Lunch for a mom is hard. Sometimes eating at all during the day is hard. Cue binge eating. Who hasn’t eaten an abandoned peanut butter and jelly sandwich on their kid’s plate and called it lunch? It’s not always a proud moment, but it’s real life. Even if you’re not the type of person who forgets to eat, somewhere between the toddler meals, diapers, naps, and juggling household duties, feeding ourselves creeps farther down the list of things to do. But, it shouldn’t. So, without adding any extra hours to the day, how can we squeeze in a healthy lunch?
Any meal, especially for moms, needs to be nutritiously dense. Technically, lunch should be our highest calorie meal. So why are we skimping on it? Here’s a theory: We are so concerned with feeding our children that we don’t make ourselves a priority.
We need to change that. We set the example for our children, and it is our responsibility to take care of our bodies. Embracing this perspective changes everything.
Time is a huge factor for moms. We never seem to have enough of it. There is always one more task: one more shoe to find, one more bill to pay, and one more errand to run. Sometimes the best lunch we can get is a venti [insert sugary beverage] from Starbucks. Nothing against Starbucks, but chewing lunch is also enjoyable and an important part of feeling satisfied until dinner.
Love them or hate them, they are a healthy lunch option. You can cook enough the night before to either piece together a new meal from leftover vegetables and protein or eat the same meal again. If eating repeat meals isn’t your thing, keeping key pantry staples stocked can help you turn leftovers into a new dish.
Keeping these versatile staples on-hand can help you turn last night’s dinner into today’s healthy lunch:
- Quick brown rice/quinoa blends (Seeds of Change is organic and the flavored options have limited ingredients.)
- Onions, either pre-sautéed or raw
- Black beans
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Fresh or frozen berries
- Spinach or kale
- Cauliflower rice
- Flaxseed, chia seeds, or hemp seed hearts
- Other fresh or frozen fruit
Rice Bowls and Smoothie Bowls
With these ingredients, you can quickly whip up two go-to healthy lunches: rice bowls and smoothie bowls. Either of these meals will get you through the lunch rush. You can shovel lunch into your mouth and move on to the next task on your schedule. Just let a few of these staples be your starting point for your bowl, and add in any leftovers or fresh ingredients you have.
A big mistake that we often make with smoothies is adding too much fruit. A good rule of thumb is for every three servings of vegetables in a smoothie, allow one fruit. This prevents the sugar high and inevitable 4 p.m. sugar crash that occurs when we put too much fruit in a smoothie. Consider adding almond butter or protein powder to your smoothie to balance out your macros as well.
Here are two of our favorite lunchtime rice bowl and smoothie bowl options. Feel free to spice them up a bit with whatever you have lying around!
“Fried” Rice Bowl
- 1/2 of an organic quick rice blend packet
- 1 egg
- 1/2 of a red or yellow onion
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup of spinach
Prepare the rice according to package instructions. Use half of the packet in your lunch, and save the rest for tomorrow.
If you have time, prepare an egg sunny side up until it’s at your preferred consistency. Or, if you don’t have time, pour half a cup of water into a bowl, crack the egg into the water, cover, and microwave for 30 seconds. This is a quick way to poach an egg!
Thinly slice an onion and either saute it in the pan with the egg or just add it to your rice raw.
Toss shredded carrots with your rice. Put the spinach in a bowl, and pour the hot rice onto the spinach. This will wilt the spinach a little bit, making it easier to eat. Top the rice with your onion and poached or runny egg.
Enjoy five seconds of peace and eat!
Don’t Stop “Beet”lieving in Smoothie Bowls
- 1 beet (try the precooked organic ones)
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 1/2 cup baby kale
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 green pear
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup granola
- 2 tbsp hemp seed hearts
- Shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
- 1 cup milk of choice
Add the beet, celery, baby kale, blueberries, pear, banana, Greek yogurt, and milk to your blender. Feel free to leave out the celery if you’re a smoothie newbie; these vegetables pack a punch! Blend until smooth. Add more liquid if your smoothie is still too thick.
Pour your smoothie into a bowl and add granola, hemp seed hearts, and coconut.
Hide from your children as you eat dessert for a healthy lunch.
Photo Credits: Pixabay