Meal Prep Ideas for Real Life

When January rolls around, we all like the clean start of trying again and one thing that can make healthy eating accessible is to plan ahead.

Start Here: Recipes & Meal Prep Ideas

We partnered with our friends at Bob’s Red Mill and savvy food bloggers to talk about setting SMART goals and thinking through meal prep ideas for real life. Find the food blogger meal preparation ideas and recipes featuring our California Mission Dried Figs and their organic farro or organic whole wheat flour by clicking on the recipe name below the photos.

And, then, we opened up the question over on Instagram and found a vibrant assortment of meal prep ideas that we can’t wait to share with you! Each idea is tagged with the person who shared it. So, head down past the recipes to dig into those crowd-sourced 46 meal preparation ideas (and share your own in the comments!

Whole wheat sheet pan pancakes with California Fig Swirl are one of our top meal prep ideas for easy breakfasts all week.

California Fig Swirled Whole Wheat Sheet Pan Pancakes

Whole wheat muffins with dried figs will be the healthy on-the-go breakfast you'll prep on Sunday for a successful week ahead and one of our favorite meal prep ideas. Share your meal preparation ideas with us in the comments!

Whole Wheat Muffins with Figs

Le Petit Eats Farro Salad with Figs and Maple Tahini Dressing is one of our favorite meal prep ideas for easy lunches all week.

Farro & Fig Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Whole wheat chocolate chunk with figs is a go-to breakfast and one of our favorite meal prep ideas for snacktime too.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chunk Fig Bread

Turn to one of our trusty meal prep ideas to get out of a cooking rut. Getting ready for the week can be easy, as these meal preparation ideas prove.

Seedy Farro Breakfast Bowl with Warmed Figs & Pears

46 Meal Prep Ideas for Real Life

1/ Read your recipe first to ensure you have the proper tools, sufficient time and space, and adequate food to make the meal a success. – @lexiquin

2/ Prep your produce when you get home from grocery to save time later. – @annmuth

3/ Best tip is to prep all food when you get home. If fruits and veggies are ready then you’ll use them. 😋 – @farmgirliee

4/ I like to chop my veggies and fruits so they’re ready to eat! – @bluebecks

5/ Go grocery shopping the day before and have a list when you go shopping. – @yaz_gets_fit

6/ Use frozen veggies when you can. – @anissa_denise823

7/ Cook in large batches and freeze the extra! – @healthy_happy_and_free

8/ Write it down so you know exactly what to eat. @senyorg

9/ My meal prep tip is to start a sourdough starter! Fresh natural yeast, amazing gut bacteria, and a chance to show off baking skills. – @jaredlynne

10/ I organize everything I need in front of me before I begin any recipe, mise en place. – @blamemymigraine

11/ I wash fruits & veggies when I get home from the grocery store to save this step when I’m ready to prepare a meal. – @aleach61

12/ Blanch veggies and cook proteins, then store separately. – @kalynjrichmond

13/ I make sure I cut everything up the day I get it so when it’s time to prep it’s just a matter of cooking. – @eruiz217

14/ On Sundays I make soup for weekday lunches, make muffins for the family to grab quickly on the go and try to make 1-2 dinners for when we need a quick dinner after hockey practice ✅ prep is key! – @briescrafty

15/ Freezing chopped veggies for easy meals when I do not have time to chop. @lesh4537

16/ Buy already chopped veggies at the salad bar if you’re in a hurry. Make double and freeze. Involve your kids in planning and prepping! They’ll be more willing to eat what’s made. Write out a menu. – @tofumom

17/ Use dried/frozen fruits when not in season! Much tastier than trying to just use the fresh! – @thrivesonplants_8

18/ Tip: chop veggies you bought and put into containers. This way for few days it will be easy and quick to prepare your dish. – @vegangfheaven

19/ Cook in large batches and freeze what you don’t need! Keep it simple! Portion out food ahead of time. – @crazyrilee

20/ My tip is to plan the week’s meals and shop according to those meals! – @kjand3babes

21/ Measure and prep all your ingredients before cooking or baking a recipe. – @agewanter

22/ Meal prep for the whole week with simple dishes; my fave is overnight oats! – @thehealthyhipstah

23/ Cook eggs for the week in the air fryer, because they stay fresh in the shell & are ready to eat every morning. – @mwlubber

24/ My meal prep tip is to get the family involved. I give my 6 year old the cook book and ask him to select recipes for the week. Then we shop on Saturday or Sunday. He is excited to to cook dinners with me and I find he eats a wider variety of foods because he’s involved in the preparation. – @juvet

25/ I like to plan for meals with similar ingredients to cut down on the number of items that I need to buy and prep. – @clpatton

26/ Look at what is in the cupboard before meal planning and plan on leftovers. – @ellengarrett

27/ A sharp knife is key to getting veggies done fast. – @hels_bels27

28/ Having an instant pot has really upped my meal prepping! I just made a big batch of homemade apple sauce. 😍 – @aipzebra

29/ Prepping tip…remember the old adage FIFO (first in first out) label with tape and first in and you won’t have wasted prep. – @chefsherrid

30/ My tip would be to buy more fruits/veggies in season and can some for offseason dishes. – @elin_e_roberts

31/ To make a couple of big dishes; a whole chicken, meatloaf, for example, so that you can save money by getting a few meals from it. 💚 – @danaonig

32/ I often pre dice squash and other veggies and freeze for easy dinner prep. I also make fruit and veg purees ahead for healthy baking in a flash! – @joanneabove

33/ Best meal prep tip for me would be to have a check list.. if you don’t start with that you won’t be prepared…. – @lions_den_1

34/ Buy freezer containers. – @saladsandsuch

35/ Roast veggies ahead of time in big batches! – @collegeceliackc @hannah____vera

36/ The best tip I have is when you have plenty of guests coming (holidays, Bday, graduations, etc…), I always write a menu down at least a week in advance, buy my ingredients and meal prep (chopping seasonings, getting my pots, pans& utensils organized, season meats) so everything can go as smooth as possible on the big day. – @redstickrick

37/ I love making extra whole wheat waffles on Sunday for healthier fast breakfasts for the kids. – @mrscole131

38/ Make extra Muffins and freeze em! – @kjoleenkh

39/ I like to make extra pancakes and either refrigerate (or freeze for longer freshness) then just pop in microwave or toaster oven. – @shivamin2000

40/ Set out all the ingredients for a meal ahead of time before starting to cook. – @wizardewu

41/ Sunday is good prep day. Prep all veggies and fruit for a quick and easy week. – @strengthofthevine

42/ Multitasking – bake while cutting up veggies or using the stovetop for other cooking. – @snackinspo

43/ Then look up healthy recipes online for their products to make your meal prep. Also work with a friend or family member to meal prep together that way the cost and labor is shared. 😉😃 – @jolyndoglover

44/ Prep slow cooker ingredients and freeze. – @munozai82

45/ Have a stock of different spices and sauces on hand to flavor meat and veggies for a quick saute. – @hlee99

46/ Enlist family to help. – @margaretsilebi

Share your meal prep ideas with us in the comments below. We are always looking for new meal preparation ideas!