5 Easy Meal Prep Ideas

You have a 2 hour gap between classes so you grab Panda. It's 12am and you just finished studying so you go through a drive thru on the way home. It's week 8 and making a healthy dinner just seems like too much effort, and going to Whole Foods to grab a salad is too expensive.

Being a busy college student is all about time management, but we often put our health and nutrition at the bottom of the list. Eating healthy in college is HARD, but luckily there's options that will make your life a little easier. Meal prepping may seem like a thing that only body builders or people that are on a very strict diet do, but it's so much more than that. I recently started meal prepping and it is extremely helpful. Whether you just want to meal prep for lunch or you decide to meal prep your whole day, you'll feel less stressed and have more time to do homework or take a nap. I typically meal prep just my lunch and dinner for 4 days and portion out snacks for when I'm on campus. It does take a good amount of time to cook and prep everything on Sunday, but it is SO worth it, trust me. Here are some tips to make meal prepping easier!

 

  1. Buy microwavable Tupperware containers or cheap throw-away ones so you don't have to carry an empty container around campus all day.  Buy several large ones for your meals, and smaller containers for your dressings and sauces. It's not the best idea to put sauce or dressing on your meal because it can get soggy.
  2. Freeze 1/2 of your dinners so they won't get old or stale by Thursday. And if you have roommates, you don’t want to take up the entire fridge.
  3. Portion out snacks for when you're on campus or just running errands. This way you won't be tempted to go buy a bag of chips or a sugar-filled drink.
  4. Don't overwhelm yourself and make too many different meals. I typically make 2 similar lunches and 2 different dinners because eating the same thing every day can get boring. Salads are especially easy for this because you can add different toppings or dressings. For dinner, pick 2 proteins and choose a veggie and carb to go with them. Pinterest is always a good way to find new meal ideas.
  5. A few easy meal ideas to get you started:
  • Chicken parmesan

Lightly bread chicken breast and pair it with whole wheat or quinoa pasta and some veggies. Add low sodium marinara sauce to make a delicious and healthy chicken parmesan.

  • Teriyaki bowl

Grill chicken breast or salmon and pair it with brown rice or quinoa and stir-fry veggies. Drizzle low sodium teriyaki sauce or soy sauce and you have a ready to go teriyaki bowl.

  • Greek salad

Mix in lettuce, low-fat feta cheese, cucumbers, grilled chicken breast, and tzatziki dressing for a yummy Greek-inspired salad. Add onions, olives, tomatoes, or any other veggie you choose.