Sarah Remmer: The Non-Diet Dietitian


Three Easy Supper Ideas For The Time-Crunched Mom

Try these fun meal ideas to get out of your supper slump

What I hear (and what I find myself) is that supper is the most challenging meal of the day. By. Far.

By 5pm, your kids are hungry, you're exhausted, and the overwhelm of creating a healthy AND tasty supper is setting in. Fear not! Supper doesn't have to be gourmet or complicated to be healthy and yummy. Here are three ways to throw together an easy and nutritious supper!

The "Breakfast-Supper"

One of my favorite suppers is breakfast!
  • French toast with greek yogurt and berries.
  • Whole wheat pancakes with yogurt or cottage cheese, cut-up melon and a drizzle of maple syrup.
  • A veggie omelet on whole grain toast with fresh salsa and grated cheese.
  • A fruit smoothie with a piece of whole grain toast and natural peanut butter.
  • Hot oatmeal with dried fruit, nuts and seeds, milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
  • Egg-in-the-hole! Take a half of a whole grain bagel or a piece of whole grain toast (cut a small hole in the centre). Spray cooking spray in a shallow pan on medium heat. Place the bread or bagel in the pan and crack an egg in the middle. When lightly browned, turn once. Add fresh salsa or bruschetta and serve with raw veggies and dip or a piece of fruit. 


The "Throw-it-Together-in-5-10-Minutes Supper"

These come in handy when you and your family are hungry and don't have a lot of time.
  • Tuna Tomato Melt: Top multigrain bread with light-flaked canned tuna, tomato slices and cheese. Cook under the broiler in the oven or in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes. Serve with a tossed green salad
  • Mexican Tortilla Wrap: Top a whole grain tortilla with refried beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, cheese and salsa. Wrap and grill on a Panini press or lightly fry on stove-top. 
  • Turkey tacos: Cook ground turkey and add low-sodium taco seasoning. Serve with chopped tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, low fat sour cream on a hard or soft taco shell.
  • Grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches: Add tomato slices to your grilled cheese and serve with fresh carrots and snap peas or low-sodium vegetable soup.  
  • Pita Pizzas: Top a whole wheat pita with tomato sauce, leftover fresh meat or nitrate free deli meat, your favorite veggies, and cheese. Let your kids build their own!

The Quick "Leftover, But New Supper"

Have leftovers but don't want the exact same meal? Try these:
  • A stir-fry wrap: Leftover stir-fried veggies and meat wrapped in a tortilla.
  • Taco Salad: Taco fixings (lean ground beef, bison, chicken, turkey or veggie ground meat), tomatoes, light sour cream, grated cheese and salsa on a bed of romaine lettuce or spinach.
  • Leftover Panini's: Take any leftover lean meat, add veggies like bell peppers, red onion, spinach and zucchini (if you have time, grill veggies on Panini grill first for a minute or two or sauté them). Then add your favorite cheese. Use whole grain Panini bread or regular whole grain bread with and place in a Panini press.  Serve with raw veggies or a salad.
  • Pasta Salad: Take leftover pasta (preferably corkscrew, penne or macaroni), add 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed, raw or cooked veggies of choice (carrots, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, broccoli etc.), olives and/or capers, feta cheese. Toss in your favourite vinaigrette salad dressing (mine is a Greek-style vinaigrette). Refrigerate leftovers. Even better the second day!
These supper ideas are nice to have up your sleeve if you aren't able to prepare a gourmet meal. They're easy,  yummy, kid-friendly and Nutritionist-approved. You can use these ideas for lunches and breakfasts as well!
Give this a try:
On the weekend, plan your suppers for the week. Get your whole family involved. Kids are more likely to eat what is served at a meal if they had some input or if they helped prepare it. Once you know what you're going to have, make a grocery list. This way, you're not buying items that you don't need and you won't forget the ones that you do need!