Packaged meals refer to pre-prepared and pre-portioned meals that are sold in ready-to-eat form. These meals are typically found in the frozen food section or the shelf-stable section of grocery stores and are designed to be convenient for consumers who don't have the time or energy to cook a meal from scratch.

Packaged meals come in a variety of forms, including frozen dinners, microwaveable meals, and meal kits. Frozen dinners are typically pre-cooked and just need to be heated in the microwave or oven. Microwaveable meals, on the other hand, are designed to be cooked in the microwave and typically come in a single serving size. Meal kits are packaged meals that come with all the ingredients needed to make a specific recipe and require some cooking or assembly by the consumer.

While packaged meals can be convenient, they often contain high amounts of sodium and preservatives, as well as added sugars and unhealthy fats. It's important to read the nutrition labels carefully and choose packaged meals that are lower in these ingredients and higher in nutrients like protein and fiber.

If you're looking to make your own packaged meals at home, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Choose a recipe: There are countless recipes available online for meals that can be made in bulk and portioned into individual servings. Look for recipes that are easy to prepare, use simple ingredients, and can be stored in the freezer or fridge.
  2. Shop for ingredients: Once you've chosen your recipe, make a list of the ingredients you'll need and shop for them in advance. Buying in bulk can help save money, and using seasonal ingredients can add flavor and variety to your meals.
  3. Cook the meal: Follow the recipe instructions to cook the meal. Depending on the recipe, you may need to cook the meal in batches to ensure that everything is evenly cooked.
  4. Portion the meal: Once the meal is cooked, let it cool and then portion it into individual servings. You can use reusable containers or zip-top freezer bags to store the portions.
  5. Label and store: Label each portion with the name of the meal and the date it was made. Store the portions in the fridge or freezer depending on how quickly you plan to eat them.

When you're ready to eat, simply reheat the portion in the microwave or oven and enjoy! Making your own packaged meals can be a great way to save time and money, and also allows you to control the ingredients and nutrition of your meals.