Posted on Leave a comment

Summer Seafood Meal Prep

salmon and watermelon salad

This is a great time to try out some summer seafood meal prep. From flavors and different fishes to cooking methods, summer style seafood can be a refreshing change of pace. Seafood is rich in nutrients, low in calories, and high in protein and tastes delicious when grilled, baked, and pan cooked.

Summer Seafood Flavors

salmon and watermelon salad

While seafood is delicious anytime of year, there are just certain flavors that scream summer. Many summer seafood meal prep recipes call for fruits. Mangos, watermelon, and oranges are popular options. Alongside the fruit, include vegetables to mellow out the sweetness and marry the flavors with the fish. Asparagus, beets, and corn are all great options. 

The cooking method can be important. If you don’t have a grill that’s fine, many recipes work whether they’re on a grill or not. Bake them in the oven for a more convenient option. See our recommended recipes down below for fantastic flavor combinations that will freshen up your meal prep or surprise guests at dinner.

Types of Seafood Meal Prep

1. Fish Filets

It can be hard to tell when it’s done until you get used to it but once you find the right length of time at a given temperature it becomes more consistent.

  • Preparation: Choose firm fish like salmon, swordfish, halibut, or tuna. Marinate or season as desired.
  • Grilling: Place the filets skin-side down on the grill. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and is opaque all the way through. 

2. Whole Fish

This is a great option for affordability but it does require more work later when you need to debone as you eat.

  • Preparation: Stuff the cavity of the fish with herbs, lemon slices, and garlic. Season the outside with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Grilling: Grill the whole fish over medium-high heat, 5-7 minutes per side, depending on size. The fish is done when the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. 

3. Shrimp

Shrimp is always a popular choice. They’re easy to cook and depending on your grocery store options, can be an affordable and nutritious protein. Have fun with your seasonings and sauces as shrimp are a very versatile seafood.

  • Preparation: Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on if desired. Marinate or season with spices, lemon juice, and olive oil.
  • Grilling: Thread the shrimp on skewers or use a grill basket. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side until pink and opaque. You’ll know they’re overcooked if they’re rubbery. There isn’t much you can do to fix that except cover it up. Chop them up and make a quesadilla. 

Tips for Grilling Seafood

  1. Preheat the Grill: Ensure your grill is preheated to medium-high heat (350-400°F or 175-200°C) before placing the seafood on it. This helps to prevent sticking and ensures even cooking.
  2. Clean and Oil the Grill Grates: Clean grates prevent sticking and ensure nice grill marks. Use a grill brush to clean the grates, then lightly oil them using a high smoke point oil like canola or grapeseed oil.
  3. Prepare the Seafood: Pat the seafood dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This helps achieve a good sear. Season or marinate the seafood as desired.
  4. Use Grill Baskets or Foil: For delicate seafood or smaller pieces, use a grill basket or aluminum foil to prevent them from falling through the grates. This is a good place to start if you’re new to grilling fish. It avoids headaches.
  5. Cook Time and Temperature: Seafood cooks quickly, so keep a close eye on it. Generally, fish should be grilled for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Shellfish like shrimp and scallops typically take 2-3 minutes per side.

Make sure to cook shellfish thoroughly however seafood like salmon and tuna have more leeway in acceptable doneness. You’ll know when you nail the right cook on the fish as it will be buttery to taste and texture.  Enjoy seafood cooking and trust that you’ll get better over time. Seafood is famous for having a short window of being perfectly done. 

View All Seafood Meal Prep Recipes

salmon and watermelon salad

Grilled Balsamic Salmon with Watermelon Salad

If you’re looking for a way to figure out what to do with so much watermelon, try this refreshing watermelon and mozzarella salad served with grilled salmon. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Watermelon is such a refreshing fruit that provides so many nutrients. We replaced tomatoes with…

Continue Reading
shrimp and corn

Sheet Pan Shrimp and Cauliflower with Corn

Easy Sheet Pan Shrimp with a corn and cauliflower bake that is ready in less than 20 minutes! This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. This sheet pan lunch is a lighter version of a shrimp boil that makes it an easy weekday meal prep. Here’s What We Love…

Continue Reading
salmon beet salad

Citrus Ginger Salmon Salad with Roasted Beets

This Citrus Ginger Salmon and Beet Salad is so refreshing, tangy, and full of healthy ingredients that will help you power through your day. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. It’s always nice to have a nice, crisp salad during the warmer weather, but having one that is…

Continue Reading
cocktail shrimp

Cocktail Shrimp Ceviche Salad

Cocktail Shrimp Ceviche Salad knifecutting boardmixing bowl 12 oz pre-cooked frozen shrimp ((defrosted))1/4 cup red onion ((diced))1 each roma tomato ((diced))1/4 cup cilantro ((chopped))1 each lime ((sliced))4 cups spring mix1/4 tsp garlic powder1/4 tsp salt1/4 tsp pepper Defrost frozen shrimp according to the packaged instructionsPlace the shrimp in a mixing bowlStir in the following ingredients:…

Continue Reading
pan-seared-tilapia-with-zucchini-and-bell-peppers
Posted on Leave a comment

How to Get Started with Grilling Meal Prep

Introducing grilling into your meal prep can be a fantastic way to add variety and stay healthy. It’s that time of year to do some grilling before it gets insanely hot outside. Grilling meal prep is fun and for a lot of people, not the first thing you think about when meal prepping. Whether you’re on charcoal or propane, enjoy a little sun and get some smokey flavor.

Why Grill Meal Prep

Grilled foods can be very healthy while being delicious. Grilling requires little to no added fats to cook in. Usually the fat drains away while you grill, reducing the overall fat. Grilling can also preserve nutrients with the quick cook time like vitamins B & C. Lastly, the taste of the grill is often what people are looking for so you can save calories by leaving out additional flavorings you may need for an oven cook.

Before you get started grilling your meal prep, consider a few things. How many meals are you planning to prepare? You’ll want to get all of your setup ready to go before you start grilling. Think through the combinations of protein and veggies and how much you’ll eat per meal. Balance your meals for a healthy mix of protein, veggies, and whole grains by selecting recipes that include grilling or grilling could be used as a substitute cooking method. Pick recipes that use a variety of veggies or proteins but lend themselves to grilling. More on that below.

Grilling Meal Prep Equipment

  • Grill (gas, charcoal, or electric)
  • Grill tools (tongs, spatula, basting brush, grill brush for cleaning)
  • Meat thermometer

Grill Foods

Now you’ve got the equipment to grill, you’ll need some food to grill. Knowing what works on the grill can make or break your meal. Some foods work well and others not so well or require a different approach. Using foil as a base for smaller veggies will save you a ton of headaches. Although you can grill many different foods, you’ll want to stick to the usual proteins and veggies before you start experimenting. It’s a terrible feeling to waste all of that time and money only to lose your food to the grill.

