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Mums are some of the busiest people on the planet. But, when it comes to busy mum nutrition between working, taking care of the kids, and running errands, there always seems to be too little time in the day to get a healthy meal. Finding time to eat healthily can be challenging, especially when you’re always on the go. But eating healthy is essential, not just for your well-being but for your children’s health. This guide will discuss how busy mums can eat healthy even when they’re short on time. We’ll give you tips and tricks for preparing quick and easy meals that are both nutritious and delicious!
Busy Mum Nutrition-The Basics
Below is a chart of the RI (reference intakes) for women to maintain a healthy balanced diet from the five food groups from Eating well.
The recommended daily intake includes:
- Fruits – 2 Serves per day
- Vegetables, including Beans and Legumes – at least 5 serves per day
- Whole Grains – 4-6 serves per day
- Proteins, lean meats, fish and chicken, etc. – 2.5 – 3 serves per day
- Dairy and alternatives – 2.5 – 4 serves per day
As stated by Eat for Health, the estimated Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) are from the following:
- 20–35% of fat
- 45–65% of carbohydrate
- 15–25% of protein
Following the above food groups and recommendations as a guide will help you to stay on the right track to maintaining healthy nutrition.
A Sample of a Structured Day of Eating Healthy Food
Here is a sample of a structured day of eating to guide you through establishing a healthy routine:
Breakfast is an important meal to start the day and kick-start your metabolism.
Protein should always be included in your breakfast as it helps to keep you fuller for longer and contributes to your daily macros and RI.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Meal prep can help to keep you organized. If you are not much of a breakfast eater, try a smoothie or protein shake.
Morning Tea – Snack
Always have healthy snacks on hand to ensure you are filling your body with healthy and nutritious foods that will provide you with all the macros needed to maintain a healthy balanced diet.
If you need ideas, you can find some here Healthy Snacks.
Meal prep can be your best friend for lunch, especially at work.
It can be easy to order your lunch or grab something unhealthy, but with some prep, preparing and bringing your own lunch can be easier and less stressful.
Making a batch of healthy salads topped with a protein such as grilled chicken or boiled eggs and portioned into containers can be a convenient grab-and-go lunch.
Again, aim for a protein-packed lunch with whole grains and hold up on the sugary and processed foods.
Afternoon Tea – Snack
Instead of grabbing a highly processed and full of sugar snack bar from the supermarket, try one of the recipes here. It will help you save money and be made ahead of time, stored in individual slices and frozen for convenience, giving you a healthy and nutritious snack whenever you need it.
Dinner can sometimes be a time to eat whatever is most accessible, as the afternoons can sometimes be crazy with work and kids’ after-school activities.
Taking time to plan and organize your week with ready-to-go ingredients and some meals cooked ahead of time can be a serious time saver and a winner at dinner time.
Don’t let an after-dinner snack or dessert ruin your day of healthy eating.
Ensure you have nutritious snacks that don’t contain highly processed sugar.
Having premade baked treats can help satisfy your sweet tooth and not ruin all your hard work.
Busy Mum Nutrition: 11 Tips to Keep You on The Healthy Track
By following these 11 tips, you should be able to establish healthy nutrition habits:
1. Mom, Know Your Why
Knowing your why and having a plan can help make the process of maintaining healthy nutrition as a busy mom much more accessible.
Taking the time to brainstorm what you want to get out of this healthy lifestyle change can make a lot of difference and give you clarity in how you go about it and how you will make this work.
With a plan in place, the process will be a lot easier. But unfortunately, life is far too busy to go with the flow.
Ultimately, it all comes down to planning, finding time to organize your week, and setting goals. Following these essential steps will allow you to evaluate and assess your progress.
2. Plan Ahead
Once you know your why and your reasons, it’s now time to make a plan.
Without a plan, you have no real direction or idea for achieving your goals. Creating a plan and breaking it down even further will give you clarity and ensure you stay calm. Usually, we give up when we don’t have a clear focus.
3. Make Meal Prep a Priority
Ensuring you have planned and organized your day, week, or even month ahead will help make things easier.
