This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx on behalf of Healthy Choice.
I had a Q&A on my Instagram a couple weeks ago and one of the questions that came up several times was how I managed dinner as a busy working mom. Dinnertime has always been really important to me and even when I was growing up, my parents made a big deal about us always sitting together as a family to eat. My mom is an incredible cook and I have the fondest memories of coming home to the delicious smells in the kitchen. Unfortunately, my mom’s amazing ability to whip up meals from scratch didn’t completely transfer over to me but I still strive to prepare meals for my family that they will love. I completely changed up my diet about 6 years ago after reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and try to stick to real foods that are mostly plant-based.
Working full-time does make it harder when it comes to preparing dinner as a busy working mom but I wanted to share with you what I do when it comes to managing dinner and making sure we still get a healthy and delicious meal on the table!
Cook a full meal 2-3 times a week
I’m horrible at meal planning and rely heavily on recipe / ingredient delivery services every week (I’ll be sharing more details on this soon!). It makes it so easy when all the ingredients and recipes are delivered straight to your door. I usually will cook 1-2 of those meals on the weekends and prep the ingredients for another meal that I’ll cook on the weekday.
When I do cook, I double-up on the ingredients so that I can make sure that there are enough leftovers for at least another meal if not more. And if I cook something that freezes well, I stick half of it in the freezer and save it for a few weeks later so my kids won’t complain about eating the same thing again, lol!
I have several appliances that I swear by: slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and next on our list is the Instant Pot. With each of these, I love that I can put food in, set the timer, and leave it. As a busy working mom, I don’t have to constantly monitor the food and basically the gadget does the magic!
Take advantage of quality, convenience meals
In the past, I had viewed frozen meals as packed with unrecognizable ingredients, high in sodium, and not very tasty. But, recently Healthy Choice completely revamped their frozen meal options and are focusing on high-quality food, modern recipes, and food with purpose! They just launched a Power Bowls line which are made with a combination of nutrient-dense vegetables, proteins and whole grains. I especially love the internationally-inspired flavors including Korean-Inspired Beef Bowl, Adobo Chicken Bowl, Cuban-Inspired Pork Bowl, and Chicken Sausage & Barley Bowl.
I tested out their Korean-Inspired Beef Bowl and Adobo Chicken Bowl:
There’s a huge focus on quality ingredients and each bowl has a diverse combination of ancient grains, colorful and unique vegetables, and lean proteins. They even come packaged in new bowls made of plant-based fiber instead of plastic!
Adobo Chicken Bowl
The Latin-inspired chicken bowl was a huge hit with both Dylan and Mei! It’s made with pulled, all-natural chicken breast raised without antibiotics with vegetables served on top of brown and red rice, red quinoa, and black barley. It’s topped with a guajillo chili sauce (that thankfully wasn’t spicy for my super spice-sensitive kids!) and roasted pepitas. A whole bowl is only 330 calories, 2.5 g saturated fat, 8 g of fiber, and a whopping 26 g of protein! Sodium levels are also only at 600 g, 26% of daily recommended value!
Korean-Inspired Beef Bowl
This one was my favorite! The Korean-inspired beef bowl is made with tender braised all-natural beef with shiitake mushrooms and vegetables served on top of brown and red rice, red quinoa, and black barley with a spicy gochujang and soy sauce topped with black and white sesame seeds. The beef is all natural USDA beef and the whole bowl has only 290 calories, 2.5 g saturated fat, 6 g fiber, and 20 g of protein! Again the sodium level was only 600 g, only 26% of daily recommended value. This bowl was bursting with flavor and definitely had a kick to it, so be sure you like spice before trying!
Healthy Choice Power Bowls are made with an intentional balance of nutrient-packed veggies, natural proteins, and whole grains. It’s perfect for the busy working mom that I am and takes less than 5 minutes to prepare! It’s perfect for those days when I need something quick and can still feel good about what I’m putting in me and my kids’ bodies. Quick tip, although these do heat easily in the microwave, I found that they tasted even better when I heated it on the stove — and honestly it didn’t take much longer!
Hopefully this post sheds some light on how I juggle preparing food for my family to eat and juggle the responsibilities of working full-time outside the home too! There are many days that we’re just winging it too but these tips have definitely helped us. I hope you found this post useful and this busy working mom would love to know your suggestions too!