Proteins:

  • Chicken breasts, thighs, wings and legs
  • Turkey or beef burgers
  • Steaks of any cut
  • Fish especially salmon or tuna
  • Pork chops
  • Sausages

Vegetables:

  • Bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms brushed with olive oil and spices
  • Asparagus spears with garlic and lemon
  • Corn on the cob with a light butter and herb coating
  • Onions
  • Potatoes

Prepare to Grill

Pre-Cut Vegetables:

Chop vegetables into grill-friendly sizes. This means bigger than your usual cut to avoid them slipping through the rack. Unless you’re cooking them in foil. Another great grilling meal prep option is skewers. Skewering your meats and veggies not only prevents losing food through the rack but also combines the flavors. Alternate your veggies and protein and you’ll create wonderful combinations with onions, bell peppers, pineapple and more.

Marinate and Season:

  • Marinate proteins like chicken, beef, or tofu overnight for better flavor.
  • Season vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs.

Organize by Cooking Time:

  • Group ingredients by their cooking times to ensure even grilling (e.g., quick-cooking vegetables together, longer-cooking meats separately).
  • Consider your grill size and how much you can fit at one time. You don’t want to crowd the grill but you can definitely get efficient with it. 

Get Started Grilling

Preheat the Grill:

Clean and preheat your grill to the appropriate temperature. Cleaning the grill can avoid burnt flavors or “dirty” flavors. The appropriate temperature depends on what you’re cooking, the type of grill, and how you have arranged your foods on the grill. You can place certain foods slightly off from where the flames are the strongest for a slower char but a higher ambient temperature in the grill. You can find good estimates online for what you’re grilling but it really comes down to trial and error with your personal grill. Use the meat thermometer and walk up to the level of cook that you’re looking for.

Cook Proteins First:

Grill meats, fish, and plant-based proteins first. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked to the correct internal temperature (e.g., 165°F for chicken, 145°F for beef). Meat tends to take longer to grill so getting it on first allows for a more efficient flow later when it’s time for the veggies. This will also give the protein time to rest before you cut into it. This preserves the juices and flavor.

Grill Vegetables and Other Sides:

Grill vegetables until they have a nice char and are tender. Consider grilling fruits like pineapple for a sweet touch. Watch your fruits and veggies closely and make sure to rotate when needed. Grills can change in temperature rapidly and veggies can get burnt fast if you’re not paying attention.

Eating Grilled Meal Prep

Add fresh ingredients like herbs, avocado, or a squeeze of lemon juice just before eating to enhance flavor. Grilled meal prep can be a little dry if you’re new to grilling as much of the fat drips away. Adding fresh ingredients can reintroduce that moisture and provide a better exciting experience.

Tips for Success

  • Variety: Mix up your proteins and vegetables each week to keep grill meal prep interesting.
  • Efficiency: Use your grill space efficiently by grilling multiple items at once.
  • Safety: Always practice food safety by storing grilled foods in the fridge within two hours of cooking and consuming them within 3-4 days.

Prepared: Make sure you have clean surfaces to place the food after cooking. Bring napkins, hand sanitizer, and water with you.

Posted on Leave a comment

Why Meal Prep Chicken Thighs

crispy panko breaded chicken tender with salad, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions

Meal prep better tasting and more nutritious chicken! The secret is meal prep chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are a less common cut of chicken so it’s generally more affordable. With the price of groceries what it is, every little bit of savings helps. Chicken thighs can be up to a third of the price of chicken breasts. 

Meal Prep Chicken Thigh Flavor

rectangular wooden plate with small bite size chicken pieces, sliced red bell peppers, and honey mustard applesauce

Meal prep chicken thighs have more fat and juices, this means more flavor, unlike the leaner breast meat. The succulent meat is delicious and versatile. Whether marinated, grilled, roasted, or slow-cooked, chicken thighs absorb and complement a wide array of flavors, from bold spices and tangy marinades to savory herbs. Meal prep chicken thighs pair well with diverse cuisines, from hearty American BBQ to fragrant Asian stir-fries, making chicken thighs a beloved ingredient in kitchens around the world.

For the best flavor, marinate the chicken thighs for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible. Use marinades that include acidic components like lemon juice or vinegar, along with herbs, spices, and a bit of oil to enhance flavor and tenderness. This can make a world of difference when cooking and mixing flavors. The marinade can blend complex flavors.

How To Choose Good Chicken Thighs

Choosing the right chicken thighs to meal prep is important. For convenience and a quicker cook time opt for skinless, boneless chicken thighs. If you’re looking for more flavor and tenderness, bone-in and skin-on can provide more opportunity while cooking. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference and if you’re new to thighs, try different options.

How To Cook Chicken Thighs

Baking: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place marinated chicken thighs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).

Grilling: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill chicken thighs for 6-7 minutes on each side, ensuring they are cooked through.

Slow Cooking: Place chicken thighs in a slow cooker with desired seasonings and a bit of broth or sauce. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Stir-Frying: Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. Stir-fry in a hot pan with vegetables and sauce until fully cooked.

Meal Prep Chicken Thighs Reheats Well

Meal prepping chicken thighs is a great option since it stores and reheats well. Allow cooked chicken thighs to cool to room temperature before transferring them to meal prep containers. If you’re keeping the chicken for up to four days, store in the fridge. The freezer can store cooked chicken thighs for up to three months. To reheat, ensure the chicken thighs are thoroughly defrosted if frozen. Reheat in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel to maintain moisture, or in an oven preheated to 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes to achieve a crisp texture

square glass meal prep container with butter chicken and roasted cauliflower

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Our Instant Pot Butter Chicken is a succulent blend of boneless chicken thighs, aromatic spices, and creamy tomato goodness, all prepared effortlessly in your trusty Instant Pot. We’ve cracked the code to create a restaurant-quality dish that won’t break the bank, tailored for busy individuals craving a taste of luxury without compromising their health or…

Continue Reading
raspberry chicken soft tacos in rectangle plate

Raspberry Chipotle Chicken Soft Tacos

The delightful combination of sweet raspberries, tangy honey, soy sauce, chipotle powder, and garlic powder will make your taste buds sing. With its ease of preparation and versatility in serving, this chicken soft taco dish is an absolute winner for meal prep.

Continue Reading
rectangular wooden plate with small bite size chicken pieces, sliced red bell peppers, and honey mustard applesauce

Air Fryer Honey Sesame Chicken Bites

Hello foodie friends! I’m excited to share this delicious and healthy honey sesame, air fryer chicken recipe that’s not only convenient and cheap but also just as good as takeout! I also want to talk to you about the magic of sesame seeds and how they can add amazing flavor to your Asian-Inspired chicken dishes. In…

Continue Reading
italian chicken

Italian Chicken Recipe with Green Beans and Almonds

This Grilled Italian Marinated Chicken recipe is so easy to make and it results in a delicious and juicy chicken dish. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. We love marinating our meats to add flavor and also keep it juicy during the cooking process. Sometimes, we don’t have…

Continue Reading
orange chicken

Air Fryer Orange Soy Glazed Chicken with Broccoli

This sweet and tangy Air Fryer Chicken Thigh recipe is a healthier version of one of our favorite take-out meals. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. You can’t go wrong with ordering Orange Soy Chicken for take-out. Those bite-sized chicken pieces, dredged in fried, golden, and crispy batter…

Continue Reading
Posted on

Top 10 Best Water Bottles For Hydration

thermos water bottle for hydration

Staying hydrated is an important part of a healthy metabolism and a healthy life. Adequate hydration ensures that cells receive the necessary nutrients and oxygen, enhancing overall cellular function and energy levels. Furthermore, proper hydration aids in detoxifying the body by helping the kidneys flush out waste products more effectively. In fact we have already covered the many benefits of hydration in Sip Smartly: Stay Hydrated, Stay Alert.

