Oct. 18. 2016
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

I’ve chatted before about what constitutes as the perfect bowl meal, which can apply to this concept of a healthy meal in a jar, but let’s do a quick recap! Ideal balanced meals should have a combination of healthy fats, protein, greens, other vegetables, and optional carbohydrates/starches, and optimizers like seaweeds, spices, and herbs. Below you’ll find a simple guide on how to make your meal in a jar and a couple tips I’ve learned through trial and error.

it’s a meal in a jar.


  • Dressing option 1: Put the dressing, sauce, or any condiments (i.e. mustard, hummus, salsa, guacamole, etc.) on the very bottom of the jar, i.e. start layering it first.
  • Dressing option 2: Store the dressing in a separate mini-mason jar and pour it on top (as pictured), then lid the jar and shake to evenly coat the meal.
  • Make several meals in a jar at a time for a quick lunch each day of your workweek
  • Utilize your batch cooking foods to fill em’ up
  • Meals can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks (i.e. overnight oats, chocolate mousse, chia pudding, salad, etc.)



  • Raw or lightly cooked greens: spinach, romaine, arugula, kale, micro greens, sprouts, mustard greens, swiss chard, etc.
  • Proteins: tempeh, beans, quinoa and lentils (starchy-proteins), hemp seeds, nuts/seeds, nutritional yeast (not technically a “protein”, but loaded with plant-based protein). High quality animal proteins like whole eggs, wild-caught fish, chicken, turkey, etc.
  • Healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, coconut oil
  • Veggies, not limited to: carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, snap peas, peas, radish, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
  • Carbohydrates and starches: sweet potatoes, quinoa, millet, brown rice, wild rice, beans, corn and peas. Fruits: strawberries, pears, banana, papaya, mango, grapes, raspberries, apples, etc.
  • Toppers: fermented veggies like kimchi or sauerkraut, homemade salad dressings (try those listed below), kelp/dulse granules and flakes for added iodine and minerals, nutritional yeast, homemade hummus, apple cider vinegar (a must!), fresh lemon juice


What are your favorite meal combinations? Let me know what you think when you give this “recipe” a go! I love seeing what you come up with so don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #nutritionstripped on Instagram so I can see.

xx McKel

p.s. Looking for 1-1 support and a personalized nutrition and wellness plan to meet your health goals? I’m taking new nutrition coaching clients in November, so check out my coaching services for more information!