What To Look For When Shopping For Meal Prep Containers
When it comes to meal preparation, most of us worry about what we’re going to eat! There is another important consideration to keep in mind — how do you store the prepared meals?
There is a good reason why buying meal prep containers is the first step in my meal prep for beginners guide. Without containers, there’s no way to store and carry your food — which makes containers a pretty important piece in your meal preparation toolkit!
What to look for in meal prep containers
You might be starting to meal prep for the first time or maybe you want to make your routine more efficient. Getting the right containers is a great place to start!
There are so many choices of materials for containers— metal, silicone, glass or plastic — it really is personal preference and what will fit your lifestyle.
Will you be packing containers and commuting on public transport? Sturdy plastic containers might be better than glass or metal. Don’t have a lot of room in the kitchen at work? Stackable, reusable silicone bags take up minimal space.
Do you want to be able to reheat your meal in the container? Glass or BPA-free plastic is your best bet. There are even some storage sets that have a combination of both glass and plastic containers, which can make life so much easier!
Whichever material you choose for your meal prep containers, make sure they will work for you.
2. The right size
Yes, you will probably want to be able to fit your meal into one container! One thing to be mindful of is how much food you are packing to take with you.
If you are following a meal prep routine to stop yourself from buying unhealthy lunches, then make sure you are adhering to the right portion sizes. Otherwise, you might end up either making too much food and having it go to waste or accidentally overeating. Buying containers that are too large can make it more likely that you will pack a larger meal than you really need. If you’re trying to avoid overeating, stick to a container size that fits your meal without having lots of extra space!
3. A suitable layout
Do you want to keep some foods separate in the same container? There are loads of containers with compartments to help keep meat and vegetables separate from grains or to be able to keep your snacks separate from dip, if that’s what you want!
Keep in mind that dividers take up more room in the container, so you might need to size up to be able to fit every bit of food in.
4. Freezer-safe material
Make sure the containers you are choosing tick all of the boxes you need them to! Do you plan on keeping some prepared meals in the freezer? Can you freeze the meals in the container or can they only be used to separate meals? Meal prep food safety is important, the containers should seal properly to reduce bacteria growth. If you plan to freeze meals in their containers, they need to be safe for freezing.
5. Leak-proof lids
This is another area where paying a little more for your meal prep containers is worthwhile. Because you definitely want leak-proof lids on your containers!
The day that your bag ends up swimming in salad dressing or you discover that somehow the sauce from your stir-fry has managed to escape from its container is not a good day. Trust me on this.
No one will judge you if you do a test run to check the lids for your meal prep containers don’t leak!
Consider this your shopping guide for meal prep containers!
Don’t be scared of this list! Shopping for meal prep containers is not as difficult as it might seem, although there are a lot of different options.
While you might be worried this all sounds very overwhelming, remember that meal prep has so many benefits too. Having a prepared healthy meal to come home to after a long day can remove a lot of stress. Once you get into a routine, there are lots of meal prep hacks to speed the process up too!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.