6 Easy & Healthy Meal Prep Tips
It’s been a busy day. I’ve worked, I’ve played with the kids, and now it’s dinnertime. I have nothing prepared, and no energy to make it. Does this feel like you? I’m lucky in that this usually isn’t my problem. I keep my meal preparation really simple. With these six easy tips, feeding the whole family healthy meals on budget is a snap.
Sunday Prep Day
The beginning of the week is game time. I’ve got my list, and I’ve gone shopping on Saturday or Sunday morning. So now I’m ready to make my meals. I usually plan for four or five entrees and side dishes, plus bread, tortillas or muffins. I figure out which days I’m going to serve which meals, then I get going. Some dishes aren’t as good as leftovers, so I just do as much prep as I can for those, then stick them in the fridge to put in the oven or the slow cooker on the day of. For the rest, whatever meals I can make on Sunday, I do.
I have a few dishes that I love to eat again and again. Chicken noodle soup is one. Pulled pork is another. I can make these in really large quantities. Then, I portion it out into individual servings for handy leftovers. I can even freeze them for later, if I wait to add the noodles to the soup. Pretty much anything works as leftovers. One tip I’ve picked up to make eating leftovers better is to use a toaster oven to reheat meat, especially chicken.
When I first started doing Sunday food preparation, I realized that my kitchen was not very organized. While it was neat and clean, I didn’t have things where I needed them. Now, my spices and my cooking utensils are near the stove, and my baking tools are near the mixer. Everything is easy to grab in a hurry. Another tip: don’t under estimate the need of good Tupperware! I use this storage carousel to keep them in order. If you need more organizing inspiration, check out Pinterest!
Before I had kids, I almost never used my slow cooker. Now I wonder why I wasted my time hovering over a hot stove. Crock pots are awesome! With just a little preparation at night after the kids have gone to bed, I have a delicious meal ready for me when everyone is home the next evening. All I have to do is put it in the slow cooker in the morning and turn it on. Hint: this works for a hot breakfast, too. You haven’t had oatmeal until you’ve had slow-cooked oatmeal.
Simplify Snack Time
We all snack. So on shopping day, I like to take snacks into consideration. One of the best ideas I’ve come up with is to cut up fruit and veggies ahead of time. Sprinkle a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Otherwise, I keep healthy food at hand. Instead of candy, I keep homemade granola in a bag in my car.
Have a Backup
How does that old saying go? “The best-laid plans of mice and moms…” or something like that. Despite my best efforts, sometimes things go wrong. And that’s when I need to have a backup. Easy foods to make and keep in the fridge are grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt and even protein shakes. On the days I need protein and have no time, I use this chocolate protein powder from Beachbody as my go-to. Pinterest has a lot of great recipes if you’re looking for other fun ways to use protein powder, too!
Making meals for the whole family while trying to keep healthy can be tricky. But following these tips and planning ahead makes the process a lot easier. It even saves me money.
Author Bio: Hi all, I am Julie Roberts, a proud wife, SAHM, runner, outdoorsy nature lover, and a fitness fanatic! I also love to write and now that I am a full-time SAHM I have a lot more time to focus on it. Thankfully for me, Jenn has been kind enough to let me share my writing with you, her readers, on her amazing blog. I hope that you enjoyed my post and if you have any questions or would like to get in touch with me you can send me an email or find me on Twitter!
Have any other meal prep tips to share? Let us know.
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Great tips!!! Organizing my tupperware proves to be challenging!
These are great tips. It seems that I can’t ever find enough time to get everything done! I will have to give this a try!
After living in a 400 sq ft fifthwheel for 10 years as we traveled about I had organization down to a T. It is the one thing that makes working in the kitchen a snap! Granola is a fantastic snack – tasty and healthy!
Great post! I really need to work on organisation, meal planning & weekend time management in order to eat healthier.
Bulk cooking is a huge time saver! Not only for cooking things like meat and freezing them, but even for cooking a couple of meals at a time.
Great tips. Bulk cooking and planning are key for my home to run smoother!
I like the bulk cooking. My only issue is finding that perfect day when I actually have energy to do all the bulk cooking. usually that is Saturdays for me. And i just finished off the meals I made on Saturday in bulk. hmm..I think I need to make more on this upcoming Saturday.
We eat double the fruits and veggies when they are ready to be eaten and pre-prepared, that is really a great tip!
Yes, you are describing me exactly in your first sentence. I love your tips, and need to try to do more make ahead/bulk cooking.
I try to follow almost all of these – doesn’t always work though LOL
Pulled pork is always delicious! These are some good ideas for cooking for the week. I usually make myself meatballs or a meatloaf for work and then portion them out into bags for the week, too.
Great tips! I really need to organize my Tupperware so that we can better utilize the power of leftovers. The link to the storage carousel wasn’t working for me, though.