3 Solutions to Meal Planning Challenges

A registered dietitian offers tips to make the process easier.

Preparing meals for the week ahead frees your time and saves you money.

“When you meal prep, you’re less likely to stop for expensive takeout,” says Heather Krieger, MS, RD, CD, Clinical Dietitian at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “Batch cooking is also a great way to plan healthier meals and be mindful of portion control.”

3 Common Challenges and Easy Fixes

A few obstacles can make meal prepping frustrating for some. Krieger gives tips to resolve common challenges and help set you up for success.

  • Challenge 1: The overcomplicated menu. Deciding to meal prep multiple side options and complex recipes may be too ambitious. Try making it simpler. Choose recipes with fewer ingredients and stick to three main food groups for meals, such as a protein, nutrient-rich vegetable, and whole-grain side dish.
  • Challenge 2: Meals gets boring. Commit to trying a new cuisine or food every week. You can have Italian night or a “breakfast for dinner” meal.
  • Challenge 3: All the prepared food goes bad. To avoid this, try meal prepping twice a week instead of once. You can make a few options on the weekend, and then midway through the week make a meal in the slow cooker.

You may also be interested in “Little Changes Improve Diet and Exercise.”