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Family Meal Prep Tips for the Working Parent

Family Meal Prep Tips for the Working Parent

Make your dinners quick, simple, and fresh-tasting all week long with our family meal prep tips!

Make your dinners quick, simple, and fresh-tasting all week long with our family meal prep tips!

With only two hours and minimal effort, you’ll serve real food on your table every day.

You know those nights: you just got off work, the kids are moody with hunger, and you present them with the first thing you can get. It’s okay to dodge the tantrums that way — once in a while. But in the long run, you know your kids need actual nourishment. Add “family meal prep” as a badge to your superdad suit, starting today!

How meal prepping helps you

Family meal prep keeps you from making poor food decisions. You will serve a real meal, instead of McDonalds, frozen pizza, cookies . . . or whatever means not having macaroni and cheese for the fourth day in a row.

At the same time, you don’t want to spend your precious time off stuck in the kitchen. What if your kids get bored with your meal prep halfway through the week? What if your reheated meat tastes like plastic?

We want to help you make the most of your family time. That’s why we put together for you three easy steps to meal prepping, tips to save time, and a few ideas for your weekly meals.


Three easy steps for family meal prep

1. Make a weekly menu that targets important food groups.
2. Write a grocery list that matches your family’s tastes.
3. Double or triple every recipe, then freeze it.

That sounds like too much work, doesn’t it? Don’t discard the idea just yet! Here’s a cheat-sheet to ease you into the process. Ideally, your weekly menu will include:

  • 40% vegetables: cucumbers, carrots, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, squash, leafy greens, rutabaga, etc.
  • 30% proteins: lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, quinoa, yogurt, etc.
  • 20% fruits/nuts: apples, pears, peaches, avocados, tomatoes, berries, melons, oranges, grapes, walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.
  • 10% starches: rice, potatoes, oats, beans, peas, etc.

Tips to meal prep with minimal effort

  • Pin recipes on Pinterest for easy reference.
  • Freeze your meals in Ziploc bags to save room in the fridge.
  • Label your bags to skip the guesswork at dinner time.
  • Reheat your meals on the stove or in the oven, not the microwave.
  • Steam your vegetables for a five-minute dish.
  • Set aside two hours on your day off to cook at least two recipes.
  • Chop veggies and meats in advance, and freeze them for later.
  • During the week, prep while you wait for the pasta to boil.
  • Rotate between eight different vegetables each week.
  • Cook meat with just salt and pepper, so you can switch the sauce anytime.
  • Bonus tip: pay your kids to clean up after you cook!

The most effort and time-saving solution is to invest in an Instant Pot or Air Fryer. Just set it to cook, and go! For extra nourishment, you can use the “slow cooker” or the “bake” option. Set it overnight and store your food in the morning.

melting pot

Meal prep ideas for the week

  • Breakfast: overnight oats, chia pudding, parfait, boiled eggs, PB&J sandwiches, pancakes
  • Lunch: egg burrito, almond butter and banana fajitas, shredded chicken, turkey roll ups, veggies and hummus, salad bowl
  • Dinner: ravioli with tomato sauce, chickpeas and mushrooms, salmon and asparagus, broccoli soup, veggie stir fry, white bean soup, beef chili, quinoa bowls
  • Snacks: homemade granola bars, fruit slices, veggies and hummus

At a first glance, sitting down just to plan your family meal prep can seem tedious. Once you start seeing the benefits, you’ll realize it’s actually less work than cooking most nights.

Anything that frees up your time and makes for delicious meals with your family is worth a try, right?

Has meal prepping made your life even the tiniest bit easier? Share your favorite recipes by tagging @mobilestylesapp on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

meal with kids


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