Meal prep is a type of food scheduling in which all the preparation is done all at once for the whole week.
Meals are planned out, shopping lists are made based on the food you need for the meals, and then once you’ve come back from shopping, you dedicate a chunk of time to making that food so that it is all ready for the rest of the week.
After that, all you need to do is pull the food out of the fridge, freezer, or pantry, heat it if need be, and it’s ready to be eaten! The time it takes you that day to prepare it all will be well worth it when the rest of the week you can rest easy, eat, drink, and be merry!
So, the question is, can you meal prep pasta?
You can meal prep pasta. Pasta lasts a long time without going bad, and it can be eaten hot or cold depending on how you flavor it. It’s a great option for meal prep, for your kids’ lunches, or dinners. Or both!
Read on to learn how to meal prep pasta. In the second part of the article, I’ll talk about how meal prep can give you that needed respite in your busy schedule. I’ll also offer some meal prep tips for preparing your kids’ meals.
How Do You Meal Prep Pasta?
First, ask yourself what meals you’re making the pasta for.
If you’re a parent meal prepping pasta for your kids’ lunch, think about your kids’ cafeteria – do they have microwaves in which they could heat the meal? If so, you can make something like spaghetti or lasagna. If not, you’ll want to make something cold like pasta salad or pesto pasta.
Then prep the pasta as follows:
- Make the pasta meal as you normally would.
- When you’ve finished making the meal, store it in one big container to be dished out throughout the week, or separate it into smaller containers to be grabbed every morning before school.
And that’s all there is to it!
How Meal Prep Gives You Respite Amidst a Busy Schedule
The Reality of a Busy Schedule
We get it. You’ve got a lot on your plate, especially in the mornings. If you’re like me, you know things will only get done right before bed or as soon as you wake up.
It’s easiest to do something if you’re about to go to bed, but it’s common only to remember as you sort through your day while drifting off. I know I can’t sleep if I remember something I must do!
But we’re often tired from a full day of activities, and all we want to do at the end of the day is fall into bed.
But then, there’s a whole list of things you need to do. And then, when you wake up, there’s another list of things you need to do. As important as rest is, it is often the thing that gets put off in favor of getting things done.
You feel like you need to earn your rest, which is something you should never feel. Resting is essential, so it is a need and a right, not a privilege. How are you going to be able to keep on with your life if you never give yourself time to rest?
It’s either work every day with some well-deserved break times in between or grind nonstop until you crash, having to spend days resting and recovering.
Then when you eventually throw yourself back into it, you have to work extra hard to catch up, making you even more tired and your crash even more severe the next time.
Because of your list of demands, it makes it difficult to wake up in the mornings.
So you approach this problem in one of two ways.
The Night Owl Approach
Perhaps you stay up late completing your list.
You’ve got to shower, wash your face and do your skincare routine, lay out your clothes for the next day, and whatever other items that you need packed and ready to grab and go.
But not only do you have to prepare the next day for yourself, but also for your kids. They’re too young to make their lunches, so you need to make them for them.
You quickly slap some sandwiches while trying to keep your eyes open, place them in containers, stick them inside the lunchboxes, and put them in the fridge.
You remember you can’t pack the ice packs overnight or else they’ll defrost, so you add that as a mental note of what to do in the morning before leaving for work.
You go to bed late but get to extend your alarm half an hour, which sounds better than it feels the following day.
The Early Bird Approach
Or, maybe you are not a night person.
You know staying up so late will only bring you exhaustion and misery.
As much as you know you need to accomplish, you decide to save it all for the morning, grabbing your alarm and shaving off half an hour of sleep so you can get it done.
You wake up, shower, get ready, throw all your stuff together, and then spend the rest of your time in the kitchen making breakfast and packing lunches.
At least you don’t have to wait to put the ice packs in.
It’s a frantic sort of atmosphere, and it makes you lie awake in bed the night before, knowing you need to sleep because you’ll be waking up early but not being able to because of the overwhelming sense of dread at what you have to wake up to.
A Better Approach: Meal Prep
You’ve got a lot on your own plate, much less putting food on someone else’s. Making your kids’ lunches every day is so overwhelming!
It just adds another layer of panic to your routine and some resentment towards your children, which you desperately want to avoid. You know that if your lifestyle is starting to bring out the worst of you, you need to change it.
Living your best life means living life showing up as your best self because the people and activities you include in it bring out the best in you.
So, how can you avoid this resentment and the overwhelm that makes you just want to curl up into a ball and sleep for the rest of the week?
We’ve got one tip to shave off some of your morning or evening routine: meal prep!
Meal Prep Tips for Your Kids’ Meals
You can meal prep your kids’ lunches every week!
Just choose a meal or a few meals for them to eat that week, buy the ingredients and make it all one day.
For example, Saturday, when you get all your shopping done before the busy work and school week.
After the lunch food is made, you can do one of two things.
- You can keep it all in one container, and then the night before or morning of the next school day, you can dish out a bit and put it into their lunch boxes. It’s already made. All you have to do is put it together!
- Or, if even this fills you with dread, you can do it this way: Once the food is made, portion it out into separate containers, one for each school day and one for each kid. You can stack these containers in the fridge, and right before they go to school, you just shove them into their lunchbox!
If your kids are old enough, it can even be their responsibility to grab the lunch out of the fridge and pack it themselves!
So now you’ve got the kids’ lunches out of the way. But what about other meals?
What if you don’t get home from work in enough time to make dinner for your family? Or what if making breakfast is another thing that takes up much of your morning?
Well, you can meal prep these meals, too!
Choose a breakfast or two that you can prepare beforehand and store, ready to be heated up or pulled out in the morning. If you’ve been struggling to have time to eat breakfast, this will be an excellent option for you.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all! Make sure whatever you choose is healthy and nutritious and will fill you up for the whole morning.
Sugar cereal does not count as breakfast! So many breakfast options nowadays are sugary, so check their sugar content before buying.
With dinners, you can do the same! Choose a meal food every night and have it ready in the fridge to be pulled out and reheated.
You can make your lunch meal prep even easier if you often have leftovers – just take those dinner leftovers and stick them in containers for your kids to eat for lunch the next day! Boom!