Meal Prep Shortcuts and Planning Tips

We’ve all heard that meal planning is the best way to reach our mealtime goals -like eating healthier, fresh foods; and with these meal prep shortcuts and planning tips, you’ll save time in the kitchen and eat better.

Regardless of your eating style, you’ll need a meal plan. In short, a meal plan is a list of meals you’ll be eating that week that provides variety and puts your ingredients to use without wasting them.

We love our family-friendly MOMables Meal Plans if you just need a weekly plan for your meals that include the recipes and a done-for-you shopping list.

But if you are doing the DIY version, meaning, you are scouring the internet for recipes and putting together your own meal plan, watch this video for tips that apply universally for anyone trying to meal plan.

In the video, I mentioned our Family KickStart Program. It’s a 30-day program created for busy families that want to eliminate grains, gluten, dairy, processed foods, and sugar. It’s a way to “reset” our bodies to stop craving processed foods in just 30 days.Most families in any program or meal plan will be having a salad or two throughout the week plus lots of fruits and veggies as meal components and snacks. These are the first things that I prep for the week so they are easily available to use to make meals.

For items like lettuce, celery, and carrots, you can wash, dry, chop and store in a zip bag. If you buy fresh berries, then wash them with 1 part apple cider vinegar and three parts water, refrigerate. Not only do prepping these ahead of time leave you prepared for meals but it also helps your produce keep fresher, longer! Saving you the aggravation of throwing out uneaten food.

I also like to take a look at what I am making so I know how to prep veggies and ingredients. Nearly all veggies can be washed, sliced and diced, and stored in a zip bag or airtight container to use within the week.

I also prep all my sheet pan meals onto the pan, tightly wrap it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. These meals only keep for a day or two max, so these are the first ones I cook that week.

I also prep ahead my slow cooker meals by placing all my items in the bowl, covering it with plastic wrap, and refrigerating the bowl for a couple of days.

This prep can be done with most slow cooker recipes like my slow cooker salsa chicken, pork carnitas or thai chicken

Breakfast, an important meal of the day, is very easy to prep for. Things like mini quiches can be made 3 to 4 days ahead of time, and even eggs can be scrambled and just reheated on a busy morning.

Batters for muffins and pancakes can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated over-night! In the morning, all you have to do is bake them and enjoy. Or, just make your muffins and store in an airtight container to enjoy throughout the week.

By doing these simple tasks ahead of time, you’ll stay prepared and ahead of the game all week long as well as eat lots of freshly prepared meals.

What are some things you prep ahead? 

About MOMables - Laura

Mom to 3 kids, obsessed with coffee, meal planning, and helping you cook fresh meals for your family fast!