Do you struggle to find the time and energy to cook for the family each night? This is a huge task, especially when you have other responsibilities to keep on top of. Many times we opt for fast and easy, which invariably ends up being unhealthy. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional takeout or microwavable meal, you want to make sure that you provide a healthy and balanced diet for the family. Fortunately, there is an excellent solution to this dilemma – food prep. This involves cooking up meals in batches that can then be frozen.
Here is a guide for freezing your food prep for fortnightly batches, which will free up a huge amount of time while ensuring you can all enjoy a healthy diet. Hubby does this every couple of weeks, he will cook a large amount of something we eat often and it makes for easy lunches and mealtimes in the future.
Plan Your Meals
First, you need to plan your meals for the next two weeks. You want to plan a diverse menu of all the nutrients you need. There are all kinds of meals that are ideal for meal prep, such as:
- Pasta dishes
Buy The Food
Once you know all of the ingredients you need, you can buy the food. This might involve a trip to the supermarket or ordering a delivery to save time and energy. Ocado and Morrisons are both supermarkets with excellent delivery services worth trying.
Buy Quality Tupperware & Labels
You will need high-quality Tupperware boxes so that you can keep the food airtight and stored properly. You will want to freeze individual portions so that you can manage portion control and easily defrost the food. Sistema is a good brand to invest in. Additionally, make sure that you have quality labels so that you know what each container has (it can be hard to tell once it has frozen!). Some labels from Label Planet worked great, but they were £29.00! It is worth the investment.
You then need to find time to cook all of the meals in batches. It will depend on your schedule, but many parents find Saturday or Sunday to be a good day to spend a few hours in the kitchen. You need to allow the food to cool before splitting it up into portions, labeling it, and putting it in the freezer. You should also keep an inventory so that you know what meals you have and when they are frozen.
Defrost & Enjoy
It is then a simple matter of defrosting the meals to enjoy throughout the week – most meals will take 24 hours to defrost fully in the fridge, so just take out what you need the day before. Adopting the “first in, first out” method is a good idea to ensure meals retain quality.
And that’s it! Meal prep is a fantastic way for parents to keep on top of dinner each week while ensuring that they provide a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet for the whole family. This will also free up a lot of time and energy each week so you can do more things you enjoy.