Results of a survey conducted by the University of Nairobi, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, and the Tokyo University of Agriculture revealed that a majority of Kenyan households hardly meet the requirements of a balanced diet. In fact, the research showed that most Kenyans eat Starchy meals with small portions of vegetables and proteins- sometimes none!

Following the survey, a local radio station conducted a poll among listeners seeking to know the reason why most Kenyans do not meet the quotas for a balanced diet. One of the most commonly cited reasons was lack of time as people get home late for work and leave early the next morning.

Fortunately, there are tricks that you can use to ensure that your family has a balanced diet in the little time you have meal prepping or cooking your meals in advance.

Meal prepping saves you time and ensures that you have healthy meals all through the week. Here is what you need to know about meal prepping.

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What is needed

Besides the normal kitchen equipment used for cooking on normal days, you will need:

  • Fridge. Nowadays, fridges have become quite affordable especially with the rise of arrangements that allow you to pay for your fridge with time. When buying your fridge, ensure you know its power consumption rate.
  • Storage containers or zip lock bags to store your food.
  • Time. Lot's of time. You can set your Saturday or Sunday afternoon aside for meal prepping.
Image: Ello on Unsplash

How to meal prep

  • Make a meal plan. Identify the different food combinations you want to make for the different days and ensure that they have all the requirements of a balanced diet. It helps to involve your family here so that you ensure that everybody's preference is taken into account. Do not forget your fruits.
  • Pick the day for meal prepping. This should be a day when you have few or no engagements outside your house like on a weekend or a public holiday.
  • Identify the ingredients you need and go grocery shopping. You can shop on the morning of the day you have set aside for meal prepping or you can place an order with a grocery store that does home deliveries.
  • Get working. Once you have all the ingredients, get into the kitchen and start preparing your meals one by one. You can get your little ones to help in the kitchen with simple tasks like cleaning and cutting the onions and tomatoes. The older ones can help in the actual cooking. This not only creates time for you to bond with them but also helps them learn.
  • Store. Once all the meals are ready, put them in the storage containers and seal them. It helps to label the containers according to the days you want the food consumed. This helps as your family can retrieve the food and warm it even when you are late coming home.

Ensure that your food is consumed within the appropriate time. Food that has overstayed in your refrigerator may not be safe for consumption.

RELATED: SIGNS YOU COULD BE MISSING vital nutrients in your diet


For a beginner, meal prepping can sound overwhelming, for a start, prep for a few days and make only simple meals. If you have no idea what to cook, use the internet to help you find ideas from the many cooking blogs and vlogs. With time you get the hang of it and soon you will be prepping like a pro and your family will be healthy.

The January issue of Parents is here to kick-start your year!
On the cover are Ryan Mwenda, who stars as Simba on the Kenyan soap opera Zora, and his mother, Doris Kanario. The duo speaks on the making of the teen star, balancing acting and school and Ryan having his mom as his manager.