5 Easy Lunch Ideas for Mamas Who Don’t Have Time for Lunch

5 Quick Easy Lunch Ideas for Moms Who Don t Have Time for Lunch | Mama Papa Bubba

You’d think that with Miss G in school full days and Sam being the happy little thing that he is, I’d have all kinds of time on my hands this year…

Hah. Yeah right.

While Sam definitely is a fairly happy baby, he’s also a baby who just doesn’t nap well.  It’s like he’s been programmed to sleep in exact 30 minute increments during the day {though if you’re particularly unlucky, it can be just 25}, despite the fact that he really needs about 90. Now if you’re on it right away {as in sitting in the rocking chair waiting for the moment his eyes spring open after that initial 30 minutes of sleep} and have a particularly great shushing / patting / rocking technique that day, you can get him back down and he’ll sleep for another 40 to 60 minutes and wake up a lovely, happy baby.  A good portion of the time, however, that just doesn’t work and you have to do the best you can with a tired, cranky babe until the next nap time rolls around a couple of hours later.

What I’m saying is that all that time I thought I’d have during naps?  It doesn’t exist.

In fact, sometimes it feels like I spend my days trying to get a very tired little human to sleep.  Who knew that would be so hard?

So needless to say, between attempting to nap my tired babe and keeping him happy when he doesn’t nap, I don’t have a whole lot of extra time on my hands.  Things like making myself a proper lunch often just don’t happen and I finally realized that a couple of weeks ago when I was absolutely starving every night come dinnertime.  It sounds so silly now, but when I actually sat down and thought about it, I realized that many of those days I had only had a cup of coffee or tea in the morning and something random I could grab from the pantry or counter around lunchtime – a mandarin, a handful of crackers, some nuts, or banana.  Not something really worthy of being called lunch.  It was a wake up call and something I’m working on, because how I am expecting my body to nourish a busy baby boy and give me enough energy for all of my mama duties if I’m not at least fuelling it with something more than a handful of crackers on the run? Gosh.

So here are what have become my five go-to meals during the week – 5 quick and easy lunch ideas for mamas who don’t have time for lunch. ☺

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1.  Scrambled Eggs.  My favourite is scrambled eggs with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and fresh parmesan {all things I regularly keep in the house}, but beggars can’t be choosers, so if we’ve got leftover veggies in the fridge, I usually chop them up and toss them in.  The best part is that eggs take no time to cook, so this meal can literally be ready in 5 minutes flat.

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2.  Ready-Made Soup.  Truth?  Before having Sam, I would have never ever bought pre-made packaged soup.  Not only does soup just feel like something that should be homemade to me, but have you ever read the ingredients on a can of soup?  It’s not good.  Well, recently I discovered Happy Planet’s fresh soups and being the soup lover that I am, I decided give them a shot.

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They come in these neat recyclable pouches in the deli section of our local grocery store and contain no preservatives, artificial flavourings, or colours, and they’re actually really delicious!  Just pour the soup into a pot, warm it up, and serve!  I absolutely love the Tomato & Grilled Cheese Soup {hello, comfort food!} and the Korean Hot & Sour Soup is delicious when you’re craving something spicy and super flavourful.

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3.  Avocado Toast.  My old standby.  Something that never disappoints. All you need is some nice bread {hello, wholewheat sourdough!}, cream cheese,  a ripe avocado, and some delicious salt {I’m obsessed with Maldon sea salt flakes currently}, and you’re good to go.  It takes all of 2 minutes to whip up and if you’re feeling fancy or have an extra minute or two to spare, you can spice things up by adding micro greens, thinly sliced radish, or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.  So good!

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4.  Curried Tuna Salad.  I don’t love tuna, to be honest.  But it’s nutritious, it’s easy to keep a few cans in the house, and it makes for a good, filling lunch, so I eat it when needed.  This curried tuna salad, however, is a different story – it’s flavourful, fresh-tasting, and not the least bit ‘fishy’.  Plus it’s really quick to whip up, which is a must if I’m going to sneak in some lunch.  All it is is a drained can of white tuna, half of a big, crunchy apple diced (mmm…honeycrisp!}, a couple of scoops of plain yogurt or all-natural mayo, some chopped cilantro, a teaspoon or so of curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything up and serve with crackers and flatbread, and you’ve got something that’ll easily keep you going until dinnertime.

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5.  Bagged Salads.  One of the first ‘graces’ I allowed myself when Sam was in the NICU, I was still recovering from my hospital stay, and we were operating in survival mode…  Before that, I don’t think I’d ever bought a prepared salad in my life.  It just seemed too easy to whip salads up on my own.  Except for that washing and chopping up all kinds of veggies when you’ve got an unhappy baby on your hip isn’t that easy or that fast.  So for now, I let go of the fact that I’m buying something I could make and supe up them by adding nuts, seeds, and feta, and use either the homemade dressing I keep in the fridge or my very favourite BC-made dressing – Little Creek.

Now let’s just hope that if I continue to rotate these five meals, there won’t come another time when I realize I haven’t eaten lunch in weeks… Fingers crossed!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Happy Planet, however, all ideas and opinions are my own {of course!}

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4 thoughts on “5 Easy Lunch Ideas for Mamas Who Don’t Have Time for Lunch

  1. Here you go again … Making me feel like a “normal” human being again! Yippee!!! I remember the days when I was soooo sleep deprived due to breast feeding for the first two and a bit years and then spending the next year or so wandering around like a zombie as well. I came upon your site somewhere around then and I used to be amazed at how organised you were! And how calm when I heard you in the occasional movie clip. I always felt incredibly tired in comparison! Anyhow, your words above bring back those memories of spending most of the day trying to get my now five year old to sleep – most of the time while hanging off me as it was easier that way even though I knew i shouldn’t. People used to say, “go for walks (or get things done) while she’s asleep” in which I’d say, “but I need my sleep while she’s asleep!” When I woke, I’d rush to the cupboard for a sachet of coffee which I never, ever, ever used to even go near before child AND I’d grab a cube of chocolate just to get me by until she woke so I could get things done. Thank goodness for a chef for a partner who only makes healthy meals in the evening (just the fact that he DOES make the evening meals I am grateful for). That was my saviour back then – knowing I was going to be getting a healthy meal in the evening. Every moment while she was asleep was soooo precious as it was when I could get things done AND have time out so making something to eat would mean making too much noise and taking up that precious time while she was asleep. By the nearing wean, was when I ALSO used to start setting up afternoon activities before she woke so she would be more excited about coming out to the pending activity than she would be to my breast! It worked and that was a lot to do with your wonderful posts giving me ideas!!! I found myself having leftovers that she didn’t finish before she went to bed. No wonder I was so skinny on top of her draining every little bit of nutrition from me! You are so clever to be making the time to make decent meals for yourself. At about 3/3.5 years was when her naps finally stopped so I actually started making more decent meals for both her and I … Or possibly really only this year when she started to go to kindy. This year I started out making poached eggs for breakfast when I finally got her off to kindy and that would last me the day. You’re a huge reminder to keep up with some kind of good food as I tend to go for the handful of nuts, crackers or fruit myself. Thank you for the reminder and the lovely suggestions!

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