How to Get Started with Meal Prepping, Healthy Make-Ahead Recipes

Oct 21 2020 Hi Lisa,

I’ve thought about meal prepping for years, but it’s never happened. How do you get started?

Meal-Prep Procrastinator Hi MPP,

I get it: All the meticulously arranged pictures on Instagram and Pinterest can make meal prepping seem intimidating and unrealistic... but it doesn’t have to be!

First, let’s define meal prep… It doesn’t necessarily mean having a fridge full of cooked-from-scratch individual meals for every day of the week. Meal prep can also mean preparing FOR your meals. It can be anything you do in advance that makes it easier to have a healthy meal. From pre-chopping veggies to stocking up on ready-to-eat proteins… It all counts.

So what kind of meal prepper are you? Do you need individual meals ready to go in order to be successful? (Is that realistic for you?) Or do you just need meal starters: ready-to-eat basics (some store-bought, some made in advance) so it’s quick and easy to assemble a healthy meal? My approach is to use a little of both methods. I’m a big fan of multi-serving make-ahead recipes that I can cook once and eat throughout the week. I also like to keep my "food friends" close by: precooked chicken breast, frozen veggies, broccoli slaw, etc. This way, I can toss together a few ingredients and have a meal in no time.

Once you figure out an approach that will work for you, PLAN AHEAD…
1. Decide what you want to eat for the week, taking into account how much time you’ll have for prep work.

2. Make a grocery list & stock up. Remember to grab some ready-made basics!

3. Set aside time to make recipes and/or do ingredient prep.
Now that you have some meal-prep advice under your belt, here are more resources for you… YOU GOT THIS!

Hungry for More Meal-Prep Help?

Grab the Fall 2020 issue of Hungry Girl magazine! Flip to page 14 to read up on "Meal-Prep Champions: Time Saving Finds!" for grocery picks, kitchen tools, and more to make your life easier. Plus, you'll find amazing make-ahead recipes...

⭑ Slow Cooker Comfort Foods (page 36)
⭑ 6-Ingredient Casseroles (page 50)
⭑ Souper Simple (page 56)
… and more!


Chew on this:

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