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How to Prep Healthy Food for the Week

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.  

Tips for preparing healthy food for the week + some great ideas!

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.
 

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).

[irp posts=”21896″ name=”How to Stay Focused on Long Term Fitness Goals”]

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.  

Healthy eating tip: Prep food for the week and store them in @snapwarestorage containers. You can use dry erase markers to put the date on them and they're so easy to open that even a four year old can do it!

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

Healthy eating tip: Prep food for the week and store them in @snapwarestorage containers. You can use dry erase markers to put the date on them and they're so easy to open that even a four year old can do it!

 

Join the conversation - top

Do you prep food for the week ahead?  
What’s your best food prep tip?

Join the Conversation - bottom

Snapware® Total Solution Plastic Food Storage Containers are part of the World Kitchen family of brands. From bakeware, dinnerware, kitchen and household tools to range-top cookware, storage and cutlery, World Kitchen, LLC., and its affiliates manufacture and market brands known and trusted around the world. World Kitchen brands include Corningware, Snapware, Pyrex, Baker’s Secret, Chicago Cutlery, Corelle, and more!

Pin it: Healthy eating tip: Prep food for the week and store them in @snapwarestorage containers. You can use dry erase markers to put the date on them and they're so easy to open that even a four year old can do it! #SnapwareMealPrep #MealPrep #Snapware
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. 

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  • Anne Taylor
    January 3, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I try too, but it doesn’t always happen! Being organized is so worth it! I usually make up salad dressings in individual jars for a week.

    • Gina M
      January 5, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      For some reason, I can post a reply, but not a new comment? Strange! Anywho… I am a total food prepper too. My tip is to spend some time on Sunday gathering ingredients and mainly doing all the chopping, and bagging at one time. One thing that is a staple for me is cooking a week’s worth of hard-boiled eggs. They make a perfect, easy protein rich snack.

      Thanks for the chance to win!

      wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  • Nicole Jubleew
    January 3, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I try to prep food ahead of time but have gotten out of the routine since I moved in November. Time to get back on track. My best tip is to use your slow cooker if you have one. Prepare the bulk of the slow cooker ingredients and freeze them together with a note on what additional items to be added so that you can just take it out and dump it into your crockpot in the morning.

    • Janice
      January 3, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Oh great tip Nicole! I will try that for next week’s meal prep.

  • Launna
    January 3, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I have been thinking the same thing Janice… after this last fall I’ve decided I must be organized for the week to be successful xox

    • Janice
      January 7, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Plan for success is the saying and I think it’s true, good job Launna!

  • Katrina B
    January 3, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I don’t food prep but it’s a goal for this year! I have done it a little bit before, but got out of the habit.

  • Amy Heffernan
    January 3, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    My best tip to to plan head and have a variety! 🙂

  • Lucie Palka
    January 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I don’t prep ahead of time, but this post has inspired me to do so! I’d love not to have to rush home and try to get dinner on the table at a decent time for my toddler!

  • Michelle Rogers
    January 4, 2016 at 10:09 am

    This is great! I’m always looking for food prep tips like this. I prep my lunches for the workweek on Sundays and am good about that, but I need to do a much better job of planning ahead for dinners. Happy New Year to you and your family! 🙂

  • Jenn
    January 4, 2016 at 10:36 am

    This is so great, but my brain just can’t wrap around “leftovers.” I know it would make our weeks so much easier, though. Maybe I will give it another shot.

  • Nicole @ Fitful Focus
    January 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I’m all about food prep! It’s so nice to get home from a long day of work and just pop something in the microwave.

  • Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
    January 4, 2016 at 10:38 am

    These containers look great! I really want to step up my food planning and prepping game so this would be so helpful for me! Thanks for the great tips!

  • Margo
    January 4, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Wow you are so incredibly prepared for the New Year and my fridge is empty! LOL! I wish I could enter to win but I have too many containers already. Happy 2016!

  • Edye
    January 4, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I like to make extra food at the beginning of the week, and eat leftovers throughout the rest of the week 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!!

