Meal prepping is a great way to save time and money on meals for your family. Here are some reasons why meal prep is healthier as well!
We all want to eat healthier. With the busy modern world we live in, it can present itself as quite a challenge. There are restaurants within minutes and take out or calling in orders is so convenient with the apps available these days. With less and less time on our hands, it's hard to imagine cooking a healthy meal every night. Before I started prepping meals in advance there were time when I was still in the kitchen trying to come up with dinner at 8 at night!
As I shared in the introduction for my cookbook, Prep-Ahead Meals from Scratch, I started meal prepping and batch cooking when my husband was deployed. I had 2 children and was expecting a third. I went from buying packaged convenience food at the grocery store and eating out several nights a week, to serving homemade meals almost every night. I have found that meal prepping not only saves me time and money, but it also makes it easy for me to make fresh meals for my family that are healthier, too.
Why Meal Prep is Healthier
You can cut your use of convenience foods. Meal prepping is essentially creating your own convenience foods so you will find that your use of store-bought convenience foods will significantly drop. Now I batch cook rice, beans, and meats and store them in usable portions. I can grab my precooked foods and use them in dishes as easily as I use to grab convenience foods. You can find many make-ahead breakfast recipes and meal prep lunch recipes in my cookbook Prep-Ahead Breakfasts and Lunches. A one-hour meal prep session on the weekend and you have premade recipes on hand that will allow you to skip the packaged foods aisle at the grocery store.
You control the ingredients in your meals. The bottom line is that when you cook for yourself, you have 100% control over the ingredients you use. This means you can add more veggies to a recipe if you want, buy only organic produce, and skip out on preservatives. One of the foundations for healthy eating is control over what you are eating and meal prepping allows you to do that.
How Meal Prepping Helps You Eat Healthier
Many batch cooking techniques are healthy cooking techniques. When I batch cook my chicken breasts for later use, I cook them in my slow cooker, the pressure cooker or I broil them. Each technique is a healthy way to cook any meat. These cooking methods do not require any oils and without any breading. Instead of frying or sautéing meats in oil, I choose cooking techniques that are lower in fat and calories. Find some healthy Batch Cooking Techniques here or subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified of the latest batch cooking and meal prep videos.
You can control portion size easier. When I batch cook, I store the cooked food in usable portions. Then when I use the batch cooked food in recipes, I only make enough for that meal and find that since I am cooking less, I am eating more controlled portion sizes. When you store your precooked foods in usable portions and have a plan for how you will use the batch cooked foods in recipes, there is far less food waste.