so indulge on this take on this lunchbox classic! Throw them together for the back to school season and keep them handy for your kid’s lunchboxes or as a nice snack between virtual classes.
  • Crock Pot Tuscan Garlic Chicken – This recipe combines a creamy Italian-inspired sauce with fresh vegetables to make a truly melt-in-your-mouth chicken. Just set it, forget it, and enjoy in just a few short hours!
  • Cherry Berry Breakfast Custard – We love a good breakfast recipe, and this one from Real Simple is definitely ticking all the boxes for us. This dish is sweet and delicious, and packed with a healthy serving of fruit.
  • Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet – Here’s a dish the whole family can cozy up to after a long day of work and school- the perfect weeknight feast for busy families!
  • Steak Sandwich Kabobs – Fall is right around the corner, but before you pack away your patio furniture and grill, give this dish a try!
  • Garlic Sriracha Pork Stir Fry – This dish uses budget-friendly ground pork, eggplant, green beans, and bell peppers, but you can cut down on cost even further by opting for different (or frozen!) veggies.
  • Zuppa Toscana – We love this dish because it’s perfect for in-between seasons; while it’s sure to warm you up, the ingredients are light, crisp, and fresh enough to make it enjoyable even on warmer days!
  • Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers – Typically, cheesesteaks aren’t a part of a healthy diet, but this version slashes carbs dramatically and packs a hefty helping of vegetables and protein!
  • Mushroom Ravioli with Brown Butter, Sage, And Butternut Squash – We know, this recipe sounds a like a lot of work, but it’s actually super quick to make! Use a frozen ravioli and roast the squash ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal!
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