05 Mar My 5 Steps To Meal Prepping
Are you ready to jump into meal prepping? I’m celebrating National Nutrition Month by giving you my tips, tricks, and recipes for healthy, successful meal prepping, But before you get started, there are 5 important steps to keep in mind.
1) Choose when to prep
Select which one or two days of the week you are planning on prepping. Because my kids have a busy schedule on the weekends, I usually split my meal prepping over the course of a few hours between Sundays and Wednesdays
2) Decide which meals to prep
Plan out your recipes for the week using the meal plans in my cookbook or recipes you find online. I like to vary my protein, whole grain, vegetable, dairy, and fruit choices to ensure that we are consuming a wide variety of nutrients. At the same time, however, try to find recipes or meal plans that use similar ingredients to save money and decrease food waste. For example, if you have broccoli in an egg dish, plan to use the rest of the broccoli for lunch or dinner another day that week.
3) Go food shopping
Before you head to the store, make a list of all the ingredients you need and check your kitchen to see what you might already have on hand. Categorize the ingredients you need to buy by grouping similar ingredients together. I like to group all of the produce, packaged goods, and frozen items together, for example.
4) Prep and Cook
In both of my cookbooks, I recommend the order in which you should make each recipe. I like to start with the recipes that will take the longest such as the slow cooker or longer-cooking recipes. That way, you can multitask and prep other recipes while those are cooking. Shorter recipes, like dressings or easy sides, leave for down-times while other recipes are finishing cooking.
5) Portion and Pack
All meal preps end with portioning and packing so that you can easily grab and go. In general, I like to pack each container with ¼ protein, ¼ whole grains, and ½ fruits or vegetables. Meals can be packed in different kinds of containers–stay tuned to see my favorites coming soon!
Looking for even more details on my 5 step approach to meal prepping? My Smart Meal Prep for Beginners cookbook goes into even more detail on these 5 steps!
I love hearing your thoughts and what has worked or hasn’t worked for you. So TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS: What are your best tips for getting meal prep done in any or all of the steps above?