Overwhelmed by meal planning? Use these tips and recipes for meal prep to get a healthy, homemade meal on the table with less stress.
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Meal planning is one of my least favorite tasks in life. It is difficult enough to come up with meals that the majority of my children like let alone grocery shopping, prepping and making healthy ones.
There are no pictures of me standing over the stove in stilettos and a skirt, but there are plenty with a toolbelt and dirty workout clothes.
Use these time-saving meal prep ideas to stress less about getting a healthy, homemade meal on the table for your family.
For more tips on healthy eating be sure to check out:
- 13 Meal Prep Ideas For Healthy Eating
- 21 Ways To Prevent Overeating & ENJOY YOUR FOOD
- Choosing The Best Protein Powder
- The Best Protein Source For Building Muscle
- How Much Protein You Should Eat A Day
- Dairy Or Dairy-Free? The Substitute For Milk Breakdown
Meal Prep Ideas For Healthy Eating
1. Make a week’s worth of breakfast smoothies in one day.
Whip up a large batch of your favorite breakfast smoothie, separate them into individual portions, and freeze them. The night before, place one of your freezer packs in the fridge to defrost and you have a ready-to-go smoothie in the morning. Rotate through your favorite smoothie recipes every week and you always have something tasty and nourishing to start the day.
For yummy protein shake ideas, be sure to check out:
13 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas
2. Pick one day and set it aside as a prep day.
For several years while I was in my second Master’s program, renovating our Colonial Foreclosure fixer-upper, working at the hospital, keeping 2 young kids alive, and incubating our 3rd – I mastered the art of frozen meals.
I would pick one day a month when the kids were out of the house, and I would spend all day in the kitchen prepping freezer meals. The good news is that the majority of recipes on my blog can be made ahead of time and frozen.
3. Stock up on frozen produce.
We buy our veggies in bulk at Costco, and then create quick and easy roasted vegetables each night.
Check out all of these roasted vegetable recipes!
- Smoky Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Italian Broccoli
- Sheet Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
- Sheet Pan Brussel Sprouts
- Crispy Roasted Garlic Potatoes With Rosemary
4. Use freezer-safe glass storage baking dishes.
Use freezer safe glass storage baking dishes to prep casseroles, freeze them and then put them right into the oven. These Anchor Hocking dishes are my favorite!
5. Buy in bulk.
If you are going to spend a day meal prepping, then be sure to buy your ingredients in bulk. Costco is an obvious choice, but there are numerous places to buy in bulk including Amazon!
13 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas
#6. Prep right out of the grocery bag.
Why waste the time putting groceries away when you will just get them out again for meal prep? Skip the extra step and just prep the meals right out of the bags.
7. Cook protein in bulk and use it in a variety of dishes.
Instead of cooking individual portions of meat cook a dozen chicken breasts at one time and prep multiple dishes to freeze for later.
13 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas
8. Make double recipes.
To maximize the time put into prep consider making two of every dish. When I make two of a dish I will often put one in a tin foil pan and one in a freezer-safe glass baking dish. The foil pan was perfect for giving away or taking to a friend’s house.
9. Use gallon freezer bags and reusable zip locks.
Bake muffins, protein bites, or snack bars in bulk and freeze them in single layers in gallon freezer bags. USE YOUR FREEZER!! These reusable ziplock bags are perfect for freshly cut veggies.
10. Prep slow cooker freezer meals.
Prep slow cooker freezer meals, place the ingredients in a slow cooker bag, and freeze upright. Then when ready to cook you can place the frozen ingredients directly into the slow cooker in the bag. Frozen slow cooker meals are GOLD.
11. Buy snack sizes for lunch.
This is one of my go to tips for setting yourself up for success during the day. We buy the mini guacamole and mini hummus packs in bulk from Costco, but again these can be found most places.
12. Keep a mini-fridge at work.
Consider keeping a mini fridge at work so that you can keep fresh food on hand. Zach has kept a mini fridge in his classroom for years. He typically keeps a large container of Greek yogurt, mini hummus containers, apples, mini carrots, turkey slices in bulk, cheese slices, peanut butter, granola, protein powder and milk.
13. Make enough for a Leftovers Night
It’s always helpful to utilize a Leftovers Night each week, especially if you have evening plans, sports practice, and other extracurricular activities. Simply make double of one of the meals on your plan for the week and reheat and serve another night. You can also throw the second batch in the freezer and have a stockpile of freezer meals to pull from in emergencies.
Don’t forget the shortcuts.
There is nothing wrong with grabbing some pre-made elements to complete your meal. Using a rotisserie chicken to make a soup or casserole is probably my favorite shortcut. Opt for things like pre-made pizza dough, frozen cauliflower crust, jarred sauce, and more to cut down on your meal prep time.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful!
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