Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Helpful Time Management Techniques for Meal Prep

Time Management Meal Prep Tips to Turn Nightmares into Pleasant Dreams

When it comes to those healthy eating should dos, it’s hard to always, even almost always, get these should dos done. That’s understandable! In our fast paced lives time is of the essence leaving little wiggle room for shopping for, preparing and eating healthy meals. Add to this the accessibility of way too much less-than-healthy ready-to-chow-down supermarket and restaurant foods. Yes, in total a big challenge!

Ready for handfuls of quick and easy time management meal prep tips solutions to conquer this challenge and be more successful at eating healthy in 2016? Excellent, because I’m ready to dish them out.

Time Management Meal Prep Tip – How to Eat More Fruit:

  • Buy pre-cut, ready-to-eat fruit in supermarkets.
  • Add a few raisins, chopped dried apricot or fresh apple when cooking hot cereal.
  • Cut a bunch of various fruits once or twice a week. Keep this medley in a meal prep container in the refrigerator. Start your day with a bowlful or use it as a quick snack with a dollop of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Take a piece of fruit or two to school or work. Enjoy a piece as an easy afternoon snack or on your way home to take the edge off your dinner time hunger.
  • Stock pre-packed portions of no-sugar-added fruit. Complement quick meals with fruit. Grill canned peaches for a side dish. Top frozen pizza with pineapple. Use mandarin oranges in an easy to make salad.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit ParfaitAnd check out these easy-to-fix fruit-focused recipes using SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated: Cottage Cheese and Fruit Parfait and Blackberries with Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Sauce.

Time Management Meal Prep Tip – How to Eat More Vegetables:

  • Take advantage of the easy-to-fix fresh vegetables in supermarkets: boxed or bagged salad greens, baby carrots, grape and cherry tomatoes, celery and carrot sticks.
  • Stock frozen or canned vegetables without butter or special sauces so you’ll always have vegetables on hand.
  • Microwave or sauté a bunch of onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Add them to a quick-to-fix sauce for pasta, top a frozen pizza, or add to an omelet.
  • For an easy snack, dip baby carrots and slices of red pepper in a low-fat yogurt dip, reduced-calorie creamy salad dressing, or hummus.
  • Layer sandwiches with extra veggies or go beyond lettuce and sliced tomato. Try alfalfa sprouts and/or slices of red onion, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, or red peppers. Use one or two avocado slices instead of mayonnaise to moisten the bread.

Raw Broccoli SaladAnd check out these recipes using SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated: Raw Broccoli Salad and Spring Greens with Citrus Vinaigrette.

Time Management Meal Prep Tip – How to Eat More Healthy Starches:

  • Opt for whole grain bread, crackers, tortillas, pizza crust, muffins, hot dog and hamburger buns.
  • Make a batch of oatmeal, oat bran, farro or quinoa to eat for several breakfasts.
  • Keep frozen starchy vegetables like green peas, edamame (in the shell or not), and corn on hand. Add them to soups, whole grain pasta, or brown rice for a quick and easy side.
  • When you cook a whole grain, like bulgur, for example, make enough for extra side dish servings or toss them on easy to fix salads.

Curry Stuffed Bell PeppersAnd try this quick-to-fix recipe for Curry Stuffed Bell Peppers using SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener.

Time Management Meal Prep Tip – How to Eat Less Red and Processed Meats:

  • Share a sandwich, or an entrée in restaurants. Complement it with a side salad or cooked vegetable, healthy starch, pretzels or popcorn.
  • Buy and prepare smaller quantities of meat to eat less.
  • Prepare recipes that stretch the meat portion: Chinese stir-fry, pasta with meat sauce, or beef and bean burritos.

Sante Fe Veggie ChiliMake a meatless dinner once a week. Try this simple dinner recipe using SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated: Sante Fe Veggie Chili (makes 16 servings, so there should be plenty for leftovers).

Time Management Meal Prep Tip – How to Eat Fewer Sweets and Treats:

  • Zero in on a few favorite desserts. Decide how often you’ve just got to satisfy your sweet tooth while you also match your health goals.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with small portions.
  • Split desserts at restaurant meals.
  • Order kiddie or small portions when possible, such as at an ice cream shop.

Fresh Berry PieAnd dress up fruit for dessert. Check out  this Fresh Berry Pie recipe using SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated.

Time Management Meal Prep Tip – How to Consume Less Added Sugars from Beverages:

  • Quench your thirst with water. For some flavor, squeeze in a splash of fresh lemon, lime, or orange.
  •  Select a diet soda rather than the regularly sweetened types.
  • Skip regularly sweetened fruit drinks and punches, sports drinks and the like. Opt for varieties sweetened with a low calorie sweetener.
  • Seeking those satisfying bubbles without the calories? Choose club soda, seltzer, or sparkling water. Sweeten your hot or iced coffee or tea with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener.
  • When you make iced tea, lemonade, or an unsweetened dry-powdered fruit drink, sweeten it with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener.

Strawberry Mango Soy SmoothieAnd mix up and serve Citrus Punch the next time you entertain or blend up this wake-me-up Strawberry Mango Soy Smoothie on a rushed weekday morning. Both recipes use SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Products.

Here is a final tip to help you get those family dinners on the table lickety split. Search and find quick and easy recipes that have no more than 5 to 8 ingredients. Then keep ingredients for at least three of your favorites on hand. When you prepare one of these easy dinners, make a double batch for another meal that week or store it in the freezer for another week.

As you read through these quick and easy solutions with better time management in mind, think through how to integrate these suggestions into your daily eating habits.

I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.


Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM, is a nationally recognized dietitian and diabetes educator who applies more than 35 years of expertise as an author, freelance writer, media spokesperson, consultant and diabetes educator. Hope notes: “Healthy eating today is one tough job! The good news is that simple tweaks in your food choices and how you prepare foods can often set you on a path to healthier eating. Each positive step is a step in the right direction along the path to a long and healthy life.”

February 17, 2016  |  POSTED BY: Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM  |  IN: Healthy Lifestyle, Cooking & Baking

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