Healthy food choices are more readily available today than ever before. Nutrition labels and healthy living apps help consumers make better decisions about their overall health and follow special conditions for dietary restrictions. Advanced meal preparation is a great way to stay on track with a healthy diet throughout the week.

Create a Shopping List

A simple trip to the grocery store can quickly go off track if shoppers do not have a solid plan in place. Decide in advance what meals or types of meals you want to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the coming week. Then, create a list of ingredients necessary to complete each meal. Combine proteins and perishables whenever possible and make several meals from the same ingredients. Sticking to the shopping list will help shoppers avoid impulse buys and unhealthy snacks.

Designate a Cooking Day

Meal prepping can be a fun activity, even for those who do not enjoy cooking. Set aside about two hours one day a week to precook meals for the week. Combining a day of grocery shopping and cooking definitely makes meal prep easier but can be overwhelming for some shoppers. Consider saving time with precut or prechopped fresh vegetables like onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Premixed salad blends are also an easy way to add green foods to a meal without adding to the preparation time.

Keeping it All Well Balanced

A well-balanced diet includes food choices from all major food categories. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are important items that incorporate necessary vitamins and minerals into your diet. Legumes and plant or animal-based proteins are important sources of energy and iron. They should be included in at least one meal per day, preferably more whenever possible.

Viable Storage Tips

Advanced meal preparation definitely makes life easier for individuals or busy households. Leakproof and versatile storage containers are a vital part of the meal prep process. Multiple compartments within one container make it easy to grab a meal and go, even on the most chaotic mornings. Consider adding an insulated carrying bag to help keep food items hot or cold throughout the day.