What is Meal Prep?
After getting up early in the morning, one hour used to prepare for breakfast, then another an hour for lunch and for dinner we need another one more hour. 3 hours a day spent just for cooking and preparing meals. It is very tiring and takes too much time. We live in a busy world with the presence of small children around us. Because of we too tired, we finally order fast food to get home.
Huh! This is not what I want. If I had more than 24 hours, would not it be better? Surely I’ll have time to provide healthy food for my children and my family. Have you ever experienced such a problem? Yes. I have. Feeling guilty of giving a child a meal that is unhealthy really bad. Do not let yourself continue this way. For me, good health starts from home. This post will help you to create some healthy meal prep ideas, how to cook and prepare healthy meals even if you are a busy or working parent (Unless you have a maid to do all that for you!).
How about if we can cut from 3 hours preparation and cooking per day, we will try to shorten the time into an hour or maybe less. Do not believe? Please keep reading..Have you heard about meal prep? Perhaps once and if not, let me tell you. A meal prep is prep is taking a day – or a few hours – during the week to prepare meals that will serve you and your family for the days or week ahead.
Have you heard about meal prep? Perhaps once and if not, let me tell you. A meal prep is prep is taking a day – or a few hours – during the week to prepare meals that will serve you and your family for the days or week ahead. Healthy meal prep ideas. This is the post I’m going to share with you today.
The benefit of healthy meal prep
So, why we need meal prep?
1) Save your money – believe it or not, meal prep will help you save money. How’s that? Okay, let’s say you go to the restaurant to eat. You’ve been eating for one meal only, but the high cost for one meal is really expensive. Furthermore, you already waste some car oil for that one meal. How about you buy all the groceries once and cook for the whole week. Much cheaper right?
2) Do not have to go to the kitchen for a long time – When you do a meal prep, you do not waste time up to an hour just to provide breakfast. Let say you make pancakes. You already have all the ingredients available in front of you without having to look where is the flour, where baking powder, sugar because all is already available in one place. Enter the kitchen and start cooking!
3) Avoiding or minimizing unhealthy foods- A busy daily situation makes feeling tiring all the time. Without wasting our time, we keep taking fast food like Maggie. Just 2 minutes! It’s cooked. If you have a meal prep, you will definitely reduce this unhealthy eating, as you have prepared the ingredients earlier.
4) Less stress – By preparing the meals ahead, you can prevent stress. No more cutting, weighing and wasting time for preparation. You only prep once during the weekend and clean the mess only once. Less time needed to cook, and no more mess in the kitchen every day. Hooray!
5) You eat healthier – Hmm.. This is why you need to prepare or cook by yourself. You will definitely be healthier. You know how much salt you have and do not worry about the oil content in your diet. You know what you put in your food.
6) Save time – This is one of the most important reasons why you need a prep meal. Yeah! Your time saved and you can use your time to be with your family. You do not need 3 hours a day providing food. No need to be in a traffic jam for a drive through.
What do you need?
No matter what kind of food you want to provide, the most important thing is pre-planning. Such planning can set you free to do other things and still provide you and your family with a nutritious and delicious home-cooked meal that will be appreciated by all. Let’s say you want to prepare meals for a week. The main focus of preparing meals for the week or a few days ahead of time is to plan. Planning is key to having a smoothly-running mealtime that everyone will appreciate.
1) Storage containers – This is a must have. After you prepare some foods, you will need some storage containers so that they can be easily stacked in the refrigerator to take up the least amount of room.
2) Easy to heat – You can use in microwave or pan without the need for an oven.
3) Plan for a week – Planning meals for an entire week may overwhelm you, but pre-planning and preparing a few servings for one meal of the day a couple of days ahead of time can help you get organized and get used to the concept.
Get my weekly healthy meal prep ideas here.
4) Adequate shopping list – After your weekly meal plan, A comprehensive shopping list is mandatory. You do not want to be in the midst of preparing meals and find you’ve left out a key ingredient.