  • AlexandraFunFit
    January 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Wow, you are a very organized cook. I have perfected the “open the fridge door and stare in it for a while” cooking method.

  • Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes
    January 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Things always go so much smoother when I meal prep but for some reason I can not make it a habit! I need to get my eating in gear too, the sugar has taken over and I feel like crap!! Time to get back to it! All great tips here, thank you!

  • Mar @ Mar on the Run
    January 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Great tips! I do most of these when I meal prep (except label). I don’t prep as much since I started working from home but love having fresh healthy meals at the ready!!

  • Carmy
    January 4, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I try my best to prep food the week ahead but sometimes the weekend gets away from me!

  • Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
    January 4, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    ok you just inspired me to be a little better at meal prep. I usually prep about 2 days out. Great ideas!

  • Coco
    January 4, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I don’t do full meal prep, but I do prepare some things – like a batch of baked oatmeal and a crockpot meal that can last for several lunches.

  • Jess @ run pink
    January 4, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. Food prep is seriously an area I struggle with. Partly because I don’t like cooking ha! I NEED help. I bought a crockpot magazine hoping I’ll become inspired…is there hope for me??

    • Jess @ run pink
      January 4, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      I goofed up my first link to my site on the comment oops!

  • courtney @ eat pray run dc
    January 4, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Meal prep is one of my goals for the month, so this is great!

  • Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home
    January 4, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I am a planner. I plan all my meals for the week and then shop. But I don’t do any meal prep ahead of time.

  • Elle
    January 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Prepping more meals at home is actually something I want to do. I actually get meals provided at work, so it makes it harder for me to be motivated and bring my own healthy meal.

    I like how you label everything – very organized!

  • Markita@Sweshfit
    January 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    This post is everything I need right now. I’m really working on planning meals in 2016…great tips.

  • Kristen
    January 5, 2016 at 4:42 am

    I don’t prep meals ahead, but I do like to make large portions of things like soups that will last us for a few days.

  • Jessica
    January 5, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Great tips!! I love meal prepping! Makes my day SO much easier!

  • Emma
    January 5, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Having a plan makes life so much easier! An hour or two invested on Sunday makes the rest of the week go so much more smoothly.

  • jill conyers
    January 5, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Sunday meal prep. Every. Week. Great tips Janice!

  • Janice
    January 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Testing comments

  • Toni-Lynn @ Delightful Chaos
    January 5, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I always prep ahead. We have 4 sons and it’s necessary. Between baseball, karate, school functions, I would never cook dinner without advanced prepping. My best tip is do it when the kids aren’t around. I usually prep on Sunday night after everyone has gone too bed.

  • Jillian Too
    January 5, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    I try to prep ahead but I don’t have a good routine yet. My tip is to make sure steam or moisture doesn’t make your food too soggy.

    • Janice
      January 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Oh that’s a good one Jillian! I let mine cool off before putting a lid on it & putting it in the fridge, I forgot to include that in my post. Thanks for reminding me!

  • MCM Mama Runs
    January 5, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I have a ton of snapware – I use a lot of it for non-food purposes though.

    I work from home, so I tend not to do a lot of weekend prep, but I do try to always plan meals where there is ingredient overlap so that I can prep one day and have meals or ingredients for multiple days.

  • Jonnie
    January 5, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I always plan to prep food ahead but usually procrastinate and don’t get it done…so my tip is don’t procrastinate!

    • Janice
      January 5, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      LOL – great tip! I have to admit that I’ve had a few weeks like that 🙂

  • Tina L.
    January 5, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I try to prepare for the week, but it doesn’t always work out. My tip is to make extra so you can freeze them for another meal.

  • Jordan D.
    January 5, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    I always prep my lunches for the work week. I keep the large salad container from the week prior, bake or grill chicken or some other lean protein source for a salad topping, roast veggies and/or chop up raw veggies, and throw it all into the large container with some fresh lettuce and some grains to make five days worth of lunches. I always bring a side of fruit for a “snack.” During the colder months, I usually make a large batch crockpot meal like chili or stew, or a stir fry or squash bake to have options for dinner when I get home from work. I would love to win these containers!

