Back to school season is just about here, which also means back to the usual routine of busy day-to-day life.
One thing that can help amidst all of the schoolwork, activities, running around, and keeping everything straight, is organized and healthy meal prepping before the start of each week. Specifically, meal prepping for those long days at school.
No recipes for today, but instead some basic timesaving tips and tricks to help break down your meal prep in order to get back into the September routine, and keep those school-day meals balanced, organized, and easy:
1) Plan Ahead
Do some research: Look into what’s healthy, find some empirically supported info (it’s everywhere with the internet!) on what the best nutrition practices are for your children’s wellbeing, what different kinds of nutrients they’ll need per meal, per day; then with this info plan the exact meals and snacks you’ll be making. Compile a list of everything you know you’ll need for the week to make this happen. Factor in Tupperware, bags, and containers for dividing and organizing within your cupboard, fridge, and lunchboxes.
2) Make Space
Take a good look at what you already have vs. what you need to be prepared for the week, both in terms of food and storage items. Go through your cupboards and fridge and get rid of anything you know you realistically won’t need or have use for. Do an end of summer purge – times are about to get even busier, and finding time and energy to do this sort of stuff will become more difficult. Create space for what you will need and make things a little less overwhelming for yourself!
3) Gather and Stock
With your prepared list and free space waiting for you, head out to purchase your food and prep items. You’ll find that having everything ready will save time, money, and make your trip that much more structured and quick. Depending on what you need or how disciplined you plan on being, you may be visiting a few different places (eg. fruit market, butcher, grocery store, etc.). With each coming week, your list might be a little smaller and straightforward after you’ve done the first big back-to-school trip.
4) Divide and Conquer
Once you’re home and ready to start prepping, find places for everything in the newly created space you’ve made. Because you’ve already planned based on what you’re making, it will be simple and efficient to break down the food prep time. Start with what needs to be cooked and will take longest, and in the between times prepare the easier items like bags of veggies or containers of fruit. You’ll feel satisfied and productive once it’s complete, and ready to take on the back-to-school rush!
Happy September and back-to-school from the LPHC Team! 🙂
Author: Christina Bos | Clinical Receptionist | Hons. BA Psychology