5) Organize your refrigerator – It’s important to organize your refrigerator before meal prepping. You do not want to be in a hurry to get out the door and have to rummage through the refrigerator for your carefully prepared breakfast.
6) Stick with tried and true recipes – It’s frustrating to spend time preparing a meal ahead of time that everyone turns their noses up when it’s served.
7) Use a crock pot – This help to save time and effort. The Internet is bursting with slow cooker recipes that can save you time, effort and money. Or – create your own recipes by tossing in some meat, veggies and yummy spices (plus liquid) and do your own thing while it cooks.
8) Choose the right time to cook – you can cook one, two or three times per week. Or once per day. If you can, shop and cook your meals on one particular day and time each week. This means that the oven will only be heated once, the mess of chopping and slicing meats and veggies happens only once and you’ll have time during the week for things you want and need to do. Yeah!
9) Plan for snacks – We all love to snack between meals and that can be deadly to a diet and fitness routine. Rather than leaving your fate to the vending machines, invest in some healthy pre-planned snacks to keep all week for when hunger and cravings hit unexpectedly.
10) Arrange your food according to its timeline for freshness – Another good hack to know when it comes to meal prep is to know your foods’ timeline for freshness. Some foods, such as apples, are more sensitive to time passage than others. They become brown and easily oxidize as soon as they become exposed to air. It’s getting brown or getting oxidize faster. Get to know your selected foods’ timeline for freshness and wait for cutting or slicing until you’re ready to use them in a recipe.
11) Enjoy the leftovers – Also, it’s okay to repeat meals during the days or weeks ahead. Enjoyment of your food and healthy food are key here – and when you love a recipe or enjoy eating leftovers, it’s perfectly okay to make up a batch and serve it later on during the week.
Well, you already know what a meal prep is, it’s good and also the preparations that need to be made to start the meal prep. So let’s look at the examples I’ve tried and taken from the internet for a common reference. Let’s get it started.
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas – Breakfast
When talking about breakfast, Experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – especially for children. If you’re a mom or dad who wants to give the kids (and yourself) nutritious and delicious breakfasts, there are a few things that might make the meal prep process go smoother and faster.
On busy mornings when you barely have time to look in the pantry for ideas, it’s nice to have a plan. Pre-planning the breakfast meal can make the usual morning hassles run much smoother and you’ll feel better all day because you know you and your family got the fuel they needed to perform the best they can – whether in school or at the job.
So how are you? Hmm .. If you want to be healthy. We should use materials such as whole grains, low-fat dairy and protein and fruits and veggies to ensure a healthy and tasty breakfast to tide you over until lunchtime, keep you from using the drive-thru at a fast food place, increase productivity And alertness and spending money needlessly.
Your first thought in breakfast planning and prep is to gather some well-made and FDA approved storage containers and bags. Then, take a few minutes to plan a meal that you and your family will enjoy. Below are some healthy meal prep ideas for breakfast that I gathered from the internet:
- Overnight Oats In A Jar From Pinterest
- Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls From Iowagirleats.com
- Avocado And Egg Meal Breakfast From Damndelicious.net
- Simple Quinoa Breakfast Bars From Superhealthykids.com
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas – Lunch
After you work from the morning, you’re definitely hungry and need extra energy to work until the evening of the month. So now it’s time to eat lunch. Sometimes when it comes to working we can eat near outside with co-workers. Do not waste money, food is either healthy or not. Take your supplies from home alone and heat them in the microwave at the office.
One great idea for pre-planned lunches is to combine a protein, vegetable, and carb so you’ll be getting a balanced meal. Some great proteins to choose from include eggs, chicken, tofu, steak or fish. Great lunch veggies are abundant. Choose from broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, lettuce, zucchini and so much more. And for a carb, you’ll find good choices in potatoes, brown rice and quinoa.
There are so many ways to prepare them, you’ll never run out of ideas or new tastes. Mason jar salads have become the trend for healthy and filling lunches. Online recipes are everywhere, but one good concoction includes lettuce, chicken, avocado dressing, corn, black beans, and tomato.
