Healthy Family Meal Prep for the Week! – Mind Over Munch

Healthy Family Meal Prep for the Week! – Mind Over Munch

August 8, 2019 100 By William Morgan


Meal prep, eh?
For one person only?!
What if I wanna prep for my whole family?
Blah, blah, blah.
DISLIKE!
I’m here to help!
*SCREAM*
My munchies!
I’m Alyssia if you’re new, welcome to
the channel.
I am SO excited to share this episode because
there have been SO many requests, and it makes sense!
Meal prep is great to help stay on track, but
a lot of people still have to cook for more
than just themselves, so how can that be done?
It’s hard to please everyone, everyone’s
lifestyle and schedules are different, so
I’m going to give you some tips and ideas
that you can take and make your own when prepping
for a family, by sharing this meal prep for
four that I designed.
I don’t have kids, but I do have a few people
in my household, and I’m still going to
keep this “kid AND adult friendly.”
For breakfast I’m prepping overnight oats
for the week.
Now the best way I’ve found to make overnight
oats in advance is to store them dry on their
own without any liquid.
If I were just prepping for one person, I’d
prep individual jars, but since I’ve got
20 BREAKFASTS for the week, four people and
five week days, it isn’t really feasible
for me to store them all individually.
Instead, I’m storing in bulk.
In a large container, I’m mixing oats, sliced
almonds, raisins, coconut sugar, chia seeds,
cinnamon, and salt.
I’m giving that a mix, it’s easiest to
just shake the whole thing, and it’s ready
to go in a large storage container to keep
for the week.
NO messy dishes!
You can of course adjust the add-ins to your
family’s preferences.
For instance, you could have a “kids”
and “adults” container if you prefer different
ingredients.
The tough work is now done!
The night before, all I have to do is scoop
out some of the oats from the large bulk bin
into a small jar, add milk, stir, and refrigerate!
It’s MUCH easier to scoop the pre-made mix
than to measure everything out each night.
In the morning, it’s ready to go!
You can add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
For lunch, I’m sharing a really nifty hack—freezer
sandwiches!
Sandwiches are also great because you can
adjust for everyone’s preferences, AND you
can switch them up throughout the week so
you don’t get bored with the same combos
every day.
Some fillings freeze well, and some don’t.
I’m going to give you three combos to get
started with and share some tips to help,
but I do encourage you to get creative and
make YOUR favorite sandwiches.
First up, an ABJ!
I’ve got some good old whole wheat bread
set out assembly-line style, but I know one
person in my family prefers sandwich thins,
so no problem!
Have fun with different types of breads, Ezekiel
works great, and even pita and tortillas can
work just fine to switch up the style and
flavor!
I’m going to spread almond butter on one
side in a nice THICK layer.
On the other side, I’m adding a really THIN
layer of nut butter—this is going to act
like a “raincoat” of sorts, to keep the
jelly from seeping through the bread when
we freeze and thaw the sandwich.
Then we can dollop on our jelly, spread, and
assemble.
Add to a labeled zip top freezer bag, make
sure to get all the air out so there aren’t
any gaps, or else you allow room for freezer
burn.
To store, place them all in a larger freezer
safe bag OR just back into the sandwich bag
liner.
Clever, eh?!
Then you can freeze for up to three months!
Simply thaw out the sandwich the night before
in the fridge, or you could even go straight
from the freezer to the lunchbox the morning-of!
Next up: Turkey & Cheese!
I am using different varieties for different
people! Meat and cheese freeze well, but low-fat
cheese doesn’t tend to hold up as well,
so go for full-fat varieties if you’re going
to freeze.
The key here is to place your condiments on
the INSIDE of your filling ingredients.
I’m spreading hummus on my cheese, and mustard
on my turkey.
I can then sandwich those together in the
middle, so the condiments aren’t touching
the bread.
Again, this will help keep it from getting
soggy!
Package up as you did before.
Now, I personally like some veggies on my
turkey and cheese sandwich, but since they
don’t freeze well, I can simply add a little
sandwich “kit” to my lunchbox, that I
can then add the day of!
It’s got some sliced tomato and cucumber
to give my sandwich a little more flavor,
nutrition, and volume.
The last one I’m going to show is a tuna
salad sandwich.
First, we need to prep the tuna salad.
We’ve got canned tuna, dried onions, relish—and
now traditionally, you see mayo in tuna salad,
but oil doesn’t freeze so well.
I use Greek yogurt in tuna salad all the time
for a nutritional boost, but that doesn’t
freeze well either.
HUMMUS, however, is a great creamy substitute
that WILL freeze.
I’m also adding in some cracked black pepper.
Depending on the salt levels of your other
ingredients, you may also want to add salt.
Adjust to your preferences.
To keep the bread from getting soggy this
time, I’m using thinly sliced cheese on
either side of the bread, and then sandwiching
the tuna salad in the middle.
Freeze it up!
Now another cool thing about freezer sandwiches
is you can also HEAT these if you want.
I know kids may not have access to a microwave,
but if you are eating these at home or at
an office where you have a toaster oven or
stove, you can totally turn these sandwiches
into grilled variations by adding a little
butter and frying it, OR simply use a panini
press!
I can easily turn the tuna salad into a tuna
melt!
Trust me, you’ll be very IM-PRESSED with
the results.
It’s pretty neat, and it’s a fun way to
keep switching up meals throughout the week.
If you’re enjoying these tips, tricks, and
ideas, be sure to subscribe and hit the bell
so you don’t miss any content each week!
For lunch, I’m also prepping some snacks.
Hummus with veggie dippers.
I chose bell peppers, celery, carrots, and
snap peas, but you can use your family favorites.
Again, rather than storing in individual jars
