Meal prepping with little ones at home

Meal prepping with little ones at home

Aug 17, 2022Jennifer Blaser RD, LD

With back-to-busy season right around the corner, meal prepping is essential to keeping a balanced plate. When we stop being intentional with our meals and snacks, one of the first things to go to the wayside is our fruit and vegetable intake. But meal prepping may seem tough on its own without throwing in the chaos of tiny hands. So how do we make meal prepping doable?

As a working mom with three young kiddos, I want to make sure that the meals I provide meet their nutritional needs, my time-constraints, and their palates. Meal prepping is essential! I like to start by planning out 4-5 meals that our family can enjoy together throughout the week. This allows for a couple nights of flexibility and definitely a night of leftovers!

Some of my favorite time-savers are microwavable sides. Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are picked at the peak of ripeness and have already been washed and cut up for you! Utilize them to get those fruits and veggies on the plate in minutes. There is also a great selection of microwavable grain options ranging from brown rice to quinoa; they are ready in under 2 minutes, and easy to pair with canned or frozen veggies and a protein.

Mealtime doesn’t have to be fancy; for example, it is totally acceptable to serve breakfast for dinner. With help from products like Kodiak Cakes waffle mix you can get in those whole grains and some added protein and the kids won’t even notice! Another great breakfast-for-dinner option is pairing eggs with vegetables. Pairing eggs with vegetables can even help increase the absorption of carotenoids and vitamins like vitamin E. Try this delicious kid-friendly Vegetable Egg Roll-up recipe.

Once you have planned out your meals and completed your shopping, take an hour to get things ready for the next few days. Get the kids in the kitchen to help with age-appropriate tasks like washing produce, cutting with a butter knife, measuring marinades and more. However, avoid washing all of your produce the day of your shopping trip because some produce is best eaten right after washing and chopping.

For more help with meal prepping and planning, join us for a virtual freezer meal prep workshop. In one hour we will prepare 5 family-friendly meals perfect for your freezer, including recipes, a shopping list, and tips and tricks to make meal prepping a success!


*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

About the Registered Dietitian  

Jennifer Blaser, RD, LD, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Iowa State University in 2010, where she also completed her dietetic internship. She also received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science from Iowa State University. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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