Follow these do’s and don’ts to learn how you can, as a stay–at–home mom, eat healthy regardless of your goal or lifestyle.
Maybe you are looking to lose weight, or fit healthy eating into a busy schedule, or even get your family to adjust their eating habits with you. Whatever your goal is, these tips will help you transition to the healthy mom that you want to be.
How can a stay-at-home mom eat healthy: Do’s & Don’ts
- DO cook/eat at home as much as possible
- DO prep accessible and healthy snacks
- DON’T give in to mindless snacking
- DON’T buy convenience meals or food products
- DO drink lots of water to stay hydrated all day long
- DO get your family involved in your healthy habits
- DO learn proper nutrition for lasting results
- DON’T try to do track too many things right away
- DO start with small and simple adjustments
- DO meal plan every week to stay ahead of the game
- DON’T expect instant results
- DO set realistic goals for yourself
How can a woman lose belly fat at home without exercise?
- Learn how to count calories for your personal needs
- Limit advertised foods. Think “100 calorie snack packs”
- Learn how to properly balance your nutrients each meal and day
- Incorporate fresh or frozen produce
- Stop drinking calories. Stick with water instead.
Let me start by saying I don’t encourage a lifestyle that excludes exercise. HOWEVER, if you are just beginning your health and fitness journey, the kitchen is a great place to start. You can lay the foundation for a healthier lifestyle and shed some fat at the same time. Losing weight will motivate you to keep going and build your confidence to take on more healthy habits. Optimizing your nutrition will also boost your mood and energy for successful workouts when you do start to engage in exercise.
As always, I am not a dietitian and this article should not take the place of a medical professional’s advice.
Let’s face the hard truth. In order to lose body fat, we must consume fewer calories than we are burning. Notice that I said fat, not weight. You may be able to lose weight (i.e. drop the number on the scale) due to a decrease in bloat. That includes things like retained water and waste build-up. If you are looking to become leaner and hold less fat on your body, counting calories is a skill you must learn.
Is counting calories even worth it?
I know, I know. It can be daunting. Tracking your every bite sounds like a chore. But there are so many apps and tools these days to make it simple and convenient. Start by finding a reliable calorie calculator and accuratley fill it out based on your personal traits and goal. I suggest that you begin with the more modest goal, such as losing half a pound to one pound a week. It will help you to learn proper portion control without leaving you to feel hungry all the time.
To avoid hunger and feeling like you are on a diet, you are going to want to make the most of your calorie allowance. Counting calories will help you learn how to create satisfying meals that take care of your nutritional needs. This looks like including healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh or frozen produce. Balanced meals lead to a well managed appetite.
You will quickly become much more aware and mindful of your eating habits. Identifying places you can cut out unecessary calories will become very clear. Such as, calories from junk food, drinks, and “diet” foods. These are things like sugary coffees, “100-calorie snack packs,” and things labeled low or no fat/sugar. We want to shift our eating habits from processed foods to clean eating as much as possible. Eating clean can be easy and simple, especially if you cook and eat at home.
How do busy moms eat healthy?
All moms are busy, right? Filling the roles of motherhood, regardless of lifestyle, is very demanding. Balancing errands, cleaning, school, parenting, and/or extra curricular activities requires your energy and time. Some days may have more time for cooking and leisure than others. How do you eat healthy when you don’t have time to cook or your schedule is packed morning to night? Just because you are a stay–at–home mom, does not mean that you always have time to prepare and cook healthy meals and snacks that day.
One of the benefits of being a stay at home mom is that you are in charge of your own schedule. Days that you know time will not be on your side, start planning ahead of time.
- Prep individual servings of fruits and vegetables, hummus, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, or yogurt and granola for on the go snacking. Easily accessible foods like these will keep your appetite satisfied with proper nutrition. Helping you to fight off temtpation of fast food and processed junk.
- Try planning ahead by making more at dinner the night before. Yesterday’s leftovers can serve as today’s lunch.
- Start dinner in the morning. Cooking in a crockpot is an easy way to set it and forget it. You can also find recipes that allow you to prep the night before and bake the next day, like a lasagna or casserole.
- Don’t forget your appliances! Pressure cookers and microwaves can help in a pitch. Throw your protein in the instapot and a couple sides of steamable bags in the microwave to cut corners in the kitchen. It may not be perfect but it’s better than the drivethrough and less clean-up too. Win win!
How can a stay-at-home mom eat healthy the days you didn’t stay at home? For the days everything goes wrong or you have unexpected plans, give yourself some grace. Be sure to eat clean as often as you can control, but remember life happens. Finding balance is the key to long term success.