No paid placements or affiliate links are on this page. This is our unbiased opinion. The bottles are in any order. Each one has their own benefits.

1. ThermoFlask 24oz ICON Water Bottle with Spout

One of the most iconic brands of water bottles with a long-standing history of performance. Boasting a 24 hours of cold retention.

Dishwasher safe!

Price: $25

Buy ThermoFlask 24oz ICON Water Bottle
bentgo salad meal prep container
  • Thermos™ vacuum insulation technology for max temperature retention
  • Wide mouth opening for easy cleaning and accommodating ice
  • Rapidrate™ high flow spout for an enhanced drinking experience
  • Dura-shield™ hygienic covered spout that includes a clear drink lid to help protect from added germs

2. Stojo 20oz Water Bottle

The famous brand of collapsible containers, Stojo creates all kinds of meal containers and water bottles. Having the convenience of collapsing the bottle and easily fitting it in any bag makes it perfect for lunches on the go or staying hydrated throughout the day. The silicone material feels great in the hand and lasts for years.

Dishwasher safe!

Price: $20

Buy Stojo 20oz Water Bottle
caperci salad meal prep container for lunch
  • Twist cap creates airtight, leak-proof seal
  • Comes apart for easy cleaning
  • LFGB Certified silicone bottle
  • BPA & BPS-free polypropylene cap
  • No phthalates, leads, or glues

3. Hydro Flask 24oz Mouth with Flex Cap

Hydro Flasks are some of the most popular water bottles due to their durability and performance. 24 hours of cold retention and 12 hours of hot. These bottles can take a beating and retain their seal and stay leak proof.

Price: $40

Buy Hydro Flask 24oz Water Bottle
sauce meal prep cups
  • TempShield®️ double-wall vacuum insulation keeps drinks cold up to 24 hours, hot up to 12
  • Flex Cap is leakproof when closed
  • Honeycomb™️ Insulated Cap for maximum temperature retention
  • Made with 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel for durability, pure taste and no flavor transfer
  • Color Last™ powder coat is durable, sweat-free and colorful
  • BPA-Free

4. Brumate Era 40oz

Whether it’s a bottle or a cup with a sealable lid, the Brumate is a great option for style and performance. The stainless steel straw is constructed into the cup and can be separated into pieces for easy cleaning. This facilitates the leak proof straw lid with easy turn locking to completely seal the container. Designed to fit in most cup holders.

24+ hours of cold retention

Price: $45

Buy Brumate Era 40oz
salad dressing meal prep containers
  • Triple-insulated stainless steel technology prevents condensation
  • Maximize ice-retention with at least 50% ice, the more ice the longer the cold is retained
  • 100% leak proof with the lid in the locked position. Locking the lid is not recommended for hot beverages

5. Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottle

Maximum carrying capacity and affordable prices have made the Nalgene brand a go-to water bottle option for years. This is a perfect water bottle for the office and the gym. The wide mouth, straight sides, and see through resin make it easy to clean, easy to fill, and compatible with filters and tons of water flavorings options. It’s easy to track your water levels or for measuring pre-workout and protein shakes.

Dishwasher safe!

Price: $17

Buy Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle
set of salad meal prep containers
  • BPA/BPS Free
  • Fits Filtration Devices (Fits most filtration units for clean water in a pinch)
  • Fits Ice Cubes – Put ice in your bottle with ease and enjoy your frosty beverage anywhere.
  • Leak-Proof Guarantee
  • Lightweight Engineered
  • Made In the USA
  • Recycled Material

6. CamelBak Rogue Light 70oz

While obviously not a water bottle but more of a water bag, the CamelBak made it on this list for ease of carrying and build quality. CamelBak is the original backpack water bag company. Invented to provide hydration on the trails, this nonconventional water bottle is great for working out.

Price: $64

Buy CamelBak Rogue
ziplock bags for salad meal prep containers
  • Lightweight and Durable Materials
  • Air Support Light Back Panel: Designed with body mapping technology for efficient ventilation and lightweight comfort
  • Ventilated Harness: Lightweight and breathable
  • Integrated Tool Organization
  • Secure Zippered Pocket: Perfect for keys, phone, or other essentials
  • Stretch Overflow Pocket: Quickly stash or shed an extra layer
  • Reflectivity: For low light safety
  • Adjustable Sternum Strap: Offers a range of adjustments for a custom fit and increased stability

7. RTIC Water Bottle

Famous for their coolers, RTIC

Dishwasher safe!

Price: $18

Buy RTIC Water Bottle
disposable paper bowls for salad meal prep containers
  • Double Wall Vacuum Insulation Maximum temperature retention & insulates hands from the cold
  • No Sweat Exterior The outside stays dry. No need for a coaster
  • 18/8 Stainless Steel Strong stainless steel construction
  • Keeps Ice Longer Holds ice for up to 24 hours
  • Keeps it Hot Works great for hot beverages
  • Air Tight Seal Heavy duty lid seal locks in the cold

8. S’well Bottle with Flip Straw Cap 17oz.

Description for this block. Use this space for describing your block. Any text will do. Description for this block. You can use this space for describing your block.

Price: $40

Buy Swell Water Bottle
swell water bottle with straw
  • Therma-S’well® Technology with triple-layered, vacuum-insulated construction designed to keep beverages colder or hotter, longer than all the rest.
  • High quality, 18/8 stainless steel cap and straw.
  • Offers a condensation-free exterior that won’t sweat in your hands or bag.
  • Leak-proof when closed.
  • BPA/BPS-free and reusable.
  • Hand wash only

9. LARQ Bottle PureVis

Description for this block. Use this space for describing your block. Any text will do. Description for this block. You can use this space for describing your block.

Price: $40

Buy LARQ Water Bottle
larq water bottle
  • BPA-free
  • Snap-close leak-free cap designed for swigs
  • Ice-friendly opening is perfect for ice
  • A built-in, soft-touch handle

10. Contigo Autoseal Chill

Description for this block. Use this space for describing your block. Any text will do. Description for this block. You can use this space for describing your block.

Price: $40

Buy Contigo Water Bottle from Target
auto seal water bottle
  • Our Lids Are Sealed – AUTOSEAL® technology is leak and spill proof (Yes there is a difference!)
  • For the Long Haul – Drinks stay cold up to 18 hours with Thermalock™ Vacuum Insulation
  • Carry On – Carry handle for easy transport
  • Cleaner Drinking – Spout cover to keep out gross dirt and germs
  • Lend a Hand – Easy one-handed drinking with the push of a button
  • Clean Up – Top rack dishwasher safe lid, hand wash body
  • All Contigo products are BPA free, have a limited lifetime guarantee and are designed by passionate inventors and innovators who have your mobility in mind.

Additional Recommendations

To check out more meal prep containers beyond water bottle options, please feel free to check out our other articles here.

Free Weekly Meal Plans

Try out our weekly meal plans with tasty recipes. We make your shopping list and show you how to prep your meals.

Posted on Leave a comment

Water Flavoring: Is It Healthy?

orange slices and kiwis in water for flavoring

Water flavoring packets have been popular for over a decade now and they’ve continued to be popular as well. Even if they aren’t as popular as perhaps they once were. Brands like Mio and Vital Protein are still selling very well. This is for a good reason, drinking water instead of soft drinks has become a major health push but water gets boring and these flavorings provide an alternative to soft drinks or sugary juices. Even fruit juice drinks are often packed with sugar and can be worse than sodas for you. So are water flavorings a good alternative or another unhealthy fad? Are there alternatives to the alternatives?

Water Flavoring Nutrition

First let’s dig into the nutrition of water flavorings. Brands can matter a lot here. Do your research and don’t just buy the most popular product. Avoid high sugar options and opt for no sugar added or at least less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.

In some cases water flavorings can even bring more nutrition. Many water flavorings are fortified with vitamins, such as Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.

Benefits of Water Flavorings

orange slices and kiwis in water for flavoring
  1. Increased Water Intake:
    • Besides avoiding sugar, water flavorings are a great way to encourage better hydration without turning to soft drinks. Although you have to pay extra for the flavorings, if it makes your tap water palatable, you can find yourself saving a lot on drinks. Hydration is crucial for overall health, affecting everything from skin condition to cognitive function.
  2. Nutrient Boost:
    • Many water flavorings are fortified with vitamins and minerals, providing an additional source of essential nutrients. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with specific dietary needs.
  3. Calorie Control:
    • Cutting out soft drinks and juices can make a major impact on your calorie consumption. Water flavorings offer a low-calorie treat that’s easy.
  4. Convenience:
    • Water flavorings are portable and easy to use, making them a convenient option for busy individuals who need a quick hydration boost.
  5. Cost
    • If you haven’t noticed, even buying soft drinks and sports drinks in bulk has gotten more expensive and is becoming a big portion of people’s grocery bill.

Negatives of Water Flavorings

  1. Artificial Ingredients:
    • Many water flavorings contain artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives, which can be a concern for those trying to avoid synthetic additives. While the FDA considers these ingredients safe in moderation, some people prefer to limit their intake due to potential health concerns.
  2. Sugar Content:
    • Not all water flavorings are low in calories. Some contain added sugars which is not ideal for those looking for a healthier option. Excessive sugar can lead to higher calories and higher blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes or are trying to lose weight, avoid added sugar water flavorings.
  3. Dental Health:
    • Acidic flavorings can erode tooth enamel over time, particularly if consumed frequently. It’s advisable to use water flavorings in moderation and maintain good oral hygiene practices.
  4. Cost:
    • Water flavorings can be expensive compared to regular tap water but if they do help avoid soft drinks and sugary juices, it can save you money.
  5. Potential Allergens:
    • Some water flavorings may contain allergens such as gluten, soy, or dairy, posing a risk for those with specific allergies or intolerances.

Alternatives to Water Flavorings

The obvious benefit and purpose of water flavorings is to curb sugary drink consumption for a healthier, flavored drink. That doesn’t mean there are only two options though. There are a ton of other options that are more or less healthy. These can be great options instead of water flavorings or alongside them. 

  • Diet sodas: although they may not be as healthy as water flavorings, diet sodas can still be a good way to avoid high sugar drinks. If you find yourself craving a soda and other options just aren’t filling that need, try a diet soda instead.
  • Tea: tea has long been a great option and there are many cold tea options available. Just pay attention to the nutrients on the back as many have just as much sugar as a full soda. Green tea and peach tea are delicious and can be made at home.
  • Juice: the juice you buy in the store is often got tons of non-fruit ingredients and tons of added sugar. Try to avoid these and instead go for fresh squeezed, no sugar added options. Fruit still has natural sugars so it won’t be sugar free but it will contain additional nutrients.
  • Sparkling water: a popular option these days with LaCroix, Topo-Chico, and tons of grocery store brand options. This is a great way to change the habit from sodas to healthier options while still being more interesting than regular water.
  • Homemade flavorings: You can actually make your own water flavorings at home. Fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice is great to have on hand or simply slices of fruit to add to your water. Refreshing and delicious without all of the additional ingredients that brands add to their water flavorings.
  • Canned or bottled water: Bottled water hs been on the market for a long time but there are more options now than ever before. Canned water has become very popular for convenience, better for the environment, and it feels special as compared to filling a bottle up at home with tap water. The only downside is the additional cost.

Plain water may lack the appeal for some or just never fulfill that craving for a sugary drink but there are options available. Hydration is important, especially during summer months, and drinking multiple sodas a day or even week is not a good idea. Try water flavorings, you may be surprised how much you like them. Creating a new habit starts with the smallest change. If it doesn’t work the first time, try alternatives. It may take a few tries before you find a flavor you like or a process that fits your lifestyle.

Remember, water flavorings are great but plain water is the healthiest option and should always be a part of your daily hydration. Read more about hydration on this article: Sip Smartly

Posted on Leave a comment

Low Calorie Meal Prep

crispy panko breaded chicken tender with salad, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions

Low calorie meal prep is one of the biggest reasons people start meal prepping. Gradually lowering your calorie intake is a great way to lose weight and can leave you feeling more alert throughout the day. Ditch the heavy lunches and focus on light foods with delicate and deep flavors.

Low calorie meal prep isn’t for everyone and you should consult a registered dietitian if you’re concerned about your health or have existing health issues.

We’ve covered all kinds of meal prep dieting options: from Keto to vegetarian, and sometimes, it takes a while to find the right one for you, or perhaps being on one diet for a while and then shifting to a new one is the best way for you. No matter your diet of choice, do your research and pay attention to your body. A lot of lifestyle details, body type, health needs, and goals go into determining a safe level of calories for you specifically.

crispy panko breaded chicken tender with salad, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions

Low calorie meal prep does not mean eating as little calories in a day as you possibly can. Depriving yourself of calories is not a healthy way to lose weight. This can lead to many more significant health issues. For low calorie meal prep, you want to aim for a calorie deficit within a safe range. This is based on your baseline weight and maintenance calories. Maintenance calories is the amount of calories that you need to maintain your current weight. If you’re looking to lose weight, you’ll want to be just under your maintenance level. Going too far below will make the diet more difficult to sustain and won’t last long. Find a comfortable calorie amount that you can reasonably handle. Remember, your body needs calories for energy and to function properly!

There are a lot of methods to feel full while lowering your calories. This way you don’t feel like you’re cutting out so much and leaving yourself lethargic through the day. A feeling of tiredness may be expected at first but if you find it to continue being an issue you’re probably not consuming enough calories. Again, pay attention to your body and adjust as you need.

How to know how many calories you need?

This depends on your calorie burn. If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, working at a desk all day with little to no exercise this is likely the category you fall into. Moderate activity is a 1.5 – 3 miles a day walk or equivalent activity. This means light workouts that don’t get the heart rate too much above resting. While active lifestyles are anything above moderate. 3 plus miles a day or workouts that get the heart rate elevated for a decent length of time.

Next, you need to understand your own metabolism. Everyone’s body is different and burns calories differently. Without the help of a registered dietitian you may find it difficult to understand your metabolism without trial and error so if you’re looking to make quick improvements you should seek professional advice. If you’re moderately healthy but looking to lose a few pounds and are otherwise fairly healthy, you can more easily estimate it and make adjustments as needed. 

Low Calorie Meal Prep Methods for Success

1. Set Realistic Goals

Achieving goals, even small ones, make you feel good and provides the opportunity to grow into more ambitious goals. However, failing to achieve goals is discouraging for most people. Give yourself the best chance at success and set goals you can realistically achieve and gauge your own level of commitment.

plate with salmon, bok choy, and diced butternut squash
  • Use an online calculator to estimate your daily caloric needs based on your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level.
  • Aim for a modest calorie deficit to lose weight safely. Typically, a deficit of 500-750 calories per day can lead to a healthy weight loss of about 1-1.5 pounds per week.

Set Specific, Measurable Goals:

  • Define clear goals such as “lose 10 pounds in 2 months” or “reduce daily intake to 1,500 calories.”
  • Track your progress regularly to stay motivated and make adjustments as needed.

2. Educate Yourself About Nutrition

Understand Macronutrients:

  • Learn about the role of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in your diet. Each macronutrient has a different caloric value (protein and carbs provide 4 calories per gram, fats provide 9 calories per gram).
  • Balance your diet to include all macronutrients while staying within your calorie limit.

Read Labels:

  • Pay attention to nutritional labels on packaged foods. Look for serving sizes, calorie counts, and ingredients.
  • Avoid foods with high sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats.

3. Plan Your Meals

Create a Weekly Menu or use our weekly meal plan:

  • Plan your meals and snacks for the week. Focus on incorporating a variety of foods to meet your nutritional needs and keep your diet interesting.
  • Include lean proteins (chicken, fish, tofu), whole grains (quinoa, brown rice), plenty of vegetables, and healthy fats (avocado, nuts).

4. Portion Control

Use Measuring Tools:

  • Invest in a kitchen scale and measuring cups to accurately portion your food.
  • Pay attention to serving sizes and measure portions to avoid overeating.

This can be tedious but if you’re struggling to lose weight this can be very helpful for understanding your daily pacing. If you’re not the kind of person to stick with measuring tools, figure out some quick amounts on foods you like and try just sticking to those. A cup of air popped popcorn there is about 30-40 calories while butter popcorn is around 80 calories. Now you know quickly how much popcorn you can have as a snack and the calorie count.

5. Healthy Cooking Methods

Opt for Low-Calorie Cooking Techniques:

  • Grill, bake, steam, or roast foods instead of frying.
  • Use non-stick pans or cooking sprays to reduce the need for added fats.
  • Enhance the taste of your meals with herbs, spices, lemon juice, and vinegar instead of high-calorie sauces and dressings.

6. Choose Low-Calorie Snacks

  • Opt for snacks like fresh fruits, vegetables with hummus, Greek yogurt, or a handful of nuts.
  • Avoid high-calorie, sugary snacks and beverages.

Pre-Portion Snacks:

  • Divide snacks into individual portions to avoid overeating. Don’t take the entire bag of chips to the couch with you. Put some chips in a bowl or baggie and you’re less likely to just continue eating out of habit or boredom.

7. Stay Hydrated

  • Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Drink herbal teas, black coffee, or infused water for a calorie-free flavor boost. There are tons of zero calorie water flavorings on the market so if you just can’t handle that much water or find it difficult to cut out sweet drinks, this is a great alternative.

8. Low calorie doesn’t mean no activity

Exercise regularly to burn calories and improve weight loss, get the blood pumping, and get some fresh air.

  • Find ways to stay active throughout the day, such as taking the stairs, walking during breaks, or doing household chores.

9. Track Your Progress

Keep track of the foods you’re eating. It can be a lot of work but for some people it’s necessary to stay on track and it can be a great thing to hold onto as a reminder as you achieve your health goals. 

  • Keep a food diary to log what you eat and drink each day. This helps you stay accountable and identify areas for improvement.
  • Use apps like MyFitnessPal or Lose It! to track your caloric intake easily.

Regular Check-Ins:

  • Weigh yourself weekly or monthly and take body measurements to monitor your progress. Don’t be discouraged by slow progress at first. This is normal in new diets and is often down to your metabolism catching up to the new foods or simply water weight as you increase your hydration.
  • Adjust your calorie intake and exercise routine based on your results.

Low Calorie Meal Prep Ideas

breakfast:

  • Greek yogurt with berries and a drizzle of honey
  • Overnight oats with almond milk, chia seeds, and sliced bananas

Lunch:

  • Quinoa salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette
  • Grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli and sweet potato mash

Dinner:

  • Baked salmon with a side of asparagus and brown rice
  • Turkey chili with black beans, corn, and bell peppers

Snacks:

  • Carrot and celery sticks with hummus
  • Apple slices with a small handful of almonds

Recommended Average Daily Calorie

Gender at BirthAgeSedentaryModerately ActiveActive
Female14-181,8002,0002,400
19-301,800-2,0002,000-2,2002,400
31-501,8002,0002,200
Male14-182,000-2,4002,400-2,8003,000
19-302,400-2,6002,600-2,8002,800-3,000
31-502,200-2,4002,400-2,6002,400-2,800

If you’re looking to bulk up and build muscle, then consuming above average calories can be necessary and that’s coming in a future post!

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Build a Balanced Meal Prep

round plate with sliced pork tenderloin and diced butternut squash

There are many reasons for meal prep and nutrition is one of the biggest. Nutritionally balanced meal prep leaves you feeling better throughout the day with more energy and a clearer mind. Balancing a single meal or even an entire day can be fairly straightforward but once you start thinking bigger and planning for long term health goals, you’ll want to balance your entire meal prep routine. This is where it can start to get more complicated. We’re here to help. Our focus has always been to provide the best information on nutritional, easy, and affordable meal prep.

Nutritional Basics: Balanced Meal Prep

A nutritionally balanced meal prep can be as easy as setting your daily basic nutrient goals and then aiming to hit the same level everyday. First of all, that can get boring real quick. Second, not every day needs to be the same exact nutrients or foods. Mixing it up can keep you healthy and loving your meal prep rather than burning out worrying about vitamins and calories.

round plate with sliced pork tenderloin and diced butternut squash

If you’re new to meal prep or nutritional planning, keep it simple. Aim for specific nutrients that you want to focus on. Examples of this are high protein or low carbohydrate diets. These are easier to plan. Keep in mind that you still need to balance the rest of your nutrients. To start though, follow some basic guidelines for your weight, age, and any specific dietary needs that you have.

The “Plate” method can be helpful to get started. Simply fill half your plate with non starchy vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and one quarter with carbohydrate foods like whole grains, starchy vegetables, or fruit.

  • Lean Protein: Essential for muscle repair and growth. Sources include chicken, fish, beans, tofu, and eggs.
  • Carbohydrates: Provide energy. Opt for complex carbs like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and legumes.
  • Fats: Necessary for hormone production and brain health. Choose healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
  • Fiber: Important for digestive health. Found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vital for various bodily functions. Aim for a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to cover your bases.

Again, don’t get overwhelmed. Focus on balancing each meal and day with these foods. Avoid overly processed, high sodium, or high sugar foods and you’ll be on a good path.

Portion Control

Balancing your meals with the right foods and nutrients is key and so is portion control. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can’t overdo it. This is especially true if you’re trying to lose weight. Managing your portion sizes is also important. Meal prep containers with separators are a great way to measure quickly although a food scale is a more accurate method.

Recommended Serving Sizes

  • Vegetables: Aim for 2-3 cups of vegetables per meal.
  • Fruits: One medium fruit or 1/2 cup of chopped fruit.
  • Proteins: About 3-4 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish (the size of a deck of cards).
  • Grains: 1/2 cup of cooked grains or pasta, or 1 slice of whole-grain bread.
  • Dairy: 1 cup of milk or yogurt, or 1.5 ounces of cheese.

How to Quick Portion Food

  • Protein: A palm-sized portion.
  • Vegetables: Two handfuls.
  • Carbohydrates: A cupped hand.
  • Fats: A thumb-sized portion.

Plan Your Balanced Meal Prep

Create a weekly menu that includes a variety of foods that balance the food types listed above. If you’re aiming for high protein and want to keep count, be sure to weigh your foods and take a minute to do the math at the beginning of the week to know how much of each food you need for each meal. If you’re taking a more zen approach, take an approach like the plate method to each meal and you’ll be fine. Let’s break the day down by meals.

  • Breakfasts:
  • Overnight oats with berries, chia seeds, and almond milk. These are good for fiber, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Early in the day this will help fuel your body and mind.
    • Veggie-packed egg muffins with spinach, bell peppers, and mushrooms. This is a great set of options for higher protein diets. If you plan to workout in the morning, this is a great place to start.

easy sausage egg muffins

Sausage Egg Muffins with Strawberries

We love making these high-protein, low-carb egg muffins for meal prep. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Why sausage egg muffins are great for weight loss They are high in protein which will help you stay full longer Egg muffins can be an easy way to pack in…

Continue Reading
  • Lunches:
    • Quinoa salad with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese. These foods are perfect for a light lunch that will pack in the vitamins and healthy fats while balancing the carbohydrates.
    • Grilled chicken breast with roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. The lean protein and carbohydrates are perfect for active lifestyles.
rectangle plate with corn, avocado, grilled chicken, cherries, cucumbers, and lettuce
  • Dinners:
    • Baked salmon with brown rice and a side of mixed vegetables. Finish the day out with lean protein, healthy carbs, and good fiber for a good night’s rest and gut health.
    • Stir-fried tofu with mixed vegetables and soba noodles. These are also great options for a balanced protein, carb, and fiber meals.
grilled salmon with dill sauce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers

Grilled Salmon with Sour Cream Dill Sauce

Let’s dive into this mouth-watering Grilled Salmon with Sour Cream Dill Sauce recipe that will have you savoring every bite. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you crave something wholesome yet quick to prepare. Let’s get cooking! This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Nutritional Goodness: Salmon is…

Continue Reading
  • Snacks:
    • Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts. The healthy fats and protein in the yogurt are great while also providing benefits to gut health.
    • Apple slices with peanut butter. This is a super simple snack option that’s not only tasty but also high in protein and vitamins.
round glass containers with yogurt topped with strawberries and mixed nuts

Yogurt with Strawberries and Mixed Nuts

Meal prep our Healthy Yogurt Bowl with Strawberries and Mixed Nuts! Finding a healthy breakfast that’s both delicious and budget-friendly can be a challenge. But fear not, because this recipe makes for a delicious, easy-to-prep morning ritual. Packed with protein-rich yogurt, fresh strawberries bursting with vitamins, and a crunchy medley of mixed nuts, this bowl…

Continue Reading

Posted on Leave a comment

Get Started: Vegetarian Meal Prep

tofu stir fry

Vegetarian meal prep is a delicious way to mix up the typical meal routine. Besides the health benefits, vegetable focused recipes tend to utilize different spices and sauces. Also vegetarian meals can be very quick and easy to make while still having an incredibly deep flavor profile.

The hard part is getting started, especially if you’re not used to a vegetarian diet. Start slow and do your research before cooking.

1. Understand your Nutritional Needs

Vegetarian meal prep diets are fantastic for balancing nutrients however eating the right mix of foods is important for meeting vitamin needs. 

  • Protein: Include a variety of plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and edamame.
  • Iron: Eat iron-rich foods like spinach, lentils, chickpeas, and fortified cereals, and pair them with vitamin C sources (like citrus fruits) to enhance absorption.
  • Vitamin B12: Since B12 is primarily found in animal products, consider fortified foods or supplements.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Add flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds to your diet.
  • Calcium: Include dairy or fortified plant-based milk, almonds, and leafy greens.

2. Transition Gradually

bean taco

You don’t have to go all vegetarian meal prep right away. Gradually transitioning can make the habits stick much better and introduce recipes at a speed that you can actually learn them.

  • Meatless Days: Begin by having meatless days once or twice a week (e.g., Meatless Mondays).
  • Substitute Gradually: Replace one meal at a time with a vegetarian option. For instance, start with vegetarian breakfasts, then move to lunches, and finally dinners.

3. Discover New Foods

Variety is important for any meal prepping habit. Explore new foods, and not just vegetables, to build on your vegetarian meal prep journey. 

  • Try new vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based proteins to keep meals interesting.
  • Explore global cuisines that naturally emphasize vegetarian dishes, such as Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern.

4. Start with Substitutes

tofu stir fry

Instead of trying to learn all new vegetarian recipes, try with your favorite meals with meat and substitute the protein for non-animal protein. You already know you like the flavors now just make the right substitutions and most of the time it’s essentially the same dish.

  • Plant-Based Proteins: Use tofu, tempeh, seitan, and legumes as meat substitutes.
  • Vegetable-Based Dishes: Create hearty meals with vegetables like mushrooms, eggplant, and cauliflower, which have meaty textures.

5. Stock Your Pantry

Vegetarian meal prep will use different ingredients then you may be used to stocking. Make sure you stock up your pantry with the right products. Stick with stocking up on ingredients that will last until you use them. Veggies can go bad quickly so use legumes and other foods as your pantry stock.

  • Whole Grains: Brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, and barley.
  • Legumes: Canned or dried beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.
  • Condiments and Spices: Soy sauce, tahini, nutritional yeast, curry powder, and herbs.

6. Learn to Cook

Totally changing up your recipes comes with learning new cooking skills. Go slow and work on your technique.

  • Start with learning basic cooking techniques for preparing vegetables, grains, and legumes.
  • Then try out new vegetarian recipes from cookbooks, websites, or cooking classes.

7. Monitor Your Health

Periodically check your nutrient levels, especially B12, iron, and vitamin D, to ensure you’re meeting your dietary needs.

Enjoy your vegetarian meal prep journey and have fun with it! A fun diet is more likely to be rewarding and stick as a habit. Try these vegetarian recipes as a place to start.

eggplant

Grilled Eggplant Steaks with Marinara Sauce

These grilled eggplant steaks are prepared so quickly which makes them perfect for a midweek dinner for yourself. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. This Dish is Full of Flavor, and We Love it Because It’s a light yet hearty, healthy dinner It can be ready in less…

Continue Reading
roasted pepper sandwich with sliced avocado and roasted brussels sprouts

Vegetarian Red Pepper and Cheese Sandwich

Toasted cheese sandwiches are the best, and for this recipe, we added an extra layer of flavor and nutrients with roasted bell peppers and creamy avocado slices. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Who craves comfort food for lunch? I know we do! And it can’t get any…

Continue Reading
tofu spinach

Pan-Fried Tofu with Sauteed Spinach and Tomato

Crispy, pan-fried tofu served with sauteed balsamic spinach and tomatoes is an easy recipe, that is a light and warm dish, that can be enjoyed with rice pilaf, pasta, or all on its own. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. If time is not on your side, here’s…

Continue Reading
bean and corn taco

Black Bean and Corn Soft Tacos

Here’s a deliciously seasoned plant-based soft taco with lots of southwestern flavor appeal. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. If you’re trying to incorporate more plant-based items in your meal prep during the week, then you’ll love this black bean and corn soft taco. Why You Need to…

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

Meal Prep Snacks Ideas

We always think about meal prep meals but rarely meal prep snacks. Sure, most people grab a bag of chips or some fruit on the way out the door but planning and preparing your snacks can have a huge impact on your happiness and health. Plus a lot of times at work or as you’re out and about, you may not have the time to go buy snack foods. Meal prep snacks can be easy, save you money, and save on calories so if you’re finding it tough to make it between meals or hitting nutrient goals take snacks with you. 

Plan your meal prep snacks

Meal prep snacks benefit from being planned rather than a rush pick when you’re starving. This way you can pick healthier snacks, higher quality, more affordable. Planning sets you up for such a better snack experience. Avoid the vending machines by adding snacks to your grocery list. Often when people are calorie watching and trying to lose weight, they cut snacks out entirely. In a lot of cases this is really impactful, in other cases this is unsustainable or even detrimental to overall eating habits. If you plan your snacks rather than make a quick decision you can feel better about your choices and stick to your meal plan far longer.

fancy meal prep snacks

Incorporating a planned meal prep snack into your daily routine can help you avoid gorging on meals when lunch and dinner finally roll around. A small snack can keep you from ditching your meal prep lunch for some fast food or eating way too much at one time. This is especially helpful for work day lunches where you want to stay awake and alert. Smaller meals throughout the day will help avoid that post lunch drowsiness. Meal prep snacks will help you keep a keen mind throughout more of the day as well. A little fruit or nuts while you work will improve focus and creative thinking.

While planning your meal prep snacks, consider your overall nutrient goal. If you’re looking for a calorie deficit then stick to low calorie snacks that make you feel fuller. Carrots, fruits, plain  nuts, etc. High protein diets should include beef jerky, nuts, yogurt, etc. This is a great way to cram in more nutrients throughout the day which for high protein diets can be very important. Remember to review nutrients though. Nuts, jerky, any snack item these days can be high in sugar, salt, or fat. There is almost always a low sugar, low salt, or low fat option and for snacks this is a good option. You just need something to hold you over between meals.

Prepare your meal prep snacks

Now that you have planned your meal prep snacks and are ready to grocery shop. These foods make for great snacks. They’re easy to prepare, affordable, and nutritious.

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Tuna packet
  • Chickpeas
  • Olives
  • Edamame
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Bell peppers
  • Beef jerky

Dips are a great way to expand your snack flavor profiles, add a fun twist on your daily snack, and tweak your nutrients. Consider mixing and matching your snacks with different dips. Try to avoid overly processed or super high fat dips as sauces and dips can be significantly higher in calories, salt, and sugar than you would ever expect.

  • Hummus
  • Cream cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Guacamole

Pre-portioned snacks can be a life saver. Snack boxes can be a great solution as well if you’re looking for something with more of an impact. Our article on Meal Prep Snack Box can help get you started. Bento box style tupperware with crackers, cheese, and jerky is a great all around option and if preparing them yourself is often way better. Better ingredients and cheaper. Although the new adult snack boxes that you can buy at the stores can be good for a quick choice and much better than a whole bag of chips or cookies.

Check out one of our articles for good meal prep container options.

Another approach is to buy full size bags of chips, crackers, cookies, beef jerky, etc. and then portion them out. A small zip lock bag of chips is a more affordable option and controlling portion sizes ahead of getting hungry is better than going to a vending machine. 

Snack Quick Tips

  • Keep it Simple: Focus on preparing snacks that are easy to make and require minimal cooking or preparation time.
  • Mix and Match: Don’t be afraid to mix and match ingredients to create new flavor combinations and keep things exciting.
  • Rotate Your Stock: As you meal prep snacks each week, try to rotate the types of snacks you make to prevent boredom.
  • Label and Date: Make sure to label your prepped snacks with the date they were made to keep track of freshness. This will also help you identify snacks in the freezer.
  • Stay Organized: Keep your prepped snacks organized in the fridge or pantry so you can easily grab them when hunger strikes.
Posted on

Best Salad Meal Prep Containers

caperci salad meal prep container for lunch

One of the hardest things to get right when meal prepping can be storage, especially when meal prepping salads, as greens have a tendency to wilt, get soggy, and lose their crunch. Choosing the right salad meal prep containers can help you package your favorite salads, toppings, and dressings without losing all the deliciousness of having a fresh salad. 

Choosing optimal storage/containers can depend a lot on what types of toppings you choose for your salad, some helpful tips are: 

  • Avoiding storing juicy vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers in the same container as your greens
  • Choose dry toppings such as nuts, seeds, raisins and other dried fruits, as well as croutons.
  • Store dressings separate
  • Keep your greens dry
  • Use airtight containers
  • Store in fridge
  • Use firm salad greens for instance: use kale and swiss chard instead of spinach

There are numerous salad meal prep containers and condiment storage options available that will keep your salads fresh days after you first prepare them. 

1. Bentgo® Glass All-in-One Salad Container

The Bentgo® Glass all-in-one salad container is microwave, oven, dishwasher safe

Microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe this all in one salad meal prep container by Bentgo eliminates the need for a lunch bag as the fork and dressing container is also included. The best feature of this container is the breakdown compartments reducing the need to mix your greens, toppings, and dressing, keeping your salad fresh for days. The real game changer? This leakproof container is perfect for those who transport their lunch into the office on their busy morning commute. 

Price: $25

Buy Bentgo Salad Meal Prep Container
bentgo salad meal prep container
  • LARGE, AIR-TIGHT STACKABLE BOWL: Take healthy salads and other nutritious meals on the go with this stackable, all-in-one portable salad bowl. The airtight lid and secure locking clips seal in freshness, while the compartment tray and sauce container keep toppings separated until you’re ready to eat!
  • ENJOY COLD OR HOT MEALS: This glass salad container for lunch is for more than just salads, it’s also great for hot meals. The large, glass bowl is microwave, freezer, and oven-safe – making it a durable food storage option for meal prep, students on the go, or adults headed to the office.
  • STORE TOPPINGS SEPARATELY: A 4-compartment tray includes 1 large 10-oz compartment and 2 smaller 5-oz compartments to fit toppings of your choice, plus a leak-proof 3-oz container perfect for salad dressing.
  • DURABLE & EASY TO CLEAN: All parts of this reusable salad bowl with lid are easy to clean and top-shelf dishwasher safe. In addition to its modern design, it’s made with BPA-free, high-quality materials, so you can enjoy this stackable adult lunch box for years to come.

2. Caperci 2 Pack Large Salad Container for Lunch

Another cost friendly large salad meal prep container option is this airtight, leak resistant container, with locking clips, ensuring that your salad stays fresh and flavorful for days. This stylish design comes in more neutral colors, along with a condiment container for your favorite dressing and a 5 compartment tray to separate various salad toppings.Feel free to toss this in the dishwasher for easy cleanup and enjoy your food cold or warm with this microwave safe option.

Price: $20

Buy Caperci Salad Meal Prep Containers
caperci salad meal prep container for lunch
  • LEAK-PROOF TECHNOLOGY – Airtight lid features a food-grade silicone sealing ring and enhanced Leak-proof design with locking clips to keep food fresh on the go – Easily cleaned in the dishwasher and BPA-free.
  • STORE TOPPINGS SEPARATELY – The top tray is divided into 5 compartments to keep your toppings separated and fresh while the middle 3-oz compartment holds the included dressing container with leak-proof lid.
  • SAVE BIG & ALL-IN-ONE – You Will Get Pack of 2. All-in-one Caperci Large salad lunch container solution comes with a spork, dressing container and a tray to keep all of your salad fixings separate until it’s time to mix and eat. (Not for children under 3 years)

3. Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid, 0.5 Cup

A meal prep container brand that is tried and true is Rubbermaid. These small plastic containers maximize your storage and are great for salad dressings and toppings like nuts and seeds. What’s even better is that they are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. No more searching through the cabinets, the snap lid feature guarantees that you will always find the correct lid for your container. 

Price: $15

Buy Rubbermaid 0.5 Cups
sauce meal prep cups
  • Easy-find lids snap together and to container bases so you can always find the right lid
  • BPA-free plastic is dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe
  • Square shape for maximum storage in the smallest spaces
  • Includes: 1/2 Cup 12 with 12 Easy Find Lids

4. Mini Salad Dressing Bottles To Go by Joie

These mini squeeze dressing bottles make it easy for you to enjoy your favorite salad dressing wherever you are. These leakproof bottles are 2.35 ounces making them easily two servings of dressing, ensuring that you’re always prepared. Note that these bottles are not microwave safe, but that’s okay you can still toss these in your lunch bag and be on your way to make enjoying your lunch break easier.

Price: $7

Buy Joie Salad Dressing Containers
salad dressing meal prep containers
  • Enjoy delicious salad dressing anywhere with these Mini Salad Dressing Bottles To Go! Fill the silicone bottle up with your favorite dressing or condiment and gently squeeze when ready to dispense. Take these leak proof bottles to school or work to make your lunch break easier!Product Details

5. ello Plastic Food Storage Containers with Soft Base

Salad meal prep does not always have to mean your traditional leafy greens and italian dressing,you can mix it up with this single serve container that is convenient for pasta salad, potato salad, and even protein packed tuna salad options. This meal prep container is equipped with a skid-free silicone base, and leak proof lid to ensure clean transportation. Use this container to be creative with your lunch or dinner prep, the possibilities are endless!

Price: $22

Buy ello Salad Meal Prep Containers
set of salad meal prep containers
  • Skid-free silicone soft base protects the plastic.
  • Leak-proof lid with color-matched tabs for easy pairing.Microwave safe without the lid. Dishwasher and freezer safe.Set includes (5) 3.7 cup containers.

6. (re)zip Reusable Leakproof Mini Stand Up Bag – 3pk

I love reusable ziplock bags, this small wide-based bag is perfect for storing a variety of toppings for your salad. Pair with a single serving container (mentioned above) and you will be sure to keep your lunch fresh until ready to eat. The plus is that these ziplock bags are not only great for salads, they are good for snacks and favorites. The durable and lightweight design make them my go-to for keeping everything fresh and organized during my busy day!

Price: $8

Buy (re)zip Salad Meal Prep Bags
ziplock bags for salad meal prep containers
  • Airtight, waterproof, and leakproof
  • Resealable double zip “clicks” shut (mmm satisfying)
  • Freezer safe: perfect for storing individual portions and small leftovers
  • Fits 3 handfuls of nuts or trail mix, 2 hard-boiled eggs, granola in one bag, yogurt in another, loose change, bandaids, cotton swabs, and lip balm

7. 43 oz 50 Pack Large Paper Bowls with Lids

If you are someone who loves to meal prep salads but always forgets your container after lunch or never has a way to clean up in the office, these disposable- eco friendly containers are a game-changer. They are a fantastic alternative to traditional glass or plastic containers. I love that they are leak proof and also microwave safe keeping things mess-free. The best thing about them is they are made out of biodegradable products and are 100% compostable.

Price: $32

Buy Disposable Salad Meal Prep Containers
disposable paper bowls for salad meal prep containers
  • Eco-Friendly: Our packing food containers is made out of environmentally-friendly paper. a biodegradable material. A great alternative to Traditional Paper or Plastic, the disposable salad bowls offers the same sturdy function and microwave safe.
  • Size and Capacity: 50 pack of disposable paper boxes with lids, 8.6″ x 6.5″ x 3″ and has a capacity of up to 43oz (1300ml). This large size is suitable for buying a lunch takeout!
  • Oil Proof and Leak Proof: Prevent grease and oil from soaking through. Your food will be securely packaged in these packed in take out box. Food packaging boxes are also microwaveable.
  • 100% Compostable: Kaderron disposable serving bowls can replace the cleaning of tableware. It is the best choice for takeout box fast food restaurants, and it is also an ecological and sustainable paper box.

Additional Recommendations

To check out more meal prep containers beyond salad container options, please feel free to check out our other articles here.

Free Weekly Meal Plans

Try out our weekly meal plans with tasty recipes. We make your shopping list and show you how to prep your meals.