With a young baby, I once asked a nutritionist for some ideas on healthy meals I could produce in an instant. You know, on days where everything seems to fall apart, nothing goes to plan and your last ounce of energy is used to clean spilt milk off the floor. Rather than take-away, what’s something a little bit nutritious to feed the family for dinner? The nutritionist looked at me like I had two heads. Hadn’t I slow cooked a casserole with organic vegies and home-made broth?
There are times, not always by our own choice, where life gets stressful and busy. Our energy and attention is pulled to other areas of our life sidelining our nutrition. It can be tempting to grab take-away meals. Meals that don’t offer much nutrition can often leave our bodies feeling flat and lacking energy. Have you ever noticed feeling tired and cranky shortly after eating highly processed meals?
I’m most certainly not a qualified nutritionist. I am however a super busy mum that wants to keep her family healthy. I don’t always have time to slave over the stove so I often need meals to be fast, easy and somewhat nutritional.
Here are some ideas for healthy meals in a flash rather than take-away meals.
- Freeze Meals
Take a meal out of the freezer, defrost it and eat it! So simple.
Meals that freeze well include spaghetti, soups, curries, casseroles, pizza, lasagna, frittata, sheppard’s pie. The list is almost endless.
Jamie Oliver’s website has a whole section on freezer friendly meals. We eat a frozen meal at least one night each week.
We have a second freezer to fit the frozen meals. However the value to provide fast, easy healthy meals out-weighed the cost of the freezer for our family.
You might find that meals from your freezer might even save you money as take-away meals can add up.
- Have a cook-up
If you’re going to freeze meals try setting aside some time to cook a large batch. Some for dinner and some for the freezer. It might mean you spend a part of your weekend preparing food but what are you willing to spend to receive good nutrition?
Perhaps your kids or partner can help with the cooking? It’s a great way for kids to learn about nutrition, to be responsible for your own health, be mindful and present together, as well as time spent connecting and communicating together.
- Here are some meal ideas I like to cook when there isn’t much energy in the tank
- BLT + egg (Bacon, lettuce, tomato and egg sandwich)
- Omelettes or simply eggs on toast
- Salad wraps. Your choice of salad with your choice of protein such as BBQ chicken, frozen chicken or fish fillets, curried egg, or tuna
- Asian noodle salad. Use a prepared Asian salad kit, add rice noodles (you simply poor boiling water over to cook the noodle) and add meat. You could add BBQ chicken or I like to add pork fillet pieces.
- Have a list on the fridge
I keep a little list of quick simple meals on the side of the fridge to refer to when I need a little inspiration. It saves me thinking of options to cook.
Of course there are always times where take-away is the best option. If not for your energy levels but for your sanity. We keep our take-away nights to a bare minimum and they’ve become a family date night in the car!
Thank you to Melinda for this article. Melinda is a mother of two young boys, and teaches barre at Inna Essence