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A Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prepping

When it comes to eating healthy, there is a LOT more planning and preparation involved than you might think. Learn the art of meal prepping to avoid hitting up vending machines and unhealthy restaurants and save a ton of time during a busy week! With a little motivation, a lazy Sunday afternoon can be transformed into a productive opportunity to help yourself eat healthy and even avoid making a single meal or snack during the week.


Lots & Lots of Tupperware!

First things first, it’s important to stock up on things to pack your meals in, if needed. If you need lunches or snacks on the go, make sure you have plenty of reusable containers so you can prepare lots at a time and store them in the fridge for whenever you need. Also look for containers with multiple compartments so you can separate different foods and pack an entire meal in one container.

Portable Snack Packs

If you don’t have many breaks during busy weekdays, it can be incredibly tempting to hit up a vending machine when hunger strikes. Avoid the urge—and save money—by packing a snack to take with you. Using disposable plastic bags or reusable containers, prepare a medley of healthy finger foods to snack on. Include things such as:

  • Fruits like apple slices, grapes, berries, clementines, bananas

  • Vegetables like sugar snap peas, cucumber slices, and baby carrots to dip in hummus

  • Dairies like Babybel cheese wheels or cheese sticks

  • Proteins like hard boiled eggs or nuts

Sheet Pan Meals

Sheet pan meals are a great way to easily have healthy lunches and dinners to eat throughout the week. Not only is it easy to incorporate healthy ingredients, but it’s also a super low-maintenance way to cook. Everything cooks in one pan, and you can even wrap the sheet pan in foil so there’s no cleanup! Here are some great combinations to try:

  • Turkey kielbasa sausage with broccoli, red potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and bell peppers tossed in a mixture of olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil

  • Chicken breasts with red onions and cherry tomatoes tossed in a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder served with store bought tzatziki sauce and pita bread

  • Shrimp with multicolored peppers and onions tossed in olive oil and taco seasoning

Crock Pot Meals

This is another great way to prepare a meal either ahead of time or with minimal preparation on the day you want to cook the meal. Make a slow cooker meal during the weekend and separate it into several individual portions for meals during the week. Or, cut up and measure out vegetables, meats, and other ingredients and keep them in a gallon-sized bag, a covered bowl, or a large container. The day you want to have the meal, put the ingredients in the Crock Pot and come home to a delicious, slow-cooked dinner. Pinterest has millions of ideas to inspire your slow cooker endeavors!


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Madeline Sievers is an Advertising student in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In her spare time, she loves cooking and baking, binge watching, and being with her friends, family, and adorable kitty. Follow her: @merelymadeline
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