Taking control of your health is a powerful thing, especially when you’re living with a chronic condition like diabetes. But life is busy and sometimes healthy eating can be challenging.
Meal and snack prep can make it easier to make healthy choices and stick to the nutrition plan that your health care team has created for you. The tips below can help make a quick bite simple to grab and a meal easier and faster to throw together.
Meal prep tips
Wash your fruits and vegetables when you get them home from the store. This won’t work for all produce (some berries, for example, spoil quicker if they’re wet), but fruits like apples, pears, and grapes can be washed and dried, then put into the fruit compartment of your fridge so they’re ready to grab and eat. Peel carrots, and slice up cucumber, radishes, and fennel and keep them in a container in the fridge for quick and easy snacking.
Plan your meals in advance. Use free printable meal planners like the ones found on Live Craft Eat to help you plan your weekly meals and create a shopping list. When you have meals planned in advance and all the ingredients needed to make it them, it’s easier to cook those meals when the time comes.
Take shortcuts. Figure out what time-saving tricks work for you and use them to make future meal prep quick and simple. For example:
- If you know you need onions and bell peppers for two meals, do all your chopping at once and store the extras for the next day.
- If you’re making something that stores well, make a double batch so you have a freezer meal ready to pull out on a busy day.
- If you’re making two recipes that call for a specific protein, cook it all on one day and save the cooked leftovers to pop in your recipe the next day. This is great if you’re making roasted chicken one night and a cold chicken salad the next, for example.
- Prep what you can earlier in the day when you may have more time and energy.
Make ahead. Once a month, set aside time on the weekend to knock out a few healthy freezer meals, sauces and other cooked items you can use to make quick meals during the week. Visit Diabetes Food Hub for freezing tips.
Involve your family. Even if only one of you requires a specific diet, getting the whole family involved in choosing healthy, delicious meals will ensure that everyone is happy at mealtime.
Always follow the nutrition plan your health care team has provided for you, but check out On Track Diabetes for recipes and ideas to help make delicious meals for you and your family.
For more advice on how to make meal planning and prep simpler when you’re living with diabetes, visit the CDC.
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