Simple cooking tips for preparing Keto-friendly meals with a toddler

Food Organization
This is what weekly meal planning feels like!

Don’t you love to check out new ways to do things more efficiently and effectively? When my daughter was born this hobby became a real need for me. I had very little time on hand with triple the chores. As she grew up it became harder because she needed so much attention all the time.

My husband suggested we order food from outside to reduce our workload. That didn’t seem to work at all. Instead I found creative ways to prepare meals ahead of time so that it hardly takes 30 minutes to an hour to cook them.

Now with special keto requirements, it further became important for me to organize and plan accordingly. It was really difficult for me at first but now after two months I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of it.

Here are some things I do regularly to make cooking keto meals a breeze.

Keto Meal Planning
1. Add a meal plan for every day of the week.

Weekly meal planning; This list, that list and more lists!

Recalculate your macro nutrients every week. I use this online calculator as well as the fitness pal app. Make a list of things you want to make over the week accordingly. This includes all 3 meals breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a few snacks (I pick two or three ideas for snacks). These will also include sides and condiments if required for the meals. This hardly takes 15 minutes.

Keto grocery
2. Do your grocery weekly according to the meal plan

Weekend grocery

I do this every Friday. Using the food list I made, I create a grocery list. I order online as much as possible.

Some of the the options I use is obviously Amazon pantry or Amazon fresh. Another option is getting a Shipt account which has made shopping from Target and Meijer so simple. It usually arrives in a couple of hours. I don’t really have to go out and shop. This saves me so much time for some fun time with family instead of doing grocery. This takes another 15 minutes.

I sometimes go out get the fresh produce myself as some things are unavailable on shipt. Or I simply do this just to go to target. Who doesn’t love that. Takes 30 minutes.

Check out my beginner’s grocery list here.

Prepare your keto friendly breakfast ahead of time
3. Prepare your breakfast ahead of time as much as possible

Prepare breakfast

I prepare these egg muffins for my husband once every two weeks. I use this muffin pan. They last for three months in the freezer and 7 days in the refrigerator in any airtight container. I freeze half of them and rest go in the fridge.

While the muffins are being prepared I hard boil eggs in my instant pot. They last a week in the fridge. They can be kept for longer if you don’t peel them.

If you want you can make ahead the keto pancake batter and store it in the fridge as well but make sure to use it within 3 days. It takes hardly 2 minutes to make them everyday. For more breakfast ideas check this out.

Keto friendly lunch ideas
4. Prepare lunch ahead of time

Prepare lunch

You can prepare salads for a week or just prepare dinner such that the leftovers can be used for lunch. For salads, I love the egg salad and the strawberry spinach salad. If you are preparing lunch boxes for work or school, add an egg and cheese in it along side the main meal. You can use the bento boxes for lunch or these silicon cups to divide any plastic container or lunch box. I usually take an hour to do this but this depends on the amount of food preparation and number of boxes I have to prepare.

Keto
5. Marinate all your chicken or beef for ahead of time and freeze in portions for the whole week

Dinner preparation

Marinate your chicken, beef, fish and anything you feel like making throughout the week and freeze them. Most of the recipes I shared can be frozen. I freeze huge batches that sometimes last me a month. You can prepare according to the time you have. Cut all vegetables and marinate tikkas, wings, fish, lamb chops, chapli kebabs, minced meat and other meals. Store in airtight containers or ziploc bags. Never cut avocado beforehand it will turn black. I often cut zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and whatever vegetables I plan to use throughout the week. These disposable gloves really help me with marination and chopping up vegetables. Sometimes even a tiny cut on your hands can cause a lot of pain if not covered. I also think its more hygienic this way. I also use this manual chopper for onions and pepper. It saves me a lot of tears as well as time. It is so easy to clean as compared to the electric chopper I have.

Yes this all sounds like a lot of work but I do not do this every single week. Sometimes a lot of preparation lasts me 3 weeks too. It depends on how much energy and time you have. For example we have been eating egg muffins for 3 weeks now but we do not care because at least its keto and it is filling our tummies. Do whatever you can but trust me on this, a little preparation goes a long way.

I know it seems quite overwhelming but you start enjoying all of it when you realize how simple the rest of the week becomes for you. Best of luck for your keto journey. Let me know if you have any other ideas I can add in my routine to make this simpler.

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