Meal ideas for single mom??
sugarflower32788 Posts: 1 Member
I am going through a divorce, on a tight budget, and determined to get healthy/lose weight at the same time!! I have 2 older elementary age kids who are not very picky about food. One doesn't care for fish and one doesnt eat mushrooms, other than that anything is a go! I need simple ideas that are relatively quick to fix and healthy. I don't like to have leftovers because we end up not eating them. I don't fry food, takes too long and I don't think it's healthy. I'm at a loss with what we should and shouldn't be eating. All the "horror stories" of the meat from the grocery stores having extra things done to it scares me. I want to limit carbs and sugars. I am trying very hard to figure out nutritionally what we need in our life and what we don't. I need ideas for all meals and snacks please! Let me know your ideas!! Thanks everyone!!!
jaxsmama123 Posts: 165 MemberWould you consider preparing large batches of food at a time and freezing it for later? I do that all the time with soups, chili, stews, noodles, etc (plus you will know exactly what is in your food). It is just me and my two year old son, so I understand time is valuable, plus you can teach your kids how to prepare the food as well6
I use Home Chef and it costs about 10 dollars per serving. They have a lot of healthy options, it's quick to make, and each meal has nutritional information included. My wife and I get a serving each and we split a serving between our 8 and 5 year old. You can choose the amount of servings you want in multiples of 2, so we have leftovers for one of us the next day. My kids don't enjoy some of the things we get, but they are incredibly picky eaters. I think most of the online meal delivery services are similar to what we use, but I feel like it cuts down on the amount of time we spend at the grocery store and meal planning.2
The only thing my daughter likes of my healthy meals is the fish items so I won't be much help.. She loves shrimp, salmon, tilipia, and tuna. She loves my homemade hot wings and hormel pork tenderloins. For veggies- asparagus.. (that's it) and she loves fruit, so I always keep that around for us. If you have an Aldi's near by, they are really budget friendly for us single momma's.. I tend to have quick things for her if I do something different that she isn't a fan of. Good luck.. I cook every dinner and try to make extra's for my next day lunch..2
When I was raising my kids and working full time meals were very simple - protein, veggie, starch.
Chicken, pork,or fish, beef, eggs, chicken sausage or Turkey kielbasa
Canned or frozen veggies
rice, potatoes, pasta, or bread
Some nights were no cook with a combination of:
Veggies and dip
We ate very frugally, but also had balanced meals. I used the microwave and crock pot often. Sometimes everything went on a single sheet pan in the oven together. We did breakfast for dinner a lot since eggs are nutritious and quick.5
Slow cooker meals will be your friend... I know you don’t like leftovers, and I don’t either but I pick dinners that will freeze well and individually portion them and rotate which meal I have each night. We actually create a seasonal plan for just the two of us and it works out really well... we also save more money by shopping for produce that’s in season. Nothing wrong with grocery store meat, I’ve been eating it my entire life and we buy in bulk , individually portion and seal by the half pound ground beef and chicken breasts and freeze. These are three recipes on our meal plan right now, the ziti freezes really nicely and the meat loaf and chicken is so good it doesn’t last long. Also what’s wrong with carbs and sugar???
Slow cooker chicken (I serve over wild rice with a sweet potato)
Baked ziti (I also serve with garlic bread)
And my mother in laws bacon wrapped meat loaf, just pop some potatoes and carrots in on a sheet tray to accompany it and it’s easy clean up
Bacon wrapped meatloaf
Usually it is about 1.35 lbs. GROUND SIRLOIN
2 slices white bread
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 slices bacon (I use the low sodium kind)
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:
3/4 cup ketchup
6 tablespoons BROWN sugar
1 tsp. mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Shred the bread up and pour milk over it and let set for a few minutes. Place ground sirloin in the bread/milk mixture and add parmesan, salt pepper. Form with hands into a loaf shape and place on a foil-lined broiler pan. Lay the bacon slices over the top and mix the tomato sauce together and pour over the bacon. Bake for about 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy!1
Meal planning is a good idea if you have a tight budget
Low budget friendly foods where I live are oatmeal, tuna, whole chicken or chicken thighs, dry beans, lentils, rice, pasta, bread, peanut butter, eggs, potatoes, carrots, apples, ground turkey, cabbage, onions, canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables.
Soup is a good dollar stretcher. It freezes and reheats pretty easily. My family likes tomato, minestrone and lentil soup.
Quick inexpensive meals- eggs, sandwiches, pasta, salad
menu planning and recipes:
Some MFP threads you may find useful:
I love my husband of course but if I only had to worry about feeding myself and my kids, it would be so much easier lol! My husband is a tall, very very active guy so he eats a lot and needs meat and lots of filler type stuff lol.
If it was just me and my kids I'd do a lot of cooking larger quantities so that we could eat leftovers for a couple other days, although you said you don't like leftovers so...
You can also cook extra of things like chili, casserole, lasagna etc. and freeze the extra ones for another week.
I'd do a lot of easy simple meals like just sandwiches with fruit/veggies on the side, breakfast is really easy (scrambled eggs, bacon and stuff), I used to make "english muffin pizzas" lol. Also breakfast sandwiches are really good on maybe a thin everything bagel or an english muffin.
My favorite meal is just a meat of some sort, a potato in some form, vegetables and a roll.0
Here are a couple of mains that are quick to make and don't need starchy carbs because raw veg are the filler.
Nam prik ong is a thai dipping sauce of tomato and ground pork served with crudites
Beef lok lak is stir fried beef served on a bed of salad with dressing of lime and pepper (no oil)
Roll your own summer rolls are an easy to put together meal that kids will enjoy. Provide a large bowl of water on the table for softening the rice paper wrappers. A plate of cold protein (poached prawns or poached pork or chicken sliced thin). The bulk filler is bowl full of a half and half mixture of cooked bean or rice vermicelli chopped up with grated carrot. Supply some shredded lettuce and a lot of herbs such as mint, basil and coriander.
So you start by dipping the wrappers in water. Hot water works faster but if you have small children cold water works too but you just need to wait longer for the wrapper to become pliable. Put some fillings on the wrapper and fold up a lip, then roll perpendicular to the lip, which prevents fillings from falling out.
Serve with a dipping sauce such as this one. But hoisin thinned down with soy or a peanut satay sauce are all good.
Rotisserie chicken is pretty versatile and saves me a lot of time. I usually buy 2 at a time, one to eat as a roasted chicken with green beans and sweet potato (or whatever sides you like). The second chicken, I immediately remove the meat from the bone to use for other meals like chicken salad or casseroles. Beans and cabbage are great foods for your health and your budget, though not everyone likes them.0
So many good suggestions here. I'd say get a crock pot or an instant pot (whichever fits your lifestyle better) and google some healthy recipes and go from there. Both of these appliances have saved my skin in the past two years with some kids.
or you could subscribe to an app like emeals and pick which kind of meal plan you want and let them send you meals that you can make in under 30 minutes or with slowcooker and they even help you build a grocery list. Sometimes apps are the easiest and cheapest way to do stuff.0
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