Skip to content

Food & Recipes

Font Size

Quick Healthy Meals for Busy Families

Feeding a family is no mean feat. Follow these tips to whip up quick healthy meals in a flash.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Providing quick and healthy meals is the ultimate challenge for harried parents. Your kids are always on the go, and you have many demands on your time. Family meals are no longer unhurried affairs, but that doesn’t diminish their importance. In fact, family meals are probably more essential than ever, given our hectic lives.

Research shows that children who eat family meals get more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat, and have an overall higher-quality diet. Gathering at the table allows you to connect with loved ones during your busy day. Parents and other caregivers serve as role models, and mealtime helps younger family members to learn good table manners and healthy eating habits.

Family life can be chaotic, but it’s possible to preserve family mealtime and maintain a hectic schedule. Here are some simple strategies and tips to help you get quick, healthy meals on the table in no time.

Rise and Dine: Why Breakfast Matters

Experts agree: If there is a most important meal, it must be breakfast.

“Studies suggest that children who skip the morning meal run a greater risk of being overweight,” says Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, a Boston-based spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

In addition, it’s next to impossible for children, and adults, to make up for the nutrients lost by skipping breakfast.

“Healthy breakfast foods, such as milk and whole grains, provide an array of nutrients necessary for proper growth and good health, including iron, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber,” Salge Blake says.

Breakfast's effect on academic performance is a no-brainer: After about 10 hours or so without food, eating in the morning fuels the brain and body for the day ahead.

Salge Blake tells WebMD that breakfast eaters tend to be less disruptive in the classroom and may also be better learners because their stomachs are satisfied and it’s easier for them to focus on school work.

Fast, Healthy Breakfast Meals

Eating anything at all in the morning is a good idea, but the ideal breakfast supplies adequate complex carbohydrate, protein, and some healthy fat, according to Bonnie Taub-Dix, MS, RD, author of Read It Before You Eat It (Plume).

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

roasted chicken
grilled steak

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

vegetarian sandwich
vegan soup
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow