I sometimes receive feedback that what I feed Hailey looks elaborate, which makes me giggle.
Don’t let me fool you — I often am running into the kitchen to throw her dinner together while she follows me around telling me she’s hungry over… and over… and over again. Because of that, most of her meals come together in less then 5 minutes 99% of the time.
(Leftovers help with that, and sometimes peanut butter and jelly helps with that, but there are a few other short cuts I’ll use to help make a fast, healthy meals when I’m short on time.)
4 Shortcuts to Healthy Meals Your Kids Will Actually Eat
1. Make a mini-version of your meal.
Two birds, one stone and bonus points if you do a little Sunday food prep and already have healthy foods ready to go. Having boiled eggs and one cut veggie makes it incredibly easy to throw together a balanced meal quickly.
2. Keep a healthy, quick helper on hand.
I don’t often buy convenience foods because the cost adds up so quickly, but having a few high-quality sides tucked away that can heat up quickly is such a nice safety net. I usually keep a microwavable grain (below), Applegate Farm’s frozen chicken nuggets and frozen organic vegetables on hand.
3. Utilize the salad bar.
This is also a great idea to introduce variety without committing to say, a whole pineapple? Sometimes I’ll swing by the grocery store and grab some beans, vegetables, fruits or pasta from the salad bar to help out with a last minute meal.
You can create a heck of a nibble tray with all the options and it usually is really cheap. Bonus if you bring you child along and let them pick out some options, too. Hailey loves pointing out new foods to try because it gives her control.
4. Use their old favorites in new ways.
Looking to switch things up for a less-than-adventurous eater? Take a food they already love and alter it slightly. Instead of a quesadilla, I added refried beans to tortilla chips with shredded cheese, then stuck it under broil for 2 minutes. Hailey helped top it with diced red pepper and I added plain Greek yogurt for dipping.
You could also roll it up or put it in a taco.
If you’re looking for more about what busy moms feed their kids, check out “What Busy Moms Feed Their Kids” from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean!
What helps you throw together healthy meals in a pinch?