By Amanda Cook, C.H.N.

I was introduced to muffin tin meals about a year ago and ever since then, I have become addicted to them. Why? Because they are THE EASIEST meal you will ever assemble in your life. I’m serious. It’s all about filling the cups with uncomplicated and whole food. That’s it.

As a busy mother who is currently trying to balance (funny word, right?) being an entrepreneur as well as a full-time mom, all from home… I need meals fast. However, I also need them to be healthy and nutritious.

Enter: Muffin tin meals

From what I have learned by creating muffin tin meals over the last year, is there is some art to making an inviting and healthy meal, one in which your kids will fall in love. A muffin tin meal should be one of variety and a combination of things you know your kids like as well as foods they haven’t yet tried or don’t know if they like. The food in the muffin cups that your child does like, will get them to the table and get them eating. The other food will be sitting there, staring at them, enticing them to give it a try and take a bite.

Here’s a few other reason’s why muffin tin meals work so well:

  1. It separates food, so if kids don’t like their food touching, then it doesn’t unless they decide it does.
  2. Variety! It makes me think of creative ways to full each cup. I never leave an empty cup, always fill it with something.
  3. Presentation: how fun to eat out of a muffin tray instead of a plate!

Muffin tin meals are huge at my house, mostly at lunch. I personally love them because this it’s about using what’s got in my fridge and pantry, already prepared and just needing to be assembled; tapas style. I mean, who doesn’t love tapas?!

Here are some healthy ideas to throw into your muffin tin meals. Be creative!

Vegetables

  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • snap peas
  • english peas
  • sweet peppers
  • cauliflower popcorn (cauliflower cut up into small bites)
  • broccoli
  • olives
  • sauerkraut: seriously, try it with your kids if you haven’t yet!
  • salsa (for dipping)

Fruit

  • berries
  • cherries
  • pear slices
  • apple slices
  • dried fruit like apple chips, an apricot or a date

Protein

  • hummus: there are some great store brands or you can make large batches of your own like this one or this one.
  • nitrate free, filler free sausages
  • tuna salad
  • salmon salad
  • egg salad
  • leftover roast chicken
  • nuts or seeds
  • chickpeas, nothing fancy, just rinsed and served.
  • an egg, either scrambled or hard boiled

Grains

  • pre-cook a batch of your favourite grain and then use that throughout the week. Quinoa and brown rice are our favourites.
  • leftover pasta
  • every kind of seed bread

Treats

These ideas are a general guide. Just remember to create a dish that is rich in whole foods because then you’re creating a meal that is really nutrient dense. More nutrients = beautiful childhood and healthy development.

Originally posted on More Life.
Amanda is a holistic nutritionist, a busy mama of two and a self taught home cook who is passionate about healthy eating that is gluten, dairy and sugar free. She is a wiz when it comes to knowing her way around a kitchen and who loves figuring out how to make life easier. Amanda loves sharing how to simplify healthy eating and how to have a balanced diet using clean ingredients, nothing fancy or complicated. Amanda is the author of three e-books, teaches cooking classes, works with clients and teaches workshops, sharing the message of health. Learn/Follow more about Amanda here Facebook,  Instagram,  
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