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Busy Mum? Here's Some Family Meals to Make in a Hurry, on a Budget!

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Busy Mum? Here's Some Family Meals to Make in a Hurry, on a Budget!

If you’re running a family household, perhaps juggling kids of different ages and your own career, hobbies and interests, you’ll know only too well that it can be tricky providing balanced, healthy meals each day, more importantly, that everyone will like. 

All too often, it’s easy to reach for the frozen nuggets for the kids and eat their leftovers or order a takeaway to just keep everyone happy. Then the guilt sets in that you’re not providing or nourishing everyone enough and it all becomes a bit too much.

But don’t worry! Here’s some evening meal ideas that are quick and simple, yet healthy and balanced, and some can even be prepared in advance, leaving you with more time to (hopefully) spend on yourself.

Stir Fry with a Literal Twist 

Admittedly, a stir fry is heavily reliant on vegetables, and if you have a fussy household, they might not go down well. But you don’t have to buy readymade packs of wok-ready chopped veggies, you can choose the veggies you know your family like.

Then, invest in a spiraliser. This can be a simple handheld one, or an electric kitchen top one, but to be honest, the handheld ones are the most fun. Get the kids involved in spiralising (turning veggies into long, thin, noodle-like strings) carrots, cucumbers, leeks and courgettes. Then when you stir fry them, they might be a bit more interested in eating them as they look so different. Who doesn’t love a noodle?

Protein-wise, add some chopped lean chicken breast, diced fish or whole cashew nuts into the pan, add your favourite sauce and serve with rice.

Two Meals in One – Chilli and Bolognese 

Meals made with mince are ideal for sneaking in veggies for the little (or big) ones that are fussy around anything remotely healthy. You can use whatever mince you favour – beef, pork, turkey or veggie, just make sure you make a big batch.

Fry it up in a little oil and add onions, garlic and whatever vegetables you fancy (carrots and other root veg finely cubed all work really well, as do chopped courgettes, peppers and mushrooms). Then tip in a tin or two of chopped tomatoes and a generous squeeze of tomato puree. 

This is then your base, that you can use straight away, freeze or store in the fridge for later on in the week. Reheat it thoroughly, add your favourite dried herbs and serve with spaghetti for a family favourite spag bol. Or, add a tin of drained kidney beans and a sprinkle of chilli powder and serve with rice as a chilli con/non carne.

The Freezer Isn’t the Devil!

Having a stash of frozen foods doesn’t mean that you’re cheating. Frozen, un-breaded fish fillets can be defrosted in the fridge during the day, oven baked and served with boiled potatoes and green vegetables for a low fat, quick and healthy meal.

Frozen peas, green beans, sweetcorn and herbs are all ideal for using when time is in short supply too.

No Jacket Required…

…Although eating a jacket potato with the skin on is a great way of adding more fibre to anyone’s diet. 

Start some large potatoes off in the microwave for a few minutes to soften whilst the oven heats up, then transfer to the oven for half an hour or so to crisp up.

Serve with a salad and top with protein rich, low fat, healthy baked beans and a sprinkle of cheese.

Healthy meals don’t have to be overwhelming and complicated. Take things back to basics and try to have a plan for the week ahead, then you’ll hopefully find your groove. Bon Appetit!

 

This blog was Inspired By Jenifer Hagger.

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