Meal prep can sometimes become more involved or complicated during the holiday season. If you have found yourself dealing with higher levels or stress or anxiety, this can sometimes play into your eating habits or meal preparation.
But we know that eating healthy is crucial for our body and overall well-being. It becomes even more challenging when the holiday season is upon us. Holidays come with a never-ending list of party invites, activities, and entertaining which often leads to over indulgence.
As we gear up for the holidays, meal prepping (or meal batching) is a great help to keep you on track. Here are our top 5 tips for meal prepping to help you stay on track during this holiday season and beyond.
Tip #1 – Write a grocery list. With a well thought out grocery list in hand, you can avoid those extra snacks that sometimes wind up in your cart. With a healthy, well-stocked fridge, it’s easier to avoid the urge to dine out. Plus, no more standing in front of the refrigerator door thinking, “There’s nothing to eat.”
Tip #2 – Select a day. Set aside time on your weekend between holiday parties and events to prep and batch your meals. Get the whole family involved if you can. This is a great time to spend with each other. Include family in the grocery list, shopping and food preparation. This also sets a good example for the kids as to the importance of proper nutrition throughout their lives.
Tip #3 – Pick a “go to” breakfast and don’t skip it! Give your body the proper energy it needs to begin your day. This will also help you not be so hungry when you face the tray of cookies. Prep some quick and easy breakfast items, such as overnight oats, Greek yogurt with berries or a nutritional shake.
Tip #4 – Short on time? You can batch your meal in your slow cooker. This is a great way to prepare several meals at one time. Simply add all your yummy ingredients in your crockpot and walk away. A few hours later you have amazing meals already to go. Portion it out in containers, and you are set for the week. This is also a great time of year to take advantage of soups! Make a big batch and enjoy it for 3-4 meals, and freeze the rest for another week!
Tip #5 – “I don’t cook or I don’t want to cook more than I have too” Even if you don’t or don’t enjoy it, you can still meal batch. Most grocery stores have pre-made items like hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, salads, fruit, veggies, salsa and your favorite beans. Having these convenient and nutritious items on hand will help keep you from walking out the door for yet another restaurant meal.
Meal batching will save you a ton calories as the food is healthier and you can control what goes into your food. Many times dishes served at the holiday parties are filled with carbs and fat, not to mention the sugar and fat that is packed into the holiday cookies. Be mindful of your choices, know that it is ok to say NO, and try to stay consistent with eating a majority of your foods from home. Enjoy a few of your favorites in moderation, but don’t let the holiday be an excuse to completely derail.