Quick Meal Tips & 8 Quick Meals for Busy Moms
Between stressful workdays, caring for your family, and attempting to complete a seemingly never-ending to-do list, you also have to think about making dinner. It can be so overwhelming trying to come up with a healthy, kid-friendly meal.
Spending time looking through food blogs and recipe books isn't always an option when you've got your hands full with a new baby. Not only that, but when you do find an ideal meal, prepping and cooking after a long day is one of the last things you probably want to do. Especially postpartum, everything is exhausting, and frankly, you should be resting.
I know I want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. It can be so tempting to just grab a fast food option, and you have to do what's best for you. But if you're looking to save money or trying to find quick, healthier options, cooking at home is your best solution.
I've done some digging to find some quick meals that take under 30 minutes to prepare. These meals are great for kids and for you if you're a little further into your postpartum journey (If you'd love to learn what foods are ideal for the first 6 weeks postpartum, check out 7 Foods for Maximum Postpartum Healing In The First Few Weeks). These recipes are designed to simplify your meal planning with a quick, healthy dinner you can easily make when you have such little time.
Quick Meal Tips and Tricks
You know as well as I do it's not just about the recipes you choose. If you've got a newborn or a busy toddler, anything you can do to cut down on time in the kitchen is a win. These are some of my favorite tips and tricks to cut the time I spend in the kitchen and make mealtime a breeze!
- Use Frozen Vegetables – Don't knock frozen vegetables. They are one of the simplest ways to add a nutritious side or use it as an ingredient for any recipe. Those bags of veggies are frozen at peak freshness and are full of nutrition, and can sometimes taste better than fresh.
- Instant Pots, Air Fryers, and Slow Cookers – A one-pot meal is my favorite way to cook a quick healthy meal. If you don't have any of these in your kitchen, don't worry. Every one of the recipes I listed below can be cooked with or without these kitchen wonders.
- Bagged Salad Mixes – Do you need a quick, healthy side dish but want to avoid the prep work? Grab a bagged salad mix! These bagged salad mixes provide you with a healthy side dish that can come together in just a few quick minutes!
- Make Extra for Leftovers – When you can, make enough to have for leftovers to eat in the following days. It's much easier to quickly heat up a meal in the microwave rather than trying to cook from scratch.
- Take a Day to Prep a Month's Worth of Freezer Meals – If you can swing it, cook a meal, and make extra to store in the freezer. On a day when you just don't have time, a freezer meal can be pulled out and thrown in an instant pot or slow cooker with little to no prep at all.
- Enlist a Service – Sometimes, you just need a break, period. I know there are times when I just wish someone could come to take on my chores. Village for a Day offers meal prep services, grocery shopping, and much more to make your life easier, take tasks off your hands, and allow you to focus more on yourself and your needs.
Quick Meals for Busy Moms
Each of these meals requires less than 30 minutes of prep time and is a great option when you're short on time but need something nutritious for yourself and your family.
Healthy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
This healthy beef and broccoli stir fry is a nutritious meal with plenty of healthy protein, veggies, fiber, and healthy fats. The total cook time for this meal is about 25 minutes, and it serves up to 6. Serve with a side of brown or white rice to round out the meal with a healthy carb. Get the recipe here!
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets are a family favorite, but when you buy the bagged frozen brands, you never really know what additives or ingredients. This healthy homemade version is simple and tastes even better than the store-bought brands. You can make these ahead and freeze them to pull them out for a quick meal when you're short on time. You can find the recipe here!
Chicken Taco Salad
Making a chicken taco salad is a great meal that can be thrown together with leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or roasting a few chicken breasts. It really depends on your schedule and what works best for you. You can really add whatever you have on hand to make this meal. It's fast, versatile, and can be delicious. You can also follow a recipe here!
Turkey Meatball Soup
You can't go wrong with serving a quick meal made with meatballs and your kid's favorite pasta noodles. The Turkey meatball soup recipe only takes about 15 minutes to prep and has a healthy serving of fiber, protein, and vegetables. You can double the batch to make extra, but with the original recipe, it serves up to 6 people. Get the recipe here.
Honey Mustard Sheet Pan Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
I love a sheet pan meal! It's a great go-to when you're short on time and looking for something wholesome and delicious. This honey mustard sheet pan chicken with brussels sprouts recipe is a great quick and easy weeknight dinner. Throw it all together in only 15 minutes, and it cooks for about 35 minutes. Plus, it's a quick and easy cleanup. A quick tip, line the pan with foil for the easiest way to clean up the mess. Get the recipe here!
Grilled Turkey Burgers
Swap out those fatty beef burger patties for some lean turkey burgers for a healthy substitution. Burgers are a classic family favorite, and it's delicious, nutritious, and quick to throw together. You can cook on the grill or on the stove; it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Get the recipe here.
Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Crockpot soups are a great option if you want a healthy, comforting, filling meal. This chicken and wild rice soup is made with wholesome, flavorful ingredients and is quick to put together for a healthy, quick meal your family will love. Line your crockpot with a liner for, of course, the added benefit of a quick cleanup. Learn how to make this recipe here.
One Pan Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli
If you like seafood, salmon is a great choice for an easy-to-cook protein packed with omega-3s and is low in saturated fats. The one pan parmesan crusted salmon recipe has a delightful hint of lemon and herbs and is served with a healthy side of broccoli. This one pan meal is a simple dish cooked on a baking sheet lined with foil to make cleanup easy. Get the recipe here!
Whether you're a brand-new mom or a busy mom short on time, these meals are simple, easy, and effective at keeping you and your family healthy and nourished.
While all of these meals are quick and easy, finding time to cook a healthy meal is never easy. Honestly, doing any work around the house can be stressful. There's always something to get done and barely ever a time to take a break. It's really true what they say that it takes a village, and not every mom is blessed with an extra hand to help out around the house. We support moms who need an extra hand with our Village for a Day service that can give you the break you deserve. Learn more here!
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