Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas for the Whole Family

healthy recipes

Due to time constraints while taking care of my children and living the busy life that all of us lead, I’ve developed some go-to, quick meals that are high in fiber, include fresh produce and lean protein, low-fat dairy and plenty of green tea and water. These are easy to pack for work lunches and to throw together quickly for dinner.

Breakfast-

-High fiber cereal with ¼ cup of non-fat or low fat Greek yogurt, thinned down slightly with non-fat milk. Add fresh blueberries, strawberries or ½ a banana. * You need to be sure the word ‘whole’ is the first word listed in the ingredient list under the nutrition information to ensure that you are getting a whole grain, low-sugar breakfast cereal.

-2 whole wheat, low-fat waffles. Top with 2 tables almond butter or natural nut butter, pureed berries or a dollop of 0% Greek yogurt.

-Egg whites scrambled in a low-carb, whole grain wrap with low-sodium salsa and a sprinkle of feta or Mexican cheese (use in moderation).

Lunch-

-3 oz. of home baked turkey breast or a low-sodium, low-processed variety like Boars Head on whole wheat, low-calorie bread, or Ezekiel bread ( found in the organic freezer section), or wrap. Use condiments moderately as needed like olive oil low-calorie mayonnaise, whole grain mustards or straight raw horseradish. Fill up the sandwich with tomato, romaine lettuce or spinach leaves. Add slightly steamed pea pods- celery, cucumbers, or carrots.

-Tuna or chicken salad made with low-calorie or olive oil based mayo or Low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt. Add chopped celery, 1 tbsp.. roasted, no-salt walnuts, radishes, green onions or jalapeno pieces. The point is that you can make it lower in calories and salt by making it at home. You can fill it in a half of a cantaloupe, or in a whole-wheat pita lined with spinach leaves. Add a piece of whole fruit or vegetable sticks with this.

-Wrap made with lean chicken, shrimp, or rinsed non-PEA canned black beans (about 1/3 cup). Add chopped tomato, green onions, cumin, low-salt Mexican spices, and vegetables. Adding vegetables reduces the food density levels of your meal making it more fulfilling for less total calories. Add a cup of yogurt or low-calorie cheese to add dairy to the meal.

Dinner-

-Organic chicken sausage with whole wheat couscous or quinoa adding tomatoes, onions, and spices.

-4 oz. grilled tilapia, salmon, or halibut with 2/3 cup brown rice (add no salt chicken stock, spices or peppercorns for taste), 1 cup steamed vegetables and 2 cups salad greens with a drizzle of EVOO and a splash of flavored vinegar.

-Beef stir fry using a lean cut such as skirt or flank steak or bison meat (3 oz. per serving). Stir in sliced carrots, leeks, or whatever you have available. Serve over ½ cup brown rice or farro.

-Make a vegetarian dish utilizing mushrooms, or tofu for protein. You can add vegetables or stock your pantry with  sauces (check the salt and calorie/serving size). They often come in red-wine flavors, oriental flavors or whatever interests you.

Meal ideas are limitless if you try to eat with seasonal vegetables and fruits and have some staples in your pantry such as whole grain pastas, quinoa, brown rice, canned beans, tomatoes (cartons now too), and no-salt nuts. Don’t be intimidated by food prep and cooking. When you make it yourself, you control what’s added and the calories and save money as well.

Exercise Diary:

Stretch DVD- 45 min

Pure Barre class- 55 minutes

Jumping on the trampoline with the boys

 Food Diary:

Breakfast-

1 cup egg whites, 1 cup spinach (130 cal)

2 pieces Ezekiel bread toast, no-calorie butter flavored spray (180 cal)

Whey protein shake (125 cal)

A.M. Snack-

3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, blackberries, sprinkle of Kashi Go lean on top (145 cal)

Lunch-

pickled red sweet pepper, yellow squash, cucumber (48 cal.)

1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat (290 cal)

P.M. Snack-

1 whole wheat tortilla, 2 tbsp. organic almond butter, 1/2 apple slices (210 cal)

Dinner-

Homemade light eggplant and mushroom lasagna (left one layer out, and used whole wheat blend noodles, non-fat cottage vs., ricotta, low-fat mozzarella (320 cal) I ate a 2 X 2 square

1 cup roasted asparagus, zucchini, rosemary EVOO, grilled lemon (75 cal)

1/4 cup mushrooms, sauté with Pam(22 cal)

Dessert-

1 cup non-fat cottage cheese with strawberries and sliced almonds(120 cal)

TOTAL CALORIES-1765

(photo: Dukesmayo.com)

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