Why You Need Meal Prep Even When You’re Working/Teaching From Home

September 11, 2020

Why You Need Meal Prep Even When You’re Working/Teaching From Home

Across the country and even around the world, there is one thing that has united us in this tumultuous year- FOOD. A recent study found that Americans are cooking more than ever during quarantine. Of those, 75 percent said they gained more confidence in their culinary skills while 50 percent said they’re learning more. And, 73 percent are enjoying it more than ever. 

While so many things are up in the air right now, make sure meals and cooking together are not among them. With the lines between personal and professional life blurring, meal prep is more important than ever. Here are a few ways to save some precious time this fall.

  • Family Meetings, Family Meals: At least once a week, host a family meeting to check in with everyone about how they’re feeling with this new dynamic and what kind of meals they’d like to see. 
  • Make It Fun: At least once a week, mix it up: let the kids be in charge of dinner, or come up with a theme, pick recipes out of a hat, or choose a random cookbook for the week, or host cooking challenges. 
  • Food for a Fortnight: Build a meal plan for at least one to two weeks which includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. Meals don’t have to be complicated, just be sure, to include all of the food groups. Get inspiration here: Ring in a New School Year With These Fall Favorites.
  • Make a List: Take an inventory of your fridge and pantry, and then make a mile-long list of everything you’ll need for two weeks of meals. Be sure to include a variety of foods, including canned and frozen foods to make cooking easier.
  • Cook Once, Eat Often: Take a page from the Lazy Genius’s Playbook by planning out your month by categories (Instant Pot, Soups, Bowls, One Pan, etc.) that you can rotate throughout the month. Double the recipe, stock your freezer, and your meals are taken care of!
  • Recipes: Select simple recipes that are designed to save you time. (Tuna and salad is a quick lunch or dinner and will fill you up). Think slow cooker or Instant Pot, one pot meals, sheet pan dinners, or recipes with common ingredients.
  • Find Time-saving Methods: Wash, chop, and store any vegetables and herbs you’ll need for the week. Prepare your spice mixtures and sauces. Batch cook - a roasted chicken or shredded chicken in the crockpot, quinoa, rice, or roasted vegetables - so  you don’t have to cook multiple times. 
  • Get It Delivered: If it makes life easier, sign up for a meal kit service, or order groceries online and have them delivered. At the end of the day, you have to do what works best for your family.

What are some of your meal planning tricks?