When you love someone, you want them to be healthy and happy. Meal prepping is a great way for couples to share a sustainable, healthy lifestyle and find more time to spend together. These tips can help you and your partner get into a meal prepping routine you both love.
How to Prep Meals for You and Your Partner When…
Cooking for two can be tricky. Here are some tips for solving common situations couples face when meal prepping for two.
You Have Different Dietary Preferences
Maybe one partner is a committed vegetarian while the other loves meat. Or maybe you come from different cultural backgrounds. Whatever the situation, you can't force your partner to eat something if they don't want to.
Instead, think about how you can build meals around things you both enjoy. For example, if you and your partner disagree on eating meat, you could make a big salad and swap out the proteins. You could also try new meat substitutes together to find one you both want to eat.
Your Partner Is a Picky Eater
If you're in a relationship with a picky eater, the best thing to do is to respect their food choices. Whether they insist on eating mostly junk food or they avoid specific ingredients, it can be tough to make meals that fit both of your preferences.
First off, avoid making your partner feel bad about their diet. Shaming or guilting your significant other into eating things they're not comfortable with can have serious effects on their relationship with food — and with you.
It's best to take a gentle approach in this situation. Start by meal prepping for yourself and letting your partner sample what you've made. They'll be more open to trying new things if they don't have to commit to a full serving.
You could also offer them a sample of what you're making, or invite them to cook with you. Sometimes just seeing how a meal comes together can pique someone's curiosity. Plus, it's a great opportunity to have a little fun together.
Your partner may have a bias against specific foods based on bad experiences in the past, so finding new ways to prepare these ingredients could change their mind. For example, if they don't like Brussels sprouts when they're boiled, try cooking them another way. Your partner might find they love sprouts when they've been air fried or oven roasted.
Your Partner Is Allergic to a Food You Love
It can be tough to make sure you're cooking dishes that are safe for your partner, especially if they're allergic to foods you enjoy.
Start by finding recipes you both like and then customize your individual portions. Let's say you love cheese, but your partner is lactose-intolerant. You could make a dairy-free spaghetti bolognese for both of you and sprinkle some grated cheese on your servings.
That said, if your partner's allergy is severe enough that just being near the food can make them sick, it's best to avoid using it entirely. Instead, focus on finding creative ways to get the same taste without that ingredient. Nutritional yeast, for example, is an excellent lactose-free substitute for grated Parmesan cheese.
You and Your Partner Eat Different Amounts
Everyone has different needs, so it makes sense that you and your partner might eat different serving sizes. For example, your partner might be trying to meet specific fitness goals while you might prioritize portion control. Fortunately, you can easily plan ahead to make sure you both eat enough.
Look for bigger recipes — four to six servings is a good range to shoot for. You could also double smaller recipes to create more servings. This way, you have enough food to adjust portion sizes for each person while leaving enough for later in the week.
How to Avoid Getting Bored of the Same Meal
Meal prep is naturally repetitive, which is why it can be difficult for people who get bored easily. Here are some suggestions for adding variety to your weekly menu.
Change Your Prep Frequency
Usually, you prep multiple servings of the same meal for the rest of the week. Being more flexible about your prep schedule can make it easier to change the menu throughout the week.
For example, if you normally prep once a week, try finding time to prep twice a week. You could also save meal prepping for days you know you won't have enough time to cook.
Prep Ingredients Separately
Cook big batches of ingredients you can use in multiple meals and store them separately so you and your partner can mix and match throughout the week. Here are some ingredients that work well for buffet-style meal prep:
- Whole grains, like brown rice or quinoa
- Baked or grilled chicken breast
- Roasted or sauteed veggies
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Pan-fried or baked tofu
Finally, wait to season your ingredients until you're building your meals. This way, you can create different combinations without worrying about contrasting flavors.
How to Save Money While Cooking for Two
Saving money is one of the biggest benefits of meal prepping, especially when you're cooking for more than just yourself. Here are some tips for cutting costs while meal prepping for two people.
Keep Recipes Simple
If you like cooking — or eating — you know it can be easy to get carried away with experimentation. But complicated recipes and fancy ingredients get expensive fast.
When you're planning meals for the week, leave out recipes that you know are too much for your budget. For example, you could stick to recipes that have 10 ingredients or less to automatically rule out overly complicated dishes.
You could also swap out expensive ingredients for cheaper, more versatile items you can use in lots of different dishes. This simple change can help you save at the store and ensure you'll use up everything you buy.
Buy in Bulk
Many grocery stores have self-service bulk bins for dry goods like rice, oats, nuts, beans and flour. Because your price is determined by weight, you can take as much or as little as you need. Compare prices at different stores to make sure you're getting the best deal.
You could also shop at warehouse clubs like Sam's Club, Costco or BJ's. While the membership fee can seem like a hefty investment, you can save a lot on pantry staples by purchasing them wholesale. Some stores also offer member-exclusive perks like discounted gas.
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Our chef-crafted menu includes hundreds of rotating meal choices that you can mix and match to fit your dietary needs and lifestyle. Whether you and your partner follow different diets or you want to avoid getting bored, you can customize your plan however you like.
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