The Best Diet for a Busy Stay-At-Home Mom

The life of a stay-at-home mom is full of misconceptions. Where else would you find a job that has you in work mode 24/7? 

Between raising a baby, recovering postpartum, caring for the house, and finding time to stay active, I found it quite challenging to maintain a healthy and inspired diet. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of getting unhealthy fast food and takeout for convenience.

While having fast food occasionally isn’t terrible, relying on it multiple times a week will affect your health, body, and mind. I found this out the hard way. But I learned from my mistakes, so I want to help you. 

Here are some tips on staying healthy and fed using our busy mom diet meal plan.

Best Diet for a Busy Stay At Home mom

How Can a Stay-At-Home Mom Eat Healthy?

Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t easy for everyone, especially when you live a busy life. As moms, we are as busy as it gets, right? 

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to get better at planning and prepping your meals.

Part of maintaining a healthy diet is making sure you eat enough food in a day. But, many busy moms skip one or even two meals for the day. 

For some, cooking is simply too much effort and may not be their strong suit. Personally, I’d rather play with my little one than be stuck behind the stove.

Meal-prepping can be a lifesaver in this case. 

Find time once or twice a week to get into the kitchen. Then, make meals you can store for later, which will save time on your busier days. 

The secret is achieving maximum flavor with minimum effort. Meal-prepping can help you achieve healthy, nutritious, low-effort meals that will power you for playtime.

Food portions for a postpartum diet

What Are the Healthy Foods for a Busy Lifestyle?

Finding healthy foods that are interesting enough to keep you committed to the diet is challenging for many. Finding those same foods that can easily fit into your busy lifestyle is even more of a challenge. 

Who has time to make a tuna casserole whenever you need to up your protein?

Unfortunately, when you go on social media, you’ll find many influencers hyping up the next diet craze, such as weight loss shakes. All the contradicting advice can be a little confusing for moms everywhere.

The only thing you have to remember is the best diet has to check the following:

  • fits your lifestyle, 
  • encourages good eating habits, and 
  • prioritizes whole foods.

Thankfully, I’ve found some foods perfect for my busy lifestyle!

I include plenty of fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. These can make great snacks, and with such variety in the food itself and how it can be included in your meals, you’re bound to find something appealing and easy to fit into your schedule.

You’ll want to avoid too much salt, unhealthy fats, and sugar. While this may go without saying, these are prime culprits behind unhealthy diets. They’re deceptively easy to over-consume in fast food takeaways.

healthy balanced meals for postpartum diet

Meal Suggestions

As a busy mom, having a few meal ideas ready can save you lots of time and help you plan ahead.

Breakfast

Ensuring you eat a high-protein breakfast can be a lifesaver as you’ll feel fuller for longer. My top favorite breakfasts are:

Omelette with chicken, onions, red pepper, mushrooms, and spinach (skip the chicken if you’re vegetarian).

If you don’t like eggs, a loaded oatmeal bowl with fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and cacao nibs is a delicious alternative.

These options give you the energy boost to tackle the day’s chaos. Remember, breakfast is important, especially if you’re trying to lose weight

Lunch

A chicken and veggie-filled wrap to a “whole meal” salad—salad greens loaded with tomatoes, cucumber, sliced yellow or red pepper, a grain of choice (buckwheat, couscous, and barley are great), and some protein, like chickpeas, lentils, beans, chicken, or tuna. 

Top it off with an oil-free dressing, and you’ll be sorted!

Dinner

For dinner, I love serving a meal my whole family can enjoy. Since mom wants the entire family well-fed, I’ve found that the 2:1:1 ratio works best.

It means that your dinner is comprised of 1 part protein, 1 part starch, and 2 parts vegetables. Protein can include anything you prefer, but avoid cooking it in oil.

I reach for my air fryer any chance I get, and I highly recommend it! As for starch, sweet potato or rice are fantastic. And veggies—choose whatever tickles your fancy!

Here are some sample meal plans you can try. Remember to try and experiment to see what foods work best for you.

Sample Meal Plan – A

Breakfast: Protein yoghurt, berries + muesli.

Snacks: Rice cakes with toppings.

Lunch: Dinner leftovers like chicken & rice– My kids love this super easy, slow cooked butter chicken.

Dinner: Stir fry with veggies and noodles.

