Is it just me, or does it feel like prepping meals for the family never ends? I chop, cook, wash, beg my kids to eat, and then begin the whole process over for the next meal. But here’s the thing: I’ve started using some genius time-saving hacks — and, you guys, I’m slaying meal-prep now. Check out these tips and see if any of them might be game changers for you, too.
1. Add sheet pan dinners to your meal rotation. Cooking an entire meal on a cookie sheet is a genius way to cut down on your dirty dishes and active cooking time — and there are so many delish dishes you can make this way.
2. Whip up dinner in a slow-cooker. There are countless kid-friendly crock pot recipes, and many of them don’t take much prep work at all. The food cooks throughout the day and by dinnertime, your meal is ready!
3. Rely on make-ahead breakfasts. If you’re like me (super stressed out by morning multi-tasking), make breakfast ahead of time and save yourself the AM headache. There are tons of options, from overnight oats to hash brown and egg cups.
4. Use meal planning apps. They’re an easy way to save time on grocery lists and shopping. These apps are also a great place to store fave recipes and cull your weekly meal plan with a few taps of your finger.
5. Prep your produce ASAP. Ideally, wash and chop fruits and veggies as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Sounds like a pain but it’ll save you so much time on meal and even snack prep.
6. Make healthy snacks ahead. By having baggies of healthy snacks on hand, you’ll be less tempted to reach for unhealthy processed foods when hunger strikes. Think jars of fruit or veggie sticks in the fridge, or baggies with portioned crackers, dried fruit, and nuts.
7. Cut up food with kitchen shears. If you’re preparing meals for young kids who’ll need you to cut the food on their plates for them, kitchen shears are so much faster than cutting with a knife and fork. Snip the meal into bite-sized nibbles in no time.
8. Sign up for a meal kit service. It will take the guesswork out of what to make every night, and the recipes are so easy to follow that kids can usually help. Plus, you can add the recipes you love to your regular dinner rotation!