4 Quick and Healthy Dinner Ideas for Busy Parents
When it comes time to make a healthy meal for your family, you don’t need to spend a lot of time or energy. There are ways to make nutritious meals that are well-balanced, delicious, and won’t take all day and night to prepare.
Even on the busiest nights, the following 4 quick and healthy dinner ideas will be easy for you to accomplish.
1.) Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Here is a quick and healthy dinner idea that you can make in record time. It is a great meal you can make on nights when it is a little chilly outside, and also when your family wants some comfort food. While you can buy jarred tomato soup to make it even easier to prepare, making your own tomato soup doesn’t take too long.
It is something you can make in your slow cooker while at work or running errands during the day, then it’s ready to go by dinner time. You can either combine the healthy tomato soup with regular grilled cheese or make grilled cheese croutons to add to your soup.
If you want to get a little fancy with your grilled cheese, try different types of cheeses or add different ingredients like pesto and tomato… you can even add some chicken to really fill everyone’s bellies. We have even made crazy concoctions like hot dog grilled cheese (sliced hot dogs cooked in the grilled cheese sandwich), mac and cheese grilled cheese, and pizza grilled cheese (tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni), though those don’t qualify as healthy options ;). A healthier variation is margherita grilled cheese (mozzarella slices, tomato, basil and pesto). So good!
2.) Rotisserie Chicken
This quick and healthy dinner has a lot of room for customizing it, based on your family’s needs and preferences. The basis of the meal is picking up a rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket. This is definitely one of the best things you can use for healthy and quick meals. My favorite place for rotisserie chicken is Costco, hands down! Next in line is Pick ‘n Save.
You don’t have to spend time roasting a chicken yourself, but you are also not driving through KFC for an unhealthy chicken dinner. Pick up a rotisserie chicken and combine it with any nutritious side dishes you like, whether you have it with a salad, mashed potatoes, or perhaps some coleslaw.
I have found that the leftovers last for a couple days when we get a rotisserie chicken. We use the chicken in more inventive ways the following days, such as in salad, shredded chicken barbecue sandwiches and chicken tacos.
3.) Salmon and Veggies
This is one of my favorite quick and healthy dinner ideas. While salmon might seem like something that takes a long time, it is actually very quick and easy to make in a pan. All you need to do is add a little olive oil to the pan, season your salmon and place it on the pan for a few minutes, then flip it over for another few minutes. It cooks quite quickly. A quick ‘fork test’ will tell you if it is done. The fish should be nice and flaky when you pick the surface with a fork.
You can combine your pan-seared salmon with some veggies cooked in whichever way you like. You can add the veggies to the pan or roast them while the salmon is cooking. Some nice pairings are salmon and asparagus, or salmon and broccoli. If you want to add a little extra flavor to your salmon, you can use a dash of lemon juice with some salt and pepper, use a premixed seasoning, or mix up a nice marinade.
If salad sounds boring for a meal, you haven’t considered the many different ways to make a salad! Salad is the perfect meal since it is easy to prepare and can be as healthy as you want. You can customize each salad with your family in mind, thinking about what your spouse and kids would enjoy the most.
There are typical chef’s salads, Greek salads and Caesar salads, as well as salads that you make yourself simply by adding in all your favorite veggies. If it is the summer season, make a salad with strawberries and pecans with poppy seed dressing, or combine greens with cooked pasta for a pasta salad. My personal favorite is a Chef salad with shredded cheese, hard boiled eggs, leftover rotisserie chicken, tomato and cucumber. I’ve also had great salads with chicken, mandarin oranges and cashews, and salads with grapes and candied walnuts with a sweet dressing. The possibilities are truly endless with salad.