The Prep and Rally meal prep system can be whatever you make of it. You can customize and modify it to work best for you. If you want us to take the thinking out of dinner for you, just follow our recipes and assemble as directed. However, what’s unique about Prep and Rally is that there is so much room to customize our plan to fit your needs. We understand that everyone has different needs, preferences and taste buds, and we would love to help you accommodate everyone in your family effortlessly.
Here are some quick and easy ways for how to modify Prep and Rally meals to suit your needs! Customize it to fit you and your family.
Make it More Kid-Friendly:
- Make it Mini – Little kids love little things. Roll meatballs into tiny spheres, make smaller hamburgers and patties, and cut sandwiches and wraps into smaller components to accommodate your little ones!
- Add a Taco or Tortilla – Adding a taco shell suddenly makes dinnertime more exciting. While a tossed salad may not excite your kiddos, throwing the same vegetables into a taco or tortilla with some chicken, meat or tofu might.
- Shapes Matter – We recommend investing in a few fun cookie cutters, or even just cutting things into shapes using a sharp knife. Kids are so much more likely to eat fruit and vegetables if they are cut into fun shapes. For example, while melon cubes may not excite your kids, melon flowers, hearts or stars might. You can customize it by using cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into fun shapes for lunches!
- Include Dips and Sauces – Dips and sauces are great for getting your kids more excited about eating. Your kids may be more likely to eat their vegetables if they can dip them into hummus, dressing, ketchup, tahini, guacamole or another condiment – be creative! You can also cut chicken, meat or tofu into strips and include a dip on the side to help get more protein into your kiddos.
- Switch Up the Grain – You can always sub in pasta for rice, farro, quinoa or any other grain that the Prep and Rally recipe calls for to accommodate your kids’ preferences. Customize it to work for you!
- Blend it Up – Some kids are extremely picky about the texture of their foods. Many Prep and Rally recipes call for sauces, which often contain pieces of vegetables and herbs. You can always use an immersion blender to give our sauces and soups a smoother texture.
- Put it on a Stick – While roasted vegetables may not happen for your kids, roasted vegetable skewers might. Use this trick to your advantage – you can make a kebab with vegetables and chicken, meat or fish to make things more fun.
Check out this article on how to pack a balanced lunchbox for even more kid-friendly food ideas!
Make it Vegetarian:
- Chicken Swap – In most of our recipes, you can easily swap out chicken for tofu.
- Meat Swap – If a Prep and Rally recipe calls for ground beef, you can usually substitute with meatless soy crumbles or Beyond Meat plant-based ground beef.
- Go With Another Protein Source – Instead of modifying a Prep and Rally recipe to make it vegetarian, it may be easier to make a separate recipe to serve as your protein source for the week. For example, you can make a bunch of homemade veggie burgers and store them in the freezer. You can also buy premade frozen veggie burgers if you are short on time. Veggie burgers are extremely versatile – they can be eaten in a bun, in a tortilla, or even chopped up and added to salads for some extra protein!
- Add an Ingredient – Many Prep and Rally dishes can be made into full on balanced meals with the addition of some vegetarian-friendly protein. Consider a salad – by simply adding beans, chickpeas, falafel, tofu, lentils, edamame, quinoa, feta cheese, some nuts or a hard boiled egg, your meal becomes much more filling and nutritious. You can also use salad dressings to your advantage – blend some nut butter, hummus, tahini or Greek yogurt into your dressings to help balance out your plate!
- A Note to Vegetarians – Please note that if you are swapping tofu for chicken or a plant-based option for meat, cooking times and temperatures may vary, so if you pick this option, be sure to watch your food closely so that it doesn’t burn. You can always write in the Prep and Rally Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about specific recipes and we can help customize our plans to suit your needs.
Make it Lighter/More Nutrient Dense
Most Prep and Rally recipes are filling, healthy and nutritious (not to mention delicious!). If you are looking to manage your weight and provide your family with optimal nutrition, you are already in a great position to do so by sticking to our recipes.
However, here are some additional modifications to customize our meal plans according to your preferences:
- Cauliflower Rice – Though many diets teach us to fear carbs, there is absolutely nothing wrong with carbohydrates – in fact they are our bodies’ preferred source of energy! There are certain nutrients that we get from grains, such as brown rice, farro and quinoa, that we just can’t get from cauliflower rice. That being said, sometimes it’s nice to get carbs from other foods, or maybe you’re simply looking for a change. Cauliflower rice can be used in addition to or in place of a grain in most of our recipes.
- High Protein Grains – Grains like quinoa and farro provide more protein per serving than brown rice and can easily be used in place of it. Protein will help keep you satisfied and regulate your hunger.
- Use Whole Grains – Though most of our recipes include whole grains, for the ones that don’t, you can always swap out white versions for their whole grain counterparts. For example, use whole wheat tortillas instead of corn or white flour tortillas.
- Mayo Swap – Instead of using mayonnaise in dressings and sauces, use either plain Greek yogurt or Dijon mustard. You can also use light mayonnaise.
Some people are hesitant about subscribing to Prep and Rally because they are worried that our meal prep system won’t cater to their families’ preferences. However, as you can see, there is so much flexibility within our meal plans, and we are always happy to provide additional modifications if necessary!
Click below to sign up for a free month of Prep and Rally and see for yourself how much you’ll love it!
– By Dena Gershkovich, Prep + Rally contributor
Dena Gershkovich is a writer, recipe developer and future dietitian. She holds a B.S. in Dietetics and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She will be completing her dietetic internship with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan starting in September 2020. Follow Dena’s blog, The Artsy Palate, and Instagram account (@theartsypalate) to see more of her work.