To my Peanut Face, Hazel Bean, Cutest of the Cutes, Stinks, Minnow, Baby Baby, Littlest Baby, Chicken... Little Miss Roth... I can't believe you're already a year old. I know I've told you a...
My Meal Prepping Secrets
Okay, in no way are we the only family that meal preps – I get that. Also, I wouldn’t even say we’re the best at it – not even close! But with three hungry humans in and out of this house (yes, Hazel eats three meals a day!) having our meals figured out ahead of time can really cut down on our daily stress. So over the years, we’ve definitely honed our meal prepping skills and since I get SO MANY QUESTIONS about how we do it, I figured I’d spill the beans and share my meal prepping secrets! (Pun intended… is that even a pun? Okay, back to cooking…)
My Meal Prepping Secrets
Secret 1: Not all containers are created equal
This might not be a secret, but trying to meal prep without the proper containers doesn’t really work. For years we sorta just used whatever containers we had laying around, but we’ve gotten better! We have easy plastic containers for the days we’re out and about, so if they get lost or damaged we aren’t that upset about it. We also like these click glass containers for the days we’re working from home or know we’ll just be at our offices. And lastly, if you want something fun try this bento lunch container. Oh and don’t forget Hazel’s containers, the BEST KIDS’ CONTAINERS!
Secret 2: Make something for everyone, but don’t make different things
This may sound strict, but meal prepping needs to be streamlined and if you’re making gourmet meals that are different for every single person in your family, that’s not gonna work. Find some things that everyone in your house likes (maybe they’re prepared differently, but still the same ingredients) and stick to those. For example, one of our favorite meals is sautéed shrimp with spicy seafood seasoning (think Old Bay… let’s not get crazy) and veggies. Brett and I will both eat veggies, but he prefers his cooked and I often eat mine raw. Those are two preferences that don’t make more work – just don’t cook all the veggies. For Hazel, since we do Baby Led Weaning she loves shrimp, but we left the seasoning off for her and made her a little quesadilla in the same pan while it was still hot. That’s three different meals that are essentially all the same. Get it?
Secret 3: Do what works for you and don’t be too hard on yourself
Okay, so this is a tough one, but I’m gonna spell it out for you. I think we’ve all seen the beautiful model-esque looking person on Instagram that’s “cooking” in their kitchen and making beautiful, amazing food every Sunday and shopping every Saturday and basically just making us feel bad. Not sure about you, but I live in the real world and while I’d love to think my life is that structured, it’s not. So we do what works for us, and usually that’s different every week. Usually (and I say that with a HUGE caveat that this sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t) we grocery shop on Monday after work and meal prep on Monday nights. Sunday has never worked for us and I’m here to tell you that’s okay! On Sunday, we usually cook a big dinner and those leftovers get us through Monday. Then on Monday night we make enough food to get us through until Wednesday, when we usually cook again after work. We usually go rogue on the weekends, but try to have grab-n-go snacks available, even if they’re just bars or apples and almond butter.
And don’t forget to hydrate! I make sure I always have a big water bottle on me throughout the day. This motivational water bottle is SO CUTE and helps you keep drinkin’!
Sooooo, those are a few of the “secrets” that make meal prep work for our family. We try, y’all – we definitely have room for improvement. But if you’re just getting into this, or have tried it before and want to again, here’s your gentle nudge to DO IT! Oh, and don’t feel bad if you are really good for a month, then take a month off, then get back into it. I promise you, IT’S ALL GOOD!
Have a great meal prep recipe? Share it with me! I’d love to hear what works and doesn’t work for your family in the comments below. Happy cooking!