As an avid meal prepper, I make nearly all of my meals for the week in advance. Depending on the time, I can make them as fancy as a falafel salad with a homemade hummus and tahini dressing, or as simple as a 15 minute tossed pasta and mushrooms with store-bought pesto. After doing this for a while, I realized that my meal plans are lacking in one area: snacks. For me, snacks are in between an actual meal and a gasp of air. They’re for when I’m not hungry, but I could be. And I always want something different, so Oreos or potato chips just don’t cut it sometimes. I decided to conduct an experiment by making different snacks before my week started and basically challenge myself to explore different ways to feel happy about what I was eating. These are a few of my tricks on how to not get bored with meal-prepped snacks.

1. Textures are Everything

bread, hummus, vegetable
Christin Urso

My favorite dip is hummus since I enjoy the umami-rich flavor that comes from the tahini and chickpeas themselves. Before the week started, I made a batch of an easy hummus recipe in a blender with loads of garlic and Harissa sauce, courtesy of Trader Joe's. But you can choose any dip: peanut butter, apple caramel, or if you really don’t have time, some of Trader Joe’s dips. I then decided to eat my dip with an assortment of baked pita chips, carrots, and pretzels; all with different textures that can bring excitement to someone who gets easily bored of eating the same thing. It’s that simple. The night before I planned to eat the hummus, I set aside some of it in a reusable container and put whatever I wanted to dip in a different one.

2. No Need to Bake All the Time

Lindsey Sample

Especially during the midterm season, I tend to crave sweet things, but I don’t have the time to bake anything. Seeing how “yopo” is a delicious snack that gets better with a ton of toppings, I decided to do exactly that. Using any flavored yogurt (I usually prefer vanilla because it goes with a variety of toppings), I store some in a reusable container and, throughout the week, I choose my toppings. Occasionally, I add chocolate chips and butterscotch morsels, and at other times, I add granola. I have found that this snack can be easily meal prepped and taken to eat between classes.

3. The Wonders of Oatmeal

rice, vegetable
Becky Hughes

I know that everyone has heard of overnight oats and how topping oatmeal with some peanut butter and berries can keep you satiated, but have you ever tried savory oatmeal? I make it the same way I make the usual breakfast oatmeal but then I add a few savory seasonings along with some veggies. My favorite ones to use are carrots and peas topped with some garam masala and garlic chutney to give it an umami flavor.

Meal prepping can definitely get boring and meal prepped snacks do not have the same "hype" like meal prepping full meals. However, I think it’s a necessary activity because we all can get hungry during the day. For people who prefer small meals throughout the day instead of the classic three meals, meal prepping snacks can be a great way to do so. This has changed my way of snacking and I hope it changes yours as well. And so I am challenging you to meal prep snacks for one week and record how you feel about it.