For many busy moms, meal prepping can seem overwhelming, but there are lots of ways meal prepping can be done effectively at home without necessarily spending a whole day in the kitchen. Ultimately, any meal prepping will save time in the long run and can really help with the family budget. The important thing is to find an approach that works for your family.
If you think of the time you spend in the kitchen each day or night preparing meals, it quickly adds up by the end of the week. If there’s one thing that us busy mamas don’t have enough of – it’s time! By taking some time once or twice per week (or whatever works for you and your family) to chop, cook and package your meals and snacks, you can slice a TON of hours of your weekly cooking schedule.
Below are some steps to help get your starting with meal prepping:
Step 1: Decide what you would like to cook during your session. You can choose to meal prep just Dinners, or add in lunches and snacks as well.
- Tip: You can save time and money by choosing meals with similar ingredients.
Step 2: Check your kitchen to see what you already have and make sure you have the basics like oil, flour, pepper, etc. Next, hit the grocery store!
- Tip: Many moms find it useful to use online shopping so that they can see what their total spend will be before checking out and then can make changes if needed to fit within their budget.
Step 3: Make some time to spend in the kitchen. How long you need will depend on what you’re cooking and how many recipes you have to make. Lots of moms swear by Sunday Meal Prep to set them up for the week ahead, but do whatever works for you.
Step 4: Prep your ingredients. The food processor can be helpful here to save time by chopping onions, grating carrots, zucchini, etc.
- Tip: try using the oven, stovetop and a slow cooker all at once so that you can prepare multiple meals at the same time.
Step 5: Start cooking! It’s normally best to begin with cooking what will take the longest, then work back from there. Think ahead of time about what you can make while another meal is baking in the oven.
Step 6. Once the food is cooked and cooled it’s time to package it up. You might choose to package your meals into single-serve portions, or into family-sized portions depending on your needs. Label and date everything so that you can see at a glance what you have in the freezer.
- Tip: Allow the food to cool completely in the fridge overnight, then place in the freezer the next day to avoid freezer burn.
Suggested read: The Fine Link between Smart Snacking and Healthy Snacking
About The Healthy Mommy
Rhian Allen is the Founder of the global parenting health site exclusively for moms, The Healthy Mommy. With a passion for health and nutrition, Rhian Allen established The Healthy Mommy in 2010 and 8 years later the business has over 1.5 million followers across social media as well as over 1.2 million unique users each month (4.5 million page views) on the website.
A busy mom of two young boys, Rhian is passionate about supporting women and mothers through their health journey and providing them with the products, tools and support to reach their health and weight loss goals. The Healthy Mommy provides daily content to empower moms to live a healthier life – including healthy recipes, lifestyle, exercise, pregnancy and children.
The Healthy Mommy offers completely holistic health programs with meal and exercise plans, the 28 Day Challenge, brand new meal planning recipe app, healthy smoothies, supplements, DVD’s, books and merchandise. As well as daily tools and support to enable mums to reach their health goals. The Healthy Mommy has helped mums lose more than 3 million kilos.
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