Food Prep Made Easy
Summer holidays are coming to a close and a new school year is beginning. Whether its back to work or back to school, most of us probably know the struggle for time and getting everything done. Trying to fit in healthy meals around a busy schedule can seem impossible. The thought of packing lunches, squeezing weeknight meals in between activities, and grabbing snacks on the go can almost make you dizzy. Do not fret! Take a deep breath and have some faith. A dash of discipline and a little organization can make a huge difference in your food choices and free time.
Food prep is probably one of the most under-rated, under-utilized tools for healthy eating. It may feel overwhelming to plan an entire week of meals, snacks, and then prepare most of it in advance. Start small. The more of a habit it becomes, the more comfortable you will be. There are no rules written in stone, the key is to find out what works for you.
Prepping meals doesn’t have to be boring, and you don’t need to be a master in the kitchen. Just set a couple hours aside to focus on it, and you’re done! Watch the week go so much smoother when the snacks are ready to grab, and meals are planned and prepared. Put on some tunes, bust out the kitchen tools, and have some fun!
Here’s how to get started:
Start with a plan
- Make a plan of everything you want to prep for the week. Decide on basic staples that can be used in a variety of meals like meat, beans and grains. Divide your list into sections such as no-bake, stove and oven depending on what needs to be done in each area.
- Get the most out of your food prep by doing multiple things at once. This is where your list comes in really handy. In theory, something could be in the oven, stove top and crock pot going while you chop vegetables on the counter. Just remember to be mindful of cooking times.
- Make sure you have enough containers to store everything you prep. Tupperware and freezer bags are a must.
- Don’t go overboard. Leftovers usually only last up to 3 or 4 days so make sure your just making what you need. Food in the garbage is money in the garbage!
- Use proteins wisely. Pork and chicken keep longer than fish, shellfish or steak.
- Wash, dry, chop and store produce right away when you get home from the grocery store.
- You are more likely to choose healthy snack when they are ready to eat.
- Create different meals by up by using different sauces and spices with your proteins.
- Double your recipes that you can freeze and store for later use.
- Choose healthy carbohydrates and proteins plus fruits and veggies for balanced meals.
- ½ fruits and veggies, ¼ lean protein, ¼ whole grain carbohydrates
- Get the kids involved! Let them choose different fruits, veggies, carbohydrate and proteins for their lunches.
- Eat seasonal for produce at their peak of nutrition and flavour.
Back to school, you got this!