You've had a long day. Your family is home from their activities, and you are tired. But wait! You still have to work on dinner, right? One of the most annoying feelings as a parent can be having to prepare a family meal after a long day. Sometimes you just wish you could create a full meal by the snap of your fingers. Keep reading. 


Meal prep has been around for years and years, but more recently, it has been talked about a lot on social media.  The benefits of meal prepping are abundant, however one of the main benefits are that it is a major time saver. As a parent, you will do anything to save time. Meal prepping is all about that. 



Essentially, meal prepping is when you dedicate your Sunday to cooking a bunch of pre-made dinners for the week. That way when dinnertime comes around, you can just heat up whatever you prepared and then you're done. However, this means that you should free up a lot of time on your Sundays if you can! Besides, you are basically batch cooking your meals for the entire week. To ease some stress, maybe find a day of the week that you can dedicate to eating food from a restaurant or getting takeout, just to lighten the load on yourself. You can also get some help from your kids, teens, or your partner. These meals can also be made into smaller servings in order to be fed to younger children/babies. In terms of storage, these meals are best stored in Tupperware containers in the refrigerator. This is to ensure that they stay sealed away and fresh before you heat them up. 


Slow Cooker Chili

Take your family's favorite handed down chili recipe, and put it into the slow cooker. Because this is all going to be prepared by you (hopefully with the help others), it is entirely your choice what ingredients are added. Keep in mind that these ingredients should be able to still taste good once heated up. You should also make sure everyone in your family is willing to eat this, so make sure it's not too mild or too spicy!



A beloved family favorite, lasagna is easy to prepare and easy for the whole family to eat. Lasagna is a simple dish, something that even your pickiest of eaters will probably eat. Plus, this dish can be very simple or it can be elevated by adding extra ingredients based on your family's choosing. 


Rigatoni Bake

Baked rigatoni is good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, so this is one of the meals that can be saved for later in the week. Like the other meals listed, rigatoni bakes are easy to change around. They can either be pretty plain and simple, or they can be spiced up. The customization of these meals will make them more accessible for everyone in the family to eat. One way you can customize this meal is by changing up the cheese or you can also change the meat from ground beef to ground turkey!



Sliders are super quick and easy. All you have to do is prepare slider-sized pieces of hamburger meat and store them in the refrigerator. Then, when it is time to eat them, everyone can pick out their toppings and add the slider to their bread. This meal requires very little preparation and can mostly be prepared by everyone individually. They are also easy to eat for younger kids. You can always make larger sliders or normal sized burgers for the adults or teens. 


Pre-made Pizzas

These pre-made pizzas are very simple and require everyone to pitch in. Each person can have their own individual pizza or there can be 2 to split up everyones topping preferences. They can be prepared on Sunday, then when it is pizza night all you have to do is add the pizzas to the oven and then they are done! No complaining and no toppings are going to be picked off. 



Grab your grandma's beloved meatloaf recipe and start preparing! Make this classic dinnertime meal for your whole family. The thing about meatloaf is that it requires little skill as long as you follow only a few specific rules to the recipe. 


Roasted Vegetables

This recipe can definitely go with other meals that are prepared, do to its more appetizer or side taste. Regardless of what meal this goes with, I recommend you have it towards the beginning of the week like Monday or Tuesday. This is because the vegetable can get soggy quicker. However, when they are heated up, they can be amazing. An extra sprinkle of salt and pepper after they are heated up can really bring the taste alive. Plus, because they are roasted, they are softer to eat, perfect for a small child!



On a more fancier night, or maybe a special occasion, why not have salmon? Seafood is not for everyone, which is fine, so maybe be conscious of everyone's appetite in your house. I would say that if the majority of the people at home won't eat it, then save the salmon for a special night at a fancy restaurant with your partner. However, if no one is opposed to the salmon, then go ahead and prepare it! You can also wait to add the lemon on it for the day it is being heated up, or before you put it into the refrigerator, so the lemon flavor can soak into the salmon. 



Casseroles have been loved by households for years when it comes to dinnertime meals. One of the great things about them is that they can come in so many different varieties. You can really customize them in any way that is in the appetite range of your family. They can be made with rice, vegetables, seafood, beef, chicken, pork, or more. The list goes on. When it is time to eat, all you have to do is put it in the oven and then you're done!


February 10, 2023 — Emma Swain

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