Heather C Heather C is a married, mom of three: big sis Lily and identical twins Natalie and Sophia. She has been guest blogging for Mumbling Mommy since February of 2012 and began working as a Social Media Editor in 2014. After nearly a decade in banking, she now works part time at a doctor's office specializing in breastfeeding medicine and spends the rest of her days in her Midwest home as zookeeper/stay-at-home-mom. Heather C is also a runner, hiker, yogi, bike rider and more. She reads when she finds more than a few minutes to herself and she hosts a lot of pajama dance parties in her kitchen. In her spare time, she's the co-leader for her daughter's Girl Scout troop and an active member of the school's Parent-Teacher Committee as well as a certified postpartum doula.

The modern mom is busy. Even moms who have a good handle on saying “no” typically will have one or more nights each week when dinner prep and cooking need to happen FAST, or else they’ll end up in a drive-thru line. Gone are the days when moms could dedicate several hours to healthy meals that are home cooked, unless it’s Thanksgiving. Instead we are met with mostly trying to keep things from burning while a toddler pulls on our ankles.

If this sounds like your family, I am here to share some of my favorite brands. Keeping these products in my pantry has been pivotal in making sure our family can maintain a diet of healthy meals, eating real food, staying on budget, and avoiding unplanned fast food trips.

Here are the three brands I trust for quick healthy meals:

  1. Tasty Bite: These little pouches are a life saver each and every week. We first bought them at our local Costco, but they are also available on Amazon, and I am betting you can find them in a local store. The brand features ethnic cuisine choices like Thai, Indian, and Asian and the ONLY requirement is heating them. The directions on the package say to simply microwave and serve. We typically take this a step further and sautee some veggies like onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms, heat it all in a pan on the stove, and we STILL get dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes. The packets average $3-4 in price and for our young family of 5 we use 2 pouches. The name says it all as these pouches truly are tasty. So far we have eaten the Madras Lentils, Vegetable Tikka Masala, and Channa Masala. Oh, did I mention they are vegetarian? There is no defrosting required, and these are shelf stable and ready to go. (Pro tip: get creative with your leftovers in the fridge and feel free to experiment. We’ve added leftover meatloaf, spaghetti meat, and taco meat into the mixes for added protein. We’ve also added leftover rice or quinoa from the fridge to the mix as well.)
  2. Frontier Soups: Who doesn’t love the delicious, home-cooked taste of a savory soup? Unfortunately, many canned products have so many extra preservatives and whatnot added that they make leave you feeling uneasy about just how healthy they are. Making a soup isn’t the most difficult thing in the world, especially if you use a Crock Pot, but Frontier Soups makes it a step better. With dozens of flavors to choose from, these dried soup mixes take 30 minutes or less to simmer (all hands-off time when you can get other things done) and require minimal extra ingredients (in most cases, just a protein and garnish; both are optional in my opinion). Each package costs $5-6, and they are available on Amazon, plus some select grocers. Our family uses one 4-oz. package for the 5 of us for a meal, and we typically have enough leftovers for one adult to take lunch later in the week.
  3. Wildtree Products: Wildtree offers a huge array of products. You can purchase bundles of spices with instructions and recipes to do a “cook day” (or even better, prep during a party with friends) for about $80 where you will walk away with 10-20 meals ready to go in the freezer, or you can buy individual products. My favorites are the skillet meals. These range from $9-10 and each package contains enough product for 12 total servings (so our family uses 4 servings at a time and gets 3 full meal days out of one package.) Either way you go, you are getting wholesome, organic meals with little effort. For the freezer meals, if you take a bag out in the morning, it is defrosted in time for dinner and cook time is minimal. For the skillet meals, if you completely forget to prep or plan dinner, grab the package, quick defrost a protein if you desire and you’re ready to go in less than 30 minutes. Products can be purchased online or via your local Wildtree representative.

Very little in the world makes me happier than healthy meals made easy. If you’re anything like me, I hope this list helps your family during this busy time of the year and beyond!

Have you used any of these brands? What are your favorite tips or tricks for easy healthy meals? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.  

Photo Credit: flickr.com

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Category: Food

Tags: Frontier Soups