College students are stressed and busy — mix that with being hangry and broke, and you have yourself a recipe for disaster. There’s a solution to staying healthy and in control of your finances when it comes to food. If you’re too busy to stop and cook a meal, you may want to look into meal prepping.
Eating out and hitting the local McDonalds is a great time — It’s convenient, easy, and fast. But those dollars add up, and fast-food might end up leaving you tired, lazy, and just not feeling your best.
According to a study by Supermarket News, 55 percent of shoppers polled that they were also eating at home more frequently because of the pandemic.
So maybe you have finished scrolling through pictures of mason jars filled with salad on Pinterest and you’re wondering where to start.
The first step is to plan out what to eat for the week. Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, keto, etc., figure out what recipes would work best for you and write them out on a list, planning what meal you’ll have on what week day. Apps like MealPrepPro and Prepear can also help you get meal plans, recipes, and shopping lists organized.
Next, you’ll want to designate a day to prepare the food for the week. You’ll want to choose a day where your activity load is light. If leftovers isn’t really your thing, designate two days to meal prepping. For example, cook half of your meals for the week on Sunday, and the other half on Wednesday.
Then you’ll want to find some good containers to preserve your meals in. A recommendation is the Ez Prepa Meal Prep Containers on Amazon. A 20-pack sells for $19.99 and they are built for portioning out meals, microwaving straight out of the fridge, and are dish-washer safe. Mason jars are also a great form of storage, as well as many other brands of containers that can be found just about anywhere depending on what you’re looking for.
The internet has a plethora of meal-prep recipe ideas that can be altered and modified depending on your dietary needs and preferences.
UNF Nutrition Services is a service where UNF’s Wellness Dietitians “offer a holistic approach to nutrition education and personalized nutrition counseling. You can set up an appointment with them where they will provide you with tools to confidently make your own smart food choices, practice flexibility, and make smart goals.”
Like their page on Facebook where they post not just recipe ideas, and tips, but meal prep recipes too.
Don’t let meal prepping intimidate you, and if worst comes to worst, there’s always a McDonalds not more than five miles away.
For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]