When life gets hectic, it’s time to find creative solutions to free-up precious time. It often feels easier to let meal prep and meal planning go to the wayside when our schedules begin to do the tango but it rarely pays off. Instead of conjuring meals via takeout or the freezer aisle, which deliver more on convenience than nutrition, strategize ways to make eating healthy easier. We’re here to help: with a handful of containers and a grocery list, these simple meal prep hacks will keep your family healthy and happy during another busy school year!

Convenient and healthy. Stock the fridge with simple, ready to grab foods like veggie sticks and hummus or Orgain organic protein shakes for kids and adults. This ensures that there’s always a healthy option on hand, no dishes or cooking required.

Make it count. After your weekly grocery trip, portion snacks into bags and containers so family members can pack their own lunches in a snap. This has the added benefit of shifting age-appropriate lunch packing duties to kiddos and older family members while giving you a little breathing room throughout the rest of the week.

Think BIG batches. Instead of making pancakes just for Saturday morning, consider a large breakfast casserole or a big batch of chocolate peanut butter protein pancakes or no-bake breakfast bars for a whole week of breakfasts. Similarly, boil a dozen eggs to have easy protein on hand for quick breakfasts, snacks, or to chop into an egg salad sandwich. Freezing your famous baked ziti or enchiladas means all you have to do is turn on the oven and toss a salad before kicking back or helping to tackle that assignment on long division.

Better bars. Orgain Kids O-Bars and Simple Bars offer convenience without sacrificing clean protein and feature quality organic ingredients you can trust. Plus, they come in a variety of mouthwatering flavors like chocolate brownie, peanut butter, blueberry almond, and more to keep snacking interesting without tons of added sugar or preservatives.

Some assembly required. Similar to batch cooking above, having a few meal components like chopped veggies, roasted potatoes, slow-cooker soup, or a pantry stocked with canned beans, whole wheat pasta, and quick cooking brown rice makes throwing a meal together feel less like a toss up and more like a home run on busy nights. To get the family involved, have each member pick one ingredient to mix and match!