After struggling week after week to come up with healthy meals that were feasible for this season of life, I scoured the Internet and made a list I could reference while meal planning. It has been so helpful for me, I’m now sharing it with you!
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My goal is always to feed my family mostly healthy food so I can fuel our bodies well (more on that in a bit). I mean, do we love our pizzas and our cheeseburgers? Yes, yes we do. But as our norm, I try to fill our menu with healthy meals.
Related Post: How to Meal Plan in 30 Minutes or Less
However, it’s HARD to find healthy meals that are feasible for this season of life. At this point, I’m just not interested in ones that have long lists of crazy ingredients, require hours of my time, or are going to blow our entire month’s food budget. And since we like a lot of variety in our meals, I found myself constantly struggling week after week to come up with meals that fit my criteria.
After growing weary of the same dance every Sunday evening (when I do my meal planning), I decided to invest some time searching for and creating a list of healthy meals. And it was time well-spent!
Since it has been so helpful to me, I thought I would share my list with you!
My “Healthy Food” Philosophy
Before we get to the list, however, I should clarify my definition of “healthy meals.” I base my food choices (and teach my kids to think about theirs) on the philosophy of “food is fuel.” As with the gas you put in your vehicle, the quality of food we put in our bodies affects how well it will run. So, that’s my motivation. Not having the lowest amount of calories or achieving a certain body type, but rather giving our bodies the nutrients and energy we need to function well and feel our best after eating.
Everyone has a different definition of “healthy,” so I fully expect there to be meals on my list that you think, “How in the world does she call that healthy??” I’ll tell you right up front – I steer clear of fad diets and eliminations. I don’t do them. I also don’t do complicated. My approach to a “healthy diet” is to try to stick to real, whole foods (in moderation) that are full of nutrients.
If your concept of healthy food differs from mine, that’s ok! Take what you can from my list, and skip the rest.
50 Simple, Healthy Meal Ideas
Looking for healthy meals to include in your meal plan rotation? Here are 50 healthy meals that are simple (and affordable) enough for busy moms.
**Note: Again, everyone has a different definition of “healthy,” but I chose meals that call for mostly real food (or the possibility of real food substitutions) and are high in nutritional content.
- Oatmeal – of alllll kinds!
- Scrambled Eggs – throw in some veggies for even more nutrition!
- Egg Muffin cups
- Whole wheat pancakes/waffles – I use the recipe from this 100 Days of Real Food cookbook
- Whole wheat muffins
- Breakfast burritos – you can use whole wheat or wheat alternative wraps
- Breakfast burrito jars – I love this bread-free option!
- Chia pudding
- Whole wheat zucchini or banana bread
- Parfaits – with plain yogurt (sweetened with a bit of honey) and homemade granola
- Chocolate Quinoa Muffins
- Instant Pot steel cut oats – the ONLY way I like steel cut oats
- Easy Homemade Granola
- Nut butter on whole wheat toast with bananas
Related Post: 12 (Real Food) Make-Ahead Breakfasts
For any meal ideas below that don’t have recipe links (or even if they do and you want other options), simply google whatever I have listed, and you’ll find lots of varieties to try!
- Grain bowls
- Healthy White Chicken Chili
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Sautéed marinated chicken slices (can be used on grains, pasta, salads, sandwiches, etc.)
- Burrito bowls – can use chicken, pork, beef, or beans
- Tex Mex Chicken & Zucchini
- Mexican Chicken & Rice
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Chicken Curry
- Fajitas – I like making sheet pan fajitas
- One Pot Chicken Quinoa
- Zucchini Turkey Meatballs
- Baked or grilled fish
- Honey Garlic Shrimp
- Chicken and Lentil Soup (Instant Pot)
- Chicken Noodle Soup – I make mine with homemade chicken broth and LOTS of veggies
- Taco Soup – I make the seasoning mixes instead of using packaged
- Turkey Meatball Soup
- Quinoa Enchilada Bake OR Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- IP spaghetti (can make this healthier by using whole grain or veggie pasta, though I haven’t mastered the perfect cook times for those yet)
- Vegetable Soup
- Sheet pan gnocchi and veggies
- Sheet pan greens and beans
- Ham & Bean Soup
- Honey-Mustard Sheet Pan Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
- Sheet pan chicken & veggies – There are tons of recipes and variations online. Google “sheet pan chicken + [whatever veggies you have on hand]”
- Stuffed Peppers – I like them “deconstructed”, or you could try them with quinoa!
- Spaghetti squash “spaghetti”
- Cauliflower “fried rice”
- Garlic Chicken & Veggie Pasta
- Slow cooker pineapple salsa chicken
For healthy snack ideas, visit this post: 25 Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Love
SHARE WITH US: Do you have simple healthy meal ideas? Please share them in the comments! I’d LOVE to hear them!
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