Ultimate Guide Busy Mum Nutrition
It’s important to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle even as busy mums although it can seem impossible with no time left in the day to catch up on extra responsibilities.
Making the effort to find time for nutrition for you and your family can take time to adjust to but like anything, over time it will become second nature and happen without being promoted when becoming part of your daily routine.
This ultimate guide to busy mum nutrition provides you with tips and strategies to help you eat well and feel your best, even when you’re short on time. Optimum nutrition for busy mums is possible!
Below is a chart of the RI (reference intakes) for women to maintain a healthy balanced diet from the 5 food groups from Eating well.
The recommended daily intake includes:
- Fruits – 2 Serves per day
- Vegetables, including Beans and Legumes – at least 5 serves per day
- Whole Grains – 4-6 serves per day
- Proteins, lean meats, fish and chicken, etc – 2.5 – 3 serves per day
- Dairy and alternatives – 2.5 – 4 serves per day
As stated by Eat for Health, the estimated Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) are from the following:
• 20–35% from fat
• 45–65% from carbohydrate
• 15–25% from protein
In order to achieve healthy nutrition on a daily basis, it’s essential to ensure you are eating right. Providing you stick to a healthy balanced diet from the above food groups and recommendations as a guide to aim for will help to ensure you are on the right track for maintaining healthy nutrition.
A Sample of a Structured Day of Eating
Breakfast is an important meal to start the day and also kicks start your metabolism.
Protein should always be included in your breakfast as it helps to keep you fuller for longer and contributes to your daily macros and RI.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Meal prep (as discussed below) can help to keep you organised. If you are not much of a breakfast eater, try a smoothie or protein shake.
Morning Tea – Snack
Always ensure you have healthy snacks on hand to ensure you are filling your body with healthy and nutritious foods to provide you with all the nutrients and macros needed to maintain a healthy balanced diet.
If you need ideas you can read here for ideas on Healthy Snacks.
Meal prep can be your best friend when it comes to lunch, especially when you are at work.
It can be easy to order your lunch or grab something unhealthy but with a little prep, it can be easier and less stressful than you think.
Making a batch of healthy salads topped with a protein such as grilled chicken or boiled eggs and portioned into containers can be a convenient grab-and-go lunch.
Again aim for a protein-packed lunch with whole grains and hold up on the sugary and processed foods.
Afternoon Tea – Snack
Instead of grabbing a highly processed and full of sugar snack bar from the supermarket, try one of the recipes here. This not only helps save you money but can be made ahead of time and stored in individual slices and frozen for convenience. Giving you a healthy and nutritious snack whenever you need.
Dinner can sometimes be a time for grabbing whatever is easiest as the afternoons can sometimes be crazy with work and kids’ after-school activities. But it doesn’t have to be when you have planned and organised your day ahead of time.
Taking some time to plan and organise your week with ingredients prepared and even cooked can be a serious time saver and a winner for nutrition at dinner time.
Ensuring you have a healthy meal including healthy fats that is protein-packed can help maintain a healthy balanced diet and meet your daily macros for the day.
Don’t let an after-dinner snack or dessert ruin your day of healthy eating.
Ensure you only have healthy and nutritious snacks on hand that don’t contain highly processed sugar.
Having some premade baked treats can help to satisfy your sweet tooth and not ruin all your hard work.
Where to Start for Busy Mum Nutrition
Starting a new nutrition routine can be overwhelming, especially when you’re a busy mum juggling many responsibilities.
However, there are a few simple steps you can implement to get your busy mum nutrition started on the right track.
Know your Why
Knowing your why and having a plan can help your journey and the process a whole lot easier to maintain long-term.
Brainstorming what you want to get out of your healthy lifestyle change can make a lot of difference in the way you go about it and how you’re going to make this work.
Without a plan in place makes the process a whole lot harder and doesn’t always work by just winging it. Life is far too busy to just go with the flow and hoping that it all comes together.
It comes down to planning, allowing time to organise your week, and setting your goals.
Doing these important steps allows you to evaluate and assess your progress.
Identify Your Goals
The first step in any nutrition plan is to identify your goals.
Ask yourself questions like, What am I hoping to achieve with my nutrition? How much weight am I looking to lose, Is the goal to improve my energy levels, or simply eat a healthier diet?
Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can start to make a plan to achieve them.
Once you know your why and your reasons, it’s now time to make a plan.
Without a plan, you have no real direction or steps on how you will achieve your goals.
