Meal Prep, as we already know, is a GREAT way to stay on top of your eating habits, GET ORGANISED and feel motivated and in control. When you really get stuck into it, you might even find yourself daydreaming about Tupperware and how great it would look colour coordinated with the day of the week, or the meal of the day!
When done right, meal prepping can make use of the same ingredients in delicious new ways. It can SAVE you precious MONEY, AND even more precious than that, TIME. Because you’re planning ahead, it’s a great way to practice making intentional and informed decisions to eat NUTRITIONAL and HEALTHY meals.
But… (and there’s always a but, isn’t there!) …it can start to feel intimidating when you’re a newbie at the base of the Meal Prepping mountain.
Keep reading to learn how PRO Meal Preppers are getting the most out of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge using their 30 Top Tips and the basic principals of meal prepping to transform their eating habits.
Spoiler: It’s not as hard as it looks!
30 Meal Prep Tips From Pros for Beginners to Transform How you Meal Prep
Sacha Farley, Nikola Green and Kaitie Pursell are long-time users of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and have lost a combined total of 68KG. They have revealed their favourite and most effective tips for meal prepping so that you can make the most of your Meal Prep and the Healthy Mummy App, too!
1. Repeat meals – all our dinners are for lunch the next day, cook extra, cook double batches!
2. Make an extra meal or two each time you cook and pop it in the freezer (it can last ages) and your future self will thank you!
3. Make use of tinned or pre-prepped foods, such as beans and frozen veggies as a time saving shortcut. Often frozen foods will have just as much nutrients as fresh, and they can be cheaper, too!
4. There are so many unique, delicious recipes on The Healthy Mummy App. To make the most of them, try customising your plans to what meets YOUR needs. There are fully customised meal plans for beginners, or if you’re on a budget. This post tells you step by step how you can select the meal plan that’s best for you: How to Customise Different Meal Plans in the Healthy Mummy App.
5. To save time, pre chop as much as you can, get all your ingredients out and ready to go before hand.
6. Invest in quality containers. They don’t have to be expensive! Just air tight so that your food stays fresh. And if they are microwave safe, even better. Glass is a great option, and it’s eco friendly, too.
7. Prepping doesn’t have to be big batches, depending on work and home life you could do nightly prep/daily prep here and there instead! There’s no one way to meal prep, so get creative and have fun with it!
8. Ask the family for their input when planning and get them involved in the cooking too – it will be more enjoyable for everyone and they are more likely to eat the food, especially the kids!
9. Keep your pantry stocked, mainly with base items such as rice, pasta, cous cous – buy when things are on sale, that way you always have the start of a recipe on hand – the base of it.
10. Freeze everything you can – leftovers, chopped veg, meats etc as it will save time and money down the track. Waste less, want less.
11. Choose meals that use different kitchen aids such as stove top, thermo mix, oven etc so you can have lots of different things going at once to get the job done quicker!
12. Bulk cook to save you cooking another night, if it can be easily reheated (or better yet, had cold!). Have cooked steamed chicken ready to go. It makes a quick lunch in a wrap, salad, pizza, omelette rice paper roll or anything!
13. Use up all ingredients from pantry or fridge first so you aren’t wasting food and money. The Healthy Mummy app is great for this as you can search an ingredient and it will give you a heap of ideas.
14. Stock-up on a variety of seasonings and spices (especially when they’re on sale) to take your cooking to the next level. Meal Prepping isn’t just about convenience, you also want to enjoy what you eat.
15. When unpacking groceries, take this opportunity to cut up things like veggies and then put away as it makes it quicker the next time you need to use if all pre chopped.
16. Meal prep doesn’t just have to be for the 3 main meals of the day. You can prep healthy snacks, too! Always have snacks like bliss balls in the freezer as they are the perfect snack to have on hand and easy to pop a few in your bag if going out.
17. Try a snack or meal swap with another Healthy Mummy or friend! You make less but get more of a variety of snacks to try.
18. Shop around, look for the best prices and when you find them – stock up! If you’re not scared of home brands, they’re a great way to buy more for less.
19. Always keep boiled eggs in the fridge, they’re a great snack or a good burst of protein to add to meals. A little bit of vinegar or lemon juice can stop them from stinking, too!
20. Cook and freeze portioned out ziplock bags of brown rice and quinoa. They are great to add to any meal to bulk up.
21. Stock up on healthy sides and snacks that don’t need any prep at all… isn’t that cheating? Nibbles like nut mixes and peal-able fruits are ready to eat and can play a major part of a well-prepped meal.
22. Choose simple recipes with 5 or less steps, delicious food doesn’t need to be complicated!
23. Start your morning with warm lemon water or apple cider vinegar. This can help prep your body to digest all of the meals of the day.
24. Record your favourite meals! With everything going on, it can be easy to forget what was a winner, winner chicken dinner and what was a big flop. Use a dedicated notebook, or just take a quick photo on your phone of the meals you enjoyed.
25. If you don’t have an ingredient on hand, swap it out for something similar you have already or if you’re shopping, don’t be afraid to swap ingredients for others that are cheaper!
26. Organise your fridge and freezer (and pantry, too.) Set some time to clean up your fridge and freezer so you make use of all the space and only keep things in there you need
27. Try and be consistent with your days for planning and prepping each week if you can! It’s so easy to set a quick calendar reminder on your phone these days. That way when motivation stalls, your habits will keep you going!
28. Be kind to yourself, if you slip up don’t let it derail you.
29. Look for shortcuts! With most recipes there are always steps you can avoid or miss out and it doesn’t affect the meal
30. Use your support! Your family, friends and the fabulous range of Healthy Mummy Facebook groups to help keep you motivated and to answer any questions you may have.