Meal preparation, or meal planning, is an excellent way to save time and money throughout the week. “Meal prepping” can also help to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety associated with setting aside enough time every day to prepare healthy meals. In this video, registered dietitian Britney Lentz goes over some tips and tricks on how to get started with meal prepping. Watch the video, or continue on to the article below.
1. Meal planning starts before you head to the store
Having a plan when you are going grocery shopping is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success. Do a quick inventory of the items you have in your pantry and fridge, and decide what you need to buy to prepare meals and snacks that you want. Check out some of the recipes on our website for some inspiration!
2. Write out your shopping list in order of how you will shop
Write your list in the order of how you will travel through the grocery store. Writing a grocery list prevents you from having to backtrack and run around the store multiple times. This meal prep step includes creating sections in your list for produce, dairy, spices, pasta, etc.
3. Have a snack before you go shopping
Make sure you don’t go into the grocery store when you are hungry, or even worse, “hangry”. Grocery shopping can be a long outing, and going into it fatigued may cause you to purchase things you don’t need, or cause you to forget items on your list.
4. Be efficient in the kitchen with multi-tasking
The goal of meal prepping is to save yourself time, so make sure you don’t spend hours upon hours in the kitchen while you prepare your food. Figure out ways to multi-task, such as roasting your vegetables first, then while they are in the oven, make other things that won’t take as long. Don’t forget to clean up as you go! Furthermore, you can cook neutral foods such as rice or farro, and re-purpose them for different meals during the week. The same thing can be done with proteins like chicken.
5. Prep your fruits and veggies for the week
When you arrive home from the grocery store, wash and chop your fruits and vegetables, then store them in sealed containers in your fridge. Storing containers in the fridge will allow you to grab them quickly and with ease throughout the week. If you want to take convenience one step further, you can purchase pre-prepared fruits and vegetables at your grocery store if this will encourage you to eat more fruits and veggies!
Everyone is different, and meal planning will look a little bit different for everyone. Listen to your body and its hunger cues, and eat as much or as little of your prepared meals as you see fit that day. If you have additional questions about how to meal prep effectively, and to book an appointment with one of our registered dietitians, contact us today.