Mother's Day meals can feel like a challenge when mom is aiming to eat healthily. What to do for mother's day when the Mother's Day menu must include healthy foods? Simplify the preparation process with the ultimate mother's day menu, including the best things to make for Mother's Day.
Read on for 10 healthy Mother's Day meals that will make any motherly figure feel spoiled without sacrificing their health goals.
What Makes a Healthy Mother's Day Menu?
Staying healthy in the springtime can be a challenge. Many mothers manage jam-packed schedules, so it is understandable that their own health is not always the first thing on their minds. Help mom prioritize her health this Mother's Day by carefully crafting a healthy menu.
Limit Processed Sugar
Even on a special occasion, refined sugar can be swapped for natural sweeteners. For example, honey or maple syrup make great substitutes.
Get creative with ingredients and see if processed sugar can be swapped for something naturally sweet. In many cases, spices like nutmeg or cinnamon can add sweetness without increasing the calorie amount.
Choose Healthy Carbohydrates (Carbs)
Heavy carbs can make mom feel weighed down or bloated on her special day. Instead, try including the following healthier carb choices for a fun and tasty twist:
• Whole wheat grains
• Starchy vegetables
Lean Towards Lean Protein
Lean protein options help mom feel full, but not too full that she can't enjoy the festivities. Protein also nourishes the body down to the cellular level by helping the body repair and recover from activity.
Protein that is lean is found in many sources. Try incorporating these items into the menu this Mother's Day:
• Grass-fed meat
• Fatty fish (i.e. salmon)
Add Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are absolutely necessary for keeping mom's body healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are extra nutritious, so try including the best healthy fat sources in Mother's Day meals to keep mom healthy:
• Chia seeds
• Flax seeds
• Cod liver oil
• Fatty fish (i.e. anchovies, herring, salmon, sardines)
• Pasture-raised eggs
• Grass-fed meats and animal products
• Hemp seeds
• Nuts and seeds
Vary Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are simply some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Boost mom's metabolism and help her feel healthier by providing an array of appetizing fruits and vegetables throughout her special day.
Hydrate with Healthy Drink Choices
Especially if Mother's Day is full of busy activities, it's important to stay hydrated. Water is the gold standard of hydration, but fruit-infused water, sparkling water, and 100% fruit juice can also be great options as well.
The Best Mother's Day Menu Ideas
It may sound cheesy, but the best Mother's Day menu is one made with love. Preparing and serving a menu on Mother's Day shows love and appreciation. Choosing healthy dishes can make even more of a difference.
Breakfast in bed is a great way to spoil mom on Mother's Day. Be sure to choose something that isn't too messy. Whole fruits are finger foods that work great for eating in bed.
A breakfast bar is another great option. It allows mom to pick and choose her favorites from a thoughtful selection of items. From pancake bars, to cereal bars, to waffle bars, and even more, mom will be wowed with the thoughtful selection of foods.
A lunch dish higher in protein will help keep everyone feeling fueled for the afternoon's activities. Try sticking to sources of lean meat and plant-based dishes for optimal opportunities to enjoy the afternoon. If mom is staying busy on her special day, pack her a celebratory bento box instead to take on the road.
Impress mom by making classic dinners with a twist. For example, baking instead of frying or breading can taste just as great while cutting calories in half. Try substituting healthier ingredients for ones higher in saturated fat or sugar to make meals even more nutritious.
Dish up dessert without worrying about wellness. Look to naturally sweet foods, such as apples or other fruits, to add some sweetness without needing anything artificial.
For example, spiced and baked cinnamon apples take mere minutes to prepare but taste like perfection. Honor mom or grandma's homemade apple pie with this dish by using ingredients pulled from the pantry. Fruits and nuts add needed nutrients, and cinnamon takes the place of artificial sugars to add sweetness.
Making apple nachos is another fun way to satisfy a sweet tooth while spending time with mom. Also have fun making avocado ice cream and customize with chocolate chips, fresh fruits, and other favorite mix-ins and toppings!
