Meal Planning 101
It’s that time of the year again! Summer is coming to an end, school is starting, and busy days lay ahead.
With a busier schedule it can be difficult to prepare healthy, home cooked meals every day. Having less time during the day to cook often causes us to develop unhealthy eating habits by getting take out or fast foods when we are short of time and energy. But what if I told you there was a way to prepare healthy meals in a quick, efficient and affordable manner?
The solution? Meal prepping.
Meal prepping is a cooking method of making your meals by preparing desired foods in bulk, and saving them to be eaten throughout the week. This can be used to prep any meal such as breakfast, lunch and even dinner.
Most people choose to meal prep on Sundays, that way they have meals ready to go for the following week, but ultimately each person chooses a day that best works for their schedule.
Once you have cooked meals they can be separated into different containers (one for each day), refrigerated, and once you are ready to eat, simply reheat them in the microwave or stove.
If meal prepping sounds like something you want to start, here are some important tips for beginners.
The best way to store your meals are in good quality food storage containers that are BPA free, microwave safe, reusable and are airtight.
Using the best containers can maximize the freshness of stored meals for up to 3-5 days.
Beginners Recipe Checklist
There are certain food staples that make up these prepared meals. These foods include sources of nutrient dense proteins, grains and vegetables. They can be cooked in large batches by roasting, steaming or stir-frying.
An example of a basic recipe for a healthy lunch meal prep could include:
Proteins: chicken, beef, fish, hard boiled eggs, beans, low-fat cheese, veggie burgers
Grains/Starches: Rice, pasta, quinoa, sweet potato
Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, lettuce, kale, etc.
The best thing about meal prepping is how simple and versatile it can be. The recipes are truly limitless and can be changed to each individuals tastes and preferences. It helps people stay on track with their healthy eating without being time consuming and saving money. See if two or three friends that are interested in meal planning want to try it with you! Host a meal planning session over the weekend and let everyone prep together over your favorite music. See how much fun meal planning can be with others.