Meal planning, meal prepping, and eating healthy wasn't something that was easy before the pandemic hit and it certainly isn't any easier now. But, that doesn't mean that we should give up! I have put together five tips for you to think outside the box when it comes to grocery shopping, meal planning, and meal prepping.
5 simple tips to make pandemic cooking simple:
1. Do some pre-work. Find healthy recipes that you know your family will love and that are easy to make. Print them off, so you have them handy for easy reference.
2. Skip the trip to the grocery store and plan to do your shopping online or using an app. So many services right now are offering free shipping or free pick-up if you meet a minimum order and it's pretty easy to do, as many of us are eating all of our meals at home right now.
Pro tip: by ordering via online or an app, your grocery order is automatically saved, which takes away the pressure of having to look up all the items again. It's always easier to remove items that you know you don't need than having to start from scratch every single time.
3. Prep. Prep all of the fruits and veggies (cut, clean, and store), so when you need a healthy snack or a fresh ingredient for a recipe it's ready to go.
4. Cook once and eat multiple times. Think about meals that store well that you can make in bulk, so your family can have dinner one night and lunch the next day, or dinner two nights in a row, but you only have to cook once! Some of my favorite leftover meals are: chili, tacos (one night with tortillas the next as a salad), roasted chicken (one night with veggies the next as a chicken salad sandwich).
5. Plan to have one "convenience" meal a week. This could be takeout from your favorite restaurant or it could be buying a couple of frozen pizzas and a bag of salad for a quick dinner.
Try to have a bit of fun with your meal planning! Try some new recipes, or pick up a new ingredient, but most of be kind to yourself! You're doing a lot! It's not always going to be perfect, but a little planning and a little intention goes a long way!