Cooking for a family of 4 with a newborn and toddler should really be the format of a new game show. Between accomodating for special requests and likes/dislikes plus a baby in hand and a toddler running around it's truly a feat when dinner is finally served. I am constantly looking for ways to make our daily routines more efficient and although "meal prepping" can be a scary word - it is so worth it! It may take some time up front but by Friday, I promise you will be thankful you did it. Here is how I make it happen for our family
Keep it simple.
Easy recipes, minimal ingredients, and one pan meals are the way to go! There is no need to make sauce from scratch or make your own pasta (unless of course you want to) for every meal of the week. Find 10 or so recipes that your family loves and circulate them throughout a few weeks.
2. Invest in tupperware.
If you're going to get serious about meal prepping for a majority of your meals, tupperware is going to be your best friend. You'll want a few different sizes and shapes to accomodate any meal leftovers. I also highly recommend snagging resuable ziploc bags as well! Check out my Amazon store here to see my favorites.
3. Kill two birds with one stone.
Figure out where you can use one item for multiple dishes. If you're able to cook a lot of rice and use it for a Tikka Masala and a side of Taco Tuesday - do it! Get creative where you can and it will save you so much time and energy.
4. Avoid foods that will get soggy or wilt.
When planning your meals, avoid items that won't reheat well or plan on cooking them the day of.
5. Single servings.
If you know ahead of time that you won't be home for dinner time or you will be short on time running between practices, make a couple of single serving meals. This way you can just pop them in the microwave or oven and keep it moving!
6. Don't be too hard on yourself.
Cooking in batches is TOUGH. If there's a week where it isn't feasible or you don't have time, there is no shame in running to Chick-fil-a three times a week. Do what fits best into your life.
Let us know any tips you may have on meal prepping!