Meal planning and prepping can take the stress out of trying to cook every meal, every day. Whether you are new to meal planning or are in a cooking rut, here are some tips from Andrea, dietitian with Bailey Bariatrics, to help get you on the right track.
Step 1: Get organized
Know your schedule for the next week. Plan simple meals or leftovers on busy days and more involved meals when you have more time. Be realistic.
Need some ideas to get started? Try using this meal planning template and example for some ideas.
Step 2: Choose your recipes
Consider your nutrition needs. Start small and aim for one new recipe a week. Have some easy go-to items on hand as an option for when plans don’t work out.
Here are a few to get you started:
Batch cook by doubling the recipe and freeze the leftovers as an option for later. Consider making one protein and using it for two meals. Combine fresh and prepared foods to decrease meal prep time. Plan to have leftovers on busy nights.
Step 3: Make a grocery list
Include your staple items like protein drinks, vitamins and your go-to meal options for when plans don’t work out. Take inventory of what you have to save money and time, and to decrease food waste.
Step 4: Plan ahead
Take an hour after shopping to wash produce, chop vegetables, boil eggs, proportion foods, marinate meats and prepare any dish in advance for the week.
Here are some dishes you can prepare in advance:
Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. Too busy? Plan and prep to cook larger batches and freeze back twice a month.
Information provided by Andrea Reser, MS, RD/LD, bariatric dietitian.