Deciding what you and your family should eat every day can be challenging, especially if you don’t have much time on your hands. However, this task can be much easier if you consider planning your meals. Meal prep provides you and your family with several benefits, including helping you to be more conscious of what you eat, reducing unhealthy snacking, and helping you save time and money. Here are some straightforward tips to help make your meal prep as easy and effective as possible.
- Add each food group
No matter how long you’re planning your meals, be it for a week or month, it’s essential to incorporate each food group to make your meals as healthy as possible. A nutritious meal plan includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, protein, etc. It’s best to incorporate more of these healthy elements while reducing excessive sugars and salt. You can consider buying such ingredients in bulk to save you time and help you portion them so you can easily use them when the need arises.
- Make small changes
If you’ve never tried meal prep, you may feel unsure where and how to start. However, you don’t need to do everything at a go; you can start small and keep going at it consistently till it becomes a habit. You can get started with a brief plan on a few meals for the week, for instance, breakfast. As time goes on, you can eventually build on it to add more meals and get more creative. When you grow more confident, you can try simple, time-saving tricks such as how to roast turnips, to help you plan and prepare healthy meals.
- Organize your space
To make your meal plans easier and more effective, it would help to organize areas such as your fridge, kitchen, and pantry, to quickly find the things you need and feel less stressed during the process. It’s best to also set aside some time for grocery shopping, so you can buy the ingredients you need for your meal prep and ensure your pantry is well-stocked with all the essential items. Having a list will help you be more organized and reduce impulse buying.
Other good ways to be organized are to find what works best for you, make your space as decluttered as possible, and place items where you can easily find them. Doing this will also make it easier for you to take inventory of what you have, so you can quickly identify what you’ll need on your next visit to the grocery store.
- Get durable and quality storage containers
The containers you store your meal prep items in are crucial, as they help ensure that your meals stay fresh for a while. Getting quality storage containers can also help you feel more organized during meal prep, as you don’t have to spend too much time looking for the right bowl or lid for your meals. It’s best to consider the purpose of the containers you want to guide you when getting the ideal ones. For example, if you’re using the microwave often or freezing some of your ingredients, you should get suitable containers for those purposes. Remember to get different sizes as well, so you’re not limited in your storage. This way, you can get large servings that last you a while.
- Ask for help when you need it
You don’t always have to do meal prep or think of exciting menus on your own. You can make it a fun activity by involving your family. You can ask them for their opinion on what they’d like to see on the menu, and also ask for their help in activities such as cutting up ingredients, packing the meals in different containers, etc. Doing this also helps you spend some quality time with your loved ones. You can also ask friends for ideas or check out food blogs whenever you run out of inspiration. Meal prep doesn’t have to be boring; asking for help can give you fresh ideas and make your meals enjoyable.
- Be intentional about your time
An essential aspect of successful meal prep is making time for it. Even a few minutes out of your busy schedule can help make the process worthwhile. Depending on your goals, you may need to take about 15 to 20 minutes, or a few hours, so you can make the most out of your meal prep and then not have to worry about it for the rest of the week. You only need to set some time aside and also remain consistent.