Food Prep for Weekly Success

It’s pretty apparent I believe strongly in preparing ahead of time.  Last week I shared how I keep lunch making stress food-prepto a minimum.  To keep things even easier and to help with all meals during the week, there are a few things I regularly do right after grocery shopping.  These few tasks will make EVERY working mom’s mealtimes go a little bit smoother.

I know some of you will read this, roll your eyes, and say to yourself  “NO WAY!  I don’t have time for this nonsense.”  BUT, I timed myself and it took me twenty minutes start to finish.  The benefits include healthier eating and less stress for the whole week.  that’s worth twenty minutes to me.  Got older kids?  Make your life even easier and enlist their help.

As soon as I get home from the grocery, I pull out the cutting board and a knife and prep a bowl of veggies.  Once that’s done, I can pack the veggie portion of school lunches in seconds, and if dinner is rushed, this bowl can be pulled out as a healthy side.  I also make a small bowl of dip or hummus to enjoy with the vegetables, and a pint size mason jar of healthy salad dressing (Just mix a few T of extra virgin olive oil with a few T of some type of vinegar, add salt, pepper and any other herbs you’d like.  You can also add a t or 2 of dijon mustard.  Yum!).

Greens are washed and spun dry, then packaged in bags with a damp paper towel.  Now they are ready to be added to smoothies or tossed in a bowl for a salad.

Next on the list is fruit.  If I bought grapes or cherries I wash them and put them in a bowl so they are ready to pull out and serve.  Ditto for melons.  Berries I don’t wash until the right before they are used as they last longer that way.

Finally, if I purchased chips or some other treat for lunches, I pack them up in individual containers.  They can easily be grabbed for snacks or lunches as needed.

If I have time, I might bake a batch of muffins or bread or even make a batch of power balls or peanut butter “fudge” to snack on during the week.

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This time is SO well spent.  Thanks to preparing ahead I can pack lunches in mere minutes while I’m cleaning up dinner.  I can pull out a healthy after school snack or add a healthy side to dinner without extra prep time.

What do you do to make your life easier each week?  If you know you have a busy week ahead, do you prep ahead of time?  Any additional tips for us?  Please share in the comments so we can learn from each other!