The single parents guide to eating healthy the easy way
The single parent’s guide to eating healthy — the easy way!
To say the least, you are time-strapped, and getting a healthy dinner on the table can be overwhelming. Not only are you juggling the job and the kids, but the meals and housework. Getting anything on the table is a victory, but what if getting easy, healthy, delicious meals on the table was almost as easy as picking up take-out?
We’re here for you with a guide to help you make it happen.
The key is to have a plan and the ingredients to execute the plan.
Make or find a meal plan. Shop for the ingredients. Wash and store them properly. Repeat. This meal planning method alone will greatly improve the quality of the meals you make. It will save you the stress of wondering, “What am I going to do for dinner tonight!” A meal planning tool saves you time, energy and money (because you’ll use up the ingredients you buy).
Have “on-the-go” snacks on hand.
Chances are you’ll have to run the kids to and from extracurricular activities and at-the-ready travel snacks lend you super-hero status when your kids are hungry. Some on-the-run snack suggestions include hard boiled eggs, protein drinks, mini bagels with low-fat cream cheese, fruit and nuts.
Make sure your meals are family-friendly.
As a single parent cooking for your busy family, the last thing you need is to have mealtime battles over what you are serving. Stick with recipes that appeal to simpler tastes. Look for recipes that are made of 5 ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare. If you have 5 or 6 recipes that you and the kids love, that’s all you need. Every once in a while, when you have the time and energy to try something new, add those winners to your “go-to” recipes. You and your kids will welcome the familiar tastes of dishes that warm and comfort.
Enlist the help of your children.
They can help set the table, get drinks on the table, load the dishwasher or, if they’re older, help with prep work or make a salad. They’ll learn important life skills and discover the joy of eating good food! Before you know it, you won’t be the single mom cooking alone. You’ll have budding cooks in the kitchen, taking charge, and you can sit back and relax!
Use the 80/20 rule.
If you manage to get a meal on the table 80% of the time you are a rock star! Some nights it’s impossible to get it all done. If you have a night when you really need an “emergency” dinner idea, make breakfast for dinner. Eggs are cheap and easy to prepare. Make an omelet and use up any leftover vegetables you may have. Having good, healthy, prepared food source that you can depend on for days when it’s impossible to cook will relieve the pressure—and don’t feel bad about it.
Make the slow cooker your friend.
If you can prep your slow cooker meal the night before or in the morning, especially during the winter months, dinner will be ready when you walk in the door. There’s nothing better for a single dad cooking for his energetic tribe than walking in the door after a hectic day and smelling a home-cooked meal. You’ll get to enjoy it together, without a lot of fuss.
A single mom meal planning tip that has worked for many of us is to develop a daily routine so that everyone knows what to expect each day. Consistency will make everyone feel more calm and secure. You’ve got your hands full, and you’re doing a great job, so give yourself a break!
Being a single parent is an interesting time. You have serious responsibilities, but it’s also liberating. Take time for yourself too. You’ll be an even better parent if you can relax, get out and socialize. Be sure to do something nice for yourself.
Being a single parent is one tough job! Don’t try to do everything on your own. Reach out to friends and family to help you along the way. Use outside resources if you can’t get things done. If you have trouble with single parent meal planning, don’t worry. There are plenty of online websites to help you. If you enjoyed this article and would like to share it with a friend, please do. At MEAL5.com, our mission is to help single parents and busy families eat good food with simple, easy recipes and healthy meal plans. They are offered in Quick Cooking Videos that are easy to learn from. Thank you for taking time to read this article. Eat well! Feel better!