  • Holly B
    January 5, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    I have a handful of thin plastic cutting boards, so when I make one messy, or need to switch from veggies to meat, I can just toss it in the sink and move on.

  • Ann Kieswetter
    January 6, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I prep veggies for the week ahead. To keep ahead my tip is to make extra and freeze. I do this with homeade soups, pulled pork, spaghetti, chicken dishes etc.

  • Patty @ Reach Your Peak
    January 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I really need to do more meal prep bc most nights I just do not feel like cooking. The only thing I don’t like with rice is that I feel like it doesn’t taste as good after being in the fridge a few days? Any tips for that?

  • Krista M
    January 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I sometimes do food prep but only for the kids’ lunches & snacks… I’ve never done it for our dinners. I love the idea of it but I never set aside the time to actually DO it. As for a tip, all I do for the kids snacks is make a homemade pan of granola bars, cut them & individually wrap for the week ahead, as well as make bags of trail mixes.

  • latanya
    January 6, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    no, I do not, but it is something that I want to try

  • Leigh Anne Borders
    January 6, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    We try to plan ahead by setting menus and prepacking things in baggies so that they are easily accessible.

  • Sarah Oswald
    January 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I try to prepare whatever I can on the weekend for the week and freeze what I can for freshness till I use it. It helps out greatly and the weekdays are alot easier for me than.

  • Crystal Porter
    January 7, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Prepare ahead of time!

  • Elizabeth R
    January 7, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Yes, I usually try to chop up veggies etc so I have lots ready for the week.

  • Lauren
    January 7, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I like to prep vegetables ahead of time because it makes it more likely that I will snack on them.

  • Anita L
    January 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I have never tried prepping food for the week ahead, but I think it would be a great idea!

  • angela m
    January 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    No I don’t prep food for the week.

  • Serena Powell
    January 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I do some food prep.
    If you are going to use leafy vegetables, keep them separate from the rest of your food until you are getting ready to eat it, otherwise they wilt.

  • mita
    January 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    I have never tried prepping food for the week ahead

  • Pat Drouillard
    January 7, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    I try to, I really love watermelon and if I don’t prep it I forget about it ,and when I do prep it I cannot stop eating it but it is good

  • Tainan Lu
    January 8, 2016 at 1:39 am

    I don’t prep meals ahead………….

  • Vera K
    January 8, 2016 at 8:05 am

    I prep some food ahead of time. It always makes my life easier. Best tip is to plan your grocery list and follow through.

  • Elle
    January 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I do prep meals ahead of time. It saves me time in the long run.

  • laura g
    January 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I do not prep for the week ahead though I really should.

  • Melanie Barclay
    January 9, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I try to but can be difficult at times! Being organized and having a list i find always helps me though.

  • Steph
    January 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I can do a day or two in advance I am working on it

  • sandyhills
    January 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I would have to say a one or two days if possible.

  • Marnie G (Derrick Todd)
    January 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t necessarily prep for a week in advance however I do prep for about 3 days ahead. The best tip I have is to plan ahead, organize and make sure you have everything before you get started.

  • Lisa Neutel
    January 9, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    i try to plan and prepare meals ahead of time ..it helps with grocery and meal plans — always remember to write a date of when you place in refrigerator

  • Barbara Montag
    January 10, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I sometimes cook 2 meals and freeze one.
    This is a huge time saver.
    My best food prep tip is to have the needed ingredients for your meal.
    Put in crock pot and dinner is ready with next to no time.
    thank you

  • Heidi c.
    January 10, 2016 at 4:04 am

    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.

  • Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard
    January 10, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    we really try to plan ahead and change things up a bit

  • Angela Saver
    January 11, 2016 at 2:12 am

    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!

    Andysavi.Mom@gmail.com

  • Cris
    January 16, 2016 at 5:17 am

    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.

  • Sienna Eskildsen
    January 10, 2017 at 12:10 am

    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!

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