Quick, Easy & Healthy Meal Ideas for Busy Mums
Prep the Easy Way: Tips for Busy Mums
Don't let the words 'meal prep' scare you! We know spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the week is the last thing a busy mum wants do. But our idea of meal prepping is a little different.
We believe in smart, easy, efficient, and affordable solutions that will save you time in the kitchen. We promise this blog isn't about spending hours in the kitchen. It's about minimising your time in the kitchen and maximising cuddle time with your little ones.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Busy Mums
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! This is especially true for busy mums who must feed all the hungry little mouths and often miss out on their chance to eat.
Mornings tend to be a little rushed, especially for parents who need to do school or childcare drop offs and head off to work. So, it's best to select breakfasts that can be prepared in advance, when things are a little less hectic.
Overnight oats and chia puddings.
These overnight oats and chia pudding recipes take under five minutes to whip up the night beforehand. You can make larger batches to have enough for a few days and eat them on the go. The flavour combinations are endless, so you can still have something different each day.
Choc Peanut Butter Overnight Oats – serves 1
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 2 tsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp In Shape Mummy Chocolate Brownie Health Shake
- ¾ cup almond milk
Place all ingredients in a jar and mix well to combine. Place the lid on and give the jar a good shake. Place in the fridge overnight for 8+ hours.
Blueberry Vanilla Chia Pudding – serves 1
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp vanilla In Shape Mummy Health Shake
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut milk
Place all ingredients in a jar and mix well to combine. Place the lid on and give the jar a vigorous shake. Place in the fridge overnight for 8+hours.
Egg cups are another on-the-go, bulk batch option that can be made quickly the night before. This is the perfect high protein breakfast for when you want something savoury. Again, the additions that you can add to egg cups are endless, so they're fantastic for anyone who likes to change up their breakfast often.
Cheese and Chive Egg Cups – makes 12
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup mushroom, chopped
- 1/4 cup chives, diced
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 12-hole muffin tin with olive oil cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the cheese, mushroom and chives and mix to combine.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared muffin tin and cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days.
In Shape Mummy Smoothie
One of the quickest and healthiest breakfast options is a good old smoothie. Throwing a smoothie together is fast, but you can make the process even speedier by storing your smoothie ingredients in zip-lock bags in the freezer.
For example, you can make a bag up of banana, raspberries and spinach. Then, when you're ready to make your smoothie, just empty the contents of the freezer bag into the blender, add your choice of milk and any other additions you like.
Banana Raspberry Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- 1 portion of frozen spinach
- 2 tbsp vanilla In Shape Mummy Health Shake
- 2 tbsp rolled oats
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blitz to combine.
Chocolate Bliss Smoothie
- 2 tbsp Chocolate Brownie In Shape Mummy Health Shake mix
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 tbsp oats
- 1 cup of your favourite milk
- Optional: 1 tbsp avocado
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Busy Mums
Who else often forgets to eat lunch? The day gets away from you, and suddenly, you're ravenous at 3 pm and into the snack drawer. Eating lunch will help you fight off the 3 pm cravings and provide the energy you need to get through the day. Having healthy and straightforward lunches prepared and ready will take the pressure off immensely.
Who doesn't love leftovers? Making enough leftovers for lunch always pays off. It might take an extra few minutes to chop everything, but lunch the next day is sorted. Here are a few ideas that make a great leftover:
- Stir fry
- Nicose salad
A big, nutritious salad is a great mid-week lunch to ensure you're getting all the goodness you need to power through the day. The key to making a filling and satiating salad is to ensure it contains a good amount of protein, healthy fats and carbs. The protein is essential because, without it, you may find you're hungry and looking for a snack an hour later.
Some protein sources to add to your salads include:
- Tinned salmon or tuna
- Beans, e.g. chickpeas, lentils
- Goat's cheese or fetta
- Olive oil
- Brown rice
- Sweet potato
And don't forget to add as many vegetables as possible; the more the better!
As for the dressing, a healthy choice is olive oil and fresh lemon. Or olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Our tip is to prep your salad ingredients at the beginning of the week. Then, each day you can easily choose your ingredients and throw them together.
- Avocado, cashew cheese, tomato and spinach on sourdough
- Black bean or Mexican refried beans, salsa and salad in a wholemeal wrap
- Boiled eggs & avocado on toast
Healthy Dinner Ideas for Busy Mums
It always seems that dinner time coincides with the witching hour. So, minimising your time in the kitchen each night will take the pressure off the whole family. In addition, having a selection of your favourite meals on rotation is a great time saver, as you know what you're doing and don't have to follow new instructions.
We recommend keeping it simple. Save the new and more time-consuming recipes for the weekend when you've got more time on your hands. But mid-week, quick and easy, is the way to go. In Shape Mummy has a massive range of easy, healthy, family meal recipes that you can access in the Free 12-Week Support Program.
Here are some examples of easy dinners for busy mums:
Mixed vegetables, lean protein and brown rice.
Lean protein, vegetables, quinoa and soy dressing.
Mixed vegetables, beans, tomato soup.
Sesame Szechuan Chicken
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 red chilli
2 garlic cloves
1 onion (medium)
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp sesame oil
3/4 cup parboiled brown rice
1 tsp coconut oil
3 & 1/2 cup shredded bok choi
340 grams chicken breast
Dice the onions, garlic, ginger and chilli and set aside.
Chop the chicken, zest the orange and rinse the rice.
Cook rice according to package or rice cooker instructions.
While the rice cooks, heat coconut oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the onions, ginger and chilli and cook for a minute until you start to smell the aromas.
Then add the chicken, garlic and half the orange zest.
Add the sesame seeds and stir until the chicken is almost cooked.
Add the liquids (vinegar, tamari and sesame oil) and the chopped bok choi and allow to cook another few minutes.
Meanwhile, put the rice onto plates and add the chicken.
- Cut up veggie sticks (e.g carrot, cucumber, capsicum and celery) with hummus
- Handful of mixed nuts
- Boiled eggs
- Yogurt and fruit - healthy brands are Yopro, Jalna, Coyo
- Tuna and light cream cheese on rice cakes
- Salted Caramel Protein Bites
- Chocolate Brownie Breastfeeding Boost Bars
So, there are our top meal prep tips for busy mums. The top takeaway points are:
- Aim to minimise your time in the kitchen
- Keep it simple
- Make enough for leftovers
- Cook bulk batches
For extra support, join the In Shape Mummy Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook.
Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.
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