Easy Recipes for Busy Parents

mom and daughter on kitchen counter about to cook


Here are four basic templates where ingredients can be swapped out to create an endless number of meals the whole family can eat together.

For your baby’s dish, you can easily sprinkle Lil Mixins nut and egg powders over any meal to make sure they are continuing to get regular exposure to all major allergens.

 3-Piece Meals

A basic meal usually consists of a protein, a vegetable, and a starch. It sounds like a lot to prepare at a moment's notice, but knowing you can combine almost any proteins and vegetables makes grocery shopping that much easier. 

  • Marinate your choice of protein with one of the easy marinades below.
  • Add protein to a pan and cook until done, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Steam a vegetable of your choice from the list below (best to avoid tomatoes — they don’t steam well).
  • Serve with a side of rice, fresh bread, or pasta.

Sheet Pan Meals

Tending to a stove and an infant can be difficult, so an easy option is sheet pan meals. Because foods will vary in the amount of time needed to cook, you can split them into separate pans or add them to the pan later. 

  • Pre-heat oven to 450.
  • Prep vegetables of your choice into small or bite-size pieces and toss with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and your choice of dried spices or spice mixes. See the list below for inspiration.
  • If cooking potatoes or squash, bake for ~15 minutes before adding other vegetables or meat.
  • Toss protein of choice (see our favorites down below) with a marinade and add to the pan. Bake along with vegetables until cooked through, about 15 minutes. 

Pasta Dishes

Pasta is an easy meal to make, and it’s especially easy to dress up with whatever veggies and proteins you have on hand. Keep in mind that different vegetables and proteins take longer to cook than others. Always check to make sure your ingredients are cooked through. 

  • Prepare any shape pasta like elbows, spirals, penne, etc. that baby can hold per the directions.
  • Heat oil and garlic in a separate pan.
  • Add a can of strained tomatoes, or swap for cheese like feta or parmesan for a creamy, cheesy sauce.
  • Add two vegetables from the list below and cook. 
  • Add one item from the protein list.
  • Heat in the pan and cook through, typically ~10-15 minutes, and pour over the pasta.


Stir-fry's are the best because you can throw everything into one pan! And cooking them in a sauce makes them extra delicious. 

  • Prepare white or brown rice as per the instructions. 
  • In a separate pan, heat vegetable oil and add minced garlic and ginger. Cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add 3 chopped vegetables from list below and stir.
  • Add a protein of your choice. 
  • Cook for ~10-15 minutes, until done.
  • Remove the pan from heat and add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and mix
  • Serve over rice. 

Easy Ingredients and Marinades

Vegetables: Broccoli, peas, edamame, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, spinach, kale, cauliflower, carrots.

Protein: Chicken, tofu, white beans, black beans, chickpeas, salmon, white fish (Tilapia, Cod, Grouper, etc.), pork (rarely), beef (rarely).


BBQ Marinade: your favorite BBQ sauce. 

Pesto: homemade or jarred pesto. 

Spice Mixes: 

Soy Sauce Marinades: 

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

Lemon Marinades:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley/rosemary/zaatar/paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste

Spicy Lime Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Honey Mustard Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup / honey
  • salt & pepper to taste

Tropical Fruit Salsa:

  • 1 cup mango/ pineapple
  • ½ cup bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Garlic Herb Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste