From work and school to holidays and other activities, busy schedules can turn meal prep into a daunting task. But if you plan ahead of time, you can easily (and quickly) whip up healthy meals for your family without the stress. Here are some tips for preparing home meals in minutes.

Breakfast

Don’t skip breakfast—instead, make it routine. Studies show that children and adults benefit at school and work when the day is started with breakfast. To make sure you have the concentration and energy needed each morning, keep some breakfast staples on hand. These items become the building blocks for some quick and healthy combinations:

  • Cereal, milk and fruit
  • Toast, nut butter and juice
  • Frozen whole grain waffles, milk and fruit
  • Yogurt, granola and berries
  • Whole grain cereal bar, string cheese and banana

Lunch

Use the 1-2-3 method to save you time while packing a lunch and to help choose the right food components.

  1. Choose one whole grain item (bread, wraps, crackers, pasta, etc.)
  2. Choose one protein and/or dairy items (meat, poultry, tuna, cheese, milk, yogurt, nuts, nut butter, beans, etc.)
  3. Choose a fruit and/or vegetable (apple, banana, orange, fruit pack in juice, berries, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, peaches, plums, etc.)

Dinner

Spending just a small amount of time planning dinners each week will end up saving you more time and money in the long run. For inspiration, visit the weekly dinner menus created by our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and follow these easy dinner prep tips:

  • When you’re short on time, opt for assembly meals that don’t require recipes. Here are a few ideas:
    • Frozen cheese pizza with veggie toppings, tossed green salad, frozen fruit popsicles
    • Baked potatoes topped with bean chili and shredded cheese, spinach salad
    • Rotisserie chicken, oven sweet potato fries, broccoli florets, milk
    • Cheese ravioli topped with spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese, green beans
  • Prep meal like a pro. Having the right cookware and small appliances can be a tremendous advantage. Here are some of our favorites:
    • Electric Skillet – From stir fry to pancakes, an electric skillet offers many options for meal creation.
    • Slow Cooker – If you’re a busy mom, the slow cooker can be your best friend. Throw everything into the cooker in the morning and come home to a house filled with a home-cooked aroma. These deliciously simple slow cooker meals are made with our True Goodness™ by Meijer™ products, such as the Slow Cooker Beef Chili and Rosemary Lemon Slow Cooker Chicken.
    • George Foreman® nonstick electric grill – Indoor electric grills allows you to grill anything and everything—burgers, chicken, seafood, sandwiches—evenly and quickly from the convenience of your kitchen countertop.