When you’re rushing to work in the morning, it’s tempting to grab a frozen meal, or even decide to buy lunch out. But this can often lead to less healthy choices, like fast food. Meal prepping is a convenient way to save time and eat healthier options.
Meal prepping involves preparing complete meals ahead of time using healthy and unprocessed ingredients. It allows you to control portion sizes ahead of time — so when you’re hungry you don’t eat more than you need or choose a less healthy processed option.
How can you start meal prepping? Here are some tips:
- Pick a prep day. Choose one day a week to do your prepping. The most popular day is Sunday, because you likely have more free time and you can prepare your meals for the upcoming work week.
- Choose your meal. You can meal prep for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it’s easier to start off with one meal per day. If you’re cooking for you and your family, dinner is a great option to prep. If you’re cooking for one, consider prepping breakfast or lunch.
- Find your food. Meal prepping can consist of simply packing up leftovers to eat the next day for lunch, or creating meals from scratch for your week ahead. A common option is a single recipe meal prep, which is one meal that provides protein, vegetables and carbs. Cooking several servings at once and eating them over multiple days allows you to save time later. Try the One Pot Sundried Tomato and Sausage Pasta below. You can also create balanced meals with multiple items, like chicken breast, salad and cheese cubes.
- Collect containers. Good storage containers can keep your meals fresher longer. Worried about a soggy salad? Consider containers with divided sections so you can keep parts of your meals separated. Zip top bags and small containers for sides or sauces are also useful meal prep tools.
Spending a little extra time on the front end will save you in the long run!