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Greek chicken with tzatziki prepared and ready to eat in a take away lunch boxes

What's For Supper? 3 Steps to Meal Prepping

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!

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.

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