Who has time to plan out and make meals every day with everyone's busy schedules and colossal to-do lists? Seems like a daunting task. Especially while juggling your job, kids' schedules, appointments, and the dozens of everyday errands that seem to eat up all the hours in a day. Maybe you've heard of meal prep but don't feel like it would work for you because, really, who has the time? Good news — there are a few simple meal prep tips for families for planning ahead and ensuring everyone in your family has great meals ready to go for even the busiest people.Four simple tips can help you get started meal prepping with your family, so that everyone is eating healthy meals every day! Click To Tweet
Make a list of food everyone likes
Meal prep tips for families can be tricky! You know yourself — and your family — best, so starting out, make a list of food everyone likes. Does anyone have food allergies or restrictions?
Making a list of food everybody in the family likes can be a fun activity, too. Whip out some paper and markers and make lists. Need some recipe ideas?
Check out websites like the Kitchen Community, which has incredible collections of recipes for any household. Even for picky eaters!
Where To Store Prepped Meals
A big challenge many people face when planning meal prep for a week is: Where do you put it all? Take stock of your refrigerator and freezer space. Do you also have a chest freezer or a second fridge? Are you a single businessperson living in an apartment?
Knowing how much storage space you have will help you prepare before pulling out pots and pans and firing up the rice cooker. If you have reusable containers you plan to use, try stacking them in the fridge or freezer when empty. This lets you visualize how much space you need or if you need to rethink the container sizes.
Planning the Week
How many meals do you need to plan for? Well, it depends on how many people you need to feed and how many pre-made meals you have space for. Perhaps breakfast is the most complicated meal of the day because everyone is rushing around getting ready for work or school, and it's easier to grab a Pop-Tart or an energy drink than whisk up a healthy bowl of oatmeal or a smoothie. If that sounds like your household, consider breakfast meal preps to start.
You could make pre-measured smoothie ingredient bags to store in the freezer — just toss in the blender with your liquid base of choice, and you have a delicious on-the-go breakfast in minutes. Cooking a large batch of oats and divvying them up for the week's breakfast is also a great way to start the day off right; oatmeal is easy to reheat, and you can customize it with your favorite toppings.
Dates Are Your Friend
And not just the delicious fruits! Be sure you label each container with the date you made the food. Look up how long specific meal ingredients last when properly refrigerated; meats and dairy, for example, expire sooner than cooked rice.
Labeling our meals takes the guesswork from wondering if it's still good a few days later.
Final Thoughts on Meal Prep Tips for Families
Meal prepping can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. While it does take planning and some practice, meal prep can be an excellent benefit for the whole (busy) family — whether you eat at home or on the go. These meal prep tips for families will help you get started and make the process easier. Once you get into a routine, it will become second nature, and you'll wonder how you ever managed without meal prep!