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Balancing Act: Quick & Nutritious Meal Prep Ideas for Busy Moms

nutrition tips and strategies Jan 24, 2024

Four years ago my third baby had recently turned one and I was struggling to lose the baby weight and feel like myself again.  Having multiple kids is HARD and finding the time to prioritize myself was even harder.  

It seemed like every waking moment was dedicated to them and by the time I got their meals ready I had no energy to make anything for myself and I was already usually pretty hangry.  So I would end up eating a bowl of cheerios or the leftover crusts from my kids peanut butter and nutella sandwiches.  While delicious, not so nutritious and definitely didn't cut it to keep my energy levels up for the rest of the day.  

I had heard about meal prepping and knew it would be beneficial for me since I had such a hard time making nutritious meals for myself amongst the chaos of my kiddos.  

Problem was, the idea of making multiple meals at one time seemed daunting.  I thought I needed certain recipes and particular meal prep containers.  I would waste so much time scouring the internet for recipes and reading reviews on containers. 

Until I finally realized that I was completely overthinking it and just needed to get started with prepping something!

Having anything prepped was better than nothing at all and once I finally embraced the mindset that taking imperfect action was better than not taking any action at all was when I finally started seeing the results I was hoping for, my days got a little less hectic, and I got a lot less hangry!

Ultimately, meal prep has been as a game changer for me on my health + wellness journey and it can be for you too!  

So let’s dive in! 

The Basics of Meal Prep

Meal prep is all about preparing portions of your meals ahead of time. It’s a fantastic way to save time, reduce stress, and keep you on track with eating healthy. 

Start by:

  • Pick a day or time for prep and put it in your calendar.  Sunday is a popular choice but if it doesn't work for you then it doesn't have to be Sundays.  My weekends are typically dedicated to my kids' sports so I meal prep in the nooks and crannies of my days whenever I have time. 
  • Plan your meals for the week.
  • Make a grocery list of what you’ll need. 

Remember, the goal is to make your week easier, not to add more stress!

Simple Recipes for the Week

Gather a few go to recipe or meal ideas that you can rotate through.  I tend to stick with the same breakfast week after week because it's simple and quick to heat up when I am trying to get my kiddos out the door.  It’s also super versatile and can be modified to whatever I have in my house when I go to make it!  Snag the recipe here!


Make a list somewhere that is visible of what you have planned for meals for the week and ensure that you have all the ingredients in your house. 

 One of my awesome freebies has a great meal planner in it you can grab it here! 

 Think simple and easy, you don’t need to over complicate it!

 Here are some simple ideas:

 Breakfast: overnight oats or egg muffins.

 Lunch: tuna, chicken, or egg salad on bread or a wrap along with some veggies and hummus or some fruit.

 Dinner: pasta with jarred sauce and some rotisserie chicken, pre cooked shrimp, already cooked through chicken sausage with some air fried veggies. BTW the air fryer is my FAVE kitchen appliance!

It doesn’t need to be complicated, save complicated for when you have more time.  Like when your kids are grown! 

Check out these meal prep recipes from SkinnyTaste, one of my go tos for delicious and healthy recipes! 

Mastering Batch Cooking

Batch cooking has become my favorite way to prep.  It is a real time-saver but also allows for some more variety to my meals. 

Think about meals that freeze well, like soups, stews, or casseroles. Cook in bulk and freeze in portions. On busy days, all you have to do is reheat for a home-cooked meal!

Cooking a few cups of rice at a time, roasting a whole bunch of potatoes, making a double recipe at dinner so you have leftovers for lunches.  

Cleaning and chopping your fruits and veggies and putting them in containers or ziploc bags can be a real time saver throughout the week too.  It will also ensure that you’re getting in those veggies that your body needs!  

Incorporating Nutritious Ingredients

Eating healthy doesn't mean bland food! 

  • Add herbs and spices to enhance flavor without extra calories. 
  • Use various sauces to change the flavor profile so you don’t get bored especially if you tend to eat the same foods day after day.
  • Incorporate a variety of vegetables in your meals – they’re packed with essential nutrients and can be very versatile.
  • Always opt for whole grains over refined ones for that extra fiber boost.

Storage and Food Safety

Proper food storage is so important, we want it to be planned but not so far in advance that you have meals in the fridge for weeks! 

  • Use airtight containers to keep food fresh. 
  • Label your containers with the date, so you know when it's best to use them. 
  • If you notice you have too many meals and won't get to them before they go bad, throw them in the freezer.
  • Keep in mind, most prepped meals are good in the fridge for about 3-4 days and in the freezer for a couple of months.

I prefer to use glass containers for storage.  Glass is recommended for heating foods in the microwave so if it's already in a glass container it’s one less dish I need to clean!  Win Win!


Meal Prep truly has been a game changer for me when working to make healthier choices and it can for you to! 

I hope you found this helpful and encourages you to start meal prepping.  Even if it’s a snack or packing up your leftovers into individual meals, anything prepped and ready to eat is better than nothing! 

Oh and speaking of snacks, grab my Busy Mom’s Snack Guide here that’s filled with 25 simple balanced snack ideas that will keep you full and satisfied! 

Realizing my meal prep didn't need to fit into perfect containers that had the best reviews changed everything for me on my health journey.

Taking imperfect action trumped waiting for perfection!

I encourage you to take even one small step towards your goals. Your health journey doesn't have to be all-or-nothing—it thrives on flexibility, making it sustainable for your life.

Feel like your all-or-nothing mindset might be holding you back from your health goals?

Join me for my FREE LIVE TRAINING, "Ditching the All or Nothing Mindset." Let's explore how small steps lead to significant changes in your health and wellness goals. 💪

Click here to get registered! 

I'd love for you to be on live with me but if you can't, no worries.  I'll be sending out the recording to anyone who is registered!