These 5 tips and tricks for quick healthy meals will have you eating healthy in no time. Use these strategies and quick recipe ideas to save time and money!
When I first had my baby girl, I didn’t realize how difficult just eating would be. Let alone eating healthy. I mean, everyone says “having a baby is hard, you have no time for yourself”. But I didn’t know that there would be days when I didn’t even have literally one minute to spare.
In the early days of with a new baby, take-out is so tempting. Lack of sleep plus lack of time equals a recipe for binge eating, too much coffee, and praying the baby sleeps so you can, too. Some days it takes everything in you just to remember to eat.
My little lady is a bit older now, which means it’s easier for dad to entertain her so I can make a healthy dinner. With that being said, being a new mom still puts some serious strains on your time. After all, it’s mommy that she always wants, right?
Life as a new parent has it’s challenges, and eating healthy is definitely one of them. That’s why I knew I needed to figure out how to put together quick healthy meals. Otherwise, I’d succumb to take-out night and night again.
Here are some quick healthy meals and ideas for those times when you have literally no time to cook:
Seriously, these are a freaking life saver with a new baby around. Just pop them in the oven straight from the freezer, or thaw overnight before baking. Either way, all you have to do is heat and serve!
Here’s a few of my favorite healthy freezer meals:
This is one of my favorite things to have on hand when I don’t have time to cook. Roast a whole chicken ahead of time and shred it, or grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred it up. Make a beef roast or some extra pork chops and freeze any leftovers.
- BBQ Chicken or Pork Sandwiches: Mix the chicken or pork with some BBQ sauce, warm it on the stove, and throw it on a bun with a side of pre-cooked veggies (see below).
- Ranch Chicken Wrap: Using a whole wheat tortilla, wrap up chicken, lettuce, ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, and tomato.
- Tacos: Toss meat with with taco seasoning, and assemble tacos with whole wheat tortillas, lettuce, salsa, avocado, plain Greek yogurt/sour cream, and cheese.
- Salads: Make a salad with leftover meat, lettuce, fresh and or/pre-cooked veggies (see below), and pre-cooked grains (see below).
RELATED: How To Meal Prep and Roast A Chicken
Cooked or Frozen Vegetables
Vegetables are a staple at my house, and I’ve never been willing to compromise and give them up just for the sake of time. That’s why it’s such a great idea to have pre-cooked vegetables in your fridge so you can just microwave them and throw them on a plate.
Next time you actually have time to cook, just double the amount of vegetables you’re roasting, sauteing, or steaming. Store the other half in your fridge and re-purpose them in another meal later in the week.
Not going to use your pre-cooked veggies within 3-4 days? Freeze them and use them later in soups, casseroles, or homemade vegetable broth!
Or, you can grab those steamer bags of frozen veggies from the store and steam them in the microwave. You won’t even have to turn on your stove at all.
RELATED: 5 Zero Prep Veggie Side Dishes
Grains make great sides with your pre-cooked vegetables and some shredded chicken or beef. You can even throw them on a salad or in soups!
I love this concept because cooking rice or quinoa on the stove takes forever when you have a little one yelling for you in the other room.
Simply batch cook rice, quinoa, barley, or farro and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. If you aren’t going to use it up by then, simply freeze it in an air tight container, dated and labeled.
Cooked grains are really easy to thaw out. Simply microwave them or heat over low-medium heat in a saucepan with water until thawed. They do have to be used within 24 hours of thawing to avoid food borne illness.
RELATED: 10 Ways To Make Cooking Faster
We all know how hard it is to get up and get going after taking care of a newborn all night. One of the easiest ways to make sure you get a good breakfast in is to make sure it’s already in the fridge waiting for you.
Here are some of my favorite breakfasts that can be made ahead of time and require no work in the morning:
- Peanut Butter Banana Chia Seed Pudding
- Sausage and Vegetable Breakfast Casserole
- Overnight oats
- 2 hard boiled eggs + protein coffee
- Protein bar + string cheese
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These strategies have been game-changers for my family and I. They’re simple, cheap, and actually really easy. By having food already made just sitting in your fridge and freezer, you can throw together quick healthy meals so easily.
What are some of your favorite make-ahead meal strategies? Comment below!