5 hacks for mastering the art of weekly food prep

Here's how to prep your food like a pro – in just an hour at the weekend

Too tired. No time. Nothing in the fridge. The reasons not to cook are familiar to all of us. We all have busy lives – and finding the time and energy to get to the supermarket, chop up your veggies and cook a delicious and healthy homemade meal isn’t easy.

And yet, it’s not quite as impossible as it sometimes feels.

How to prep food like a pro

No longer just a dull but necessary activity, ‘food prep’ has become seriously on trend. Instagram is full with shots of salad ingredients stacked in vintage jars, Tupperware containers of grilled chicken all neatly lined up on a benchtop, and plastic goblets of breakfast chia pudding.

But beneath the hype, it’s really not so hard to prepare all your weekly meals. In fact, you can do it all at once (yes, in one day) if you really want to. Here are some tricks to get started:

1. Stick to what you know

Thinking of whipping up some Schezuan chilli chicken with braised broccoli and slivered almonds for the week? Unless you’re also planning on crying into your frypan until late Sunday night, maybe try something that you’re used to cooking for your bulk meals. Grilled meat and veggies are an easy base that you can prepare slightly differently night-to-night.

2. Just prep some things

If cooking up 21 meals in one sitting makes your palms a little sweaty, relax. Try just preparing the time-consuming portions of the meal – like grilling your meat or peeling your veggies. Or, just focus on the meal that you usually skip or need the most help with, like breakfast.

3. Raw is okay

Don’t feel as though you have to cook up everything you prepare – chopping and packaging raw meat, vegetables, or fruit can save you plenty of time, and stop you from ordering takeaway Thai, too!

4. Think light

  • Light on the stomach – go for ¼ protein, ¼ wholegrains, and ½ vegetables.
  • Light on the train – package your meals in lightweight Tupperware containers for easy transport to work.
  • Light on the pocket – if you plan your meals and buy your food for the week in bulk, you will save plenty of money on last-minute meals.

5. Prepare for ‘those days’

Let’s face it – sometimes the best of intentions and perfect food planning can’t beat that pizza craving. Allow for some flexibility in your plan, let yourself indulge once in a while and you will see greater success in your healthy eating habits.

Recommended reading - Kids’ nutrition

Community

Cooking with kids

Children's cookbook author Emily Rose Brott talks getting kids involved in making healthy food.

Read more
Recipes

Crumbed chicken and salsa in pita recipe

Emily Rose Brott shares a great chicken recipe for kids.

Read more
Recipes

Warm Middle Eastern herb salad recipe

The perfect beach or BBQ salad with flavours that get better over time.

Read more
Lifestyle

Cooking games for kids

Bored kids? Get them in the kitchen! These cooking activities will keep them occupied for hours.

Read more
Lifestyle

Healthy school lunchbox ideas

Healthy kids are happy kids with this innovative school lunch ideas.

Read more
Recipes

Minestrone soup recipe

This minestrone by Dani of Fitness, Food and Style is packed full of antioxidants.

Read more
Recipes

Goji and coconut bliss balls recipe

Bliss out on the super-goodness of these delectable treats

Read more
Recipes

Creamy orange C smoothie recipe

Recharge with this powerful, citrusy smoothie, alive with antioxidant goodness

Read more
Recipes

Mexican baked eggy tortilla cups recipe

For a Mexican recipe that's a little different, try baked eggy tortilla cups

Read more
Recipes

Lentil soup recipe

Lentil-based dishes like this red lentil soup are not only delicious but are packed with goodness.

Read more
Recipes

Roasted apricot yellow couscous with grilled fish recipe

Bill Granger believes in a relaxed approach to good food. Here, he shares a family favourite.

Read more
Recipes

Avocado smash recipe

Avocados are an Australian breakfast staple. Try an Italian twist on your avocado smash.

Read more
Recipes

Asparagus, leek and pea tart recipe

Asparagus, Leek and Pea Tart is a delicious and easy dish for lunch or dinner.

Read more
Recipes

Sticky date pancake recipe

Wind up your weekend workouts and treat yourself with these delicious sticky date pancakes.

Read more
Recipes

Pettole (Italian fruit donuts) recipe

A delicious treat by Junior Masterchef stars Sofia and Isabella Bliss

Read more
Recipes

Simple berry bircher recipe

A bircher muesli that takes 2 minutes to prepare - leave overnight and enjoy for breakfast.

Read more
Recipes

Duck tacos with cherry salsa recipe

Add a fresh, fruity twist to this Mexican favourite - delicioso!

Read more
Recipes

Chewy persimmon and ginger cookies recipe

Poh shares a delicious treat, blending the unique flavours of persimmons, pecans and mixed spices

Read more
Recipes

Cherry smoothie recipe

Cool down this summer with a low-fat smoothie packed full of cherry superpowers.

Read more
Recipes

Banana and apple bread recipe

The Bourke Street Bakery shares a winning recipe for a soft, sweet loaf of bread.

Read more
Recipes

Nectarine honeycomb ice-cream recipe

Model Rachael Finch shares an easy, delicious ice cream dessert recipe.

Read more
Recipes

Nectarine waffles recipe

Rachael Finch shares a delicious recipe to bid nectarines a sweet goodbye.

Read more
Recipes

Banana buckwheat pancake recipe

There's nothing quite like pancakes for breakfast. Enjoy this wholesome recipe from Lesh Karan.

Read more
Recipes

Whole wheat banana honey macadamia muffins recipe

Soft, sweet and wholesome, these muffins are a bananalicious treat.

Read more
Recipes

Macadamia Mediterranean muffin recipe

The delectable flavour of roasted macadamias take these savoury muffins to a new level of yum.

Read more
In Brief

Why Australian kids need to learn more about food

Concerned about your children's food choices? A survey suggests more food education is needed

Read more
Lifestyle

Food for active kids

Young, active bodies need the right nutrients to stay vibrant and strong. Here's a guide.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.