What do you think about healthy meal planning? As a busy mom, this can sound intimidating. However, it’s simple when you have the proper tools at your fingertips. Your schedule is often hectic, but staying healthy for yourself and your family is a must. Eating well doesn’t have to be difficult, though. As long as you stick to making easy meals, you’ll save time and get the nutrients you need to be well. Here are a few ways to make cooking easier for you.

3 Tips for Healthy Meal Planning

Meal planning is the simplest way to save time during the week. Plus, using these tips helps you and your family build healthier eating habits as you create easy meals together.

1. Make a Grocery List

Grocery shopping can be a challenge, especially when everybody has specific food preferences. Invite the kids to go shopping with you so they can pick out healthy meals and snacks to enjoy.

Be sure to steer away from junk food to avoid eating tempting, empty-calorie items. Focus on these picks instead:

  • Non-starchy vegetables: Spinach, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, onions, cabbage, asparagus, zucchini
  • Fruits: Strawberries, bananas, blueberries, watermelon, apples, pears, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, cherries, blackberries, kiwi
  • Fiber-rich starches: Sweet potatoes, peas, corn, pinto beans, black beans, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, whole-grains
  • Dairy: Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, plant-based milk and yogurt, reduced-fat cheese
  • Healthy fats: Avocados, canola oil, olive oil, seeds, olives, nut butter
  • Nutritious drinks: Unsweetened tea, water or water-flavored beverages, coffee, low-sodium vegetable juice, protein shakes

2. Fill Your Plate With the Proper Portions

This strategy is simple and most working moms use it for meal planning. Plus, it helps reduce food intake, so you know you’re eating the proper amount of calories. These are the general guidelines:

  • Fill half the plate with non-starchy vegetables or fruits
  • Starches should only fill one-quarter of the plate
  • Fill one-quarter with protein
  • Consume about three servings of dairy or calcium-rich, plant-based foods
  • Eat a healthy fat at each meal

3. Prep Meals Early in the Week

Prep your meals ahead to make healthy eating a breeze during the workweek. You can place prepped meals in plastic containers and zip-close bags and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer, heating them when needed.

Ensure you keep your prepped foods fresh by storing them in the refrigerator for three to four days or in the freezer for two to six months.

Healthy, Easy Meals to Make

It’s a good idea to have several simple, family-friendly recipes on hand. Once you make them a few times, you’ll be able to whip them up in no time.

1. Baked Salmon and Brussels Sprouts

This baked salmon and Brussels sprouts recipe is delicious, simple and flavorful. Research shows that consuming two or more servings of seafood every week can boost your immune system.

The ingredients include salmon, Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Prepare the dish by mixing salmon and Brussels sprouts with olive oil and seasonings. Then, roast your ingredients in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Garnish the dish with chives and enjoy.

2. Pork Tenderloin With Mustard Lime Vinaigrette

You’ll be surprised by how much your family will love this simple, healthy pork tenderloin recipe that doesn’t take much effort to make.

The ingredients are pork, dijon mustard, olive oil, lime juice, red onion, red pepper flakes, cilantro or parsley. Brush the pork with olive oil and mustard, season with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until done. Then, mix the mustard, lime juice, salt and pepper, onion, red pepper flakes and cilantro. Toss some kale with tomatoes in half the vinaigrette dressing and serve with the pork. This meal comes together quickly since the pork is only in the oven for about 20 minutes.

3. Steak Taco Salad

This mouth-watering steak taco salad recipe will be a hit with the whole family — and it’s easy to make.

The ingredients are flour tortillas, sirloin steak, minced onion, seasonings, scallions, thinly sliced bell peppers, onion and Worcestershire sauce. The salad is made with romaine lettuce hearts, black beans, black olives, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, buttermilk, cucumber and salsa. Start by seasoning the steak and cooking it in a skillet over high heat. Bake the tortilla bowls in the oven and assemble the salad by mixing the ingredients in a large bowl. Top the tortillas with salad and steak. You can also substitute chicken, fish or shrimp.

4. Grilled Chicken Kabobs

You and your family will love how tasty this grilled chicken kabobs recipe is and how simple it is to make.

The ingredients include chicken breast, olive oil, soy sauce, honey, bell peppers, zucchini, red onion, parsley and seasoning. Toss the chicken in oil with seasonings and sauces, thread them onto skewers with vegetables, and grill or broil on each side for five to seven minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

5. Chicken and Zucchini Casserole

This chicken and zucchini casserole dish is healthy and easy to make and is an ideal go-to comfort food.

The ingredients include chicken, butter, zucchini, bell pepper, flour, no-sodium chicken broth, whole milk, reduced-fat cream cheese, part-skim mozzarella, ground pepper and salt. Cook the chicken in a large skillet on medium-high heat and then place in a medium bowl. Cook the vegetables and mix with the chicken. Then, toss the chicken and vegetables in the oven with cheese and other ingredients and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Making Healthy Meals Is Simple

These healthy recipes mean dinnertime won’t be as challenging for you and your family. These meals take little effort and are sure to become favorites in no time. All it takes is a little planning to get all the nutrients you need.

Check out Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s online class: Introducing Solids to learn more about feeding your little one! We’re here to help you through every stage of parenting.

About The Author

Cora Gold has a passion for life, happiness and adventure. When she’s not writing about style and beauty for her magazine, Revivalist, she loves to share her experience with family life. Follow Cora on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.