If you’re a family caregiver, in-between caring for your loved one and other responsibilities, you likely have limited time to cook healthy meals for them or yourself. Meal prepping can be the solution to this problem.
Meal prepping can take away the stress of extensive cooking and the worry that your parent or loved one isn’t getting the proper nutrition. Brickmont Assisted Living knows the value of delicious, nutrient-dense meals. We are sharing a few quick, easy, and healthy meal prepping options to help you save time for breakfast and lunch!
Quick & Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, yet millions of people routinely skip the meal every day. Their reasons being that they are either too busy or do not have enough time for breakfast. This is where meal prepping can save the day!
Here are some healthy breakfast items that can be prepared quickly and provide plenty of nutrients.
A yogurt parfait is as simple as it gets for a morning meal while providing you or a loved one with ample nutrients to kick start your day. All you’ll need is yogurt (Greek yogurt is recommended) and an assortment of nuts, granola, and/or fruit. Place the yogurt in a bowl or cup and layer your add-ins or mix everything. Greek yogurt is recommended as it is an excellent source of calcium, protein, vitamin B12, and probiotics. This option is also great because it can be prepared the night before so in the morning all you have to do is grab and go!
While toast may seem bland to some, it can be quick and effective with a healthy spread, like peanut butter or avocado. This is another simple morning meal that can be accomplished quickly while providing sufficient nutrients. All you need is bread (wheat or whole grain are healthier options), a toaster, and a healthy spread.
Avocados are full of vitamins and nutrients and are regarded as one of the healthiest foods in the world. Another spread alternative is peanut butter. While high in fat and calories, peanut butter contains protein, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B-6.
Healthy Meal Prepping for Lunch
Lunch is a meal that some opt to have on the go. Whether it’s from a drive-thru or a restaurant, lunchtime is when most prefer to eat fast food. While many are striving to include more health-conscious choices, most fast-food chains offer unhealthy menu items, and these options can impact your wallet and your health in the long run.
Lunch is the perfect time of day to take advantage of healthy meal prepping. So, skip the drive-thru and try a few of these recipes.
Turkey Taco Bowls
For the person who wants a diverse, tasty, and healthy lunch, a turkey taco bowl is a great meal. The overall time it will take to prepare this meal is over an hour, but it can create lunch for you or a loved one for multiple days of the week.
You will need ground meat and brown rice; all other ingredients are optional. You can add corn, pico de gallo, avocados, or salsa, it all depends on you or your loved one’s preference. You can also use ground beef or chicken, but due to the health benefits of ground turkey, that would be the recommended option.
Prepare the rice and brown the turkey meat; this should take roughly 12-16 minutes. The other ingredients can be added afterward to add more flavor or diversity to each serving if you plan to prepare this for multiple meals.
It is also recommended you add corn since it can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar, increase energy levels, and promote healthy skin.
Chicken and Broccoli Mac & Cheese
While the name may not sound healthy, chicken and broccoli mac & cheese is simple to make and full of nutrients, including calcium, protein, and antioxidants.
You will need roughly 30 to 60 minutes to prepare and cook this meal, and ingredients include chicken, broccoli, shredded cheese, pasta, flour, skim milk, unsalted butter, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper.
Before preparing the pasta, thoroughly cook the chicken and set aside. Boil and prepare the pasta (whole wheat is recommended) according to the directions on the box, and add broccoli florets 5-6 minutes before the cook time is over. Remove and drain macaroni and broccoli and set aside.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add in milk until the mixture is smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add cooked pasta, broccoli, chicken, salt, and pepper to the cheese mixture and stir well.
Pour all ingredients into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Combine breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes - done!
This meal can be prepared and refrigerated ahead of time by making the mac and cheese and assembling the casserole without adding the breadcrumb topping. When you’re ready to bake it, follow the steps for the breadcrumb topping and bake accordingly. Click here to view the full recipe.
These are just a few of the many healthy meal prepping options and recipes available. We understand that at times, it can be challenging to juggle the responsibilities as a family caregiver and to find time for healthy meal prepping, but it can help save you time, money and improve you and your loved one’s health.
As a family caregiver, if you need a short-term break from your caregiving responsibilities, Brickmont Assisted Living offers respite care services. Respite care can place your parent or loved one in a safe and secure environment at one of our communities surrounded by professionally trained staff. Giving you peace of mind in knowing that they are taken care of so you can tend to other responsibilities. Contact Brickmont Assisted Living to learn more.