How can a stay-at-home mom stay healthy?
Staying healthy is an entirely different challenge on its own. Absolutely a doable one with the right mindset and habits.
- LEARN how to eat for nutrition, not just follow some random diet plan (unless given to you by your healthcare professional). You will know how to balance nutrients and control portions throughout meals to optimize your food.
- Rely on recipes. Find a few staple recipes that you can keep on rotation to eliminate the guess work out of the kitchen. This will also help you learn how to create yummy dishes with seasonings and methods that reduce empty calories.
- Find a routine. Eating the same few things for breakfast and/or lunch creates predictability. Less time spent cooking while forming good habits.
- Meal plan. Sit down and plan your meals for the week ahead of time. That way you wont be scrambling to come up with something healthy.
- Keep it affordable. Knowing ahead of time what you are going to need for the week will help you avoid eating out, overspending at the grocery store, or wasting unused foods. Plus, whole, unprocessed foods are always cheaper because you are losing the convenience of prepared items.
- Get your family involved. Sticking to goal is so much easier when it becomes a part of your lifestyle and you have support to motivate you along the way.
How do I feed my family healthy food on a budget?
Often times, stay at home moms eat healthy when their family does too. As a stay at home mom myself, I know that feeding a family can become costly. For many of us, being on one income means we must be frugal and cut corners where we can to make it work. Use these tips to feed your family healthy food while still on a budget.
We circle back to meal planning. Meal planning keeps you on a strict list of foods you needs so you are not buying things that you have to force into the week later on. I only buy what we are going to eat that week and that is it. Plus, if you have some things you didn’t get to, you can incorporate it into the following week.
Another way I have found myself overspending at the grocery store is when I start buying too many snacks. Regardless of brand, they are a convenience food that is overpriced and lacking in nutrition. Have plenty of fruits and veggies on hand for snacks. Cut them ahead of time and throw them in individual containers for easy accesss.
Learn the right time to buy. Fresh produce is cheapest when it is in season. Otherwise buy frozen, same nutritional value at half the price. Try looking at the sale ads for that week so you can game plan for the best deals.
Batch cooking is another great way to be efficient and cost effective. Making extra at dinner time creates leftovers that can be eaten as tomorrow’s lunch. This can help reduce money spent on eating out.
Cook from scratch as much as possible. It’s takes more time depending on what it is, but food in it’s most whole form (not pre-seasoned/cooked/prepared) is much cheaper. Doughs, hummus, guacamole, salads, granola bars, marinades, and meal kits are all great examples of foods that cost a fraction of the price to make at home.
This final tip is close to home for me and was used by many in times of economic decline in years past. Minimizing meat with vegetarian meals can save you so much money. It is often the most expensive thing that is purchased at the store. By replacing meat with legumes, you can easily get a balanced meal that costs much less. Canned legumes are a little more than the dried version because they take less prep, but they can help your family branch out in new tastes while saving you some cash along the way.
How do you eat healthy when your family isn’t?
How can a stay-at-home mom eat healthy when she is constantly around people that don’t care about their eating habits? Of course, I am still going to encourage you to implement healthy eating habits to your family’s diet even if they give you push back. A clean diet will always be advantageous to your husband and children.
Help your loved ones make healthier changes with clean food swaps. Switch to whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta and breads. Try low- or non-fat dairy options like greek yogurt for sour cream. You can use avocados for mayonaise. Ground turkey instead of beef. Chicken sausage for pork sausage. They can still enjoy their favorites meals using these swaps.
If produce is not a fan favorite at your house try sneaking fruits or vegetables into meals. For example, you can easily hide veggies into casseroles, instapot, and crockpot meals. You also can try setting out a bowl of fruit or veggies at the dinner table as a side dish so they feel free to choose.
Change takes time, and getting your family to eat exactly like you just might not happen right away. Any stay at home mom will understand that making separate meals is not efficient nor ideal. However, we can make it simple so you aren’t spending all day long in the kitchen. Minimize time in the kitchen and stick to your eating habits with these tips.
For starters, you can use the weekends or Dad’s day off to meal prep your healthy meals for the week. For days you don’t meal prep, follow a crockpot, instapot, or one pot recipe that can cook while you make your own separate dish. The oven is another great “set it and forget it” type of cooking. Sheet pan meals are super simple and can easily be adjusted per portion size. Plus, roasting vegetables is often the tastiest way to enjoy them. That was how I started to truly enjoy brussel sprouts!
At the end of the day, hungry people become less picky. Don’t be afraid to make something and stick to it! Set yourself up for success in the kitchen by following my guide on how a stay-at-home mom can eat healthy.