When you open your freezer what do you see?
Is it all half eaten containers of chocolate chip cookie dough and Neapolitan? Is it a frozen bags of peas, some fish fingers and a few half-hearted attempts at organisation with some iced-over Tupperwear containers of spag bol?
Or is it this:
No croup attacks last night (yay!!), so it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming. ???? Hubby is putting up drywall and I just finished these bags of food prep. I was supposed to go to a freezer meal making party Saturday, but didn’t get to since we were all sick. Now I’m playing catch-up and I am super excited about getting these meals in my freezer! #freezermeals #freezercooking #keepingitreal #keepitsimple
Now there are a lot of things I try not to be envious of. Other people’s cars, lifestyles, their ability to leave their kids’ leftover Easter Eggs untouched in the fridge for weeks on end. These things I can deal with.
Different strokes for different folks. But one thing that is making me gag with envy these days is the incredible skills of the food prep parents:
Half my meal prep done for the week. Feels so good! #mealplan #mealprep #mealtime #mealplans #mealpreplife #mealprepping #mealpreptime #mealpreplife #eatclean #instafit #nutrition #vegetables #goodfood #fitness #health #healthyeating #instapic #instafood #instadaily A photo posted by Meal Prep Mumma (@mealprepmumma) on Oct 19, 2015 at 4:50am PDT
Have you seen the hashtags? #mealprep #foodprep? There are hundreds of thousands of Instagram posts devoted to it. There are Facebook groups and Pinterest pages. There is a cult of people right around the world who spend their Sunday afternoons baking, stirring, blending and mushing up a storm of meals to be ready for the week ahead.
SERIOUS #SundayMealPrep going on today for the little mister! We’ve got the following: • peas • spinach • beets • red bell pepper • butternut squash • peaches • pears • mango • avocado • carrots • chicken breast • coho salmon • almond butter Mixes and combinations will be posted in the future! ????For me, it’s much nicer to get everything diced, peeled, chopped, etc. before I begin cooking. That way you can visualize what you have to work with and decide on how you’ll prepare each food. A photo posted by Meal Prep For Kids ???????????????????????? (@mealprepforkids) on Mar 13, 2016 at 8:18am PDT
I am in awe. Just a glimpse into their world makes me motivated to rise above the packet sauces and pre-chopped bags of veggies. But others are critical.. a recent post by a mother to a Facebook group showing her hard-cooked efforts saw her labelled “smug” by one media outlet.
But I don’t think she is smug.
I think she is amazing.
I have what can only be termed a “Mum Crush” on her.
In my mind she effortlessly glides in from work/ kids soccer/ kids ballet/ the gym to a neat, organised, quiet as a pin house and in her gleaming shiny kitchen she quickly whips out one of these freezer meals to nourish her hungry brood. No doubt her kids eat the lot, not a drip ends up on the floor and the kids even stack the dishwasher.
Her freezer is clean with not an icy crust or a half eaten tub of ice-cream in sight.
Even if her life isn’t quite as glossy as that she’s my spirit animal.
But really “food prep” really isn’t anything new. If you think back to when we were kids lots of parents – usually mums – did it all the time. To them it was more of a way of storing veggies and preparing meals, the thought being that if the vegetables were pre-chopped in the fridge ready to go they would be eaten more and there would be less waste.
It made sense.
Mon shows us how to make delicious scones with three ingredients. Post continues after video.
But these days our busy lifestyles are seeing many families take it to the next level.
From freezing sandwiches to lunchtime snacks the limits are only really dictated by the size of your freezer.Rosemary Marchese, author of
Rosemary Marchese, author of The Fit Busy Mum and mother-of-three provided The Motherish with her tips for getting those meals prepped like a pro.
She says to:
- Sit down once per week and plan your meals – every one of them. They don’t have to be complicated.
- Write a list and then do a big online shop to save time.
- Top up on fresh fruit and vegetables if needed once only during the week.
- Once per week spend 1-2 hours in the kitchen, e.g. Saturday afternoon, to get a little organised for the week. Rosemary says “notice I only spend about 1-2 hours. You may choose to spend more time and do more preparation but personally I get over it after about an hour or two. If I have a busy weekend and less time to prepare then the week ahead consists of even simpler meals. I spend this hour or two making a meal or two in advance, such as a lasagna or Bolognese sauce that I can freeze. I may also chop some veges.”
- Have an ‘oven meal’ ready for Monday night. She says ” it’s great to start off the working and school week really organised and with a meal that can go straight into the oven, but which I have prepared in advance (and frozen it or made the day before) such as a Shepherd’s Pie.”
- Make a double batch of food once or twice per week. Rosemary says “When I make a Sunday breakfast frittata I will often make an extra one and freeze it in a slice tray.”
- Keep easy to grab snacks ready to go.
For more tips from Rosemary visit her blog: The Fit Busy Mum.
In the meantime, I am going to make my best effort this weekend to get organised.
Looks like I’ll have to clear out all those half eaten containers of chocolate chip cookie dough from the freezer in preparation.
What’s your favourite meal to prepare and freeze?
This article originally appeared over on The Motherish.