Life can happen and food can stay healthy.
That’s a promise from Lisa Corduff, blogger, podcaster and founder of Small Steps Living who is totally committed to showing other busy mums how to cook healthy meals with very little fuss.
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“Mums are very stressed about food. We overlook and overcomplicate dinners all the time because we think they have to be a certain ‘thing’. So I created the dinner hacks training because I wanted to give mums the easiest way to get dinner on the table seven nights a week.”
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Four years ago my life looked like this. . Three kids four and under. The utter exhaustion of it! The constant mess. The feeling touched out. The relentlessness. . Of course lots of good times too ? . But just a shout out to the mums who are in the thick of this stage…. . You are doing a brilliant job! Far out it’s not easy. Everyone who has been there before you knows it. And honours you. . Make life as simple as you can. Let go of any guilt you might be choosing to feel. Strip things back, lower your expectations, forgive yourself daily. . Be kind and gentle with yourself because the intensity of this season of your life demands it. . If you’re in the thick of it – what’s one thing you could do for yourself tomorrow? . If you’re beyond this stage – what would you say to yourself if you could go back in time?
Wholefood dinner hacks for busy mums
Lisa said she created her (free) dinner training course while “experimenting” with her own kids, aged eight, six and four.
“I did an integrative nutrition course in New York several years ago … but I didn’t have time to drink green smoothies and stare at the ocean,” laughs Lisa. “I wanted to create something accessible for busy mums.”
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When you are still thinking about breakfast and it’s almost dinner time…. Onion and garlic chopped and cooked in olive oil. Diced chicken, zucchini, cherry tomato and mushroom added to the pan. Once cooked the mixture is laid on top of cos leaves and then topped with an egg and eggplant dip. So good!
“You’re the biggest asset in your kid’s life”
Lisa says most mums need to be encouraged to see themselves as the centre of their family’s wellbeing.
“You are the biggest asset in your kid’s life. And food is actually the first step of self-care. Everyone wants to feed their kids better but often we end up just eating the crust off their sandwiches,” says Lisa.
“By eating well yourself you are showing your kids what good eating habits are. Acknowledge that you are a human being who deserves to live life in a good way as well.”
5 dinner hacks for busy mums
Dinner 1: Chicken
“Learn how to roast a chicken. This is the first small step to dinner success because once you know how to do this you realise how easy it is,” says Lisa.
Tip: Roast a chicken and eat that one night with roast potatoes. Use the leftovers the next day for a pasta sauce and maybe also a batch of rice paper rolls. If you want to go all-out you can save the bones of the chicken and make a broth for soup.
Dinner 2: Mince
“Buy good quality meat. It really makes a difference to everyone’s overall health. If you don’t have a huge food budget, just get better at using things like mince,” says Lisa.
Tip: While you’re roasting the chicken, make a batch of something mince-related while you’re doing it. That way you have some spaghetti bolognese, and put it on top of a jacket potato or make a chilli con carne. That batch alone will give you at least two to three dinners and a couple of lunches too.
Dinner 3: Fish
“Try and buy sustainable fish when you can. Again this doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming,” says Lisa.
Tip: Fish can be making something like tuna patties with canned tuna. And if you make a batch of that, you can have it for lunch at work the next day.
Dinner 4: Eggs
“If you have an egg, then you have a meal!” says Lisa.
Tip: Keep aside some of the roast vegetables you made on a Sunday night and whip up a quiche with eggs and feta. Everyone should have a good staple quiche in their meal toolkit. Even the good old zucchini slice is a great choice.
Dinner 5: ‘Whatever’ night
“At our place, we do a pizza and movie night on Fridays,” says Lisa.
Tip: Set aside one night a week to take it easy! Toasted sandwiches are a great option for busy weeks or you could try a ‘throw everything on the plate’ dinner. Lisa regularly gets her kids to choose two veggies each that she cuts up with some bread, cheese and everyone tucks in.