When you’re a parent, some days you feel like you deserve a gold medal just for putting anything on the dinner table, let alone a healthy, home-cooked meal. With everything else you’re already trying to accomplish day-to-day, “meal” and “prep” sound like just two more scary four letter words. But give it a go and you’ll find that a meal prepping for the busy parent can be pretty easy!

3 Tips: Meal Prepping for the Busy Parent

The words "meal prepping" don't have to be scary words! Give it a try and you’ll find that a meal prepping for the busy parent can be pretty easy!

Where to Begin?

Meal prep can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like. The hardest part is getting started! Before you can prep your meal, you have to know what you’re actually going to make. Choose one day of the week to be your “prep day”. You can dip your toes in and plan only one meal ahead of time, or jump in headfirst and plan meals for the whole week. From there, you can come up with your ingredient list and decide what can be cut and sorted ahead of time.

Start Small

Another great way to ease into the meal-prep world is to prepare your snack food items. This will save you time in the long run, and it also is easier to make healthier choices when they are convenient! For example, wash all of your fruits before you put them in the fridge- then when you want to eat, you can just grab and go!

You can even separate items like berries into baggies or small food storage containers that your kids can just grab out of the fridge when they need a quick snack. You don’t have to deal with a mess, finding your child has eaten the entire carton of berries (again), or take the time to help prepare their snack every single time they want to eat (which feels like all the time!). You can do the same with crackers, nuts, popcorn, or any other snack food that can be stored in an easy to grab, airtight container.

Best Items to Prep

  • Meats – Prepare your meat for the week by cutting and cooking it ahead of time. In general, cooked meat lasts in the refrigerator about 3-4 days. Just reheat when you’re ready to eat!
  • Carbs – Cook whatever rice, quinoa, pasta, sweet potatoes, lentils, etc. you will be using for the week. Maybe even make a little extra so that you have something to grab for a quick lunch or snack!
  • Veggies – Clean and cut your veggies so that they are ready to be cooked at the right meal. You can even cook them on the stove now and reheat later.

When you put in a little extra time at the beginning of the week, you will find your weeknights are much less stressful. This means more time catching up on work, relaxing, or spending time with your family — and that makes it worth it! Meal prepping for the busy parent, made easy!

The words "meal prepping" don't have to be scary words! Give it a try and you’ll find that a meal prepping for the busy parent can be pretty easy!

Jenna Lombardi
Jenna Lombardi
Jenna Lombardi currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, Aaron and Clare. She loves to travel (even with kids!), find a good bargain, and enjoys an iced chai latte with soy milk every now and then. When she’s not wrangling the kids at the playground or the zoo, she can be found practicing hand lettering, reading about pregnancy and natural childbirth, or testing out a new recipe in the kitchen.