21 Meal Prep Tips for Busy Moms (to save time + energy!)

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Do you have little to no time to prepare healthy meals? Do you feel like preparing “healthy” food takes too much effort? Do you know the benefits of nourishing your body, but you never seem to get an “ideal” dinner on table? These meal prep tips for busy moms are specifically targeted to busy moms who have little time (and not a lot of energy), but want to provide nourishing foods for themselves and their families without the hassle.

The goal of these meal prep tips for busy moms:

With a busy life to lead, mile long to-do lists, endless appointments and social obligations, it can be down right challenging finding time to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals.

Usually it’s one of the first things pushed to the side. There are tons of convenience options. But we all know most of those aren’t really good for us.

{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate or referral links. Read more about that here.} 

Why Busy Moms need Meal Prep and Planning

One of most important things to focus on during motherhood is nourishing yourself and your family. You need nutrients to grow a healthy babies, to be strong and to perform at a high level, whether it’s chasing toddlers, big kids, or pursuing your passions.

If you are lacking energy or struggling with health issues, it makes it even harder to accomplish what you want to do.

Making mom life even harder than it has to be.

Putting the priority on nourishing your body, creating healthy routines and self care is the only way to stay happy and sane during the cycles of having babies and the busy seasons of motherhood.

You need tools to help you do this. That’s what Birth Eat Love is dedicated to!

Read more changing your mindset towards meal planning to make it more pleasant.

Best Meal Prep Tips for Busy Moms

These are some tips and tricks for making it as easy as possible for you to set up a kitchen system that nourishes you, and your family, so that you can have less stress and more energy.

The ideas in this post are divided into two categories:

  • Kitchen tips to make preparing foods easier
  • Wellness tips that help you to get the most nutrients out of your meals

#1 – Use the slow cooker –

This slow cooker has saved me so much time and energy! During pregnancy and postpartum recovery, the slow cooker is a life saver. I use one that has a digital programmer, so you can set it for any amount of time up to 24hr and then it automatically goes to warm. And see #18 below.

#2 – Order your Groceries –

This will save you so much time Mama! No more trying to shop and wrangle little ones! Imagine not having to unload the baby and all their stuff and navigate the stress of the grocery store!

Ordering your groceries from a service like Whole Foods Grocery Pick Up will help you stick to your healthy eating goals because no more impulse buying or getting that overly sugary snack the kids can’t resist in line.

Plus this is actually one of the best way to make sure you can eat healthy on a budget.

Oh the time, and energy, and mental sanity, you will save!

It’s so easy! Add all the items you need to your list online or in the app, then pick a pick up time, show up and have your car loaded with groceries! #momwin

kitchen tips for pregnant and busy moms - #2 - Slice vegetables ahead of time.

#3 – Batch cooking –

This is something that is so simple but makes life so much easier. When you do cook, double or triple the batch. You can even do all your cooking on one day using this method. Here’s a great guide on batch cooking for beginners.

Batch cooking can be something as easy as chopping veggies ahead – This can be done a couple of ways:

  • After you shop, before putting everything away, wash and chop all your veggies and store in storage containers like these in the fridge. That way when you are ready to cook half the work is done.
  • Another way to do this is to chop double when you cook a recipe. So say you are chopping an onion for dinner. Chop 2-3 onions, use 1 for the current meal and store the rest. Do the same with the rest of your vegetables.
  • Or chop the vegetables needed for lunches and dinner the next day while you are cooking dinner
  • Buying pre-chopped veggies is also an option that you can use if you are extremely busy or lack the energy, but still want fresh veggies.

RELATED: Healthy Batch Cooking for Beginners

#4 – Freezer meals –

This one is along the same lines, as batch cooking except without the cooking. With freezer meals, you chop and combine all the ingredients in gallon freezer bags and freeze. Take out the night before you want to eat and thaw in the refrigerator. Then put it in the slow cooker in the morning.

Freezer meals are super easy to prepare and save TONS of time. I highly recommend making at least a weeks worth of these freezer meals ahead of time to have for postpartum recovery.

