Quick, Healthy Lunch Ideas For A Busy Mom
As busy moms we tend to put ourselves last when it comes to eating healthy, but bad eating habits make you feel lethargic and unmotivated. Procrastination is not far behind which starts the vicious cycle of feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. If your body is not getting the right nutrition, your energy levels will be low and your mind will not be as alert.
However, with lack of time as a constant deterrent in mom life, I try to incorporate a few simple meal ideas that will boost my energy levels to keep up with kids and home.
These ideas are also great if you do not have time to cook or dislike cooking anything too time-consuming. Sometimes we tend to make healthy eating habits too elaborate and somewhat confusing. This makes an already busy mom feel more overwhelmed and thus won’t stick to eating healthy.
My Quick, Healthy Lunch Ideas
I spice and cook chicken breasts for the week. Then I shred it and refrigerate it. At lunchtimes, I will make myself a chicken sandwich on a low fat wrap or slice of bread, add some sauce and load it with salad. If I'm feeling for something extra nice, I'll toast my sandwich for a few minutes in my panini maker. It's super yummy and ultra easy!
Alternatively, depending on my calorie intake that day, I'll make salad. I'll make a salad with all the good stuff and sprinkle the shredded chicken over for the protein benefit. I will lightly pour some low fat salad dressing or even better, a healthy salad oil for taste. To beat the boredom of having a salad a few times per week, I switch up my salad dressing to keep my salad exciting.
- Another great idea, is to make a quick soup for lunch. I will make my simple soup using a quality, store-bought chicken or vegetable broth. I'll add vegetables or beans to the broth depending on the recipe and cook it for a few minutes. Finally, I will add some shredded chicken to the pot of soup for protein.
- If I'm not feeling too hungry and want something light at lunchtime, I'll aim for some fruit and vegetables. I will grab a banana, some grapes, or an orange to munch on. I also enjoy having some chopped celery and carrot sticks dipped in low fat ranch or simply plain. It's a good idea to store some ready to eat veggies in a jar or container to keep on hand when you feel like snacking. I absolutely love beets and will have some beets in a bowl or have it with some low fat cottage cheese on the side.
If I'm feeling lazy to make something, I'll simply have a bowl of oatmeal or whole grain cereal with low fat milk. I will add some fresh blueberries or a chopped up banana over my cereal for an extra boost. Alternatively, I'll have a peanut butter sandwich on low calorie bread with our without some sliced bananas. This is when you need something fast and is super easy.
The quickest, most nutritious way for me to get my daily fruits, vegetables, and vitamins is to have a smoothie! Having this in the morning gives me such a boost of energy for a great start to my day. I also love to have this at lunch time to avoid that late afternoon energy drain we get after a long day.
My Energizing Super-Mom Smoothie Recipe:
In my blender I liquidize:
1 cup blueberries or strawberries (or any fruit of choice)
2 tsp plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup pure orange or apple juice (or just water)
1 cup frozen spinach or kale (or other vegetable of choice)
1 tbsp honey (optional for sweetness and antioxidants)
Optional filtered water for thinning
This is a recipe for one, tall glass of smoothie goodness!I also prepare this for my kids sometimes but I’ll triple the recipe and give it to them in smaller cups. I use fresh bananas when I have it on hand, but to ensure that I’m always able to make a smoothie, I purchase some extra bananas to freeze for later use. I like to use blueberries because they are super foods with high antioxidants and I can buy them frozen as well.
To make your smoothie more nutritious, you can also add:
1 tbsp of probiotic powder
1 tbsp of flaxseed powder
Read about the benefits of using those powders and if it’s good for your needs. There are many smoothie recipes online and ones loaded with different supplements and powders and full of awesome vitamins.
Find the best recipe for your body and see how easy it is to get your power boost for the day. I feel energetic and satisfied after I have one, so it’s great as a meal replacement for anytime of the day. Remember, making time for your health as a busy mom is not a luxury, but a necessity to be a thriving, happier mom!