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The Pros and Cons of Meal Prep for Already Busy Moms
Have you every wondered what the pros and cons of meal prep are for an already busy mom? Or, curious to know how meal prepping could help you out when you simply don’t have the time to cook?
Kids are are you feet, complaining about being hungry.
You’re making food as fast as you can, while reminding them it’ll just be a couple more minutes.
But, they don’t understand that a couple of minutes doesn’t mean a couple of seconds, so they continue nagging and putting pressure on you to get it done.
I know that’s how it was every night in my house before I started meal prepping. Or, at least started meal prepping for a few meals a week.
But, how do you know if meal prepping is for you?
If you already don’t have the time to cook; how are you going to have time to cook multiple meals in a single day?
Keep reading to find out if meal prepping is worth the little extra time in the kitchen during your weekend; one of your only days off from work, or from taking the kids to school/homeschooling them.
The Benefits of Meal Prepping
Meal Planning Ideas and Tips to Stay on Track!
One Simple Trick to Actually Stick to a Meal Plan
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The Pros of Meal Prepping
Let’s start on a positive note and take a look at all the pros for meal prepping as a busy mom.
Food is all ready to eat besides needing to be heated
Having food in the fridge, ready to heat up and serve, can be a
life sanity saver sometimes. Actually, more often than not, it’s a really great feeling to know you have food all read in the fridge, or freezer.
This pro of meal prepping will help you forget about the times when you used to stand in the kitchen with little ones at your feet asking what’s for dinner, or when will it be done!
This pro alone is enough to help many moms decide to meal prep once a week.
Don’t have to cook while hungry
Have you ever had to cook while starving?
It’s not fun.
It’s hard enough to cook with little ones asking you for food, but when you’re the one who’s famished; you may end up trying to rush the food and destroying it in the process. Or, simply making a quick and unhealthy meal because you can’t focus enough to eat right.
Meal prepping helps you avoid all of this by having you cook once a week, and you can make sure you’re not hungry during this time, because it will all be planned!
Kids don’t have to wait for food to be made, less hangry kids
Not only will you be less hangry, and not have to cook while hungry; your kids will be less hangry, too!
And, believe me, no one likes dealing with hangry kids; so go heat up an already made meal and avoid the ‘mom, I’m hungry’s and the bad behavior that comes with kids not eating when they get hungry!
Less likely to eat out
When you have ready to eat meals in your fridge, you’re much less likely to eat out.
What’s the point of eating out when it’d be quicker, and healthier, to simply warm up what you have in the fridge?
It’s less hassle, and you could even have your kids get in their pj’s before dinner. Or, be able to change when they end up getting their clothes dirty with food; it’s bound to happen once in awhile!
Meals a generally healthier
When you meal prep you have to plan for it.
When you take the time to plan out your meals, you’re more likely to choose healthy ones. Unless of course, if you’re trying to meal plan while hungry; I wouldn’t recommend that!
So long as you meal plan and focus on health, it’s impossible to not eat well if you meal prep!
Helps you follow your meal plan
Meal prepping will also help you follow that healthy meal plan you created.
When you have the food you planned out all ready for you, it’s almost harder not to follow your meal plan directly!
Less mess during the week
This is a big pro!
No one I know likes doing dishes, well, besides my kids, but they mostly just like to play with the bubbles!
But, I sure don’t like having to do tons of dishes everyday of the week; I have better things to do than stand in the kitchen and clean up a big mess from cooking every night of the week.
Meal prepping allows you to have minimal dishes to wash everyday, except for meal prep day!
Only have to cook once a week
Do you hate cooking? Or, not have time to cook everyday?
Then, it wouldn’t make sense for you to not meal prep.
Meal prepping allows you to cook only once a week. Even if you don’t like cooking, I think you can handle being in the kitchen for a few hours once a week; it sure beats having to cook for an hour or two everyday!
Meal prepping also helps you save money, by helping you follow your meal plan.
If you make the food you planned out, you won’t be tempted to eat out or have to go to the store several times during the week because your forgot something you needed for dinner that night. Which reduces the number of times you have to go into a grocery store, which is set up to tempt you to buy more than you really need.
Helps you not waste food
If you prep the meals you planned out, then you’ll be more likely to eat it and stick with the meal plan you set up.
