Meal prepping is a great way to ensure you are prepared to eat healthy meals with your family. Meal prepping can help you save time, money, and reduce the daunting stress of what to eat. After a long day of work, chaperoning kids to sports practice, and finishing homework, it can seem like a dreadful task to think about cooking a healthy meal. That’s where the golden tool of meal prepping can save dinner and the day.
Here’s how to healthy meal prep like a pro, even if it’s your first time.
1. Pick your day
Pick one day of the week where you can prep your meals. Ideally, this will be a day where you can set aside a few hours solo in the kitchen. If your kids are a little older, enlist their help. Getting them involved in the process can have several benefits, including getting them excited for meal times.
2. Plan your menu
If you’re a meal-prep newbie, start small. Choose three meals and focus on dinners since those are often the biggest family meal (and biggest battle). You can cook the same meal and triple it or search Pinterest for easy meal prep dinners. We like this One Pan Chicken and Veggies and this Baked Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Casserole.
3. Go Shopping
Prepare your grocery list and purchase all the ingredients before you start your meal prepping. Ideally, this will be a different day than the one you set aside for meal prep. Simplify your life by having your groceries delivered or doing a pick up.
4. Start Prepping
It’s meal prep time! Start with the foods that will take the longest time to cook: proteins, rice and quinoa, roasted vegetables, etc. Then, while those foods are baking or simmering, wash and chop vegetables, mix sauces, and pre-measure out toppings like cheese or spices. Gamifying this could be a great way to get the family involved. Who can cut the potatoes the quickest? Can we get all the veggies chopped before the water boils?
5. Store It
Once your meals are done, assemble them in containers and store them in the refrigerator. Come Monday night, you’ll just have to pull out a meal, heat it up, and voila, dinner is served! Now wasn’t that worth it?
Your children will pick up on your eating habits, so it’s important to model good nutrition and a healthy attitude toward food and physical activity. The foods you serve and eat now will help raise healthy eaters. Staying healthy as a whole family is so much easier when you take a little time out of your week to meal prep. Set yourself up for success and your whole family will benefit!