Preparing healthy meals on the go can be easy. You can set yourself up for success by making a meal plan, shopping ahead of time for ingredients, and utilizing your weekend to get some of the prep work out of the way. You can then create lunches and breakfasts that are ready to go anywhere as well as easy dinners that will leave you satisfied.
EditSetting Yourself Up For Success
- Make a meal plan. Having a game plan for what you and your family will be eating each week can be a game changer. With a meal plan, you will be more likely to eat healthy foods, even if you are on the go. Sit down with your family once a week and make a plan for what you will be eating at each meal during the upcoming week.
- Create a shopping list. Once you have your healthy meal plan put together, you will need to make a shopping list. Go through all the recipes you will be making and list all of the ingredients you will need to make your meals. Be sure to go through your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to see what ingredients you already have on hand.
- Take a weekly trip to the grocery store. Making sure your kitchen is stocked with healthy food is one of the most important parts of successfully preparing healthy meals. Pick a day that you can make a weekly shopping trip, and make it part of your weekly schedule.
- Complete prep work on the weekend. When you come home from a long day of work, chopping and preparing ingredients for a healthy dinner can seem overwhelming. You can get ahead of the game by taking an hour or two on the weekend and prepping ingredients for your meals.
- For example, you can chop the veggies you’ll need for weeknight dinners on the weekend.
- If you’re planning on making meals with rice, you can try cooking a big batch on the weekend.
- Try batch cooking. You can make the most of your time in the kitchen by giving batch cooking a chance. Batch cooking is when you prepare multiple portions of several meals that you will eat at a later date. You can store the portions in your refrigerator to eat later in the week, or in your freezer if you plan on consuming them later that month.
- Plan ahead to utilize leftovers. You can be even more successful at preparing healthy meals on the go if you have a plan for your leftovers. For example, you can use Monday’s leftover roasted pork in Tuesday’s pork barbecue sandwiches.
- Consider a crockpot. Crockpots will do the cooking for you while you are at work, school, or running errands. For example, you can place four chicken breasts and a can of salsa in a crockpot for 4 hours on low heat. When you come home, shred the chicken and place in corn tortillas for some healthy chicken tacos.
EditMaking Easy and Portable Breakfasts
- Grab a green smoothie. Try blending together two cups or 475 milliliters of water with 2 cups or 300 grams of spinach in a standard blender. Then add one banana, 1 cup or 150 grams frozen pineapple, and 1 cup or 150 grams frozen mango. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder and blend until smooth.
- Pour the smoothies into two separate mason jars with lids.
- You can easily transport the smoothie with you to work, on an outing, or as an after-gym meal.
- You can keep the smoothies in the refrigerator for up to two days after making them.
- Create crust-less quiche to go. Quiche can be a healthy and easy breakfast choice if made ahead of time. You can create individual quiches in ramekins or muffin tins. Once they are baked, you can store them in the refrigerator for an easy grab and go breakfast.
- Try a fruit and nut butter wrap. Take whole wheat tortilla and spread it with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. Then place ½ cup or 150 grams of chopped fruit on top of the nut butter. Top with one tablespoon of vanilla yogurt. Roll the tortilla up like a burrito and cut in half.
- Try blueberries, raspberries, peaches, bananas, and/or strawberries in your wrap.
- To make your breakfast portable, wrap the individual halves in plastic wrap or foil.
- Make a yogurt cup. Yogurt is filled with calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Take a pint-sized Mason jar and fill it with one cup of Greek yogurt. Then top your yogurt with fresh fruit. You can also add a sprinkling of low-sugar granola.
EditCreating Packable Lunches
- Make a Mason jar salad. Take a wide mouth canning jar and place two tablespoons of salad dressing in the bottom. Next add hard vegetables like cucumbers, beets, carrots, or peppers. Then add a protein like beans, grilled chicken, or tofu. Top your protein with some nuts or seeds, and then place your salad greens on top. Screw on a lid and enjoy on the go!
- You can store Mason jar salads in the refrigerator for 4 days.
- Try making several salads as part of your weekend meal prep and enjoy throughout the week.
- If you’re making salads ahead of time, wait until the day you plan on eating the salad to add the protein. You can place the protein directly on top of the greens.
- Put together a healthy sandwich or wrap. You can quickly make a wrap or sandwich that is healthy and portable. Start with a whole grain wrap or bread as your base. Then add a lean protein like tuna or turkey. Top with lettuce, tomato, carrots, and/or cucumber. Add low-fat mayonnaise and/or mustard and enjoy!
- Make your wrap or sandwich portable by wrapping it in plastic or foil.
- If you’re packing a sandwich to go, you can wait to add the mayonnaise or mustard. Instead, pack it separately in a small plastic container or plastic bag.
- Try a grain-based salad. An easy grab and go choice is a make-ahead salad that includes grains, vegetables, and protein. Try cooking one cup of quinoa and letting it cool. Then chop one tomato, one green pepper, four green onions, two cloves of garlic, and a handful of cilantro. Mix the vegetables with the quinoa. Add one can of drained black beans. Top the salad with four tablespoons of olive oil and three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
- Make a whole grain pasta salad. Whole grain pasta can be a great base for a lunch on the go. Try combining whole-wheat penne with chopped zucchini, red peppers, cucumber, and feta cheese. Top it off with balsamic vinegar and olive oil or some low-fat bottled salad dressing, like Greek or Italian.
EditCooking Quick and Healthy Dinners
- Make some lettuce wraps. If you’re looking for a gluten and dairy-free healthy meal that is easy to prepare, consider making some lettuce wraps. Start with butter lettuce cups as a base. Add some rice and a protein like grilled steak, marinated tofu, roasted pork, or grilled chicken. Top with a flavorful sauce or a fermented vegetable like kimchi.
- Create healthy tacos. Tacos are easy, affordable, and healthy if you choose the right ingredients. Start with whole wheat or soft corn tortillas. Add some protein like tempeh, black beans, grilled chicken, or steak. Top them with avocado and salsa. Serve with a salad.
- Go for a protein and veggie plate. A healthy, easy dinner can be as simple as a plate filled with your favorite vegetables and protein. Try pairing a piece of grilled fish or chicken with roasted vegetables. Or fill your plate with marinated tofu and steamed veggies. Aim to fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables and the other third with a protein source.
EditSources and Citations
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