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2 Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas for Busy Parents

A perennial problem for parents is providing the right type of nutrition alongside sufficient variety in the meals you serve to your little ones, because unless you’ve got huge amounts of time to spare each day and you also love cooking, it’s a real chore.

The answer is to have a reliable set of dishes in rotation that tick all the boxes in terms of health benefits and delicious flavours - so here are a couple of ideas to add to your repertoire if you currently feel like you’re stuck in a culinary rut, and your packed schedule is the main limiting factor.

Quick Quinoa & Veggie Stir Fry

For those evenings when time slips away yet you need a meal that's both filling and nutritious, here’s a stellar suggestion. This Quick Quinoa & Veggie Stir Fry is your go-to. A typical serving is packed with 8 grams of protein, 5 grams fiber, and is very adaptable depending on what vegetables you have at hand - so keep the kids busy for 30 minutes and get cracking!


* Quinoa, 170 grams (uncooked)
* Broccoli florets, 150 grams
* Carrots, diced, 150 grams
* Red pepper, sliced into strips, 150 grams
* Fresh spinach leaves, 85 grams
* Garlic cloves, minced, 2

Preparation Steps

  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water to remove its bitter outer coating.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat - add the quinoa along with double the amount of water (around 340 ml). Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan - let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water has absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  4. While your quinoa cooks - heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
  5. Add olive oil followed by minced garlic - sauté for approximately one minute or until fragrant.
  6. Toss in broccoli florets and carrots into the skillet - stir frequently for around five minutes.
  7. Introduce red peppers followed by strips to the mix and continue to stir-fry for another three minutes.
  8. Add the fresh spinach leaves - they will shrink down quickly, so stir them through until just wilted.
  9. Once all vegetables are tender yet still vibrant, fold in the cooked quinoa. Combine everything thoroughly.
  10. Season lightly with salt, black pepper, and a splash of soy sauce or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for an extra layer of flavor. Just be sure to use these seasonings more sparingly in order to avoid overwhelming the more sensitive tongues of toddlers.
  11. Serve immediately while hot - it’s perfect on its own or as a side dish.

While half an hour is all you need to prep this, sometimes there’s not even this amount of wiggle room in your schedule - so rather than reaching for your takeaway app of choice, instead consider using a meal delivery service that focuses on fresh, chef-prepared options - like Factor 75. 

It’s big across the pond, and so while you can get a delivery of Factor 75 weekly meals in New York City, there are equivalent options for parents elsewhere in the world.

Speedy Chickpea and Spinach Curry

When time is scarce but the desire for a hearty, warm dish prevails, this Speedy Chickpea and Spinach Curry will hit all the right spots. It combines the richness of spices with the freshness of vegetables, delivering a nutritious punch that's ideal for a busy weeknight.


* Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
* Onion, finely chopped, 1 large (about 150 grams)
* Garlic cloves, minced, 3
* Fresh ginger, grated, 2 tablespoons
* Ground cumin, 1 teaspoon
* Ground coriander, 1 teaspoon
* Ground turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
* Chilli powder or paprika (optional), to taste
* Canned chickpeas drained and rinsed well - use around one can (approx. 400 grams)
* Diced tomatoes from a can - use about one can (around 400 grams)
* Fresh baby spinach leaves - approximately two handfuls (about 100 grams)

Preparation Steps

  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Using infused olive oils can be a good meal hack if you want even more flavour.
  2. Add chopped onion to the pan - sauté until it turns golden and soft.
  3. Stir in minced garlic and grated ginger - cook for another minute until aromatic.
  4. Sprinkle in ground cumin, coriander, turmeric - and chilli powder if using - for an innate spice kick. Stir well to combine and cook these spices for about 2 minutes; this helps release their full flavours.
  5. Pour in the drained chickpeas and diced tomatoes, mixing everything together so the chickpeas are evenly coated with the spices.
  6. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat and let it cook gently for about 10 minutes; you want the flavours to meld together nicely.
  7. Add the fresh spinach leaves, folding them into the curry until they wilt and merge seamlessly into the dish.
  8. Season with a touch of salt to taste - but remember not to overdo it, as daily intake recommendations for the under-4s are a very modest 2 grams.
  9. Simmer everything together for another couple of minutes ensuring all ingredients are heated through and flavours are absorbed.

Wrapping Up

These are meals that both you and your little ones will love - and more than that, they won’t take long to knock up, particularly once you’ve made them a couple of times and have got the knack. So don’t settle for bland, unwholesome food, but keep things fresh with inventive new recipes like these!