Our friends at The Healthy Family Project have put together a list of benefits meal prepping has to offer for families looking to eat healthy and spend more time together. These tips are perfect to implement for National Family Meals Month™ this September but will certainly be useful all year round!
Meal prep changed my life. Okay… maybe I still deal with the morning stress of getting kids ready for school, but dinnertime is now about spending time together instead of stressing about what we are going to eat. By making the extra effort to meal prep, I save time and money, plus it greatly improved my family’s eating habits as we always have healthy food on hand. A key part of weekly grocery shopping is ensuring that we have fresh, greenhouse grown vegetables on our list. Having family favorites like Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers, and Sweet Bell Peppers on hand means that we can easily prep for mealtime or on-the-go snacks.
Even on my best meal-planning weeks, life happens, and hitting the drive-thru is nothing to be ashamed about, but with meal prep, there’s less of a reason to hit up the closest drive-thru because dinner is already planned out.
Incorporating meal prep into your family’s routine can lead to a more organized and healthier lifestyle. However, it’s important to find an approach that works best for the family’s needs, considering factors such as available time, kitchen space, dietary requirements, and personal preferences. What works for us may not work for you…and that’s okay! What I can promise is some delicious meals and some extra together time.
How meal prep encourages family time together –
- When a family comes together to plan, shop for, and prepare meals, it fosters a sense of togetherness and collaboration.
- Meal prep gives everyone the chance to spend quality time together in the kitchen. Instead of just eating together, everyone engages in an activity that requires communication and teamwork.
- Children (and us adults!) can learn valuable cooking skills from each other. This hands-on experience in the kitchen teaches food preparation, nutrition, and culinary techniques.
- Do you have any family recipes? Ones that were passed down from generation to generation? Meal prep can be an opportunity to share these cultural dishes, stories, and cooking methods, connecting in a way that you may not have thought about before.
- Cooking and meal prep aren’t always easy-peasy, But that’s okay! Overcoming challenges in the kitchen, whether it’s adapting a recipe or dealing with unexpected situations, encourages families to work together.
- Involving the kids in meal prep can make them feel empowered and responsible. When they contribute to the family’s meals, they gain a sense of accomplishment.
- Meal prep helps foster an appreciation for the effort that goes into meals.
- Establishing regular meal prep sessions can become a fun family tradition. It can be something everyone looks forward to! There are memories (and meals!) to be made together.
- Just like in a team-building exercise you may do at work, meal prep requires coordination, delegation, and cooperation. Consider meal prep and planning a team-building exercise with your absolute favorite team…your family.
- Completing a successful meal prep session can be a reason for celebration! Then you get to eat the fruit of labor 🙂
Perfect Prep-Ahead Meals
Meal prep is a fun family activity. Involving children in the preparation process can teach them about cooking, nutrition, and responsibility. It’s also an opportunity for family members to spend quality time together.
Cook extra pasta noodles and cut your veggies in advance to try this Pizza Pasta Salad recipe that is great for dinner or packed for lunch. Make-ahead elements like Grilled Tomato Pesto Skewers mean that you can just pop the main course on the grill when it’s supper time. Have everyone assemble together and talk about their day!
Need some tips on how to meal prep? Check out this podcast from Healthy Family Project on How To Meal Plan.