As a mom, we are busy during the day! If you work, you don’t want to come home to have to figure out what to eat and slave over the stove for hours. And if you are a stay at home mom, you are usually busy tending to the kids and don’t want something else to add to the craziness.
Healthy eating does not have to be time-consuming, it is just requires planning in advance. It also doesn’t have to cost a fortune to eat healthy meals. Meal planning can be made simple, just the way I like it and it will get easier over time. Here are some simple meal planning tips for busy moms.
Keep it simple!
I am too busy for recipes that have a ton of ingredients and that will cost me more. I keep my meals simple with no more than 5 ingredients. Make sure you are fitting in lots of veggies, some fruits, proteins, simple carbohydrates and healthy fats. Write down your meals that you want for the week. I usually eat the same breakfast and lunches 2-3 times a week by rotating them and make a different dinner each day. It saves money by buying in bulk.
I have found that eating 5 small meals a day, keeps me full and I don’t get to the point of craving junk. Plan for 2 snacks for between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner.
You can still eat foods your family loves like pizza or spaghetti, just make it healthier! You can make pizza crust from cauliflower and spaghetti pasta from spaghetti squash. Don’t deprive your family of things they love, because this will make everyone crave that food even more. You can make healthier sweet options as well.
I also like to fix stir-fry and just cook up the rice, chicken and use frozen veggies!
Navigating the grocery store!
The grocery store is full of processed foods and can be tempting to want to buy those cookies, chips and junk. Make sure you are full when you go and stay away from the middle aisles. All the healthy foods are around the perimeter of the store-your produce, meats/fish, and dairy. Buy mostly from there!
I sometimes buy frozen veggies that I can steam to save time on chopping and cooking. If you have the money to buy organic, go for it, but if you don’t, it’s ok, but make sure you wash them thoroughly when you get home. It is still healthier than eating the other junk.
What will you need for prepping?
You will need some items on hand to make prepping easier! Some of these include a good cutting board and knives, meal prep containers, measuring cups and spoons, mason jars, spatulas, mixing bowls and crock pot and instapot(optional)
Meal prep containers are a great option! On amazon, they have glass ones or plastic and you can buy a bulk of them for fairly cheap prices. These make it easy to portion out your foods.
Now you are home, now what? It is time to prep all your meals for the week. Meal planning will keep you from eating unhealthy foods during the week, because you have a healthy meal available to eat. As the saying goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail!
I typically will meal prep on Saturday or Sunday. You will need at least a couple of hours, but it will save you time during the week and you will get faster, once you have a system down. You can meal prep for the whole week or a few days at a time. I usually do a few days at a time, since I am off some days during the week. If you are new to this, it may be best to take a few days at a time, until you get comfortable with it and not overload yourself.
Cut all those veggies up and cook them. You can roast them in batches in the oven, steam them or boil them. Whatever your preference is. I love to roast my veggies in the oven with some olive oil, sea salt and Parmesan cheese on them.
Cook your meats, chicken and fish ahead of time. During the summer, I love to grill. I will throw them all on the grill and cook a batch at a time. You can also bake them.
Cut up fruits ahead of time or wait till the day of since some will turn. Fruits will keep longer if you put them in glass jars.
Batch cook foods!
You can cook some foods in batches to be eaten as staples in your meals, like rice, oatmeal, lentils and sweet potatoes and boiled eggs. I love to eat oatmeal most of the time for breakfast and rice with my lunches or dinners. This will save a lot of time. You can put some in your meal containers and freeze the rest!
Keeping meal planning easy!
I like to make some recipes that are no cook, like making overnight oats and drinking my superfood shake for breakfast or lunch!
Also, you can use a crock pot, instapot to cook your dinner. Throw everything in and forget about it, until dinner time and voila, it is done!
Make easy simple meals, like chicken, brown rice and broccoli or salmon, sweet potatoes and rice. It really doesn’t have to be hard.
If you love salads, make them ahead in mason jars. Everything should be put in them like you turned your salad upside down. Dressing on the bottom, then toppings and lettuce at the top. They will store longer in the jars!
If in a crunch, you can buy a rotisserie chicken and use that chicken for the week.
Meal planning help!
I know for me, I needed help at the beginning to figure out what foods I should be eating. If you interested in getting started on your health and fitness journey, I would love to help you! I have a community group of moms that I help with ideas on recipes, meal planning tips and fitness. If interested, click here to join my Faithfitmama’s group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/795219343973607/