Creating a plan and breaking them down even further will give you clarity and can ensure you don’t become overwhelmed.
Not having a clear focus or direction is usually when we give up.
Make Meal Prep a Priority
Meal planning is important in particular when your goal is increasing your nutrition for busy mums. Meal Prep is a great way to save time and ensure that you’re eating healthy meals throughout the week.
Benefits of Meal Planning and Prep:
- Saves Time
- Reduces Stress
- Supports Healthy Eating
- Saves you Money
Ensuring you have planned and organised your day, week, or even month will help to make things a lot easier and streamline your process.
This can be a massive help in particular on those busy days or when unexpected things pop up.
Meal Prep can be a great tool to help you achieve balance in your nutrition and support you through days when time is short to cook.
When you have planned and made a list of your weekly meals, it’s then time to organise your groceries and ingredients from the meals planned.
Scheduling time usually for me on a Sunday to chop, portion, and even cook some meals will make the biggest difference in your eating habits and improving your nutrition.
This ensures you are eating healthy nutritious meals and not be tempted to grab a quick takeaway meal full of processed ingredients due to lack of time in the evenings.
Grab my Free Meal Planner and Grocery Template below.
Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
There will be many times that a craving for sweet foods will hit. Instead of grabbing something highly processed and full of refined sugar, ensure you have only healthy snacks at the ready to avoid undoing all your hard work.
Going back to meal prep, you can prepare a few healthy snacks during your meal prep and portion them and place them in the freezer to last longer to grab them out when you need them.
Keep it Simple
This is definitely one of my biggest tips when it comes to nutrition for busy mums.
Nothing has to be complicated, especially for a healthy lifestyle when our lives are already crazy busy.
Keeping your eating habits simple is going to ensure you stay on track and most importantly stick to it.
When I cook, I love to make recipes that are versatile and that the whole family will enjoy by:
- swapping out ingredients to suit the family,
- one pot wonders,
- choosing recipes with few ingredients,
- ingredients I have on hand,
- making big batches
Balance is important, after all this is a lifestyle, not a diet.
We all love to enjoy a variety of foods and drinks and that’s perfectly ok. Just ensure it’s in moderation and not all the time otherwise you will undo all your hard work and healthy habits.
I always say, If I had something that was over my macros, my next meal would make up for it.
Ensure you are taking into account the following:
- Eat a Variety of Foods
- Practice Portion Control
- Limit Processed Foods and Added Sugars
- Listen to Your Body
- Listen to Your Body
Sleep is so important for your brain and body in order to repair and re-energise.
Ensuring you are getting enough sleep during the night not only helps to keep your nutrition on track, it’s vital in keeping your mind and body functioning at it’s best.
Hydration is usually not high on our agenda, although it should be.
Giving your body plenty of water should be a daily goal.
Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water.
When you work out, you are naturally sweating and losing water retention. The same goes for when you are exposed to hotter temperatures. This lost fluid is important to be replaced otherwise you can become dehydrated which in turn can cause other issues.
To ensure you are achieving a healthy balanced lifestyle, it’s important to ensure you are eating a variety of healthy foods from each of the recommended food groups:
- Whole Grains
- Healthy Fats
Ensuring you are aiming for at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy balance.
I know this is not always possible, but planning and scheduling time for physical activity into your daily routine can help achieve this goal.
Exercising can also be achieved by staying active in a way of cleaning the house, running after the kids, or walking the kids to school.
Finding ways to combine activities into your routine can really help to maintain an active lifestyle and achieve your physical goals.
Programs and Apps
If you are finding that you need a little guidance and support, at least in the first couple of months to help establish your routine and mindset there are apps and programs these days that can do just that.
I know this has helped me find my balance and help simplify things. The support in particular from other busy mums that are in the same position has helped me keep going and progressing with achieving my goals.
You can check out this amazing app that I have been using since 2018 that helps to incorporate all the above topics including meal prep, exercise, and support all in one app.
Ultimate Guide to Busy Mum Nutrition – Final Thoughts
I really hope this Ultimate Guide Busy Mum Nutrition has given you some insight into creating and maintaining a healthy balance in your busy lifestyle and optimising your nutrition.
Reach out if you have any questions on my socials, I would love to hear from you.
Feel free to sign up for our amazing community. You can also receive my free meal planner and grocery list template to help simplify your meal planning.
Let me know your tips on Busy Mum Nutrition on my Socials!
This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.