Need breastfeeding friendly recipes? This ebook has 12 freezer meal recipes that support breastfeeding and healing postpartum.
Freezer Meals for Breastfeeding

Seriously, it makes postpartum SO MUCH easier.

Read: 3 Must Know Tips Before Making Freezer Meals for Postpartum

#5 – Frozen veggies –

Frozen veggies are a great way to have vegetables on hand for side dishes. The beauty is they are already washed and chopped. Season with sea salt and pepper and see #12 below.

#6 – Wash it right away –

One of the main reasons lots of us don’t like to cook is because of the clean up. This is something that has dissuaded me from making smoothies and using my slow cooker numerous times.

The solution I’ve found is a mindset thing – just wash it right away and be done with it. The less you think about it, the easier it will be. Plus less scrubbing when you wash right away.

#7 make portioned meat packs. These kitchen tips for pregnant and busy moms can help make it easy and as stress free as possible for you to prepare real food, nourishing meals when you are pregnant, recovering postpartum and during the busy seasons of motherhood.

#7 – Make portioned meat packs –

Buying larger packs of meat can save on your grocery bill.  When you get home wash and divide meat in portioned size packs. 

This is kinda a short cut to making freezer meals because you eliminate all the chopping.

Think 4 chicken breast in a gallon storage bag and 2 in another. Divide ground meat into 1 lb packs, etc.

You can season these ahead for added bonus points. Then put what you plan to use over the next next 2 days in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. Just remember to take out what you want to eat the night before.

Read more about how I meal prep for the week here.

#8 – Use paper plates –

When life get super busy or stressful, save time and energy by using paper plates. And if the environmentalist in you just has a hard time with the extra waste, just think of all the water and power you will be saving by not running the dishwasher!

#9 – Sheet pan meals –

Have you heard of these? Basically you cook a whole meal (paleo style) with meat and vegetables on one large sheet pan. Easy, healthy dinners. Yes, please.

Follow my Pinterest Board – Busy Mom Dinner Recipes for some great sheet pan meal ideas. 

#10 -Smoothie packs –

These are my favorite easy breakfast- Make ahead smoothie packs are a great way to prep for pregnancy and postpartum mid-morning hunger. Combine all the ingredients in sandwich bags (minus the liquid) and freeze.

#11 – Meal Plan –

So you have probably heard this time and time again, but having a plan to eat is important. It’s a way of making a commitment to yourself, and your family, that eating is a priority and that taking care of yourself is a priority.

There are many different ways to meal plan. One of favorites for getting your meal panning game in order is the Busy Mom Meal Prep. It includes an easy to follow, all real food based meal plan with grocery lists and prep instructions. So less thinking about what to add to cook.  

Meal planning doesn’t have to complicated or hard. Follow an easy clean eating meal plan like this one and get started today. 

Tips for Healthy Eating for Busy Moms

These are ways that I have come up with to boost nutrients and to incorporate healthy practices into my day.  These tips can help you have more energy, and feel more nourished throughout the day.

And most importantly, they are easy things you can do to eat a little healthier!

#12 – Add lemon to it –

Lemon is simply amazing. If you aren’t using fresh lemons daily (multiple times) you are missing out! Packed with vitamin C, lemon is a must for cooking greens, as vitamin c is essential in the body being able to process iron (the whole reason most of us eat greens!).

Another great way to get the benefits of lemon is by drinking lemon water first thing in the morning or throughout the day.

Tip #12 - Add lemon! These kitchen tips for pregnant and busy moms can help make it easy and as stress free as possible for you to prepare real food, nourishing meals when you are pregnant, recovering postpartum and during the busy seasons of motherhood.

#13 – Eat salads at lunch –

Salads are a great way to get raw vegetables in your body.

But did you know it can take hours for a salad to digest? So eat them at lunch for optimized digestion!

This gluten free pasta salad is a favorite for lunch.

