Hello busy Mamma, let me give you a hand and plan out your dinners for the next 7 days! I see you! You have a million things on your mind, work hard all day, have a to do list a mile long, and a couple of little’s that need to get to some scheduled activity like RIGHT at dinner time!! And you’re thinking SERIOUSLY – let’s just throw in a pizza, heat up some chicken nuggets, or pick something up cause who has time to cook let alone figure out what to make or grocery shop!
I am right there with you!! With a full calendar that requires constant coordination of who needs to be where when, who’s going to be home and at what time and all while wondering – “what the heck is for dinner!” I most certainly do rely on a frozen pizza, nuggets or take out from time to time, but because I LOVE to meal plan and make meal plans that are healthy and work with us busy parents – let me share it with you!
How To Choose Healthy Meals for Busy Family’s
So first things first, I do not just throw any recipe that looks interesting on the menu. There is a rigorous check list a meal has to pass before it makes it into one of our dinner plans. Let me explain! The meal must first pass the criteria below to even be considered a possibility.
- Healthy – and to me this means meals based on mostly whole food ingredients.
- Balanced – meals that includes a clean protein, a complex carbohydrate, a vegetable, and a healthy fat.
- Family friendly – for the most part – I do my best at making sure the kids will enjoy it or at least eat the meal without complaining, but there are days when my final words are – “this is dinner and you’re eating it because its healthy, your body needs it, and I love you!” #foodisfuel
- Quick and Easy – an absolute must! If it cannot be prepped in under 30 minutes (and usually like 15-20 minutes) and either be cooked in one pot or be simply thrown in the oven, crockpot, or on the grill then it does not belong in my life right now, period.
Go To Options for Quick and Healthy Dinners
- sheet pan meals
- one pan or pot recipes
- crockpot or instapot meals
- Simple grill night (burgers, brats, hot dogs, chicken, fish, steak, pork chops, etc) paired with a salad or roasted veggies.
- Easy protein packed salads
So here you go – from one busy Mom to another – 6 quick and simple healthy meal ideas (+ a scheduled leftover/clean the fridge out night) that will take the guess work out of whats for dinner this week.
Healthy Weekly Dinner Menu for Busy Mom’s
- Sunday – Mediterranean Chickpea, Olive, and Feta Salad – Don’t wait until Monday to start eating healthy, kick your week off on Sunday night with a protein packed salad that takes minutes to throw together AND….. prep a few extras for quick grab and go lunches for the week!! If your kids don’t like olives and feta (like mine) leave them off and sub in a few croutons and some ranch or ceaser dressing and they will be thrilled.
- Monday – Sheet Pan Chicken, Potato,and Green Beans – prep this Sunday night! – and don’t worry about the potatoes browning – they won’t – the recipe calls for a splash of white vinegar which keeps them fresh and white until you are ready to bake it.
- Tuesday – Trader Joe’s Mango Fish Tacos – if you don’t live by a Trader Joe’s or will not be making it there for your weeks grocery shopping – no worries – you can easily find substitutes at any grocery store.
- Wednesday – Skinny Turkey Reuben served with a side of fresh fruit, raw cucumbers and carrots and hummus – this turkey reuben calls for a homemade Russian Dressing (AKA Thousand Island) – feel free to tackle this but I do not. I go for a “healthier” store bought kind like this this one from Bolthouse Farms.
- Thursday – Leftovers – clean out the fridge night – and if there is nothing left – eggs are the answer!! Fry or scramble up a couple of eggs and serve it with a slice of toasted sprouted or whole grain bread and a piece of fresh fruit.
- Friday – Grilled Brats with Roasted Summer Vegetable Foil Packets – look for a natural and nitrate free brats like these Chicken & Apple Brats from Aidells.
- Saturday – Taco Salad – feel free to have a few corn or flour tortillas on hand for the kids to make a taco if they would prefer that over the salad.