This “Mason jar taco salad” stays fresh and is a delight to look forward to at lunchtime. Containers are an important part of your lunch meal pre-planning. Mason jars are great and sturdy plasticware is also a good choice for soups and meals you need to heat in the microwave.
Flour tortillas are a great choice for all types of healthy wraps. Be creative with versatile ingredients such as rice, chicken and quinoa and healthy veggies. They’re also easy to eat and less messy than many choices. Add fruits such as mandarin oranges and strawberries to your salad for a healthy and tasty way to get your fruit quota – and nuts such as walnuts and pecans can add a bit of crunch to jazz up a boring salad.
Do not forget the old standby, sandwich, choice. You can prepare them ahead of time and choose ingredients that are low in calories and rich in nutrients. Tomato, hummus, and spinach or low-calorie chicken salad on whole grain bread are great lunchtime choices.
You never have to let your lunches become boring. There are so many great choices from which to choose – and they’re easy and less time-consuming to prepare. Let your imagination soar and you’ll never dread having to eat a boring lunch again. Below are some healthy meal prep ideas for lunch that I gathered from the internet:
- Salmon Mushroom Broccoli Rice From Popsugar.com
- Turkey Sausage Potato Lunch From Sweerpeasandsaffron.com
- Tex Mex Chicken Bowl From Fromvalerieskitchen.com
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas – Dinner
Okay, breakfast already, lunch is gone. Now it’s time to get home and have dinner. Hmm .. Before that, How many times have you left work or are running late from appointments or other obligations and realized you had no plan on what to serve your family (or yourself) for dinner?
Get started from work. There’s no time to rest, now to be cooked again? This is where you are preparing the meal prep that you have early on. About that time of day, you’re probably tired and the last thing you want to do is stop by the grocery store to grab ingredients you’ll need for a healthy meal. So, you give up and pick up your family’s meal at a drive through or order pizza.
With a little pre-planning, you can avoid that scenario and take the stress off your dinner preparation while providing you and your family with healthy and delicious meals. And, you’ll save money too. Even if cooking intimidates you, you’ll find that many dinner ideas do not require a gourmet touch – or even spending lots of time in the kitchen. Plus, pre-planning makes evening cleanup a breeze by using containers that are easily washable or disposable.
Chicken is a great pre-planned option but can get boring if you have it a few days per week. One way to vary the taste is to use foil dividers in your pan to separate the chicken pieces, then use various seasonings (barbeque, honey mustard or grilled) to give yourself a couple of different tastes from one pan.
Chop or slice a variety of veggies in advance and use them in a sauté ‘mixture or for a quick and easy salad combo. Zucchini and butternut squash noodles will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and if you seal onions or peppers properly, they’ll last a good amount of time, too.
Muffin tins can be used for make-ahead quiches and frittatas, which can be heated in the microwave when ready to serve. Grilling out on weekends is a great way to prepare ahead. Grill some kabobs and then freeze and bring out during the week for a real treat. Do not forget dessert. Make-ahead sorbets or yogurt and fruit cups are tasty and healthy treats. Mason jar salads can be a complete meal if planned properly – and your family will love the way the entire meal appears in the Mason jar.
Begin your pre-planned dinner meals with your own recipes. You’ll know the end results and you will not be overwhelmed with so many new ideas at first. Also, begin by planning only one or two dinners per week. After you experience the benefits of pre-planning and cooking, you’ll likely want to branch out and explore different options. Meal prep is a wonderful concept that helps you enjoy more time relaxing in the evening so you experience less stress. Below are some healthy meal prep ideas for dinner that I gathered from the internet:
- Crockpot Butternut Squash Chicken And Quinoa Soup From Chealseasmessyapron.com
- Spicy Chicken Potato From Pichofyum.com
- Grilled Chicken Veggie Bowls From Picky-palate.com
That are some of the recepies that you can try at home for healthy meal prep ideas. But don’t forget to try your own recepies according to your creativity. I hope all these help ya! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!;-)