Starting a Meal prep routine is something that everybody should consider.
Meal prep isn’t only a good idea for people with busy lives who don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, but also for people trying to diet or manage their food intake. Preparing meals ahead of time encourages you to stray from fast food and eating out, and is a helpful step to achieve your dieting goals.
Meal prep can be very overwhelming when you first start.
Keeping this in mind, there is no one simple way to meal prep. Considering your goals, schedule, and meal preferences you should decide which type of meal prep works best for you.
Types of Meal Prepping
Batch cooking is essentially cooking a few big meals such as soup, chilli, pasta, salads – a dish you can make at the beginning of the week that you can ration throughout the week.
Individually Portioned meals
Portion food into containers so that you can grab a dish and go.
Prep your ingredients beforehand to retain freshness, but still saving time by doing so. This way it’s easy to throw everything in the pot and begin cooking.
So you’ve figured out what type of meal prep you want to start out with, now what’s next? The next step, and quite frankly the most important step, is stocking up on appropriate containers for your choice of meal prep. Here are some important factors you want to keep in mind when determining what types of containers will work best for you:
- Airtight containers are useful to keep moisture out of foods that spoil in moist environments such as greens, beans, dried fruits, and grains.
- Leak-proof containers are helpful for meaty foods that are susceptible to ooze juices or grease.
- Stackables are always a good idea when determining which kinds of containers you want to meal prep with because the majority of your meal prep food must be refrigerated, hence having easily organized containers makes storing your meal prep much more convenient.
- Freezer safe containers are a good idea when prepping food many days in advance as food maintains most of its nutrients while frozen – but realize that frozen foods should only be reheated once.
- Microwave safe is more of a convenience than anything else as you can stick the container directly into the microwave without having to use other dishes to warm up your food.
- BPA Free containers. Plastic containers made with bisphenol A (BPA) seep out chemicals into your food, so be sure to check your container labeling when buying plastic containers. Every product listed below is BPA free.
Now that you’ve chosen your containers, let’s get down to the steps of meal prepping.
- Figure out what type of meals you need to maintain your lifestyle.
- Schedule meal prep days and develop a realistic routine.
- Begin meal prepping:
- Make a list of the foods you want to eat/cook throughout the week
- Create a shopping list
- Meal Prep!