Meal prepping has become the hottest new trend, with people of all ages and lifestyles joining in on the craze. Whether your motive is to become healthier through a well-balanced diet or you are simply low on time during the week, prepping your meals ahead of time can not only save valuable time but ensure you are eating healthy. Meal-prepping can seem tedious or intimidating. However, with the right information and mindset, anyone can get started with meal prep. Here is some helpful advice to remember before you start:

What is meal prepping?

Meal-prepping is just what it sounds like: making meals ahead of time. It is the practice of preparing meals recipes, portioning them into equal servings, and putting the food into grab-and-go containers to eat throughout the week. Generally, meals are prepared for 3-7 days at a time. Consider it like packing your lunch for the week ahead of time, instead of every night or morning.

Why should I meal prep?

People enjoy meal prep for a variety of reasons. For many, it saves time throughout their busy week. It gets rid of the nightly question of “what am I making for dinner” as everything is already prepared and in your fridge. Along with this, many people find that they actually save a lot of money by preparing their meals ahead of time. You’ll be less tempted to spend money on take-out if your fridge is stocked with meals ready to go. Buying ingredients in bulk can also save you money. Many individuals also notice their waste is reduced since they are buying less takeout and can reuse the same containers. If you are trying to eat healthily or are working on a specific health goal, meal prep can also be a great option. Overall, convenience, cost savings, and healthier meals are the main advantages people seek from meal prep.

What can I include in my meal prep?

You may be wondering what meals you can make to include in your meal prep. This varies from person to person, depending on their likes and dislikes. Generally, food such as cooked pasta, grains, meats, and roasted vegetables tend to be a great place to start. Whole fruit such as oranges or apples, along with nuts and cheeses are also easy additions to your meal. Softer foods or food that spoils quickly should be avoided or packed with special care.

How do I start?

To get started, you should first pick a day of the week that you can dedicate a few hours toward being in the kitchen and making your meals. Next, you will want to pick the right number of meals and the variety that you plan to make. It is recommended to start small and not overdo it. Choose easy recipes that you know how to make or that you know you will enjoy. There are tons of recipes online or in cookbooks that would work great for meal prep. Do some research and decide which meals you would like to eat in the coming week.

From here, prepare your shopping list and pick up the required ingredients. You also want to ensure you have proper containers for storing your meals. Airtight, freezer safe, leak-proof, and BPA-free are important things to look for when shopping for the right container. Incorrect food storage could ruin your meal, so it is best to find the right type of container for the meals you plan to make.