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Meal Prepping For New Dads - Set Yourself Up For Success

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Hey there fellow dads! This blog post is for you, but the advice is universal and it works for new parents across the board. The intersection of parenting and wellness is often focused on mothers. When I was a new dad, I struggled to find advice to support me, so now I’m passionate about helping all the other poppas out there!

Becoming a father is one of the most rewarding and transformative experiences – but also one of the hardest (cue the cute baby feet…and the sleepless night, diet changes, and pure exhaustion).

One of the key factors that I focus on when I am coaching dads in the Dad Bod Transformation program is to dedicate time to meal prep so that when you’re bone-tired, you have nutrient-dense (not calorically-dense) snacks at your fingertips, and you don’t have to think about it.

How to avoid getting a dad bod

When was the last time you crushed a bag of chips or candy bar (or 3)? What was your “battery” charge at the time? What was your emotional state? We’re more likely to make poor choices for our health when we’re not at our best. All the mindless snacking and lack of exercise combined with less self-care time and sleep equal (drumroll…) the Dad Bod –that extra 15 or 20 lb that wasn't there before you had a kid and makes you so dang cuddly!

You can prepare for those moments by having a foolproof meal plan in place so that you can manage those moments like a boss! You can replace those unhealthy foods that only give you a few seconds of relief with nutritious snacks that will fuel you for hours. Over time those healthy snacks will become normal and you won't even miss the junk food.

Meal and snack-prepping tips

Meal prepping is simple, it only takes a few minutes to make a plan and usually less than an hour a week for all the actual food prep. Here are a few tips that have been game changers in my house as well as with the clients I coach.

Block time for meal planning, shopping, and prepping.

  • Plan: Coordinate with your partner (since they will probably be eating your snacks too!). I like to plan our meals with my wife after the kids are in bed on Wednesday or Thursday Night, and before we watch something on TV. It's a pretty low-stress time of the week and only takes a few minutes. The first few take the longest. After you've done it a few times, you can reuse a lot of the meals and grocery lists. As you plan your meals, make a shopping list.

  • Shop: Shop on the same day each week and make it part of your regular schedule. If events come up or we can't get to the store, we place an order on Instacart or some other online grocery delivery service.

  • Prep: Meal prep on the same day each week. In my house, we usually prepare meals on Sunday mornings while the kids watch cartoons and the two of us can bang it out in about 30 - 60 min. Then we do another snack prep day midweek when we run out of snacks.

Make your snacks easy to access and easy to see (and make those unhealthy snacks impossible to reach/see!) We are visual creatures and tend to eat whatever we see. Organize your snacks on a shelf or on the door of your fridge at eye level (once your kids get older, place their snacks on a lower shelf so it's the first thing they see).

Keep it simple. Whole foods are best, so make the bulk of your snacks with whole foods and you can't go wrong.

Easy snack recipe

In our house, condiments are king. One of my favorite snacks is to make a container of creamy cashew dipping sauce and prepare cut-up peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and rolled-up meat slices for dipping. The best is cold cuts wrapped in romaine lettuce and dipped in creamy cashew sauce. It gives you fats, and proteins, but is low in carbs and won't give you an insulin spike or following energy crash. The sauce lasts for about a week in the fridge and is delicious! For the detailed recipe click HERE

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