Snacks and Other Ideas
Don't forget snacks! Charcuterie boards or whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese are great for snacking throughout the day. Baby carrots and hummus are also a winning combination.
Seasoning blends and spice mixes that mom likes can serve a dual purpose. Use some for the meal and give the rest as a gift. Homemade spice mixes can be a DIY Mother's Day gift idea for moms who love to cook or have hobbies that involve baking.
10 Healthy Mother's Day Meals
From a cheesy casserole to a light green salad, give these delicious Mother's Day menu ideas a go!
1. Bacon & Cheese Omelet
Open the day with a protein-packed, lean meat omelet. Canadian bacon and swiss cheese provide nutrients while containing lower fat levels than their counterparts. Plus, the whole recipe takes 10 minutes from start to finish.
2. Cheesy Quinoa
Cheesy quinoa is reminiscent of macaroni and cheese but holds a healthy twist. Loaded with flavor and rich in nutrients, this creamy casserole is easy to prep and produces the ultimate healthy meal. While it tastes like comfort food, play with other flavors to give it a little flair.
3. Parmesan Shrimp Risotto
Feel fancy by preparing a creamy shrimp risotto that transports mom to a dreamy Italian restaurant. It can even be made low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan with a few simple variations. That means this meal is perfect for almost any mom on Mother's Day.
4. Baked Pasta Marinara
Many moms think they need to cut out pasta to lose weight, but this healthy baked pasta blows those myths right out of the water. Instead of being filled with fatty sausages or globs of full-fat cheese, lean meat and heart-healthy ingredients make this lighter easy and healthy baked pasta marinara the mother of all pasta dishes.
5. Meatloaf with Honey Bourbon Glaze
Meatloaf meets its match with a delicious honey bourbon glaze. Ingredients include guilt-free lean ground beef, green bell peppers, and quinoa in place of breadcrumbs for a protein-packed loaf. Traditional meatloaf has more sugar than suspected, but this recipe cuts processed sugar in half and replaces it with honey.
6. Good, Green Salad
Contrary to popular belief, salads are anything but boring. Packed with nutrients and plenty of greens, salads are a great way to eat well while managing weight.
The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to salad, and each salad dish can be customized with seasonal fruits and veggies. Bonus points if healthy dressings are homemade for the meal! Looking for something more exotic? Try switching things up with a Japanese seaweed salad.
7. Potato Salad
Practically a staple at family gatherings, potato salad is refreshing and plays well with other dishes, too. Mayo-less vegan potato salad elevates the original.
It includes favorite ingredients like mustard, pickles, and herbs. However, it contains cashews in place of mayonnaise to give the potato salad the perfect flavor profile and a bit of extra protein. Plus, it's another dish that is naturally dairy and gluten-free, making it perfect for Mother's Day gatherings with family members who have food allergies.
8. Homemade Pizza
Turn a Mother's Day meal into an activity the whole family can enjoy by making a Mother's Day pizza. Low-carb cauliflower crust keeps carbohydrates balanced. Be sure to have plenty of vegetables and mom's favorite toppings to make the meal healthy and memorable.
9. Chicken Pad Thai
Chicken Pad Thai made at home is impressive. With a fraction of the added sodium and sugars, Pad Thai can easily be prepared with a few seasonal spring vegetables. Mom will be surprised by this delightful dish that she does not have every day.
10. Chicken Parmesan
Baked chicken parm is perfect for a light Mother's Day dinner before dessert. It's made with lean meat and has a fraction of the calories compared to breaded or fried varieties. This classic dish is delicious without adding unnecessary ingredients.
The Bottom Line
Making the best menu for Mother's Day can feel like a challenge, but these healthy recipes keep it simple without sacrificing taste. Keep the mothers in your life feeling spoiled and celebrated by preparing carefully thought-out meals made with nutrient-rich ingredients.
The best menu is the one that makes your favorite mothers feel healthy, celebrated, and special.