Food Prep Tips

BranDleeJ
BranDleeJ Posts: 9 Member
Trying my best to meal prep. Which do you find the easiest: Prepping complete meals for the week, or prepping the ingredients for cooking the meals during the week?
I have a family, and separating my food from theirs is hard. Would it be easier to prep ingredients and freeze them, like chopping my up all the vegetables and pull them out daily as I need them, or should I just go ahead and prep my own meals separately for the week? Maybe a little of both? What has worked for you? I realize it may be a personal preference, but I’m overwhelmed.

Replies

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,016 Member
    I don't eat differently from the rest of my family, nor does my wife when we want to cut some weight. We all just have different portions of the same stuff. As food prep goes, at most my wife might make a big batch of quinoa or something to go along with our lunches but that's about it. Our lunches are typically leftovers from the previous nights dinner where we swap cooking nights throughout the week. I personally can't meal prep for a whole week because I'm pretty OCD about keeping food more than 48-72 hours
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,291 Member
    When I eat together with my BF, I eat the same meal as him (but different quantities/proportions.

    Practically speaking, this helps me log accurately:
    - I log the (raw) ingredients for the whole dish to have the total nutritional values for that dish
    - I weigh the finished cooked dish (subtracting the weight of the pot/pan)
    - I weigh my own (cooked) portion when I fill my plate
    - I can calculate how much of the whole dish I ate e.g. 0.33 of the meal I created on MFP
    I use the Meals functionality to do this, but some use the recipe function too. It's handy to make a list of the weights of your commonly used pots and pans.
    For foods more easily divided (pieces of meat for example): I will weigh my piece(s) raw and then either remember its/their location in the pan or mark it with a knife, to identify it after cooking.

    Personally, making separate meals just sounds like you're making more work for yourself, if you have to prepare different food for your family members for that same meal.
    If I had any inclination for food prepping (I don't, to each their own :smiley: ):
    - I would only prep full meals for myself if it was a requirement (for example having to bring lunch to work)
    - I would prefer prepping the ingredients (cutting vegetables is something I often resent on work days, I sometimes buy pre-cut vegetables just to save myself the hassle)
    But that's just me.
  • naturallykat
    naturallykat Posts: 115 Member
    I think the easiest way of meal prepping for me is to cook the recipe for 2/4 people, and portion up and refrigerate or freeze the remaining portions. I don't do it as much these days but man when I have nothing inspiring in the fridge and something nice in the freezer I feel like I hit the jackpot!
  • Countandsubtract
    Countandsubtract Posts: 276 Member
    Prepping the whole food hasn't given me trouble so far and I find that with four burners it's less time consuming to do it all at once.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 878 Member
    This will entire depend on you.

    The best thing you can do is trial and error and figure out what is easiest in conjunction with your lifestyle.

    I personally am too fried to cook in the evening, so I prep entire meals that can be pre-portioned and then reheated on demand. But there's absolutely no way I would cook separately for other people. They can either eat what I cook or cook for themselves.

    If having ingredients prepped for easy on-demand cooking works best for you, then do that. If batch-cooking works for you, then do that instead.

    What's important is not what you try, it's figuring out what works best for your particular lifestyle. What makes it easiest for you to sustainably eat well.
  • COGypsy
    COGypsy Posts: 795 Member
    BranDleeJ wrote: »
    Trying my best to meal prep. Which do you find the easiest: Prepping complete meals for the week, or prepping the ingredients for cooking the meals during the week?
    I have a family, and separating my food from theirs is hard. Would it be easier to prep ingredients and freeze them, like chopping my up all the vegetables and pull them out daily as I need them, or should I just go ahead and prep my own meals separately for the week? Maybe a little of both? What has worked for you? I realize it may be a personal preference, but I’m overwhelmed.

    Why do you need to eat something different from the rest of your household? Are you going vegetarian in a house of omnivores or something? More importantly, do you plan to eat separately from your family for the rest of your life?

  • KinstugiJoy
    KinstugiJoy Posts: 9 Member
    Meal Prep has been a struggle.

    Only cooking for 2 (15 yo son).

    I will prep my lunches (same meal all week/or use leftovers if needed).

    I will be working 3 late evenings and I must prep those ahead of time to avoid ordering out/grabbing fast food

    Following for suggestions.
  • ktilton70130
    ktilton70130 Posts: 174 Member
    BranDleeJ wrote: »
    Trying my best to meal prep. Which do you find the easiest: Prepping complete meals for the week, or prepping the ingredients for cooking the meals during the week?
    I have a family, and separating my food from theirs is hard. Would it be easier to prep ingredients and freeze them, like chopping my up all the vegetables and pull them out daily as I need them, or should I just go ahead and prep my own meals separately for the week? Maybe a little of both? What has worked for you? I realize it may be a personal preference, but I’m overwhelmed.

    i prep all of my meals and put in fridge then I prepare my kids meals every night. I prepare the hubby and I food and have it readily available because our work schedules are insane and it's easier to simply grab, heat and eat.

    The kids snacks however I prepare because i usually purchase in bulk so I have a section of the fridge ready with their fruit cups , jello, etc prepped and ready to go.
  • StefMB88
    StefMB88 Posts: 10 Member
    I think it depends on what we have going on for the week. If there are lots of veggies I normally just prep them with the meal instead of before hand. Meats I will prep for the week since those are easy to season and portion out depending on what's going on, but outside of that I normally just meal plan and prep as I go. That's what works for me. I do feel like it boils down to preference though so find what works best for you!
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,406 Member
    I live alone and don't food prep. My fridge and freezer are too small for that anyway. I usually cook for 2 days, or for stews for more days. But most of my meals are ready from scratch within 30 minutes. Simples.