How Healthy are Your Prepped Meals
By Sara Butler
Prepping meals at the beginning of the week is a great way to get healthy. Life gets busy and having a healthy meal on hand when you get home can be a real lifesaver. It helps you to avoid fast food drive-thru windows and keep your focus on health. But there are special considerations you need to think about when doing your own meal prep to keep you and your family healthy. Here are five tips to ensure your prepped meals are both healthy and safe.
Store Groceries Directly
When you get home from your shopping trip to the store, get that food where it needs to go. Perishable items such as milk, cheese, raw meat, and tofu should be placed in the refrigerator as soon as you get home so bacteria don’t have the chance to grow. This step shouldn’t be delayed if you want to make sure your food is safe to eat!
Defrost Meat the Right Way
So you found a great sale on chicken breast and smartly froze most of it to use later – good for you! Just be aware that when the time comes to defrost it, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Many people are tempted to defrost meat on the counter, but that’s a recipe for bacteria-growing disaster. Plus, you want to keep any juices escaping the meat off your counter.
To defrost meat safely, move the frozen meat from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you cook. If it’s still a little frozen in the middle when you take it out, thaw it under cool running water in the sink – just remember to clean the sink properly later!
Once you’ve cooked your meals and put them in individual containers to eat throughout the week, you must make sure it’s cooled down properly before putting it in the fridge. You need to aim for the food to get down to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit before putting it in the refrigerator; otherwise, you’re creating a prime place for bacteria to thrive.
Store It for the Right Amount of Time
It’s the eternal question – how long is food good for? Most food can be stored safely in the fridge for three to four days. Fish should only be kept for about three days, along with salads. If you store food in the freezer, it can be good for up to two months – just make sure to mark it before you put it in so you know how old it is!
Continue prepping your meals, just make sure you're doing it in a way that is safe and healthy for you and your family!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.