Why I meal plan/prep


Any fellow meal preppers out there? Or do you wing it all week? Whichever group you fall into, there are tips and ideas here to suit everyone!

What I do?

I sit down every week, usually Friday or Saturday for half an hour and make a meal plan for the week ahead. Before I make the plan, I write a list of food I have already, making note of what needs to be used up or what is in the freezer. I use cookbooks, Pinterest and the BBC Good Food website to find inspiration and ideas while I write the plan. As I write, I make a shopping list if needed.

On Sunday, I set aside a few hours to prep some of the planned meals ahead. I always prep a lunch dish and get some snacks ready. If I have a busy week, I will also prep some breakfast items and make a dinner or two.

Why I do this?

  • I don’t have to worry about what to eat and whether I have ingredients in the house to make certain meals.

  • I always have food in!

  • It takes 2 minutes to pack my lunch in the morning.

  • I have snacks ready so I don’t get HANGRY!

  • It reduces my food waste (because I factor in the food I have already and buy accordingly).

  • It reduces my grocery spending (having a list prevents impulse buying).

  • It is flexible- depending on my schedule each week I prep a different amount of food, plan the quick cook dinners on busy evenings, get breakfast ready for early starts etc.

What foods are good to prep?

Breakfasts-

  • Overnight oats (Click on my recipe section for a recipe!).

  • Oat muffins.

  • Pancakes.

  • Egg muffins.

  • Granola.

Lunches and dinners- Think of recipes that are easy to multiply as needed and things that reheat well

  • Salads (don’t add leaves, cucumber or tomatoes until the morning of use or they will go mushy!)

  • Soups.

  • Casseroles and stews.

  • Lasagne.

  • Curries.

  • Tray bake meals.

  • Sandwich fillings.

  • Baked potatoes.

Snacks-

  • Fruit- wash, peel, chop, portion so that they are ready to grab when you’re heading out.

  • Veggie sticks- carrots, celery and cucumber are my favourites.

  • Muffins/flapjacks.

  • Energy balls- Find recipes on my site or my Instagram @littleonutrition!

  • Nuts and dried fruit- portion them into handy bags or boxes so they are ready to go when you are.

  • Crackers and dip- think hummus, guac or anything you fancy.

Top tips:

  • Make your food plan work around your schedule and be realistic with the time you have to cook in the morning or evening.

  • If you have a busy Sunday, split your meal prep and do some on Saturday or Monday if you can. Or do a quick meal prep by making meals that you can chuck in the slow cooker (while you get other things done), use pre-chopped or frozen veggies, rely on some pre-cooked foods that week and ask for help (maybe your flatmate, bestie, Mam or significant other could give you a hand- many hands make light work!).

  • If you make too much or end up not eating food you prepped, get it in the freezer so you have backup meals for weeks you can’t prep/don’t want to. I ALWAYS have lasagne, soup, bread and at least one type of veggie in my freezer. It’s a lifesaver for those nights you just can’t face cooking or get home late.

  • Don’t feel like you have to stick to the plan 100%. I find it really helpful to have a guide, but sometimes I just don’t fancy the meal I planned to eat and that’s totally cool.

Do you meal prep? If so, what are your go to recipes? Let me know over on social @littleonutrition J and follow my meal prep this Sunday over on Insta Stories!


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Ireland

Registered with the Association for Nutrition - www.associationfornutrition.org

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Little O Nutrition is a non-diet nutrition practice based in the south east of Ireland, serving Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny & more. We also support clients around the world virtually. We provide workshops, online courses and can speak at events. If you need any nutrition support from a registered nutritionist, get in touch.