If you’re a mother, you’ve probably had a few days where you stay so busy that you forget to eat. This is true whether you are a working or stay at home mom. As a working mom myself, I barely have time each day to pack my lunch box and get out of the door on time. Many times, my husband is doing it for me while I finish getting ready.
My husband works 6:00am to 1:30pm Monday through Friday. I work 2:30pm to 11:30pm Monday through Friday. We both are our daughter’s care giver throughout the week. Even though my daughter takes multiple naps while I’m home, I use that time to start getting ready for work or enjoy a cup of coffee. When I started back to work, I was scrambling to find food for lunch and dinner. I would grab anything close to being healthy, throw it in my lunch box and head out the door. Before I got off work, I would be starving. Then, I would be tempted to go pick up something from a restaurant or gas station. Of course never feeling fully satisfied. I finally got tired of the stress so I decided to plan my meals weekly.
Sunday is when we take a few hours to prep our meals for the week. We usually pick a meat like chicken, beef or fish along with a veggie and carb. It only takes a couple of hours to get a WHOLE weeks worth of food. As a mother that breast feeds and works full-time, it’s important for me to eat a healthy meal. It helps with milk production since my daughter is strictly breast milk fed. Also, planning my meals keeps me from buying food that is unhealthy. The best part is it saves money.
Many people argue buying healthy food is expensive. It can be depending on where you shop and what you buy. I would love to say I can afford everything at Whole Foods, but I can’t. My husband and I are lucky enough to have Aldi and Costco. Aldi has improved a lot over the last few years. They carry organic food half the price of many other places. In the last year, Costco has worked hard to put healthier choices in their stores. There you can find organic food in bulk. The same stuff you will pay more for in Whole Foods. The best part about Costco is you can buy in bulk which helps when you’re prepping a week’s worth of meals.
I also like the divided containers. I can put my entire dinner in one container; which makes it easier to carry to work. I bought several two-section containers at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks but you can also find some on Amazon that are reusable. It’s an easy way to not over fill a regular container. You place the carb of your choice in the smallest compartment and fill the large section with veggies and protein.
For stay at home moms you may not benefit from dinner meal preps, but breakfast and lunch could help insure you’re getting something to eat . Especially for the days the kids keep you busy. I know as moms we tend to put everyone else’s needs above our own but eating a good meal is something you need to do for yourself. Any easy way to prep ahead for lunch could be making a large salad with your favorite toppings and meat. Then at lunch all you have to do is put some in a bowl and eat. You can also prep your lunches to be similar to what I make for dinner. You may even want to prep breakfast, lunch and a couple of snacks for each day. Some snacks could include carrots and hummus, almonds, fruit or a protein shake. I try to eat six times a day. Three meals and two snacks. What about breakfast?
An easy breakfast to prep days in advance are overnight oats. If you’ve never tried them I suggest giving it a shot. I have a whole board on my Pinterest dedicated to different flavors of overnight oats. Basically, you put dried oats with yogurt, milk, fruit, chia seeds or other things all in a mason jar. You stick in the fridge over night. When you wake up in the morning, you take the oats out of the fridge and eat straight from the jar. Depending on the age of your kids, it could also be a good breakfast for them as well. Especially when you’re needing to get them to an activity, school, or the gym. Overnight oats saved me while I was on maternity leave. I struggled finding the time to eat at all, but they made it so much easier. Oats also help increase breast milk, so if you’re not a fan of regular oatmeal, this could be a better option.
Here are a few recipes I found on Pinterest of Overnight Oats. Each recipe will tell you how many servings it will make. I buy the smaller mason jars, but you can put a couple of servings in a larger jar. Overnight Oats last in the fridge for about three days. Once again, it’s quick and easy to make for those busy mornings.