Benson Tait

Benson Tait

May 15, 2023. 3 mins read

Food

Family Meal Prepping 101

As a busy parent, meal prepping can be the superhero cape that saves the day! With a little bit of planning, you'll be the meal prep master, whipping up healthy and delicious meals in no time. Just think, with all the time you save, you can finally catch up on your Netflix binges, take up yoga, or even learn a new language (but let's be honest, it'll probably just be more Netflix). So grab your apron and get started on this family meal-prepping adventure!

Weekly meal plan meal prep concept raw food ingredients

1. Make a Meal Prep Schedule

Making a schedule is an essential meal prep tip for families. It's all about having a plan so things go as efficiently as possible.

Set aside an hour or two each week for meal prep. Make this part of your weekly routine, pencil it in on your calendar, and stick to it. Devoting this time at the beginning of the week will ultimately save you time, money, and energy in the long run.

2. Organise Your Pantry

If you're all about budget-friendly meal prep, using what you have on hand is crucial. Take stock of your current inventory, and keep a running list of staples you need to replace. While you're at it, toss out anything old or expired so it's not cluttering up the works.

Organising your pantry makes it much easier for family meal prep on a budget because you won't waste money buying things you already have. Likewise, you will save food because it's lost in the dark abyss of your cluttered pantry shelves. 

Place food items that are expiring first to the front so they don't go to waste. Keep staples easily accessible so you know what's running low. Plan your meals for the week based on the food you have instead of choosing recipes first and shopping for the ingredients.

3. Rotate Meals and Vary the Ingredients

Many people think meal planning is tedious. You eat the same thing every day as if stuck on auto-pilot. But this doesn't have to be the case. Another perk of planning meals ahead of time is you're in complete control. 

You get to decide what you and your family will eat each week. Schedule and rotate your meals so you enjoy different meals on different days. Also, vary the ingredients in some of your favourite recipes to change things up a bit. 

For example, your easy family meal prep recipe might be spaghetti and meatballs. However, why not try chicken meatballs or these Hidden Veggie Porcupine Meatballs from Stay at Home Mum? (Any chance you have to feed your kid vegetables without it turning into an episode of Neighbours, grab it). To ramp up your healthy family meal planning, spiral some zucchini to make yummy zoodles.

4. Embrace Batch Cooking

Another way to make your week much smoother is using the batch cooking method. Choose some of your favourite family meal prep recipes and spend a few hours on the weekend whipping up several servings.

Freeze your creations and label them with the dish's name and the date. Throughout the week, open the freezer, choose your meal, and pop it in the oven. 

Batch cooking for families is an excellent way to add convenience to your life (something every busy parent needs). It provides a few weeks of ready-to-go dishes (just make sure to choose recipes that freeze and reheat well).

5. Be Smart at the Grocery Store

Before you start filling your cart with all the latest special buys at Aldi (we know they're pretty irresistible), keep these grocery shopping tips in mind.

  • Make a list and stick to it.

  • Eat before grocery shopping, so you aren't as tempted by every goody you see.

  • Look for in-season produce to save money and get the freshest options. Don't underestimate the power of frozen fruits and veggies for produce, not in season.

  • Stock up on meal-prep essentials, like olive oil, dried and canned beans, canned fish, brown rice, quinoa, spices, low-sodium broth, and whole-grain pasta.

6. Family Meal Prep Should Be a Family Affair

It's called family-friendly meal prep, so it makes sense to involve the whole family. It's a win-win. You get helping hands in the kitchen, and your kids are more likely to eat the food if they help make it. (A must when you're handling meal prep for picky eaters.)

Let your children choose a few kid-friendly meal prep ideas for you to make together. It's a great way to spend quality time with each other and make mealtimes more enjoyable. Now, if only you could get them to clean their rooms as quickly.

Why Should I Meal Prep?

By now, you should be itching to begin your meal-prepping endeavours. But if you're still deciding if this whole meal prep thing is for you, consider this little nugget – meal prep is a lifesaver for busy parents. 

By taking the time to plan and prepare meals in advance, you can save time, reduce stress, and eat healthier. Oh and just while the cost of living is rising, you’ll save some of your hard earned dosh too!

Benson Tait

Benson Tait

Design . Digital . Fathering . Husbanding . Surviving . Founder

A man who loves design, technology, food and his family of two young girls and a smart gorgeous wife, who is on a mission to make parenting easier and help kids flourish for a happier home.

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