When you have a food allergy you know first hand that food prep is much more than just a means for saving time or ensuring portion control. One of the biggest challenges on any given day, particularly for those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, is making ensure that you have something safe to eat whether you are: at school, work, an event or running errands. Here are some useful tips for making delicious and nutritious gluten free meals ahead of time.
- Pick a Day. To save time making meals, choose a day to perform all your shopping and food prep for the week. We recommend sticking to a Sunday schedule.
- Make a Plan. Make a list of your go-to meals and snacks choosing simple recipes that can be made quickly or in bulk. Then plan out what you’ll eat for every snack and meal. As you start to stockpile recipes this step will get easier, we promise.
- Keep It Simple. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on flavor or variety, it just means try choosing snacks that don’t require a lot of time to put together like trail mix, fresh fruit, chia parfait, or pre-cut veggies with hummus or peanut butter.
- Think Outside the Box and Inside the Mason Jar? Mason jar meals have been trending for a while and for good reason. They are durable, washable, microwaveable and so practical. From overnight oats to parfaits, smoothies, salads even desserts, the mason jar can do it all. Avoid unwanted sogginess by making sure wet ingredients go toward the bottom.
- Shake Things Up. It can be hard not to fall into a monotonous routine of the same meals everyday, especially with the limitations of a specialized diet. But trust us, taking an extra few minutes each week to build up your recipe arsenal is worth it.
- Know Before You Go. Come on, you know the name of the game, it comes with the food allergy territory…You have to think ahead so you can plan ahead! Don’t forget this step on your meal prep day as you are making your plan. Think about your schedule and upcoming events/travel so you don’t get caught off-guard and end up hungry or eating something you may regret later.
If you have food allergies then meal prep is a must! Other reasons to consider meal prepping include avoiding the temptation of unhealthy options, minimizing the consumption of highly processed packaged goods, spending less money by not eating out as often, oh and of course, to avoid not eating, which sets you up for binge eating later.