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7-Day Meal Plan for Busy Parents (Make These Meals in 30 Minutes or Less!)

Our speedy, one-week meal plan is designed for busy parents who are always on the go.

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Day 1 Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal

Start this breakfast the night before so you can get a few extra zzzs in the morning. My husband adds coconut to his, and I stir in dried fruit. —June Thomas, Chesterton, Indiana

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Day 1 Lunch: Chicken Caesar Pitas

Hand-held and picnic friendly, these chicken-stuffed pockets pack a double dose of whole grains from brown rice and whole wheat pitas. The chicken can be made up to 2 days in advance for a fast-fix lunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Day 1 Dinner: Skillet Mac & Cheese

This creamy mac and cheese is so simple it’s almost too easy! Kids always go for the rich cheese flavor, but I’ve never met an adult who didn’t love it just as much. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Day 2 Breakfast: Raspberry-Banana Breakfast Tacos

My sweet take on breakfast tacos swaps in pancakes for the tortillas! They're so easy and absolutely delicious. Pick your choice of fruits and berries depending on what's in season. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Day 2 Lunch: DIY Salad in a Jar

Our farm-fresh salad is layered with gorgeous garden veggies. And we built in a homemade dressing flavored with fresh herbs. Just shake it up to eat the rainbow. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Day 2 Dinner: BLT Quinoa Bowls

I absolutely love a BLT with sliced avocado and an egg. Recently, I've been trying out grain bowls, and I thought the flavors of my favorite sandwich would work really well. My family agreed! —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Day 3 Breakfast: Yogurt and Honey Fruit Cups

This tasty combo of fresh fruit and creamy orange-kissed yogurt is guaranteed to disappear fast from your breakfast table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Day 3 Lunch: Turkey-Jalapeno Sandwiches

When turkey sandwich meets modern Thai, it’s a fun mix of classic and trendy food. I love it when my mixing and matching turns out so tasty. —Stacy Mullens, Gresham, Oregon
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Day 3 Dinner: Chicken Provolone

Chicken Provolone, though one of my simplest dishes, is one of my husband’s favorites. It is easy to prepare and looks fancy served on a dark plate with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil. Add some buttered noodles for an easy side dish. —Dawn Bryant, Thedford, Nebraska
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Day 4 Breakfast: Baked Cheddar Eggs & Potatoes

I love making breakfast recipes with eggs for dinner, especially this combo with potatoes and cheese that's started in a skillet on the stovetop and then popped into the oven to bake. —Nadine Merheb, Tucson, Arizona
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Day 4 Lunch: BLT Chicken Salad

Featuring all the fun fixings for a BLT chicken sandwich, this salad is so lovable. I can prep the ingredients ahead of time and just throw it together at the last minute. Barbecue sauce in the dressing gives it unexpected flavor. Even picky eaters love my chicken salads. —Cindy Moore, Mooresville, North Carolina
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Day 4 Dinner: Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

We love Asian egg rolls, but they can be challenging to make. Simplify everything with this deconstructed egg roll made on the stovetop and served in a bowl. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Day 5 Breakfast: Breakfast Skewers

These kabobs are fun, different and delicious, plus they go well with any egg dish. —Bobi Raab, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Day 5 Lunch: Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Day 5 Dinner: Thai Chicken Thighs

These very tender and moist chicken thighs come with a tangy peanut butter sauce that is irresistible. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Day 6 Breakfast: Power Berry Smoothie Bowl

While you can't taste the spinach in these smoothies, you get all its nutrients with big berry flavor. —Christine Hair, Odessa, Florida
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Day 6 Lunch: Curried Egg Salad

A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio
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Day 6 Dinner: Bacon-Chicken Club Pizza

A chicken club pizza topped with lettuce, tomatoes and dressing? You’re in for a treat! Vegetables give the cheesy crust a cool crunch. —Debbie Reid, Clearwater, Florida
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Day 7 Breakfast: Rise and Shine Parfait

Start your day with a smile. This fruit, yogurt and granola parfait is so easy to make. If you like, use whatever favorite fresh fruits are in season and are looking best at the supermarket. —Diana Laskaris, Chicago, Illinois
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Day 4 Lunch: Fresh Veggie Pockets

One summer I worked at a health food store that sold sandwiches. We were close to a college campus, so I made lots of these fresh-filled pitas for the students. Crunchy with crisp vegetables and nutty sunflower kernels, they're a fast-to-fix lunch when you're on the go. -Linda Reeves, Cloverdale, Indiana
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Day 7 Dinner: Grilled Chicken and Mango Skewers

The inspiration for this recipe came from the charbroiled chicken skewers I used to enjoy while strolling along Calle Ocho in Miami on Sunday afternoons. Feel free to garnish with sesame seeds or spritz with fresh lime juice. —Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida

Rashanda Cobbins
When Rashanda’s not tasting and perfecting Taste of Home’s recipes, you’ll find this food editor sifting through our recipe collection, curating digital content or tracking the latest culinary trends. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.

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