Dinner

Healthy Dinners for Busy Nights

Let's see, today is Monday... so that means art class for one child, boxing gym for another and at least one responsible adult needs to get to the school event by 7pm. 

As I look at the rest of the week there is kid yoga, kid fitness classes, language class and a few other things that I am probably forgetting. 

I love that my kids are passionate about so many different things and we try to give them the opportunity to experience as much of the things they are interested in as we can. The tricky part is making it all fit and not derail our healthy lifestyle. Their busy schedule can make healthy dinners a challenge. 

However, with a little creative thinking even the busiest mom can make healthy dinners a reality even on those really busy nights! I wanted to share with you a few ideas I use to make sure that we keep up a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious dinners even when we are busy!

 

Here are 4 creative ways to make healthy dinners work on your busy nights:

  1. Pack an extra lunchbox. Instead of worrying about getting dinner on the table, pack an extra lunchbox when you are preparing lunches for the day. Many families eat on the way to the baseball field or dance studio. Avoid drive-thru's and take-out by packing a second healthy lunchbox.
  2. Eat dinner at 4PM. On night's that we have enough time to sit and eat as a family before activities and extra curriculars, I make a point to definitely do just that. The fact that we do so at 4pm, a little early for what most people think of as "dinner time", but it actually works in our favor. If I have dinner ready at 4PM we can still sit and eat together without the rush. We also get some quality time before the pace picks up! 
  3. Prep dinner in 20-minutes or less. Having a few "go to" recipes and even some "mom hacks" to create quick healthy meals can be a real game changer for busy moms. Leftovers, crockpot and instapot meals as well as simple recipes can all be great ways to create a healthy meal in a snap. Check out this article for more on about dinners in 20 minutes or less! 
  4. Breakfast for dinner. For some reason I have no problem making a big, healthy breakfast quickly. I have a few standard recipes that I use a lot, greens & eggs, zucchini pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, and others. They are easy for me to whip up in no time. So, when I am pressed for a quick meal for dinner I sometimes declare it to be, "Breakfast for dinner night!" and whip up one of my quick and healthy breakfasts! Not only do I still get a healthy meal on the table, but the kids love it!

I know that our kids' after-school schedules can make healthy dinners a challenge but there are ways to have a busy schedule and continue to make eating healthy a priority. Pick one of these simple strategies to try and let us know how it helps you make healthy living a little easier! Join us in our free online community for busy moms, The Real Moms Collaborative, and share more ideas like these! 

 

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time...

 

Eat well, be well, 

Michelle 

 

Dinner In 20 Minutes or Less (It is possible!)

As a busy mom, one of the toughest times of the day is dinner time. When everyone first walks through the door until we sit down for dinner, a busy mom can be scrambling! Between homework, finding soccer cleats and softball gloves, watching the time so we aren't late for sports or other extra-curriculars... all while struggling to execute a dinner plan can be challenging.

For busy moms, our time, energy and sometimes even motivation to create a healthy dinner can be threatened by everything else we are trying to balance in that one little window of time.

We CAN give ourselves an edge though. The more we set ourselves up to make dinner easy,  the more success we can have with that. 

I want to share with you the strategies any busy mom can use to help put a healthy dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less.  

Yes, it really is possible!  

If I can do it for breakfast (and I do) and I can do it for lunch (which I also do) then why not dinner?  

Here are 4 easy ways to make sure you can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less this week: 

1. Leftovers. Ever hear the phrase, "Cook once, eat twice"? Well, I think it should be any busy mom's motto in the kitchen. Making twice as much food as you need for one meal means that you are ready to simply re-heat the second half of that meal later in the week. Stews, chilis, and other one pot meals are great for this. Salads, side dishes and main dishes can all work, too. So whatever you are cooking tonight, double up!  

2. Prep Day. An easy way to have dinner on the table fast is already having veggies chopped and prepped ahead of time. A simple shrimp and veggie stir fry is quick to cook up and having already prepped those veggies when you had more time, like on the weekend, makes that meal ready even faster. Looking ahead on your meal plan for the week, decide what things you can do on a prep day so that dinner during the week is a little easier.  (I am showing all the members moms in the Real Moms' Inner Circle even more simple ideas and strategies for prep day. If you are a member mom or would like to be, click here to log in!) 

3. Use a Crockpot or Instapot. Everyone knows I am a big fan of my crockpot. A few minutes of preparation in the morning and by the evening my healthy dinner is already made and ready to feed hungry little faces. Many times I use my crockpot on my prep day to make an extra meal ahead of time, too. Then I know I only have to heat up that meal later in the week.

I am actually new to the Instapot but many moms love it the same way I love my crockpot.  Since this is new territory for me, but it sounded like something every busy mom would want to know about, I asked one of the amazing moms from our online community, The Real Moms Collaborative to fill me in on this magical thing called the Instapot. This is what Maria told me:

As a busy mom, I love my Instapot! It has made many dinners so much easier! There are many recipes for one pot meals which means only one pot to clean. It has many functions including "sauté", so you can brown your meat before pressure cooking your meal in the same pot. It seemed intimidating at first but I was sold after just the first use! I can set it and then use my time for other things rather than standing over the stove!
Maria, rockstar mom & member of the Real Moms Collaborative

As someone who is always looking to make healthy living easier, I might have to ask Santa for an Instapot this year. Sounds awesome! 

4. 20-Minute or Less Recipes. There are so many healthy and easy to prepare recipes out there. Of course a quick search will provide you with more than you need. Some of my favorites are a simple stir fry and chicken and veggies dishes that are easy and kid-approved! 

 

Would you believe me if I told you that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making dinner quick and easy for busy moms? 

 

There is actually so much more to share that we have dedicated an entire issue of the Real Moms' Inner Circle to MAKING DINNERS EASY for busy moms like us. This issue is full of easy strategies, helpful tips, short videos that are full of useful tips that even the busiest mom can use to take the chaos out of dinner time. 

The Real Moms' Inner Circle is an exclusive online community and resource hub for members created with busy moms like us in mind. You get game-changing info in bite-sized chunks, (I did that on purpose, with your busy life in mind), support and motivation. The Inner Circle will help you make healthy living easy AND it is super affordable (I did that on purpose, too!) at only $5.99/month. 

But, you can just check it out for FREE for the next 30 days. That is just a gift from me to you. 

If you join, I will add you to our private accountability group where we are sharing 20-Minute recipes this week, plus a whole lot more!

I will see you there!

 

As always, thank you for reading! 

Eat well, be well, 

Michelle 


Michelle Obermeier is a busy mom of three as well as a certified holisitc health coach and owner of Real Moms, Real Health. She studied at the Institue of Integrative Nutrition and is Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. In Addition to teaching workshops and seminars, she works with busy moms to lose weight, have more energy, and implement a healthier lifestyle in their home by giving them new tools and lots of support to reach their goals.  To learn more about her programs look HERE ON HER WEBSITE  or follow her on  FACEBOOKTWITTER or instagram