Nutrition for the Busy Mama!

By Amelia Ricci

As a mum it’s easy to fall into the trap of drinking coffee all day and eating sugar for a quick energy hit, rather than making nutritious choices. You know the drill; you make awesome healthy foods for your kids and you come last.

With sleep deprivation and little time to think about yourself, one day can pass so quickly and then you realize its dinner time and you may not have had a healthy meal.

Even as a fitness professional (who should know better) I have been there! But these poor food choices made me feel terrible and did nothing for my health and fitness goals.

When my kids were young, I wanted to find quick and easy ways to feed both of us, so I created the handy guide below to use ingredients for my meals and my kids at the same time – winning!

Baby and toddler foods matched with my favourite ‘go to’ snacks for mums and bubs on the go.

Food Baby or toddler’s snack Fit mums’ snack
Wholegrain rolled oats cooked with water. Puree or mash with steamed pears. Add chocolate WPI protein powder and walnuts to make porridge.
Sweet potato, steamed or boiled. Mash with avocado. Serve with chicken breast fillet and hommous.
Chicken Breast fillets roasted in the oven with lemon juice and parsley. Puree or chop finely and combine in the blender with a can of drained chickpeas for a creamy texture. Older toddlers can eat raw or steamed carrot sticks and use the mixture as a dip. Serve with brown rice, broccoli and snow peas or make a chicken sandwich with salad.
Plain yoghurt (no added sugar). Finely chop strawberries and mash into the yoghurt. Combine yoghurt with blueberries and almonds.
Raw carrot and cucumber. Grate carrot and cucumber and mix with ricotta cheese for a smooth texture. Dip raw sticks or carrot and cucumber into a low fat tzadziki dip.
Chia seeds soaked in water. Mix with banana and yoghurt. Make a protein shake with water, vanilla WPI, cinnamon and banana. Blend with ice.
Oven roasted pumpkin, cubed. Puree or mash with steamed baby spinach. Add chunks of pumpkin to a fry pan with ½ cup of egg whites from a carton and top with sliced tomato to make an omelette.


Tips for healthy and happy mealtimes

Toddlers need to eat small amounts often. The guideline is 3 small meals and 2-3 snacks.

Sit down together and relax, whether it be at a café, park or at home. Give meals and snacks plenty of time.

Eat together so your child can see the family eating a wide range of foods.

Be patient and do not worry or dismiss a certain food if your child does not immediately like it or makes a funny face! They will take time to get used to new textures and flavours.

If you provide healthy food, your child will decide to eat the amount they choose, try to avoid battling about the amount they eat. Let their appetite guide how much they eat.

As a mum never feel guilty about taking time to eat your meals and drink water. It is important that you are fit and healthy as you will have greater energy to care for your little one.

Here’s my fave muffin recipe that also freezes well so you are never stuck without a meal.

Amelia Ricci’s Chicken and Rice Muffins


1.5 cups cooked brown rice, divided into 6 x 1/4 cup portions

4 whole eggs, lightly beaten

450grams raw white chicken breast – finely diced

1/3 cup low sodium vegetable stock liquid

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes – halved

1/2 cup chopped spinach

1/4 cup finely diced onion

2 tsp poultry seasoning (this is a blend of rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, black pepper) – make sure no gluten or wheat or msg

How to Prepare

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Coat a 6-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chicken, eggs, vegetable broth, tomatoes, spinach, onion, poultry seasoning and garlic powder. Stir to mix well.
  4. Scoop ¼ cup brown rice into each muffin cup. Divide chicken mixture evenly into each of the 6 muffin cups and press down with back of spoon to pack down firmly over the rice.
  5. Put in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and chicken is fully cooked. Remove from oven and let cook for a few minutes before serving.

One serve is two muffins with green salad.

About Amelia

Amelia Ricci is a mum to Orlando, 6 and Alessia 2 years old. She is a certified Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor with 20 years’ experience and writer for fitness magazines internationally. Her mission is to educate and inspire women to live a healthy life, with a balanced approach to holistic nutrition. Amelia’s qualifications include Health and Nutrition Coaching, Pre and Post Natal Fitness, Pilates and she also holds a Master of Business Degree, and a Bachelor of Business Degree.  

Amelia believes perfection is boring and the way to feel great is to eat fresh clean foods, train hard, love yourself and never stop learning.

Buy her nutrition guide here

Buy Amelia’s FIT pregnancy guide here

Connect with Amelia on Instagram @livingbeautyamelia