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Healthy Habits for the Busy Back to School Season Part 3: Meal Prep

By Dana Babeu, R.D. | September 22, 2022

The registered dietitian team at New Jersey Bariatric Center are big on planning ahead, especially when it comes to hectic schedules that can mess with even the healthiest of food intentions. Here are some great make-ahead, meal prep options that can be quickly reheated when you walk in the door from work, school, activities or wherever your day takes you. 

Make-Ahead/Meal Prep Options

Egg Muffins or Crustless Quiche

These are some of our favorite recipes that we created for using  leftover protein and veggies. For a snack anytime of day or for a meal, mix with eggs and your favorite type of dairy or non-dairy milk. Both options are great for a meal prep breakfast.

A Salad Kit and Rotisserie Chicken

These are 2 of my go-to items on a busy sports day. In less time than it would take to order and serve takeout, you can have a healthy meal you’ll feel great about eating. Choose a salad kit from your grocery store or online retailer. I recommend one that has mostly greens and a few nuts, seeds or dried fruit. You can toss this with any other leftover veggies you might have on hand. Top with some chicken and a few slices of avocado and enjoy.

Fiesta Chicken 

If you have a slow cooker, set it in the morning and you’ll have a healthy meal packed with protein, fiber and flavor waiting when you get home. This recipe takes just minutes to prepare and uses lots of pantry and frozen ingredients to keep things simple. It’s family friendly, too!

Low-Carb Lasagna

This is a great dish to prepare on the weekend and bake or reheat for a comfort food dinner that tastes too good to be healthy. Capello's lasagna noodles made from almond flour are my go-to for this dish. You can also experiment with other options like hearts of palm based pasta or thinly sliced zucchini. For more healthy options, use lean ground beef or turkey and part-skim cheese. Add extra veggies to your meat or sauce for even more fiber and nutrition.

Turkey Veggie Skillet

Slice a few veggies and you’re ready to cook this light and flavorful dish that’s on the table in under 20 minutes. Or better yet, keep pre-sliced veggies in the fridge ready to go. It can be served over salad, rice or cauliflower rice and can be adapted to use up whatever veggies you have on hand.

Armed with these ideas, you’re ready to tackle the back-to-school hustle without losing track of your healthy eating goals.

Dana Babeu, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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