Meal Prep & Planning

Meal prep makes weekdays a whole lot better! Why? Because while you’re navigating your busy schedule, you never have to worry about what to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. By spending a few hours getting all your food ready on the weekend, you can stride into the work week with a fridge full of fresh, healthy, ready-to-go meals. Just heat and serve! Learn how to meal prep like a pro with these meal prep ideas for the week ahead that’ll have you saying, why didn’t I do this earlier?

How to meal prep

If you’ve never tried to meal prep before, it might seem intimidating, but it’s much easier than it looks—the key is organization and choosing which meal prep path you’re going to take. You can either batch cook a few dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner in advance or prepare a bunch of ingredients that form the building blocks for easy-to-assemble meals. Whichever you choose, you need to start by picking out a few recipes.

It might be tempting to select a slew of brand-new recipes for your meal prep journey, but instead, pick ones you’re already comfortable with to minimize the challenges when implementing this healthy meal prep habit. Now is not the time to start experimenting with new cooking techniques and ingredients! Look for flavours you and your family love—meal prep vegetarian recipes, or dishes that suit your unique dietary preferences. Depending on how you meal prep, you might consider choosing one recipe for lunch and one recipe for dinner and then portioning them out in meal prep containers for the week.

Or, choose a few different recipes and prepare your ingredients in advance—that way, you just need to assemble your delicious dishes come mealtime. For instance, if you know you’re making a stir-fry, chop up your veggies, make your sauce and cook your rice. Before dinner, you just need to throw everything in the pan—it’s basically heat and serve

Meal prep isn’t limited to dinnertime. If you’re looking for breakfast meal prep ideas, try making a batch of healthy muffins or nutrient-packed breakfast cookies. Or, you can fill a few mason jars with overnight oats and grab one each morning before you run out the door.

For meal prep lunch ideas, prepare a grain (such as quinoa, barley or brown rice) on the weekend and chop up a whole bunch of veggies. You can also cook up a protein, like eggs or chicken breast, too. For easy lunches, assemble salads using all of your ready-to-go ingredient

Where to find meal prep ideas

You’ve picked up your meal prep containers and you’re ready to start cooking. But where should you look for those easy meal prep ideas? Join a meal prep Facebook group for recipe ideas and plenty of handy tips and tricks.

You can also look to cookbooks for inspiration. There are even cookbooks dedicated solely to meal prep, like Damn Delicious Meal Prep by Chungah Rhee. But you don’t need a dedicated meal prep cookbook for ideas. Turn to cookbooks featuring simple, easy-to-tackle recipes, such as Modern Lunch or Healthyish.

Once you’re armed with recipes and ingredients, you’ll be ready to make meal prep part of your life in a pinch