Picture this. You come home from work after an extremely LONG day… stressed, anxious, and tired. You walk into the kitchen & realize you are hungry, but you haven’t made dinner. Looks like the next hour will be dedicated to cooking, serving the meal to the family & cleaning up. On second thought… fast food never sounded so good.
THIS! Especially if you are trying to eat healthier & promote better food choices to your family, meal prepping is essential to save you time & keep you on track. It typically helps you eat more budget-friendly too & supports more family time.
Ready to save yourself from those last-minute scrambles for meals? Good news! Meal prepping comes in a couple different shapes & sizes. Here’s 4 common ways to start meal prepping…
- MAKE-AHEAD MEALS – just cook FULL meals ahead of time & store them in the fridge. Keep it in the dish you baked it in for simplicity, or keep it in a large glass storage container. Making a couple of your family’s favorites each week is a good place to start. Pick a day when you have a little extra time, & knock out a few meals at once. For example, maybe you make a turkey chili in the crockpot, baked veggie lasagna & a chicken, broccoli & rice casserole. All three of those meals can be used for dinners several nights… just scoop & reheat.
- BATCH COOKING – the “you are cooking anyway, just cook more” method! The goal is to make a larger batch than usual so you WILL have leftovers & can use them. You can even cook extra & plan to freeze the leftovers for use in the future. This method is appealing because you can do one meal & just focus on doubling or tripling the recipe ingredients.
- INDIVIDUALLY PORTIONED CONTAINERS – this is the method most people think of when they think “meal prep”. You either take your make-ahead meals or batch cooking & divide them up for individual reheating. This can work really well for lunches or dinners. It can help keep portions in-check as well as ensuring you have enough meals ready for the family.
- JUST PREP INGREDIENTS – if those other methods seem overwhelming, try just prepping ingredients. Maybe it’s chopping some veggies, marinating chicken, cooking a big pot of brown rice, or roasting some sweet potatoes for sides… these are all simple ways to save you time during the week. So, if making full meals seems too overwhelming for you, start here!
Bottom line, meal prepping helps you save time cooking each week, while helping you keep your sanity, eat healthier & spend more time with family. There are lots of different ways to start, so pick a way that’s best for you & your family, and then TAKE ACTION! The best way to meal prep is finding a balance of ways that you can stick with. You’ll be happy you did.
Need help? Are you a mom ready to lose weight for good without restrictions? Through a sustainable & enjoyable nutrition program with both you & your family in mind? Email me at [email protected] to tell me a little more about you & your goals!
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