The Big Idea
Meal prepping is exactly what it sounds like—preparing meals to be saved and used throughout the week. By sectioning off a few hours of your Sunday (or whatever day works best with your schedule!) you can prepare yourself and your family healthy meals without the hassle on a busy weeknight.
Meal Prepping Tips and Tricks
- Don’t start with entire meals. If you’re overwhelmed by the pure volume of food you think you have to make, ease yourself into it. Sides can be an easy addition the night of (think salads, frozen veggies, etc.). On prep day, focus more on making large proteins that can be added to or used in multiple dishes, like roasting a chicken to add to salad and make into a bake or a variety of roasted veggies.
- Double up, buttercup! Prep foods you can use in numerous types of meals; hardboiled eggs can be both part of a good breakfast and/or a great snack. Berries can span the whole spectrum, perfect as a side. And you can never go wrong with raw veggies!
- Add your dressings, toppings and garnishes at meal time. This ensures your food tastes fresh and hasn’t marinated in different add-ons for too long. Plus, if you have some meals that repeat, this is a great way to shake it up!
- Don’t be wasteful! Plastic and brown paper bags add up. Invest in some quality, BPA-free glass containers to grab on the go. (Try to avoid plastic!) And yeah, you’ll have to wash them, but it’s so worth it.
- Basic snacks are lifesavers. You don’t have to handmake fancy snacks to prep like a pro. Instead, make some simple snack packs! Consider: cubed cheddar, cherry tomatoes and almonds or sliced turkey, carrot sticks and grapes. They’re quick to assemble and totally delicious.
- Plan in advance. Let’s be honest, roaming the aisles of your local grocery store and trying to figure out a week’s worth of food on the fly is stressful. Make a list of necessary proteins, veggies, fruits, etc. Be sure to include all of your food groups, and once you have a few weeks under your belt, use past lists in rotation!
And remember—the internet is your friend! If you have no idea what kind of foods or meals to try, head on over to Youtube and watch some quick videos. And there are plenty of wonderful sites that’ll offer you great prep ideas like Prevention, mindbodygreen and Dr. Axe.
Good luck and happy prepping!