“What’s for dinner??” Please tell me I’m not the only one who seems to hear this question almost every.single.day! In our society, it is so easy to just pick something up on your way home from work or in my case the baseball field. We all live busy lives and have our schedules packed, often times not allotting the necessary time it takes to prepare a healthy dinner for ourselves and our family. When we grab dinner at the drive-thru or rely on fast, processed dinners in a box, this doesn’t benefit my health or the health of my family in the long run.
Eating healthy can be just as quick and easy as running through a drive-thru. It just takes some time, practice and preparation. I spend just an hour or so each weekend planning and preparing food for my family to eat throughout the week. This minimizes the stress and temptation to pick something up while on the go! Below are a few of my meal prep tips to help set your week up for success:
#1. Make a Plan!
Without a clear plan, meal preparation can be a nightmare. Make a list of your favorite healthy foods, simple recipes and snacks and decide what you will eat for each meal/snack per day. This will help you stay on track and maximize the foods you purchase. You don’t have to eat something different every day (unless you choose to) but keep it simple! Keep track of the weekly menus you make so that you will have them for future use. The famous saying goes “failing to plan is planning to fail!”
#2. Make time for shopping and stick to your list
Does anyone else have a tendency to veer off course while grocery shopping? And don’t even get me started on the foods that can end up in my cart if I go shopping on an empty stomach! Make sure you make a list of all of the healthy items you need and STICK TO IT!
#3. Keep snacks simple and readily available (especially for kids!)
When you get hungry (or usually hangry in my case) , you don’t want to spend 30 minutes trying to whip up a fancy snack. Save time by choosing snacks that are quick and easy to put together. Some of my family’s favorites are hard-boiled eggs, grapes and pre-cut veggies with hummus.
#4. Pre-cook as much as you can
Roast vegetables, sweet potatoes and chicken in advance. This gives you quick sides for dinners or protein to throw on a salad for lunch. Cooking them at the same time will also save you time on your food prep day.
#5. Invest in some storage containers
You don’t want to prep all of this food and then end up not having anything to store it in. Make sure you have enough containers and even gallon ziplock bags (to double recipes and freeze the rest for later use). I prefer clear, see-through containers so my boys can see what is in each one and quickly grab something on the go.
#6. Set time aside to prepare all of your food
Make sure you save one to two hours to prepare all of your food for the week. Don’t try to rush this and get up super early on a Monday to get it all done. It isn’t worth the stress to do that, so plan ahead! Have you family help you too!! This will make them feel involved and excited to try new, healthy things.
I’ve also created a video to show you more in depth how I meal prep each week:
Always keep in mind that this is a marathon, not a sprint! Your goals will not be achieved overnight. This process takes time and consistency, but the more you practice the quicker it gets! I am here for you and would love to walk alongside this journey with you! If I can help in any way, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
P.S. I can’t wait to share some of my family’s favorite recipes with you next time!!