Meal Prepping is an essential part of my days. It is a way for me to prepare my meals, so nutrition is a no brainer for me because otherwise I am not going to make wise choices. I know this about myself. As a busy mother and full time teacher, I know if I do not meal prep I am setting myself up for failure. You are worth the planning, effort, and time spent meal prepping!
Tip #1: Plan ahead
On Saturday morning, I flip through my Pinterest board and pick meals that look good to me! Choose the right meals for you and your family! I print off the recipes. I then make my menu for the week that I hang on my fridge when I am done. Having simple go to meals that you use often helps keep things simple!
Then, I take those recipes and make my grocery list. I organize my grocery list to save time in the grocery store!
I also take a picture of my list incase I forget it! I rarely ever forget my phone. Then, I go shopping. I usually go the day before.
Tip #2: Have an assembly line set up!
I am very fortunate to have a large kitchen with a lot of counter space. I love to set out all of the ingredients and recipes on the counter ahead of time. I also set out the meal prep containers with the lids underneath so they are ready to be filled. I have a trash bag out, so I can clean up as I go! Some people use a trash bowl!
Tip#3: Find your rhythm! Figure out what works for you! I use aluminum foil to reduce clean up time! I love one sheet pan recipes because they save me time, too! I also ask myself constantly, “Can you prep something else while this bakes or boils?” Multi-tasking with a lot of timers works for me. Some people just like one recipe at a time! Finding your rhythm and knowing what works for you is so important!
Tip #4: Include your family!
My kiddos love to help me cook! They stand on stools and watch! They also love to stir and pour the measured ingredients! However, on meal prep day, Mama is trying to get it done so I can rest! So, on meal prep day their job is to count and measure snacks! For example, Lily (7) counts out 16 grapes per baggy! Knox (3) scoops a quarter cup of almonds into a bag! Lily is also able to peel my boiled eggs by swirling them around in a mason jar! They love to help and take ownership over their role! I praise them for being “such great helpers!” They know once we get done, we can cuddle! Tip #5: Have fun!
Meal prep is known for being a daunting task that people dread. I get to choose to make it fun though and remembering why I am doing it helps, too! By putting in the littlest effort to make it fun, I am choosing joy! Playing music on my phone or on a loud speaker has helped me stay upbeat! It adds an element of fun! I also like to use colored baggies for snacks! Everyone loves a little color in their lunch tote! Lastly, remember to breathe and smile!
After four years of experience, these tips have helped me cut my meal prep time in half! Practice makes perfect, and I am here for support if you have any questions!