#14 – Coconut Oil daily

Eat coconut oil by the spoonful 3 times per day – if you are lacking energy, seriously try this.

The quality of coconut oil does matter, so make sure to get one that is organic and cold pressed, like this one, when possible.

Plus coconut is good for breastfeeding moms milk supply.

#15 – Drink a glass of water before and after you eat

This is a little trick I use to remember to hydrate. If I always do this I know I have at least 6 glasses of water.

Include drinking 100oz of water per day in your healthy pregnancy routine.

#16 – Make energy bites –

Having a quick, but nutritious snacks on hand makes it easier to nourish yourself on busy days.

These pumpkin energy bites are so good, no matter what time of year.

And this recipe for pregnancy energy balls is worth try (even if you’re not preggers!)

Definitely check out these meal prep snack boxes too!

Want more snack ideas for pregnancy that boost nutrients? Check out this list of no guilt healthy snacks for pregnancy here.

#17 – Drink herbal tea –

Drinking herbal tea is a super easy way to boost your nutrients. Check out the best herbal teas to drink during pregnancy and postpartum.

Plus it can be super refreshing to drink in the warm weather months. Try these healthy iced tea recipes that make a gallon!

#18 – Slow cooker bone broth-

Making your own bone broth is an easy (and cheap!) way to boost nutrients. Use your bone broth in soups, stews, liquid when making grains (think rice and quinoa) and to make sauces and gravy.

Here’s my easy method for making bone broth:

  • Simply put any amount of bones (I like to use bones from a rotisserie chicken) in the slow cooker
  • Add 1-2 tsp of sea salt and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Fill 2/3rds of the way with water. Cook on HIGH for 4 hrs followed by 8 to 20 hrs on LOW.
  • Store in glass mason jars, ice cube trays or storage containers.
#18 - Make slow cooker bone broth. These kitchen tips for pregnant and busy moms can help make it easy and as stress free as possible for you to prepare real food, nourishing meals when you are pregnant, recovering postpartum and during the busy seasons of motherhood.

Read more about the benefits of bone broth while breastfeeding here.

#19 – Add seeds –

Chia, hemp, and flax seeds can be added to yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal and baked goods. Make chia pudding or homemade hemp milk.

#20 – Need an immune system boost –

Add fresh garlic, rosemary, and/or ground turmeric to your favorite dishes.

This elderberry tea is another favorite to boost immune system. It’s great for kids too.

#21 – Make your own salad dressing

Use apple cider vinegar to make your own clean salad dressing. Equal parts apple cider vinegar and olive oil with a little sea salt, pepper and spices makes a super simple dressing. Add a tbsp of mustard for a more body.

These kitchen tips can help make it easy, and as stress free as possible, for you to prepare real food, nourishing meals when you are pregnant, recovering postpartum and during the busy seasons of motherhood.

Make sure to sign up below to get your free clean eating meal planner and grocery list!

Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author based on personal research and first hand experience. Please do your own research and consult your care provider when making decisions regarding your health. 

More on Healthy Eating Resources

At Birth Eat Love our goal is to help make healthy eating easier for busy moms. 

Ready to learn how to meal plan? Read 7 Steps to Planning Healthy Pregnancy Meals Using Pinterest

Want easy dinner ideas? Check out these 25 Superfood dinner recipes that can be made in the slow cooker or instant pot!

Breastfeeding and want to increase milk supply? This post has 11 foods that can boost your breast milk AND includes recipes and product suggestions. 

What are your best time saving kitchen tips? Tell us in the comments below!

Pin this for later! Please save this to Pinterest, it helps other Moms find this info too! Thanks!!

Got NO time and NO energy for meal planning and cooking? BUT you want to eat healthy, right? These are tips I use as a Mom of 4 to get healthy meals on the table! You can do it to Mom! These tips can help make it a little easier. #momlife #momhacks #healthyeating #mealplanning
Make Mom life easier with these meal planning hacks to save time and energy. Tips to make healthy eating easier! #momlife #mealplanninghacks

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