Being an adult is exhausting. We’re expected to work, build a career, keep a house, feed ourselves, socialize…the list goes on and on. When you have kids, that list doesn’t get any shorter — instead, it expands to include keeping small humans alive, healthy, entertained and happy. Becoming a mom is supposed to be one of the most magical parts of your life, but what they don’t tell you is that it can also be the hardest. Mom life is hard. There’s no point in sugar-coating it.
When that massive list of things that you’re expected to do becomes overwhelming, here are some simple depression meals that can help you eat healthily and keep everyone fed without putting in too much effort or relying on takeout.
Nutrients That Impact Depression Symptoms
Depression is one of those things that we tend to only talk about in reference to other people, but it’s more common than you might think. According to the World Health Organization (WHO). around 5% of the global population suffers from depression or around 280 million people. There are a lot of different ways to manage your depression symptoms, all of which should be overseen by a medical professional, but there are some small changes that you can make at home that might have a positive impact. This includes changing the foods that you eat.
Research has shown that some specific nutrients might help manage depression symptoms include;
- Amino acids like tryptophan (found in turkey and chocolate)
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in oily fish)
Switching your diet around to ensure that you’re including these nutrients can help make the job of managing your depression symptoms a little easier. Here are some of my favourite depression meals for those nights when nothing else seems to be helping but you’ve still got a house of little humans to feed.
If you were a kid in the 90s, you probably grew up having Lunchables for lunch during the week. They were quick, easy and had most of the nutrients a growing kid might need to get through the day — if you were content to subsist on crackers, deli meat and sometimes cheese. Okay, so they weren’t the healthiest option, but if you make them fancy, put them on a plank of wood and call them charcuterie, they’re one of my favourite depression meals.
The nice thing about charcuterie is that there is no wrong way to do it. Pick your favourite meats, crackers, dips, fruits and veggies, and arrange them on a plate or tray. Then pick and choose what you want to eat. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s a great way to make sure that everyone is getting fed when all you have the energy to do is assemble things on a plate.
Fish might seem like a lot of hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s also a great option for depression meals because it tends to be high in magnesium which is another nutrient that can help with managing depression symptoms.
This simple sheet pan haddock bake is a great way to get your nutrients without making a big mess in the kitchen. It’s 5 ingredients — haddock, crackers, butter, garlic salt and lemon — and five steps — and one of those steps is preheating the oven and I’m not even sure that counts. If you’re not a fan of haddock, swap it out for your favourite fish.
Stir fry is easily one of my favorite meals. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s fast, and you can make it with whatever you have in the kitchen. Start by picking your protein. Then, pick your stir fry veggies — these can be fresh, canned or frozen. Fry them up in the oil of your choice, top with your sauce, and serve over rice.
The key to a good stir fry, regardless of your chosen ingredients, is the sauce. My go-to stir fry sauce only requires a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen.:
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar.
Mix and pour, and you’ve got the tastiest stir fry sauce this side of your favourite Chinese restaurant.
Peanut Butter & Jelly (Jam)
It sounds basic, but that’s because it is. Peanut butter — and other nut butters, if you have a peanut allergy in the house — are full of healthy proteins and other nutrients that will help you feel full longer. Pair it with some natural fruit preserves and your favourite whole wheat or multigrain bread and you’ve got a halfway healthy meal that takes almost no time or effort to prepare.
You can always spice up your PB&J if you have more spoons. If you’ve got more of a sweet tooth you can add sliced bananas, honey, or even marshmallow fluff. The possibilities are endless.
Be Kind To Yourself
As long as you’re eating, it doesn’t really matter what you eat for dinner — but making healthier choices can help to make you feel better in the long run. Try a couple of my favourite depression meals and see if they make it into your regular meal schedule.
Above all else, be kind to yourself.
This article was written by Kara Reynolds, editor at Momish.