Meal prep seems like a great way to save time in the kitchen right? Who needs a prepared meal delivery service when I can just do this myself. Simply spend a half a day each week grocery shopping then preparing ingredients and/ or entire meals for the week ahead.
It doesn't sound all that bad, but if you find yourself wanting to give up and throw those perfectly portioned containers of food across the room, you are not alone. The simple fact is that households are busier than ever, and setting aside a half a day for meal prep is just no longer feasible. Here are the 7 challenges with meal prep and why you may want to reconsider outsourcing this stressful activity buy leveraging meal kits in your cooking arsenal.
1. Prepping too much or too little
After hearing all the great benefits of meal prep, many people dive head first. They set aside a day and attack prep for a week's worth of meals. Sounds like a great plan, but often times it results in having too much or too little food. A Family's eating needs fluctuate weekly, and it's a challenge to determine how much food is needed any given week. This is where prepping less is a safe bet and supplementing the rest of the week with different meal kit delivery services like Sunbasket or Purple Carrot makes sense.
2. Not having a plan
Meal prep takes planning. It is not one of those things that you can just wing it. The last thing you want to do is have half your meals created and realize you don't have all the ingredients. This planning is a time-consuming part of meal prep where you create a schedule, gather recipes, and write a grocery list. The alternative is to let a prepared meal delivery service like Paleo Power Meals do the planning for you.
3. Eating the same meals over and over
Eating the same thing, again and again, is a quick way to get burnt out. Who wants to eat grilled chicken every night? It's essential to incorporate variety into your dishes to keep your family's taste buds happy. Unless you have natural creative passion for this, it can be work.
4. Choosing the wrong foods
Some foods are just not made for meal prepping. Whether they have a short shelf life or they just don't reheat well, there are a few foods you should avoid when it comes to prepping your meals. For example, sliced, raw potatoes will only last one to two days in the fridge. However, whole cooked potatoes will last five to seven days. Fresh bread usually has a short shelf life as well. Proper meal prep requires navigating around these issues.
5. Using improper storage containers
Choosing the wrong storage containers can have disastrous effects on your food quality. Instead of the delicious herb crusted chicken and roasted vegetables, you now have a leathery blob with a side of mush. You'll need containers that are airtight, preferably ones made specifically for meal prep that last.
6. Prepping at the wrong time
Meal prep is typically reserved for the weekends, but spending hours in the kitchen takes you away from family, friends and other activities. You'll quickly resent that preparing your weekly meals is preventing you maximizing your weekend fun. Let's face it, there may never be an ideal time for it.
7. Taking on too much
Nobody said you had to do it all. Meal prep is a process and it just takes a lot of time and effort. Many of us were raised in households where meals were made fresh every night, but now more than ever families have two working partners at the helm. It might be that our view of "being responsible for meal prep as a household" needs to change with the times.
There are plenty of options to help you out and allow you to find a plan that works for your family. Minimize meal prep today by trying a meal kit delivery service like Blue Apron or ditch the cooking altogether and opt for a fully cooked meal like the ones provided by The Foodery in Boston.