10 Easy Ways to Meal Prep in Less Time

January 1st, 2021

Prepped meals in fridge.

With the New Year upon us, it’s common to make the resolution to “eat better” or “get healthy”. But in order to achieve a resolution like this, it’s important to have tangible actions that you can do to get you to your goal. Meal prep is the best way to set yourself up for success when it comes to healthy eating. That said, it takes time and energy which you may not have a lot of.

Here are some ways to make meal prep easier:

  1. Plan ahead. What meals are you going to eat each day? If you make meals a daily
    decision ‘in the moment,’ you are more likely to make a less healthy choice.
  2. Chop your vegetables all at once. This will reduce a lot of time chopping for each meal –
    especially lunch salads! Plus, it makes you more likely to eat veggies.
  3. Cook whole grain sides like rice and quinoa at one time. Then, you can use them for your
    meals throughout the week.
  4. Make ahead healthy breakfasts like hard boiled eggs, baked oatmeal, oatmeal cups, chia
    seed pudding, egg bakes (or cups), or nut and seed granola.
  5. Buy whole fruits that you don’t have to peel or chop. Apples, pears, and plums are
    examples of fruits that are healthy and easy to grab, wash, and eat.
  6. Portion out healthy snacks such as cut up veggies, olives, whole grain crackers, fruit, and
  7. Make large batches of food at one time for different meals. Casseroles, soups, skillet
    hash, stir fries, and sheet pan dinners can typically be batched for several days.
  8. Make your own infused water. Naturally infuse water with lemon, lime, cucumber, citrus,
    or strawberry and make it more refreshing instead of drinking sugary beverages.
  9. Re-use ingredients in different ways. For example, you could cook chicken once and then
    make different types of meals (a salad, wrap, casserole, dinner with veggies, etc.).
  10. Use your down time to cook food that takes longer in the oven. Pop dinner for tomorrow
    in the oven while watching TV and then reheat it later.

Note: Most of these involve reheating food so keep in mind that 3-4 days is typically the safest amount of time to eat food that’s already been prepared, cooked, and refrigerated.

Using these tips, you’ll find that you spend a lot less time preparing meals, waste less food, and most importantly, eat healthier!

By Katie Talarico