Food & Recipes

Instant Meals for Moms

by Patty Onderko

Instant Meals for Moms

Our microwave has never worked so hard. BabyTalk tried dozens of frozen, microwave, and just-add-hot-water foods to find the tastiest one-step meals for busy moms.



Lean Pockets Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pastries

Calories/fat grams: 290/9 for 2 pastries

Why it’s a winner: The flaky crust and gooey filling taste far more decadent than they are. Perfect on-the-go eating.


Uncle Ben’s Bacon, Egg & Potatoes Breakfast Bowl

Calories/fat grams: 290/13

Why it’s a winner: The hot and hearty scrambled eggs will warm your belly just as well as a heaping stack of pancakes fresh off the griddle.




Lean Pockets Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

Calories/fat grams: 280/7 for one

Why it’s a winner: Tangy tomato sauce spills out from the crust with every bite and beats a PB&J hands-down.


Smart Ones Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetable Bowl

Calories/fat grams: 280/3

Why it’s a winner: Every forkful is packed with rice, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, broccoli, non-rubbery chicken, and a yummy sweet-and-tangy sauce.


Amy’s Teriyaki Bowl

Calories/fat grams: 300/2

Why it’s a winner: Dairy- and gluten-free, and made with organic tofu, rice, and vegetables, this is the perfect choice for vegetarians.


Thai Kitchen Spring Onion Rice Noodle Bowl

Calories/fat grams: 170/2

Why it’s a winner: This light and zesty noodle soup will add more zip to your day than a bowl of split pea.




Healthy Choice Stuffed Pasta Shells

Calories/fat grams: 290/6

Why it’s a winner: The shells actually stay firm while the cheese softens deliciously in the microwave. Served with broccoli.


Kraft Easy Mac Mega-Size Macaroni & Cheese Packets

Calories/fat grams: 380/11

Why it’s a winner: The classic kids’ meal (and moms’ guilty pleasure) is now easier to make and just as cheesy.


California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza

Calories/fat grams: 280/9 for 1/3 of pie

Why it’s a winner: The crispy crust is topped with white chicken, BBQ sauce, smoked gouda cheese, mozzarella, red onions, and cilantro  — and almost made us drool.


Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms

Calories/fat grams: 370/5

Why it’s a winner: The chicken is tender, the sauce is creamy, and there are actually two full servings of veggies (broccoli) in this well-rounded meal.


Amy’s Veggie Loaf Dinner with Mashed Potatoes & Vegetables

Calories/fat grams: 280/7

Why it’s a winner: Close your eyes and this veggie loaf, made with lentils, beans, baby oats, veggies, and mushrooms, could be mom’s own down-home meat version.


Smart Ones Angel Hair Marinara

Calories/fat grams: 240/4

Why it’s a winner: The pasta is light and slurpable, and the spicy tomato sauce (with zucchini and mushrooms) has a surprising amount of punch.