Mindy Kaling Is Relying On These Food Hacks Now That She's a Working Mom of 2

"It took me knowing that I had to provide nutrition for my child for me to make healthy food choices."

Mindy Kaling attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California
Photo: Getty Images/Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

As a newly-minted mom of two and the showrunner behind two TV series this year alone, Mindy Kaling knows what it's like to have limited time to meal prep. Despite the constant time-crunch, she's all about having nutritious, healthy staples on-hand to help her stay energized, whether she's up for late-night feedings with her newborn Spencer or working through busy days.

In fact, Kaling says that becoming a mom made her approach her eating habits differently. "When I would read about women who were pregnant, I would hear about how pregnancy was the time they took to just eat whatever they wanted — they were eating fast food all the time," Kaling tells Shape. "I was kind of the opposite: It took me knowing that I had to provide nutrition for my child for me to make healthy food choices."

Don't get it twisted, though. While she loves sticking to healthy choices, Kaling says she's not one to spend "a ton of time in the kitchen."

"I'm pretty lazy [with cooking]," she admits (same, Mindy). "So for me, it's all about cooking stuff that's delicious and easy." (

To stay on top of her nutritional needs without spending hours in the kitchen, Kaling's come up with a few tried-and-true food hacks. In the morning, for instance, she's a big fan of smoothies — but not so much the cutting, slicing, and prepping that goes into making one. Her solution: meal-prep smoothie pouches.

"I'll often keep a smoothie pouch [with all of the ingredients] in the freezer," she says. "I'll usually put in half a banana, spinach, blueberries, and chia seeds." This way, she can just empty the smoothie pouch into a blender, and breakfast is ready ASAP. (Check out these 3-ingredient, easy smoothie recipes for fast mornings.)

For a quick, yet nutritious lunch, Kaling has been loving Campbell's Well Yes! soups. She recently partnered with the brand to help challenge the notion that canned soup can't be healthy. In her day-to-day hustle, Kaling likes to stash a can or two of Well Yes! soups in her bag (her favorite flavor is butternut squash and sweet potato) so that, at any moment, she's just minutes away from a warm, hearty meal or snack.

Along with a rogue can or two of soup, Kaling says you'll probably also find mini bags of nuts in her purse on any given day. Nuts and seeds offer tons of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins, but for Kaling, it's all about that protein. "Because I'm postpartum, I have to have a lot of extra protein to make sure I don't become anemic," she tells Shape. "When I pair [nuts] with my Well Yes! soups, I feel like I'm eating pretty healthy during the day." (

That said, Kaling isn't too strict with her healthy eating habits. She tells Shape she recently "mastered" her homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe not just to nom on the extra sweets, but also to enjoy spending time baking with her 2-year-old daughter, Katherine. "I'm still myself, so I still feel deprived if I don't have a little dessert after dinner or, sometimes, more often than not, after my lunch, too," she shares.

Balance seems to be the name of the game for Kaling's approach to food. But she says nothing motivates her to stay healthy more than being a mom to Kat and Spencer. "I just wanted to eat healthy for [them]," she tells Shape. "And now I'm enjoying continuing to eat healthily, and I want to keep it going."

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