Sticking with your meal plan means you won’t waste the food that you put on your grocery list for that weeks meal plan!
Being an already busy mom, it may be hard to find a couple hours on the weekend to meal prep all your families meals for the week.
But, the alternative to meal prepping is either spending more time making food every single day, or spending time going out to eat.
So, would you rather spend 2 to 3 hours one day a week meal prepping, or 1 to 2 hours (at the least) making meals 7 days a week.
Let me save you from having to do the math; it’s a lot less time to meal prep!
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The Cons of Meal Prepping
By now, meal prepping probably sounds great! But, there are a few downsides to it, as well.
You have to find time to meal prep once a week
The toughest part of meal prepping is actually finding a few solid hours to get your food prepped for the week.
As a mom who’s already busy, you may not have (or at least don’t think you have) a few hours to prep your families meals.
You’ll have a lot of dishes to do while you meal prep
The worst part of cooking, or baking, or making anything in the kitchen, is having to clean up afterwards.
Prepping multiple meals at once will mean you will have to wash all the dishes for that meal in the same day, possibly multiple times in a very short period of time. Because maybe you’ll need the half a cup measuring up for oats, and then again for soy milk, and again for rice. It’ll need to be washed in between each use (most of the time).
If you don’t like what you prepped, it’s a lot of wasted food
Not liking what you prepped can be one of the worst case scenarios when it comes to meal prepping.
But, that’s a whole lot of wasted food if no one in your family ends up liking it.
So, be sure to meal prep meals you know your family likes and know will stay good in the fridge or freezer; leave trying new foods for the weekend or a day when you’re not so busy!
Can get bored of the meals
If you meal prep the same meal for everyday of the week, then someone in your family is bound to get bored of it; it may even be you who gets bored of it after eating it day after day.
If you decide to eat out anyways, you could be wasting the food you prepped
To go along with getting bored of the food you prepped, there’s always the temptation to eat out, anyways. Which will make some of the food you prepped for the week go to waste.
The food could go bad if you prep it wrong, or sits too long in the fridge
If you don’t eat what you prepped for specific days, then the food could be in the fridge longer than it’ll stay good for. Which will then force you to throw it out and eat out, or spend more money on groceries than you had planned to.
You have to plan ahead
If you don’t plan ahead, then you won’t know which foods you prep will need to be consumed first.
You won’t have what you need if you don’t plan ahead. So, if you hate planning then maybe meal prepping isn’t for you!
You have to have a little bit of discipline
To not waste the food you prepped; you’ll have to have some discipline to follow through with your meal plan and not just eat out anyways or try to find something else in your home to eat instead.
You’ll need containers to keep the food in
If you meal prep, you’ll have to have food containers big enough for meals for the whole family, or a lot of pre-portioned sized containers for each person.
Getting high quality meal prep containers isn’t cheap, just the savings in food in the long run is (and will more than make up for the price of the containers).
But, even so, you’ll also need a place to store the containers when not in use. If you have a small kitchen, like I do, then this could be slightly troublesome. If it’s important enough, though, you’ll find the room.
You have to be really organized to save time on meal prep day
If you’re not an organized person, or like to plan ahead, then you may not end up saving a lot of time meal prepping.
To save the most time meal prepping, you’ll have to figure out which meal takes the longest (and has the most non-hands on time) and start with that meal. And then, figure out how the timing of each meal can fit into the longest one, so you’re not spending all day in the kitchen cooking and cleaning!
The Bottom Line for Meal Prepping
You’ll have to decide for yourself if meal prepping is right for you; whether you want to prep all your meals for the week, just some of the meals, or nothing at all!
If you’re a very organized person who loves to plan ahead, save time and money in every way possible, and hates doing tons of dishes everyday; then go start your meal plan so you can start meal prepping for the week! Because that will be the best for you and your family, especially if you already feel too busy with all your other daily mom tasks. You might as well take one task off the table to make things a bit easier for you!
However, if you’re not very organized, hate to plan, and have no intention of changing; meal prepping may be a bit frustrating for you. Not impossible, and you could certainly still do it to save time and money; you may just end up throwing out leftovers that you didn’t eat (because they went bad) at the end of the week.