Smart Tips to Get Started with Meal Prepping

Smart Tips to Get Started with Meal Prepping

Healthy living superstars all across the Internet are going gaga for weekend meal prepping. The thought is that spending two hours or so on your free day of the week (whenever it is) makes healthy eating easier all week long.

When you plan and prep ahead, it’s simple to make healthier choices, plus you can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend cooking and cleaning each week. Sounds like a win-win, right?

There are a couple of ways to approach it. One: You can go bodybuilder-style, and portion out perfectly measured meals in a massive pile of Tupperware containers (this approach is popular among the macro-counting set). Or, you can simply plan your at-home meals (plus those you take to go), and do your best to ready your fridge for busy mornings and harried weeknights while planning to finally assemble your meals when it’s time to eat.

Smart Tips for Meal Prepping Success

Consider your go-to’s. Which meals does your family like to eat over and over again? Bake those into your process. If it’s fajitas, prep the peppers and onions with seasoning ahead of time, and cook and store them separately from the meat (which you’ll cook night of). If it’s grilled chicken, is there a marinade you can make?

Identifying the most time consuming parts of your favorite recipes can help streamline weeknight meals.

Plan and prioritize. You need to plan your meal prep so you can prep with the best of them. Blogger Tina at CarrotsnCake.com suggests chopping and roasting veggies first, because it’s time consuming. While the oven is on, you can get smaller, faster tasks out of the way.

cut vegetables meal prepping food

Think about your biggest challenge. Do you skip breakfast because you’re too busy in the mornings? Or are you home late every Thursday night because of soccer practice?

Whatever your top healthy-eating stumbling block might be, there’s a food prep solution in store, whether it’s a batch of grab-and-go granola bars, an egg bake with slices to easily reheat, or a weekly crockpot meal for the busiest night.

Cook once, and eat multiple times. Preparing a crockpot full of beans, grilling an extra round of chicken — think about making large-batch meals with ingredients you can repurpose.

crocpot stew meal prep

Don’t forget snacks. Avoid the siren call of the office vending machine each afternoon by building snack ideas into your meal prep. Homemade energy bars or bites; chopped carrots and proportioned hummus; sliced fruit and cheese — all of these easy options are bound to be more satisfying than a bag of Cheetos.

Or the power of your freezer. When you’re thinking about what to make, remember you can also employ your freezer. One of our favorite hacks is make-ahead smoothie bags. Portion out all your ingredients (sans liquid) into Ziplocs, or directly into your blender if you can. When you’re ready for a smoothie, just dump the bag into the blender, add liquid and go. Delish!

TELL US: Which meal prepping hacks help you eat healthfully?

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