It can also be a massive help, particularly on those busy days or when unexpected things pop up.
Once you have planned and made a list of your weekly meals, it’s then time to organize your groceries and ingredients.
Usually, on Sundays, I schedule a time to chop, portion, and even cook some meals. It can help you resist the temptation to grab a quick takeaway meal full of processed ingredients due to lack of time in the evenings.
4. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
There will be many times that a craving for sweet foods will hit. Instead of grabbing something highly processed and full of refined sugar, ensure you have only healthy snacks on hand.
Going back to meal prep, you can prepare a few healthy snacks during your meal prep, portion them and place them in the freezer to last longer and grab them out when you need them.
5. Keep it Simple
Keeping it simple is one of my biggest tips for nutrition as a busy mom.
Nothing has to be complicated, especially for a healthy lifestyle when our lives are already crazy busy.
Keeping your eating habits simple will ensure you stay on track and, most significantly, stick to them.
When I cook, I love to make versatile recipes that the whole family enjoys. Here are some of my favorite hacks:
- swapping out ingredients to suit the family
- one pot wonders
- choosing recipes with few ingredients
- using ingredients I have on hand
- making big batches.
6. Hydrate Well
Hydration is usually low on our agenda, although it should be on the top. Giving our body plenty of water should be a daily goal.
Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water.
When you work out, you naturally sweat and lose water retention, the same as when exposed to a warm temperature. This lost fluid is vital to be replaced. Otherwise, you can become dehydrated, which can cause other issues.
7. Keep a Balance
Balance is everything! After all, this is a lifestyle, not a diet.
We all love to enjoy a variety of foods and drinks, and that’s perfectly fine. Just ensure that it’s in moderation and not all the time.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for our brain and body to repair themselves.
Ensuring you are getting enough sleep during the night not only helps to keep your nutrition on track, but it’s also vital in keeping your mind and body functioning at their best.
9. Prioritize a Variety
To achieve a healthy balanced lifestyle, it’s crucial to ensure you eat various healthy foods from each of the recommended food groups. Make sure to include the following:
- Whole Grains
- Healthy Fats
Ensuring you aim for at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy balance.
I know this is only sometimes possible, but planning and factoring this into your daily routine can help achieve this goal.
Exercising can also mean staying active by cleaning the house, running after the kids, or walking them to school.
Combining activities into your routine can help you maintain an active lifestyle and achieve your physical goals.
11. Get Some Extra Help
If you need guidance and support, at least in the first couple of months, to help you find your routine and mindset, using apps and programs can be very helpful. They have helped me find my balance and simplify things. In addition, the support from other busy mums in the same position has helped me keep progressing and achieving my goals.
You can check out this fantastic app I have been using since 2018 that helps incorporate all the above topics, including meal prep, exercise, and support, all in one place.
Busy Mum Nutrition: To Sum It Up
It’s essential to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle even as busy mums. However, it can seem impossible with no time left in the day to catch up on extra responsibilities. But it is possible.
Making an effort to find time for nutrition for you and your family can take time to adjust to, like anything else. However, over time it will become second nature and will happen naturally without being prompted. It simply needs to become part of your daily routine.
I hope this article has given you valuable insights into creating and maintaining a healthy nutrition balance in your busy lifestyle as a mom.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them on my socials, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to sign up for our fantastic community via my Website. You can also receive my free meal planner and grocery list template to help simplify your meal planning.
Please take note that I’m not a Doctor or Nutritionist. All the information in this article is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. It is not medical/health advice or a substitute for such advice.
About the Author
Hi, I'm Amy, Creator at Health Mind Body Australia.
I am passionate and all about empowering and inspiring other people in their healthy lifestyle. Whether that is for weight loss, general well-being, looking for motivation and accountability, or being part of a healthy community, you are in the right place.
My focus is empowering and inspiring busy mums and families to find their balance for a healthy lifestyle, losing weight, gaining insight and education on achieving and setting goals, learning mindset, having accountability, and having a community for support. I'm featuring all things Health, Mind, Body, and Wellness topics twice weekly on my Website.
Amy- Creator - Health Mind Body Australia
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