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Meal prep for beginners: Are you looking to start meal prepping? You may know that there are many benefits to meal prepping; not only can it save you time, but it can also save you money and promote much healthier eating habits for you and your family. They are quick and convenient to grab after school or a long day at work and can significantly reduce the chances of eating fast food, especially on those days when you are just too tired to cook.
To gain the full benefits of meal prepping, it can be helpful to learn how to do it efficiently so that it becomes less of a chore and something you can truly reap the benefits from. If you are just getting started with meal prepping, it can often seem overwhelming at first, as you have a lot of ingredients and different things to cut, prepare and cook, which can take a lot of organization and coordination.
Here are some top tips for creating an easy, efficient, and sustainable meal prepping routine to help you get started or improve your meal prepping game.
Meal Prep for Beginners
If it feels particularly overwhelming at first, the best thing you can do is take a step back and start small. This way, you can get into your routine and start building up from there. Rather than preparing 30 containers of food for the month, you could start with a few days at a time or just begin by preparing your produce items instead.
To best do this, you may want to consider what meals you will have in the week and see where you can cross over vegetables; for example, can you have onions in more than one meal? You don’t have to have a portion of each meal to start with. Instead, you can prepare a range of vegetables that can be mixed and matched throughout the week and incorporated into different meals. This way, you only need to consider the meat or legumes to prepare for the meal, and the rest is ready.
This is a great way to include more veggies into your dishes each day, as they will be cut and prepared and ready to chuck into any dish. You can also do the same for fruit or certain vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, and peppers that can come in handy for a snack to grab.
Make meals that you are simple and you are familiar with
Preparing meals is a new skill and habit that you need to learn, so you don’t want to pick too many recipes that you have to try and learn simultaneously, as that can overwhelm you and is likely to turn into a disaster. It is best to start with preparing simple meals, meals that you are familiar with, or ones that can last a few servings, such as a broccoli cheese casserole. The more you prepare foods in bulk, the easier it will become. Then when you are comfortable with meal prepping, you can level up your game and experiment with new foods and recipes.
Make one meal at a time
If you are serious about your meal prepping game, you likely want to reach a point where your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks are all prepared and ready to go for a week or two. To get to this point, it is a good idea to start with one meal at a time. For example, if you struggle to get up in the morning and only buy a coffee on your way to work, maybe breakfasts are the meal to start with; alternatively, if you work late and always end up ordering food, then perhaps you need a quick dinner solution. Start with what will make your life a little easier.
Obtain the correct equipment
Part of the meal prepping process requires you to cook and store food. This means you will need equipment and tools to adequately cook your food, such as pots, pans, and utensils. You can also splurge more if you wish and opt for extra equipment to make it easier, such as an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or food processor. You will also need a good collection of Tupperware to store all your food in. Having meal prep containers can also motivate you to keep meal prepping—there’s just something so nice about seeing a stack of pretty containers in a fridge.
Conclusion: Meal Prep for Beginners
The easiest way to start meal prep for beginners is by starting small. Focus on one time of day or a few days a week, and make simple meals you know how to prepare well. One of the essential things newbies need when they start is the right equipment—you’ll need containers in which to store your food, as well as utensils that are easy enough to clean after each use if you’re not going all-out and buying an entire kitchen’s worth of cookware at once. With these basics in place, it will be easier for you to choose what recipes go into your rotation based on ingredients that are easily accessible where you live (or order online).