Ah, the mommy lunch. You know it. Instead of anything that resembles a real meal, this one is made from half-eaten dino nuggets, a random Twizzler that you found in your purse, and something that used to be veggie lasagna. Eating as a mama doesn’t have to be this way — check out some easy meal ideas that are actually nutritious.

1. Use baby food. If you haven’t noticed, baby food has been looking a lot more like awesome adult food lately. No one is saying that you should pour your baby’s food into a bowl and chow down, but you can use it as a base for a meal of your own. Take that mashed avocado and spread it on whole wheat bread or use those pureed veggies to make a soup.

2. Create pre-made portions. The magical four minutes that comes just after the kids fall asleep and your head hits the pillow gives you just enough time to prep a super-simple meal. Cut veggies, toss them with a lettuce blend, and box it up in a plasticware container. Try the same for a few of your other no-cook faves. The next day all you need to do is grab ‘n’ go.

3. Switch up the leftovers. Yesterday’s half-eaten dinner can get a total refresh today. Put down the fork and stop picking at the cold meal that’s in the fridge. Take it out, heat it up, and add something to make it totally new. Let’s say you had pasta with a tomato and veggie sauce for dinner last night. Spread the tomato/veggie part on Italian toast, making brand-new bruschetta. You can use this switch-and-swap method with almost any other breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

4. Eat breakfast all day. Cereal, toast, eggs, and fruit. What do these all have in common? They’re all breakfast foods that are easy to make. And there’s no reason why you should only eat them in the morning. Have breakfast for lunch, dinner, or a midday snack.

5. Chill out. Long gone are the days when your own mom insisted that you have a hot lunch every day. Forget about spending half the evening preheating the oven. You don’t need a hot meal every time you eat. Whether it’s a chilled soup that you pull from the fridge or a stellar salad that you love, a cold meal is quick, easy, and something that requires very little prep.

6. Cook together. Your pre-k kiddo is completely curious. Spark that desire to explore with some kitchen science. Your child can measure and mix, helping you to prepare a real meal. This activity pulls double-duty — your child gets to engage in an awesome cooking exploration and you get to eat. It’s a major win-win.

7. Sleep/eat. No, this doesn’t mean that you should eat while you sleep. Instead, eat while your kiddo sleeps. Whether it’s the 30 minutes you have before your littles wake up or nap time, nix the idea of cleaning your bathroom and head to the kitchen for a meal. Bonus points if you take the time to actually sit down in a real chair while you eat.

What’s your go-to quick prep meal? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)