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Letter to My Children : Meal Prep

Dear children

I am glad either of you has been meal prepping more often than previously

You had cited various reasons for it: you disliked eating ‘the same’ food while eating out (because one gravitates to one’s favourite foods anyway). You also don’t wanna spend your allowance on food that you don’t quite like. Further, some places serve smaller portions (you are still hungry after that!) Quite importantly,  it is not healthy with the indefinite oil, salt and often times ‘other’ seasonings the cooks rapidly add into the food to make it all ‘the yummier’ (which is great for that ‘one off’ gastronomical delight but heart stopping (literally) when it comes to the visceral fat that collects around the tummy (that eventually affects heart health).

Anyhow, I am glad you followed up on the advice I gave you after you asked me about the topic. I am actually quite gratified you had been observing what i did whilst I was cooking more regularly when all of you were littler and were at home for regular meals.

From what I see, these were the things you understood what to do about meal planning:

  1. You gauge how much storage space one has whilst meal prepping in case of unfinished ingredients or condiments (hence only buy what one needs and substitute for the rest)
  2. Therefore, before going shopping, you had checked the fridge and larder/pantry for the ingredients and condiments one already has, aiming to cook with available ingredients.
  3. You understand that ingredients go bad so if you can substitute or buy ingredients in loose forms you may not be saving money if you had bought it in bulk but preventing food wastage is the priority. Eventually, one’s priorities and values affect the way one goes about spending money, for food shopping or otherwise.
  4. I notice you cook as soon as you come home because ‘got mood’. I admire the zest to learn as you are constantly using the above tip, ‘cook with everything’, to experiment with new ideas and recipes. I guess the drive to want to stay in good form and feel healthy keeps you going!

In addition, Mum would like to add in another tip of meal prepping: which is to arm oneself with a paper and pen to jot down the ingredients one has in the larder or pantry, then divide the ingredients into carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables so you are working towards creating meals to achieve your nutrition goals.

Above everything, I do consider meal prepping for one person ‘to each his own’. On one hand you want to eat your favourite foods but the leftover ingredients in the freezer and larder may not be to your liking or even skill level when it comes to ‘knowing how to cook with  everything’.

But, it is no problemo. You keep honing your skills over time and soon you will be able to whip a nutritious meal with most ingredients!

Another thing I want to add is just attempt to use less artificial or bottled seasonings. Do you remember mum throwing away numerous bottles of sauces because they were ‘past expiry date’?Try to use fresh ingredients. It’s easier on the pocket in the long run and better for continued wellness (Tip: your leftover chopped/minced peppers, chilli, coriander, spring onions can all place in the freezer if you do not see yourself cooking with it within a week or two). Of course growing one’s food would be ideal. It’s something you can consider if you have the motivation or interest to do so in future:)

Therefore meal prepping that uses up all the ingredients you buy as well as gives you a choice to eat food that is to your liking and keeps you fit and well , not forgetting ‘gives you more bang for your buck’, is a win-win situation in the long haul.

Wishing you wellness children!

Your loving mum

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