or packets, since 20 jars of veggies would
be a little obnoxious, I am using one of these
veggie-saver containers, which I will link
below, to keep the veggies fresh.
The night before or morning-of, I can simply
portion them out, and I’m using one of my
favorite nifty tricks—hummus in the bottom
of a jar for dipping with veggies on top.
I’m also pre-portioning some nuts, since
these are easy to store in the pantry, and
if I pre-portion, I am much less likely to
over-do it later.
I did a few different combos to suit my family’s
preferences.
I also have some mixed berries that are ready
to pack day-of.
Not all of the family members like berries,
so I’ve also got clementines and bananas.
That lunch was so easy to throw together,
and everyone gets what they want!
For some additional afternoon snacks, I’m
boiling up a ton of eggs.
Now, in my last meal prep episode, I showed
my fool-proof method, so be sure to check
it out if you need help, but you can use any
boiling egg method you prefer.
And then I am also prepping some air-popped
popcorn!
I LOVE air popping my popcorn because NO oil
is needed, so it keeps this whole-grain snack
healthy!
I can also season these to my family’s taste
preferences.
I’ve done a few different flavor combinations.
First, I add a spritz of cooking spray to
help the seasonings stick, and then add salt
with parsley flakes to one, nutritional yeast
and salt for a cheesy flavor to another, chili
lime seasoning (which I got from Trader Joe’s
and LOVE), and salt and cinnamon for a sweeter
taste.
Spices make it really easy to keep things
interesting WITHOUT added fat or expenses.
Popcorn will last a week or two once popped,
but remember that air popped popcorn doesn’t
tend to be AS crispy as oil-popped.
I’ve also got bagged apples for anyone who
wants them throughout the week as an extra
snack.
On to dinner!
Rather than prepping dinner in advance for
the ENTIRE week at once, I’m making it easy
on myself with some slow cooker and one-pan
meals.
First, I prep some basic rice with a bit of
fresh cilantro for flavor, and quinoa with
fresh parsley.
I can store them for the week and serve along
with my meals.
The slow-cooker meals are a minimum of 8 servings
each, so they’ll last me two days each for
my family, AND they’re freezer friendly,
so they can be stored for a few months, too!
First up: slow cooker chili.
To a freezer safe bag, I add chicken, which
is completely optional and not necessary if
you prefer a vegetarian or vegan dish, onion,
black beans, white beans, red kidney beans,
diced tomatoes, canned green chiles, minced
garlic, paprika, chili powder, cumin, oregano,
and salt n’ pep.
Seal it up and freeze!
Or, if you’re going to use it the next day,
you can refrigerate.
Thaw it out in the fridge the night BEFORE
you are ready to use it, and then all you
have to do is add it into the slow cooker,
along with frozen corn, and frozen bell peppers
to make my chopping life easier!
Let it go all day while you’re at work,
or throw it in when you’re back from work
for a few hours before dinner.
Serve over your parsley quinoa, and I added
a dollop of Greek yogurt as sour cream, and
save the rest for leftovers for the next night
or later in the week!
The second slow cooker freezer meal is black
bean fajitas—a meal perfect for meatless
Mondays, and it’s actually vegan, too!
To my freezer safe bag, I add sliced bell
peppers (I chose to slice these because that’s
how I like them in fajitas, but you could
use the pre-cut frozen peppers again to make life
easier), diced tomatoes, canned black beans,
sliced onion, chili powder, cumin, paprika,
red pepper flakes for a kick (or omit if your
kids aren’t into heat) and salt n’ pep.
You could of course also add chicken or beef
if you prefer, to have the extra protein.
Same as before, freeze and thaw out the night
before using.
Cook in the slow cooker all day or just for
a few hours, and serve with tortillas, toppings,
and your cilantro rice for a fun fajita dinner!
You could also just serve this as a salad
over greens, or as a rice bowl—there are
A LOT of options to keep it versatile for
your family.
Thumbs up if you want MORE freezer slow cooker
meals!
Okay, the last dinner is a one-pan sheet dinner.
For this meal, you could make the sheet pan
dinner and then store it for the week.
OR you could prep the items you need and store
them, and then quickly bake it up before dinner.
It’s up to you.
I used store-bought pre-cut butternut squash
and Brussels sprouts to make my life easier.
Either way, you’re going to line a baking
sheet with parchment and add butternut squash,
Brussels sprouts (or whatever vegetables your
family prefers) and chicken breast.
I used two sheet pans, because one wouldn’t
fit four servings worth, but I can still throw
it all in the oven together.
I add olive oil to the vegetables and season
with salt and pepper.
I also added some chili powder to the squash,
and then tossed to coat.
For the chicken, I simply brushed with a low-sugar
barbeque sauce.
Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken
is cooked through to 165 degrees Fahrenheit
and the veggies are roasted!
This is an easy way to get FOUR meals in one
oven at one time!
And that is my family meal prep for the week!
Remember, your possibilities are really endless!
Yes, meal prepping requires planning, ESPECIALLY
when it’s for a family, but if you take
a few minutes to plan, you’ll save HOURS
throughout the week and set yourself up for
success, and it is POSSIBLE to be accommodating
to different family preferences with a little
bit of effort, just by prepping the basics.
I also have a meal prep eBook that is designed
to help with EFFICIENT and EFFECTIVE meal
planning.
If you use the code “FAMILY” at checkout,
you can get 10% off any eBook or package this
week only!
Also, on Monday I shared three other sheet
pan dinners—if you want to see more of those,
you can check it out!
If you found this video helpful, please share
it!
Thanks for liking, commenting and subscribing!
I will see you next week for a brand new episode,
and remember,
it’s all a matter of Mind Over Munch!