Meal Prepping for Success

The life of an MSA student is a busy one. It can be difficult to find time to eat healthy meals when working on your practicum, studying for exams, networking with alumni, and trying to maintain some sort of social life.

Meal prepping can help to improve time management in your life, as well as, ensure a balanced diet throughout the program.

What is meal prepping? 

Meal prepping consists of preparing a few meals in advance that can be eaten over time. You can meal prep any meal of the day, as far out in advance as your meals’ expiration date. You might compare meal prepping to eating microwaveable meals for one, except healthier and often more delicious.

Why is meal prepping important?

  • Improves time management
  • Ensures nutritious meals
  • Removes the stress of needing to figure out meals in the moment
  • Saves money by eating out less

How can I get started?

A good way to get started with meal prepping is to buy suitable food storage containers. The best containers are microwave, refrigerator, and freezer safe. I would recommend obtaining about 5-8 containers, depending on how many meals you want to make and how far in advance you want to make your meals.

pasta divided into four containers

What can I meal prep?

Pastas are one of my favorite meals to make in advance, because of the opportunities for variation. Other popular options include overnight oats, stir-fry meat/protein with vegetables and a side of rice, DIY Lunchables, salads with the dressing kept separate, and many more. The possibilities are endless. As long as you can make it and store it, you can meal prep it!

How do I store it?

Once you make your large portion of your meal of choice, all you have to do is store it in your food-safe containers. You can refrigerate or freeze these containers until you are ready to reheat and eat them. There are food options for every meal of the day; you could even go as far as to prep every meal you eat. Experiment with however many meals work best for your lifestyle.

One additional hack I use when meal prepping is to buy family size premade meals, such as Stouffers lasagna. Cook the premade meal of your choice the same as you would if you were going to eat the whole thing, and then divide it up for individual meals. 

Next time life gets too busy, consider meal prepping! Your body needs to be taken care of and nourished. That does not go away just because classes pick up.

Columnist: Kay Bean