Meal prep is the act of preparing whole meals ahead of time—sometimes a week or even a month out—so you have homemade food ready to go with a simple reheat or “dump” cook. Ideal for busy folks, meal prep is akin to heating up a TV dinner, only the dinner was made by you and it’s probably way healthier. Even if you’re not sure how to meal prep, you most likely have a friend who’s avid about the trend. These eight gifts were handpicked to make her meal prep more fun and functional.
1. Mason Jars
Mason jars will not only make meal prepping easier for your friend, but they’ll also score points for presentation. From overnight oats to salads to soups, Mason jar recipes are abundant and even if your friend has a few jars lying around, she can always use more. We recommend a 12 pack of 16-ounce wide-mouth jars, , which can also be useful for decorating projects around the house.
2. Bento Boxes
A set of stackable bento boxes is an ideal gift for the meal prepper who loves variety. A bento box’s neat design keeps foods separated and fresh, and it makes healthy lunches on the go easy. Bento boxes also store well in the fridge for later use. This set of bento boxes is BPA-free, as well as dishwasher-, refrigerator-, freezer-, and microwave-safe.
3. A Set of Cutting Mats
Instead of washing the same cutting board over and over again, invest in a set of flexible cutting mats, which won’t take up too much counter space. This set even has labels to eliminate cross-contamination while prepping. Non-porous, BPA-free, and dishwasher-safe, these flexible cutting mats keep food safe and the kitchen clean.
4. 2-in-1 Knife and Cutting Board
If your friend hates chopping altogether, get her this 2-in-1 knife and cutting board. The clever contraption quickly chops fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more in seconds, replacing all knives and cutting boards completely. Slice, dice, chop and cut meal prep time in half.
5. Rapid Egg Cooker
Hardboiled eggs make an easy addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Help your friend get the protein she craves without having to wait for water to boil or the timer to ring. This electric egg cooker not only makes hardboiled eggs fast and easy, but it also makes scrambled eggs, poached eggs, and individual omelets in just a few minutes.
6. Reusable Silicone Bags
Meal prepping can be hard on the planet if you use a ton of plastic storage bags, but silicone reusable bags were designed to help solve this problem. Made from 100 percent silicone, the bags come in half-gallon to snack size. Whether your friend likes to prepare “freezer dump” meals, which can be thrown into a crockpot or multi-cooker when desired, or simply takes snacks on the go, a set of reusable bags will come in handy.
7. Beeswax Food Wraps
Like reusable bags, beeswax paper is an eco-friendly way to meal prep, replacing plastic wrap for items your friend wants to store temporarily. Reusable and BPA free, beeswax food wraps can also be used for taking a small bundle of food on the go, keeping food fresh while simultaneously reducing waste.
If you feel like spoiling your meal prepper, give her and Instant Pot, a multi-cooker that lets her prepare big batches of meat, stews, soups, beans, and more. The device also functions as a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and yogurt-maker, with pre-programmed settings your friend can “set and forget.” Multi-cookers are ideal for meal preppers, who love the idea of cooking by simply pressing a button.
Need more ideas? Check out these other foodie gifts for the meal prepper in your life — or even for yourself.
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, and VICE.