Before she became a mom, azcentral.com food writer Jennifer McClellan cooked her meals from scratch over a glass of wine and looked down on canned soup and boxed food.
It all changed with the birth of her daughter, Juliet, now 16 months old.
As Mother’s Day approaches, and Juliet exploring more big-girl foods, McClellan embraces shortcuts for guilt-free meal planning.
“I’m not lazy. I’m a busy mom,” she says.
Her 5 life-savers for busy moms
1. Chicken soup is your friend.
A good-quality of chicken noodle soup in a can is a ready-made meal in disguise. The ingredients are already cooked and check the nutritional boxes. Save the broth for a crockpot meal.
2. Bring snacks when you shopping with kid in tow.
Give your kid something to gnaw on and they’re less likely to scream. She learned it from her dad.
3. Be open to packaged foods.
Some of Juliet’s favorite foods come from Costco, from cups of organic mango chunks to strawberry Go-Gurt.
4. Do the work once.
Cut a whole onion and save what you don’t need for later. Cook twice as much meat as you need so you can use the extra in the next day’s meal.
5. Don’t fret over what others say.
It’s OK to share a few bites of your dessert with your child if she is getting plenty of fresh fruit. Don’t feel guilty about it just because other moms do.
McClellan shares three simple, toddler-approved recipes. Check them out here.