When you are in the trenches of mom life, it can feel like total chaos. Especially if you have more than one, running around trying to keep up with them and making sure they’re fed, clothed, clean, and happy often leaves you behind. The thing is, part of being a good mom means caring for yourself enough that you have the energy and capacity to keep up with your children. This means that prioritizing you is actually good for your kids too. This blog series will talk about how you as a busy mom can better care for yourself, and thus better care for your families.
One of the biggest parts of taking care of yourself is nutrition. So many moms talk of forgetting to eat because they’re so busy, or try to justify leftover Halloween candy as lunch. If you are a busy mom, part of making sure you eat actual meals, and meals that are good for you, is preparing meals in advance is your best friend.
Meal prep doesn’t have to be hard. Here are easy meal prep tips that save you time and allow you to actually eat, and eat well.
Choose a protein to cook in bulk.
No matter what, you can find a protein source to cook in bulk. Simply cook your chosen protein (chicken breasts, hard boiled eggs, pork chops, ground turkey), and cook the whole package. Once you’re finished, store it in your fridge, and bam! There’s a major component of your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners cooked and ready to go for the week.
Extra tip: If you are meal prepping for just you, or just you and your spouse, make sure you label what food is yours and what food is your kids’. Make sure nobody else eats your meal prepped food, and you have enough to feed just you or just you and your spouse.
Lists are a crucial component to staying organized. It doesn’t matter what form (phone, laptop, post-it, journal), lists will help you keep track of what ingredients you need for grocery shopping, the meals you are making, and when you are eating them.
Know your schedule.
Look at your schedule when you begin meal planning so that you know when you’ll be busier than usual, when you’ll need prepared lunch and dinner, or when you’ll need just prepared dinner. This way, you can be smarter about when you cook and when you use prepared meals.
The simpler the better.
When it comes to meal prep, keep it simple. If you’re preparing complicated meals to eat later, you’ll be meal prepping for hours. If you stick to making really yummy salads, slow cooker recipes (where there’s no work involved), or even just a simple protein and veggie, you’ll only be meal prepping for about an hour maximum.
Start with a clean kitchen.
A great time-saver when meal prepping is to start with a clean kitchen. The honest reality is when you’re preparing meals, you’re spending more time cleaning up than you are cooking.
If you begin your meal prep process with a clean kitchen, there’s less cleanup you have to do after.
The biggest and most crucial tip to meal prepping is to plan ahead. The best method is to schedule in 90 minutes of meal prepping once a week. Many women prefer to do their meal prepping on Sundays. Planning ahead will save you money, time, and keep you from splurging on foods that aren’t good for you. In part two of this blog series, we’ll talk about the other crucial component to making sure you’re the best mom you can be-- self care.
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