MEAL PREPPING TIPS FOR FAMILIES
I know what you may be thinking, I’ve tried it before, it didn’t work for me, i don’t have the time and it’s another thing ‘to do’. However, we are now spending more time at home, even though we are coming out of the pandemic. Our lives really have changed, therefore, being at home more means eating at home more.
So I’ve put together some ideas together to help you get started and hopefully see the rewards from planning your weekly meals!
Benefits of prepping your meals when you have a family
- Saves you money
- Healthier eating habits
- Prevents food wastage
- Lessens stress and worry each day
- Children will know what they are having each week
- More free time to focus on what you want
Meal planning for beginners
If you are new to meal prepping, I suggest to start off small. Stick to one meal only, which meals do you struggle with the most? If its dinners then prep all your dinners for the week, this will eliminate overwhelm and the need to give up.
Pick one day of the week and stick to it. Even if that means some weeks you have to change the day, plan your week in advance and schedule the day you dedicate to meal prepping. Typically many meal prep on a Sunday, that doesn't work for everyone, chose a day that works best for you and your family.
Start off basic, don’t try to be too adventurous to begin with , this may leave you feeling overwhelmed, meal prep is about making life as easy as possible for you. At the same time you do not want your food to be boring, so experiment with different sauces, marinades and swap side dishes.
- Write your meal plan out - either full recipes or food groups
- Write out your shopping list - check your pantry, fridge and freezer incase you already have some items
- Plan how and what you actually need to prep, for example cut veggies, marinate the meat etc.
- Invest in food storage containers -Here’s some ideas before you buy! https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/review/best-meal-prep-containers
- Research meals that you can freeze
- Batch cook sauces for unprepared weeks, for example make a large amount of pasta sauce, portion them, so on busier days you will just need to defrost and boil some pasta!
- Cut the right corners - take advantage of staple foods such as the frozen veg isle, canned food, rice packets, anything to make your prepping quick and easy
- Take advantage of slow cooker recipes
- Keep snacks simple, cut cucumber, carrot sticks etc. in advance for when the kids want a snack - keep hummus at hand and some breadsticks for the days where time isn’t on your side
- Get the family involved, ask your partner/kids (age appropriate) to help with the chopping whilst you get on with something else
- If you really don’t enjoy meal prepping, why not listen to your favourite podcast, or music, if you have a TV in your kitchen, pop your a movie on
Another tip I suggest is to USE recipes, this will be more cost effective, and time effective. You won’t be wondering around in grocery store throwing random items in your trolly. Plan your meals for the week, write down exactly what you need to buy before hand.
https://rebeccawilson.com has some lovely books if your’e looking for meal ideas for the whole family!
Why people give up
Because their WHY is not big enough. Why do you want to meal prep? What is your end goal?
Some of the reasons we meal prep in our home are:
My partner trains at the gym three times a week, and works 6 days a week. There’s two reasons right there. For him eating healthy is important, and because he works most the week, having his lunch ready helps his day run smoother.
I have a few intolerances, so I cannot eat some foods that I use to be able to, for me meal prepping helps with watching what I’m eating and not falling in the trap.
I want to instil healthy food habits for my son, and as the saying goes ‘monkey see’s monkey does’, so we try our best to eat healthy during the week, and weekends we enjoy a take away!
As I always say mama, no one size fits all, even if you take a few tips from here that’s great. We all have different systems in place, but if there’s anything here that may make your life that little bit easier then that will make my day!
Happy Planning Mama!