One of the biggest challenges of the school year is maintaining healthy, home-cooked dishes for the whole family with busy schedules. But with a few simple meal prep tips, breakfast, lunch and dinner can still be healthy, filling, and best of all…quick and easy!
1. Set aside one hour on Sunday for meal prep
Whether you’re focused on prepping breakfast for the week, dinner for Monday and Tuesday, or lunches for the kids or yourself, spending just one hour on Sundays will set you up for success. Want to meal prep like the best of them? Check out these tips.
2. Only prep foods that will hold up well
Pre-making sandwiches for lunch, for example, may not be a great idea because the bread will get soggy and lunch meat and condiments won’t be fresh. Consider recipe ideas that include grilling and chopping chicken breast, making hard-boiled eggs or throwing together a batch of muffins in advance…all of these will hold up great.
3. Prep only what you’ll eat
Meal prep is a waste of time, money and food if you prep more than you or your family will eat. Stick to quantities you know will feed your family for just a five-day (or less) stretch.
4. Keep it manageable
Pick one or two meals, max, to prep for. You’ll run out of time, motivation and possibly fridge space if you try to do too much! Think about which meals are hardest for you to put together during the week, and plan accordingly. This varies for every family.
5. Find inspiration
From Pinterest to Instagram to food blogs, there is an abundance of advice and tips for weekly meal prep. A few great examples include:
- Breakfast: Bake a batch of oatmeal banana muffins
- Lunch: Prep the ingredients for grilled chicken bowls with broccoli, sweet potatoes and black beans
- Dinner: Pre-chop veggies for the week that will hold up, such as cauliflower, green beans or squash. Make a large batch of rice or quinoa for easy side dishes.
- Power snacks: Make a batch of energy bites or protein bars for healthy snacking between meals or before after-school sports practice.