There is a lot of buzz about meal prepping, the how to, and how not to, along with the pros and cons of the trend. However, there isn’t a lot discussed on the appropriate use of containers for meal prepping, even though it is a key component of the process.
Efficient meal prepping for a week requires several containers of different shapes and sizes. There is also the material of the container that needs some thought based on the type of food and storage planned.
If meal planning and prepping seem too much for you, there are ways to circumvent all the steps involved in the process, including the choice of containers. You can simply opt to order quick and easy meal kits that have everything you require for the chosen meal pre-apportioned and packed for your convenience.
However, for those who choose to do their meal prepping here are some thoughts on choosing your containers. The right choice of containers goes a long way to keep your prepped food fresh for longer.
You would want a versatile container, one that can be popped in the microwave, freezer or dishwasher without a second thought, and if you can serve in it as well, then you have got yourself a container that can save time and effort.
Equally important is the material the container is made of, which has a direct impact on the ease of use and maintaining the freshness of the food stored. See-through containers whether plastic, silicone or glass are popular choices because it takes away the extra step of labelling. Material that can hold freshness effectively while being environmentally safe like glass containers is an option to consider.
Portion Size Matters
When choosing your containers, consider the portion sizes you intend to pack into them. If it’s for one or two people a smaller-sized container will suffice. You will need larger containers for a bigger family. You may opt to portion out individual portions appropriate for each family member, in which case you will require a greater number of containers rather than a couple that can contain more than one or two portions of food.
Type of Food
Another factor to consider is the type of food you plan to prep regularly. The type of food that is prepped determines how you will be storing them in the freezer or refrigerator. Meats typically go into the freezer as would a large batch of lasagna. If you are freezing your food then it makes sense to freeze them in portions suited for one meal occasion as you wouldn’t want to thaw the whole batch and refreeze again. This not only affects the nutrient content but can also lead to food poisoning. Vegetables and fruit will stay in the refrigerator unless it’s cooked in a way that is freezer suited. Take time to think through your family’s regular food choices and portions when deciding on containers.