Being a mom of a growing child athlete can be tough (or so I imagine), especially when it comes to preparing a healthy dinner when you are always on the go.
My cousin recently reached out to me about this very topic. She has 2 growing boys that play soccer (and many other sports) and a daughter that dances. She asked, “What dinner suggestions do you have for the mom of athletes??? I’m always on the go and so worried about their food that I forget about myself!”
In chatting with her, we determined it would be helpful to have some recipes for dinners that would satisfy the whole family and can be made ahead of time to bring to practice or a game.
Luckily, I know many brilliant recipe developing Dietitians, so I asked for their help to come up with this list of Vegetarian Make Ahead Meals that are hearty and healthy for the entire family. And, feel free to whip these up even if you don’t have kids—I’m definitely going to!
Breakfast for dinner anyone? These healthy protein-packed egg wraps are so easy to make ahead of time and freeze. When you’re ready to eat them, just pop one in the microwave (without the foil) and enjoy. Plus, you can take them in the car on the way to practice or a game!
Veggie burgers are a crowd pleaser among most vegetarians, and you can make them in advance. Follow the entire recipe through and either microwave or warm them in a pan for 3-4 minutes. Top with some delish condiments and enjoy!
When I was a kid, my mom would make pancakes for dinner when my dad was out of town. Oh man, you have no idea how excited I was to have this breakfast staple at night. Since then, I’ve created a healthier version of pancakes with whole wheat flour and no added sugar. You can whip up a big batch for weekend brunch and save leftovers for weeknight dinner.
If you don’t feel like turning on your oven, a sandwich for dinner is just what the doctor ordered. Instead of unhealthy tuna salad coated in mayo, this chickpea salad is made with a mixture of avocado and cottage cheese. It stays in the fridge for 3 or 4 days, and it’s one of the easiest ways to get your kids to eat their beans!
You don’t need to order take out when you’re in a hurry. This Coconut Fried Vegetable Rice uses canned veggies, so there’s no time spent dicing or chopping. The egg tastes best when it’s cooked fresh, but you can make the rice ahead of time and add the egg the night you want to serve it.
I don’t know any kid who will turn down a quesadilla. This one has a hearty mixture of quinoa, veggies and cheese. Make a whole big batch and try to save some for leftovers! Microwave them when you’re ready to go!
7. Vegetarian Bean & Rice Casserole by Make Healthy Easy
Is there anything easier than a casserole dinner? This Rice & Bean casserole with corn is hearty and filling, making it a fantastic option for kids who are growing and need a ton of energy for their sport.
8. Freezer Breakfast Veggie Sandwich by Kara Lydon
A healthier Egg McMuffin for dinner is a surefire way to put a smile on your kids face. Stock your freezer with these healthy egg sandwiches, so you always have a last-minute meal option.
9. Vegan Tortilla Soup by Spicy RD Nutrition
Since soup is made in big batches, it’s the ultimate meal prep option. This flavorful tortilla soup can be topped with practically anything, like avocado, cilantro or even tortilla chips.
10. Mediterranean Chickpea Pasta Salad by Marisa Moore
Kids love pasta, and this bean-based pasta salad doesn’t even require any microwaving. Your child athlete likely needs plenty of protein in their diet, so try out the chickpea or lentil based pastas. They are a little bit chewier, but I doubt anyone will notice when it’s mixed in with a bunch of other tasty ingredients.
11. Nut Free Cold Noodles by Chelsey Amer
For any kid who has a nut allergy, this nut-free take on a cold noodle dish is right up your alley. Made with sunflower seed butter, this pasta tastes rich without any nuts and it’s super filling and comforting.
12. Veggie Pasta Bake by Bucketlist Tummy
This recipe checks all the boxes– casserole, kid-friendly and delicious. Who wouldn’t want some tasty noodle covered in cheese and sauce?
If you’ve got a cheese lover in your family, these Zucchini Boats are sure to be a hit. They are stuffed with protein-rich ricotta cheese, basil and sun dried tomato and topped with crumbly walnut topping.
14. Veggie Nuggets by Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD of Real Mom Nutrition
Don’t go for frozen nuggets when you can make your own at home. These Veggie Nuggets are packed with, well, veggies! But they don’t look like it, so even the pickiest of eaters will like them.
15. Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Chili with Quinoa by Lively Table
If you have an adventurous eater on your hands, try a bowl of pumpkin lentil chili. It’s extremely flavorful, hearty and great for the coldest of days.