Hi, this is Kate, talking about motherhood and, more specifically, meal prep ideas to help save you time. While this post focuses on busy moms, it’s because this blog is all about women. So we’re not saying dads aren’t doing their part too – yes, sharing parental responsibilities is terrific. OK, let’s start with meal prep benefits for the family, health-wise and more, before moving on to the recipe ideas.
Meal Prep Benefits
Being a mom means carrying many responsibilities, and your schedule is super busy. You’re running around town daily, from soccer practice to dentist appointments, with little spare time. Avoiding fast food and fitting in nutritious and yummy meal options for your kids can be a daily struggle.
While you know regularly eating out isn’t ideal, it’s easy to pull into a drive-through when you’re on the go. According to a CDC study, 34.3 percent of all American children ate fast food on a given day between 2011 and 2012. Grab-and-go meals are convenient in a fast-paced world, and busy moms must manage many things to pull off a home-cooked dinner.
However, according to the Institute for Family Studies, home-cooked meals can promote healthy family relationships and improved well-being. Although there are plenty of stresses for busy mothers, one solution for serving your children healthy food is meal prep.
Many moms have hopped on the bandwagon of strategically planning meals for the week. With the right approach, meal prep benefits can save money, time, and worry. It involves using a template, intentionally grocery shopping, and picking an afternoon to finish your cooking.
7 Simple and Fast Meal Prep Ideas
Keeping the choices simple and accessible help save parents fuss and time. Picking out breakfast, lunch, snack time, supper, and dessert options you can make in a snap is essential. So, it’s best to keep the choices simple, tasty and accessible; whether it’s a fantastic, delicious eggless breakfast or a healthy filling lunch, it can be done.
The seven ideas below are great kid-friendly choices for a busy mom’s meal prep:
1. English Muffin Sandwiches
A speedy breakfast option is essential when trying to get everyone dressed, and all the backpacks zipped in the morning. You can quickly feed your kids and head out the door with tasty English muffin sandwiches. Another benefit of this muffin meal prep is that it’s simple with minimal ingredients, and you can store the sandwiches in the freezer until you need them.
2. Baked Oatmeal Cups
For kids who don’t like the consistency of oatmeal, delicious baked oatmeal cups with blueberries can appease picky eaters. They are small and compact, and children can effortlessly hold onto them in the car for breakfast on the road. You can confidently serve these as a low-sugar option packed with wholesome fruit.
3. Meal Prep Ideas: Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Finding creative ways to spruce up packed lunches for school is a challenge busy moms face. A flavorful buffalo chicken wrap can get your little ones giddy when they pull open their lunch bag or want a snack on a road trip.
Go easy on the level of spiciness for sensitive tummies, though. Pack in the flavor but not the heat.
4. Cheesy Turkey Kabobs
Kabobs are a fun way to switch things up for your family. Kids can slide off each piece for a fun meal, and you can even involve them in this and other meal prep ideas. For example, they can help arrange a little tower of turkey and cheese. Consider dressing up the kabobs with tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives.
5. Roasted Chickpeas
Enhance snack time with protein-rich chickpeas that children can munch on after school. These roasted legumes are high in vitamins, fiber, and taste.
Chickpeas are filling and satisfyingly crunchy. They can boost your family’s health too. Remember we said earlier about meal prep benefits, including better health?!
6. Dried Fruit
A quick bite after a sports game should be refreshing but powerful. Dried apples, mangoes, and apricots are sweet but satisfying snacks.
High in antioxidants, dried fruit can replace sugary foods in your kids’ diet. They can be a go-to side to many meals with a long shelf life.
7. Stovetop Macaroni With Sausage and Peas
Making supper at the end of a long day can take effort, but you can speed up things by stirring up a dish packed with savory morsels. Macaroni and cheese, a crowd favorite, can be a breeze on a weekday when you’ve bought the ingredients the last time you were at the grocery store. Then your entire family can dig into this dinner. It’s one of the most comforting meal prep ideas.
+ a Bonus Idea! Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas
Consolidating your cooking to one sheet pan can cut down many steps you usually take to make supper and reduce the number of dishes to wash after. A fancy fajita-style steak is an appetizing option for adults and children. Slice your bell peppers and prepare your meat at the beginning of the week so you can throw them all on without much hassle. Being organized ahead of time helps busy moms enjoy one of the best meal prep benefits: saving time later.
Use Meal Prep Ideas to Your Advantage
Despite the chaos busy moms handle, they still manage to keep life rich and rewarding for their kids. Meal prep ideas like the above help prioritize your family’s health and enhance their routine. Provide your children with healthy, inviting meals with a little planning and coordination.
About the Writer
Kate is a lifestyle and wellness journalist from Pennsylvania. She particularly enjoys writing about topics related to women’s health and well-being. If you like her work, you can subscribe to her blog, So Well, So Woman.