The Importance of Meal Planning and Preparation

an image of a nutritionist's hand writing in a notebook, surrounded by jars of oats, a salad, eggs and red peppers

Submitted by Hannah Kim and reviewed by Dani Renouf, RD, MSc 

Meal planning and preparation is the concept of preparing whole meals or snacks ahead of schedule. Thinking ahead of time and planning your meals in advance gives you control over what you are eating. The great thing about meal preparation is that there is no one correct method to do this. There are many different variations of meal preparation based on your food preferences, schedule, and cooking ability which will ultimately depend on your daily routine. Planning your meals ahead of time can help reduce stress as you avoid last minute decisions on what to eat. It can also help contribute to an overall more nutritionally balanced diet by having pre-portioned meals ready-to-eat. 

Here are some tips for a successful meal preparation: 

  1. Make a grocery list: Before you head to the store, make a grocery list. This will help you get everything you need, save money, and time at the grocery store. 
  1. Delivery apps: Use a grocery delivery service or order online to help save some time from making a trip to the grocery store.  
  1. Batch cooking: Busy schedules can interrupt consistent eating patterns. Make large batches of a specific recipe and freeze or store it in individual servings so you can pop it in the microwave for a quick lunch or dinner.  
  1. Individually portioned meals: Prepare fresh meals and portion them into individual grab-and-go portions to be refrigerated and eaten over the next few days.  
  1. Try having a weekly theme: Make meals from different cultures and maybe even cook for your family or friends! 

Consistency, planning and preparation are three key tools to help set you up for success. Remember, it will take some time to prepare meals, however the more you can practice, the easier it becomes! If you have any questions or concerns, reach out your Registered Dietitian. 

Try preparing this easy Spinach Ricotta Frittata for breakfast tomorrow: 

Spinach Ricotta Frittata