We’re all busy, and our hectic schedules don’t always allow for healthy food choices. That’s where meal prepping comes in. By proactively preparing your meals ahead of time, you’ll enjoy healthy meals and steer clear of unprocessed ingredients. Meal prepping saves you time, helps with portion control, and avoids prepackaged meals that are packed with processed ingredients and don’t align with your health and wellness goals. Ready to get started? Alta Easterly is here to help with this handy guide to meal prepping:
What is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping involves packing all of your lunches for the week at once instead of every morning before work or school. You prepare your recipe or recipes and then portion it out for easy grab-and-go meals later. Generally, meal prepping covers three to seven days’ worth of food at a time.
Where to Start
Starting your meal prepping routine with new recipes might seem daunting, but if you begin with meals you already know, you can gradually add more into the mix as you hit your stride. First, you’ll want to choose a day to prepare all of your meals. Many meal preppers cook on Sundays to line everything up for their work week.
You may want to start small. Maybe prepare three meals instead of five. Choose recipes and think about how you want to balance meals. Plan your recipes for the week and then make a shopping list. Head to the grocery store, or order online to save time.
As you begin cooking for the week, start by preheating the oven. Start with foods that take the longest to cook, preparing the ingredients for those recipes first. It’s also important to be mindful of storage life. Soups, chili, and cooked grains can be easily frozen for future meals.
Best Containers to Help Organize Food
Containers will become your new best friend. You’ll want to have containers of different shapes and sizes that are dishwasher and microwave safe. Reusable plastic containers that are BPA-free can go in the freezer, dishwasher, and microwave. Glass containers are another option. Whether you decide to go with plastic or glass, consider containers with divided compartments to help separate your entree from any side dishes. If you won’t be reheating your meal, a metal Bento box also works great. Cooking Light put together this fun list of the best meal prep containers available on Amazon Prime.
Make It Habit & Enjoy the Benefits
As you settle into your meal prepping routine, think about all the benefits. You’ll be saving time and money, you’ll feel less stressed during the week, and, best of all, you’ll be eating healthier meals. Remember to block out time each week for shopping and cooking. Choosing the same day each week helps develop a routine you can stick to.
Share Your Meal Prepping Tales
What are some of your favorite recipes used in meal prepping? How about container recommendations? We’d love to hear more about how you’ve used meal prepping to take some of the stress out of your busy schedule.
For more life hacks and ideas for fun things to do in the East Walpole, MA, area, visit the Alta Easterly blog.