3 Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas for Moms and Dads on the Go

The “witching hour” as many parents call it; the time when baths need to be had, homework must be done and kids are tired. The last thing you want to worry about is what’s for dinner? Finding dinner ideas that are quick and easy but also healthy can be a challenge. Here a few meal ideas for families on-the-go! 

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Healthier Pizza Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole grain or whole wheat bagel, sliced in half
  • ½ cup low sodium marinara sauce
  • ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken breast (remove skin)
  • ½ cup pre-shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup chopped peppers

Preparation:

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Place bagel halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons marinara on cut side of bagel half. Top each half with chicken, sprinkle with cheese and add peppers. Broil bagel halves an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melt and peppers soften.

Skylar’s tip: Add cut up celery and carrots on the side!

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or butter alternative
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation:

  1. Rinse quinoa and drain in strainer, set aside.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until onion is translucent and starting to brown.
  3. Add quinoa and continue to cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute, coating the quinoa evenly in the butter.
  4. Add vegetable broth. Cover, turn heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. When it starts to boil turn it down to low (keep covered) and let it cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is almost soft.
  6. Remove cover and stir in broccoli florets, cover again for 2-3 minutes.
  7. When the liquid is fully absorbed and the broccoli is tender, stir in the cheese and serve it up.

Yields: 2 meal servings

Chinese Chicken Salad

Salad:

  • 1 small head Chinese Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 2 cups cooked, skinless chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup diagonally sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped

Soy Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2-4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons fresh grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic

Skylar’s tip: Use a food processor to save time chopping.

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients.
  2. Prepare dressing by mixing ingredients in a covered container and shake to blend.
  3. Toss dressing with salad up to 3-4 hours or just before serving.

Yields: 4-5 meal servings.

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Skylar’s Bottom Line: Family meals are the small investment with the big pay-off. Studies have shown that family meals may be a protective against childhood obesity. Shop and plan ahead to save time, and remember that most things cooked in the home are better than those cooked outside of the home.