I don’t know about you, but I am so happy that everything is going back to “normal” next week. While I loved having time off to be with the family over the holidays, I found that being out of our usual routines meant that we weren’t making the healthiest food choices 😳
Now that everyone is back to school and work tomorrow, I’m back to prepping food for our meals so that we can choose healthier foods. I find that having healthy foods already prepared to snack on, pack for lunches or toss into dinners works best for this busy on the go family. This week we’re only home for dinner together two weeknights, the other three nights the girls have hockey, softball, swimming or skating lessons.
How to get started:
Just jump in! No but really.. the basic beginning steps are…
1. Check your calendar – what do you have going on this week?
2. Take a look in your pantry – what do you have that you want to use?
3. Look up favorite recipes.
4. Make a grocery list and then head to the store.
5. After shopping, sort food on counters into make now, make later.
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Once you get home from the store:
1. Wash and prep fruit and vegetables.
Cut it up, store in containers or baggies in the fridge.
2. Bake your chicken and brown your meat.
I shred or cube chicken and store in a large container in the fridge to use throughout the week. You could divide it into each container for the day to be used. As a general rule, most sources I’ve found say that you cooked meat will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
3. Cook rice, pasta, etc and store in containers.
As a general rule, most pasta and rice will last for 3-5 days.
And then – label everything. You can use dry erase markers on plastic containers or sharpies on plastic bags. There are some great products that are different colors and if you are really on your game, you can have a different color for each day. Go you! I’m not there yet but hope to be someday. OR if you meal prep the same thing for every day, then it’s easy and there is no guessing what is on the menu. (but I think that would get old fast).
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I looked ahead for the week and the only two nights we’re all home together are Tuesday night and Thursday night. So our meal plan will consist of our homemade lunchables ( whole wheat crackers, cold cuts, cheese & veggies), Spanish rice wraps, Spaghetti Bolognese, and Chicken Caesar wraps. Friday night will be leftover night.
This week I’m prepping the following:
- Ground Beef for Spanish Rice Wraps and Spaghetti Bolognese
- Chicken for the Caesar salad wraps
- Hard Boiled Eggs as a mid-morning snack at work
- Salad Toppings – green and red peppers, mushrooms, onions, and carrots (can also be sauteed and added to sauces)
- Broccoli for our lunches (or a Beef and Broccoli Stirfry on Friday if there’s any left over)
- Celery sticks (for snacking and lunches)
- Quinoa (the kids have pasta, and I have quinoa instead)
- Ready to blend smoothie packs
Do you prep food for the week ahead?
What’s your best food prep tip?
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Disclosure: World Kitchen, LLC provided me with a 7 piece Snapware® Total Solution Food Storage set free of charge. The opinions expressed are my own.
Tuesday 10th of January 2017
I use most of these ideas already I pack mine every morning. However, cooking vegetables with the same roasting time, together, is what I learn from this post. Always room for improvement. Thank you!
Saturday 16th of January 2016
Love your post! Although I am not a mom (aka 'not that busy'), I'm still going through the same process of preparations every single week.
Monday 11th of January 2016
I dice onions, shred cheese, boil eggs, cook chicken breast & bacon, & wash & prep lettuce & then store them in separate containers so we can add them to meals throughout the week!
Sunday 10th of January 2016
we really try to plan ahead and change things up a bit
Sunday 10th of January 2016
I try as much as I can to prep in advance. I want my kids to have healthy choices when it comes to lunchmaking and snacktime.