I get it. With long days at work, caring for your family and finding time to have fun with friends, it seems like there’s no time left for preparing delicious yet healthy meals during the week.
I hear it all the time: “I got stuck at work for a meeting and then had to drive my kids to their hockey game. By the time I got back home, I was too tired to cook supper so we ordered pizza”. Sound familiar? Well, let me tell you – if you had planned this out beforehand, you would’ve been eating an amazing homemade stuffed chicken breast. How? By preparing most of it the day before. With the following meal preparation tips, you can be sure that ordering pizza won’t be your only option.
Top 3 meal prep tips
Preparing a weeks worth of meals doesn’t have to take you 5 hours. As shown in the following infographic, looking ahead for busy days, making a menu and cooking some items in advance should only take 1.5 hours, leaving a ton of time to kick back and relax! So here are the 3 main tips
1. Plan, plan, plan:
- Look at your upcoming week. Do you have a late meeting on Tuesday? Then make sure you have plan ahead for that day!
- Make a menu and shopping list. Start a calendar of what you’d like to cook over the next few days or few weeks. And go with theme nights so you don’t have to look over hundred of recipes. For example, Monday can be pasta night, Tuesday is tacos, and Wednesday is fish. Need more inspiration for recipes? Visit or download the Cookspiration app developed by Dietitians of Canada for healthy, easy, and quick recipes!
- Prep and cook components of your meals. Chop onions for all of the week’s recipes. Roast vegetables. Brown sausage for pizza. Whenever you are prepping vegetables, prep them for the week and keep them in labeled containers. This way you only have to clean your cutting board once! You can even go beyond food prep and cook some components. Roast a bunch of chicken breasts that you can eat that night and use the rest for sandwiches and pasta the rest of the week
2. Cook more than needed and freeze the rest:
- Double or even triple a recipe and keep some in the freezer. Or make a double batch of tomato sauce that you can use for spaghetti, lasagna or chicken. Almost everything can be frozen and still be delicious when thawed 3 months later.
3. Keep a well-stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer:
- You want to make sure you can cook a balanced meal with what you have on hand. This included whole wheat pasta, canned tomato sauce, canned pulses, whole grain breads (which you can keep in the freezer), frozen fruits and veggies, eggs, meats and poultry (also can be kept in the freezer), nut butters, frozen edamame, oil and condiments.
- You don’t need much to create a delicious meal. Visit this link for recipe using only 5 ingredients: 5 ingredient meals
See? In very little time you can be ready for the week, no excuses!