By Olivia Orzech
Everyone is talking about meal prep, especially as the school year begins. But with so many different options out there, it’s hard to figure out where to start. So here’s a few tips for getting your family started with meal prepping and a couple of my favorite meals I like to make!
1. Start slow
Whether it’s chopping a bunch of veggies for salad or cooking an entire box of rice, start with the simplest things that you probably already eat as leftovers. Think: pasta, rice, quinoa, hard boiled eggs, chopped veggies for salad, and baked potatoes. All foods that you can easily make in large quantities but don’t require a lot of prep work.
2. Have the right gear
What’ll make this a lot easier is having the right containers for the food. Sounds a little silly, but believe me, it makes all the difference. For example, you’re premade chicken will go bad a lot faster if you just wrap it in foil instead of putting it in an airtight container. Nothing is worse than putting your lunch together in the morning to open the foil and find foul smelling chicken! Make sure you have varying sizes, with quite a few large ones, along with a few tiny ones for salad dressing!
3. Pick the right time to prep
Sometimes it’s actually easier for me to prep food on a Saturday evening than Sunday afternoons. Since most food, specifically eggs and meat, don’t stay fresh longer than 5 days, this means I usually treat myself to something special on a Friday. While this schedule works for me, it may not be what works for your family. Figure out the best time during your week to block out a few hours and commit to prepping, knowing it’ll be worth it come Monday when everyone is in a rush to get out the door.
4. Time for food!
Now that you’ve chosen the right gear, the right time, and you’ve already had a week of easy prep, let’s get to the fun part! Depending on what your family likes, you can find recipes out there for everything, but here are a couple of my favorites!
One Pan Roasted Garlic-Parm Chicken Tenders and Green Beans with Tomatoes from Cooking Classy
Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowls from Sweet Peas and Saffron
One Pan Salmon, Potato, and Asparagus Lunch from Let the Baking Begin
Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad from The Kitchen Girl