Sample Meal Plan – B

Breakfast: Grain toast, cottage cheese, avo, bacon, egg, tomato

Snacks: Homemade muesli slice + scoop of protein yogurt 

Lunch: Low carb wrap, chicken, cheese, lettuce, avo

Dinner: Pea and spinach prawn carbonara.

Meal Prepping Tips for Busy Families

Prepping your meals in advance is one of the best ways to ensure you can have healthy meals that you won’t spend hours preparing. You’ll only have to worry about making time to eat.

Meal prep is easier than you might realize, depending on your tastes and preferences. It’s important to think about your schedule. When you have a few free hours, you can set aside some time to get into the kitchen and start cooking. 

I usually do my meal prep on Sunday afternoons. That’s when I’m not busy with playtime or cleaning up toys, and this momma can focus. You can find many quick and easy recipes online, like overnight oats, burritos, and wraps that are quick to serve. 

The key to good meal prep is cooking and preparing ingredients that can be easily put together later or used to make a meal that can be frozen and reheated later.

Keep an eye out for ready-made foods and meals at stores. For example, if you can get your hands on a rotisserie chicken, you can skip the cooking part and cut and shred the chicken, which could last you a few days for various salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc.

busy mom drinking daily water intake

How to Stay Hydrated Daily as a Busy Mom

Staying hydrated is equally crucial as staying fed, especially for nursing and active moms. There are a few things that you can do to stay better hydrated.

Firstly, starting your day with a glass of water is always recommended. Before you even have coffee or tea with your breakfast, waking up with a refreshing glass of water can help you prepare for the day.

Reusable water bottles and flasks will quickly become your best friends. Keeping the bottle on hand at all times means you’ll always have water available to you, no matter where you are, making it easier to remember to drink. Bonus points if you find one with a straw since it’ll be easier for you to drink while busy with the kids or doing housework (which is always, if we’re honest).

Consider looking into foods with high water content. 

Lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and watermelon are all great examples of foods that are hydrating on their own and can be brilliant additions if you find water boring. I also suggest adding lemon to your water – it adds flavor and zest. Plus, lemon has tons of health benefits.

How Can Busy Moms Lose Weight?

Many new moms struggle to lose weight after they have their children. Factors such as stress, lack of quality sleep, and breastfeeding contribute to holding onto excess weight.

While you’ll naturally lose weight after baby over time, you might also want to shed a few extra kilograms gained during pregnancy.

Making Dietary Changes to Lose Weight

From a dietary perspective, you can do a few things to help you lose weight.

Shifting to a high-protein and high-fiber diet can help your body regulate your appetite and boost your metabolism.

Mindful vs Mindless Eating for Weight Loss

Practicing mindful eating is another great way to help regulate your diet. Many moms find it difficult to lose weight even with healthier food options, and it’s likely because of mindless eating. 

By taking 20 minutes to detach from distractions and focus on eating to satiety, you might find that you’ve been overeating without realising it. Use meal times to reconnect with yourself and your family—turn off the TV, phone, tablet, etc.

After practicing mindful eating for only two weeks, I felt much more in control and in tune with my body’s needs and when I knew I was full.

mom snacking during weightloss journey

Diet Mistakes Made By Stay-At-Home Moms

One of the many mistakes stay-at-home moms make is mindless snacking. I know I struggled with this while being at home with my kiddo.

It’s easy to settle into a routine and develop bad habits when it comes to taking care of the kids, maintaining a household, and looking after yourself.

Mindless Snacking

Our kids are growing and need plenty of food and nutrients, but often, when giving your kids snacks, you may also have a snack or two of your own. 

While it won’t hurt to have a small treat every once in a while, developing the habit of eating snacks mindlessly—in addition to our regular meals—will make it more challenging to lose weight. If weight loss is your goal, it’s better to practise mindful eating instead and eat at the appropriate meal times.

Not Prioritizing Sleep

Many moms also need to give themselves more time to sleep. While it’s true that parents will be up longer than before to tend to their baby’s needs, getting quality, deep sleep is necessary for your body to metabolize food properly. Sometimes, getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep will be challenging, but try to prioritize it.

Setting Unrealistic Goals

Lastly, set yourself realistic long-term goals. Many moms focus on short-term results and resort to crash diets and other fads in an attempt to lose baby weight quickly.

These diets may give quick results but can become unhealthy in the long run.

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