Meal prep as a mom

Meal Prep For All (that includes you, Mom!)

by: Christina Palmisano MS, MBA, RDN, LD, IFNCP  |  March 6, 2024

Meal prep is so essential to freeing up time and reducing stress throughout the week. But it can be overwhelming when it comes to where to start. As a busy mom of three littles myself and one of the functional dietitians on the Being Functional Nutrition Team, I wanted to share some tips that have helped me optimize meal prep for myself & my family!

Pick A Consistent Day & Time

Consistency is the name of the game for me when it comes to both grocery shopping and meal prep. Staying consistent with the day of the week I grocery shop and the days of the week I meal prep is key to staying on top of these habits and actually executing them. What that looks like for me:

  • On Monday morning, I grocery shop.
  • On Monday afternoon, I meal prep.
  • On Thursday afternoon, I do another round of meal prep.

Treating these habits like any other weekly meeting makes such a difference! One tip that works well with clients is actually adding these into your calendar as a weekly appointment - that way it becomes instilled in your weekly routine and you can't forget!

Make A Plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail - we’ve all heard this and likely experienced it too! Before I make my way to the grocery store (or place an order for groceries), I always take the time to think through the week ahead of me and make a plan. The meal plans & automated, downloadable grocery lists on our The Being Collective platform have been incredible for saving me time when it comes to this step.

When making my plan, I choose recipes and quantities that can last me all week. My goal is not to be in the kitchen cooking every single meal from scratch or even be in the kitchen meal prepping every 2 days because truly, who has that time!? My goal is to be intentional with what I’m able to prepare ahead of time, and in a designated time slot when I’m less busy, to take time and pressure off of the many times during the week where I’m feeling rushed, busy and short on time. Let's break it down a bit:

  • Set yourself up with protein. We know how important protein is for satiety, energy and reducing sugar cravings. But having it around is key. If you plan to - let's say - make meatballs for dinner, make extra to have for lunch the next day or even to turn into a bolognese for tomorrow's dinner. Make a few servings of salmon or chicken salad to have for an easy lunch option.
  • Lots of roasted veggies. If you have it around, you'll eat it. Roast broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus - whatever you and your family like. It can even be helpful to get your kids involved too. Ask them what veggies they like so they feel part of the decision and more likely to enjoy them too. Speaking of veggies, it's also a great idea to have a container or two of greens each week (eg. bibb lettuce, arugula) so it can be added to meals as an easy veg addition.
  • Prioritize the crockpot. Soups, stews and chilis can be so great because you can throw a bunch of ingredients in and leave it for hours until it's time to eat. They're also awesome for leftovers!

Of course there are weeks where my plan is just to wing it with some staples or something comes up that throws off my plan, and that’s when my shortcuts come in...

Have Some Staple Recipes

I am here for all the shortcuts and hacks when it comes to making meal prep more efficient! Standing in my kitchen, listening to music, and chopping vegetables is something I absolutely love to do, but the reality is, I just don’t have that much time to do it. This is why I am a HUGE fan of what I call "fast veggies" aka frozen and pre-washed or precut veggies. Some of my favorite fast veggies include frozen broccoli, frozen cauliflower, frozen spinach, frozen peppers, shredded Brussels sprouts, shredded cabbage, shredded kale, trimmed green beans, bagged spinach, baby carrots, mini cucumbers and mini peppers. Every week, I am roasting or sauteing some combination of these fast veggies to keep our fridge stocked and plates filled.

Shortcuts don’t only apply to vegetables. Quick options for high quality protein are staples in my house too. These typically include canned wild caught salmon, frozen or pre-cooked organic chicken or turkey sausage, and organic tempeh. See below for some examples & head to our Recipes section to make them yourself!

Prep grab-and-go items for everyone:

  • Chia seed pudding
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Freezer fudge
  • Frozen muffins
  • Power balls

And when meal prep fails, have your "power meals" in place (power meals meaning quick, easy, items always on hand, and optimal). Bonus: these are all family friendly!

  • Canned salmon or eggs + almond flour tortillas + seasoning paired with sauteed veggies or even a salad with extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar & salt
  • Red lentil pasta + frozen cooked veggies (can also add some grass-fed ground beef or ground chicken!)
  • Eggs + veggies + beans (our Spanakopita Eggs are a client favorite!)
  • Blood sugar balancing smoothie
  • Kitchen sink salad, e.g greens + canned salmon + whatever veggies you have around + pumpkin seeds + pistachios + EVOO + vinegar

Feel like you're ready to save time & reduce the overwhelm of meal prep? In need of more balanced yet doable recipes? Check out new free 7-day meal plan which includes delicious recipes plus additional meal prep tips to get you started and help to set you up for success!

Similar Articles