Are you stopping at the store daily, relying on frozen entrees or driving through fast food to get a meal on the way to nightly activities? If you answered yes – you are not alone. Finding time to do meal prepping between long work days and jam packed schedules – people are at a loss of how to put a meal together. That doesn’t include deciding what to make, how to prepare it or even buying the right ingredients.
Half the battle is knowing what to make. If you have a guide or weekly inspiration, getting a meal together at home might just be realistic. Try these 3 steps to see if a homemade supper can become a reality.
Step 1: Find Meal Prepping Inspiration.
- Set daily meal themes –like Taco Tuesday, Crock-pot Wednesday and International Cuisine Thursday! Whatever gets you excited about prepping the meal!
- Take inventory of mealtime favorites. Compile a list of your family’s favorite meals, this will get you a two week jump start!
- Don't be afraid to try new things! Simple and healthful ideas are one click away online!
Step 2: Make a Plan to Do Meal Prepping.
- Take the stress off your self each day by planning out your meals for the week ahead of time. Keep a board with the week’s menu in the kitchen as a reminder. Plan simple meals and utilize your leftovers for nights with activities.
- Check the pantry, freezer and refrigerator to see what you already have on hand. Be aware of expiration dates to avoid wasting food. From there, making a shopping list is always helpful.
- Buy the groceries. Curbside pickup, delivery or the old fashion store tour - no matter the method, you have to buy the items needed ahead of time. Stopping on the way home is a time waster.
Step 3: Take Action!
- Once the groceries are at home – wash, chop and store what you can. This makes meal assembly a breeze.
- Crock-pot meals and casseroles can likely be assembled ahead of time. Try freezing veggies or meat, to add to meals later on.
- Ask for help and recruit the family. From planning to prep, even the little ones can help with washing produce. Play music or share stories to make meal preparation a fun experience.
You don’t need a meal delivery service to get healthful and delicious meals on the table. You do however, need to make it a priority. Carving out time on low key days, allows for extra time on life’s busy nights. Try this 3 step plan for supper at home -you might find you save money, time and stress.
For more help getting started, check out CHI Health's Nutrition Services Team! Not only can they help you plan out a meal, but they can also help you add new nutritious foods to your diet!