How to Meal Prep for Busy Moms!
Meal prepping, just isn’t my thing….it just takes too long. I don’t have the time for that.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this from clients, friends and family members. I get it, trust me I do. But...hear me out you honestly don’t have the time NOT to meal prep.
Now more than ever our health needs to be a top priority. To be honest I have been seeing and hearing more and more people bringing their awareness back on their health given the current circumstance.
This pandemic has brought to light just how precious life is and how many things are out of our control. You do have control over what you chose to bless your body and mind with. The foods you choose to put into it and fuel them with.
Meal prepping is just one healthy habit that you and your family can get into during this time where you are stuck at home. It will help you simplify mealtime and eat healthier. It will also help you to answer that never ending dreaded question from your kiddos and maybe even yourself, “What should we eat?” PLUS save you time and money!
That’s right! Meal prepping can in fact save you time and money!
Contrary to popular belief, meal prepping doesn’t have to be super complicated or eat up an entire day. (Great news for us busy moms!)
But first, what exactly does the term “meal prepping” mean?
Meal prepping is short for “meal preparation” and it’s the process of making full meals or meal components in bulk ahead of time.
7 Simple Steps to Get You Started as a Meal Prepper!
Step 1: Pick your meal prep day(s).
Meal prepping is most efficient when you have a plan and set aside a block of time to shop, prep, and assemble your items. Sunday is a day that works for a lot of people because most people are home and can devote a chunk of time to meal prep, but of course, you should choose whatever day works best for you and your schedule. I don’t recommend diving full force into meal prepping for every day of the week if you’re just getting started. In the beginning, you might just want to try meal prepping for a few days of the week.
Step 2: Choose and schedule your meals.
Decide on some simple go-to meals (emphasis on simple!) to prep based on wherever you feel like you need to streamline the most. For some people, dinnertime is the most chaotic. For others, it’s breakfast or lunch. If you do decide to prepare more than one meal, try to select meals that share ingredients. Some people find it useful to pick themes for specific meals, like Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, or Slow cooker Sunday. Once you’ve determined your selections, write them down in your planner or on a calendar for visibility and accountability.
Step 3: Purchase your ingredients.
Write out everything you’ll need for your meals, grouping like ingredients together so you can find what you need efficiently at the grocery store (or online given the current circumstances). Wherever possible, shop in bulk.
Step 4: Get the right containers.
Having the right containers on-hand is key when it comes to meal prepping. Here are a few things to look for:
Airtight, leak-proof, durable containers that will stand up to a lot of use and abuse.
Made of glass or BPA-free material.
Freezer, dishwasher, and microwave-safe.
Preferably stackable to aid in keeping your refrigerator organized.
Containers with divided sections for storing multi-component meals.
Step 5: Assemble your ingredients.
To facilitate efficiency, organize all of your meal prep ingredients, grouping like items together in one place—like on your counter. Measure and chop anything you can in advance so items are ready to go when it’s time to cook. Pro-tip consider purchasing a Nutri-Chopper to make the process even more simple and time efficient.
Step 6: Get Cooking!
Now it’s time for the fun part—cooking! The best way to prevent meal prepping from turning into a marathon event is to multitask. Start by cooking the items with the longest prep times first. Take advantage of “down” time when items are simmering on the stove or baking in the oven, and use that time to wash fruit, chop veggies, etc. Ask for help! If your partner is around or you have older kiddos include them in the process. It can be a fun and enjoyable family affair if you release any expectations you may have going in!
Step 7: Store Your Meals
Once you’ve finished cooking, it’s time to store the fruits of your labor. Grab your containers, portion out your food, make sure the lid is on tight, and write the date on the container for easy reference before refrigerating or freezing (no more asking yourself, when did I make that chili??). As a rule of thumb, try to store any highly perishable foods (think fruits and veggies) in clear containers at eye-level to keep them top of mind whenever you open the fridge. If you’re freezing meals, airtight containers are generally your best bet.
Need some more help with meal prepping, check out these other blog posts on the topic!
6 Easy Meal Prepping Hacks
Safe Meal Storage Guidelines
Meal Prep Methods
8 Benefits of Meal Prepping