Healthy Eating Planner

Remove the stress of working out what's for dinner every night.  Use the healthy eating planner to organise and plan your meals in advance.  

Getting organised for the busy working week is important to reduce the stress of preparing meals for the family.  If we already know what we're having from one day to the next and have shopped accordingly, then that's half the battle!

Avoid having the same menu plan each week.  There's so much beautiful, fresh, seasonal produce, why not make the most of it?  Variety also stops family favourites becoming boring and monotonous.  

I often go to recipe sites like Taste.com and Delicious. for inspiration.  Weekends are a great time to try something new and maybe get a couple of dishes into the freezer to save time during the week.  In our house, many of these dishes have gone on to become family favourites.  I do avoid doing this through the week though.  With work, after school activities and mid week events, it's just too hard!  Stick to simple, fresh, tried and trusted meals.


The evolution of the Saturday night dinner ....


For us, Saturday night dinners are the highlight of the week.  It came from having little children and no family close by to baby-sit.  We would put the kids to bed, put candles on, open a bottle of wine and prepare something special or try something new - just the two of us.

As the years passed, the kids loved to join in.  We would still make something special and put the candles on.  In winter we would roast marshmallows by the fire and dance, just for a giggle.

Now the kids are 21 and almost 17, we don't roast marshmallows and dance so much anymore.  But the candles and music are still there and friendly 'discussion' is happening around current events, as well as plans and dreams for the future.

Whatever stage you're at, it's a great way to get together, connect and make home cooked meals a treasured event.


Some Healthy Eating Planner ideas to consider


I usually make a simple menu plan just for dinner.  However, if you're watching what you're eating and making changes, it's better to include all meals in the Planner.  

Keep in mind...

  • Each family members optimum portion sizes.  The plate standard is a simple way to measure adult portions  (1/2 plate salad or vegetables, 1/4 plate protein and 1/4 plate carbohydrate).  Refer to Portion Sizes for more information.
  • Make sure everyone's getting 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit daily.
  • Keep it fresh and simple with the best quality ingredients you can afford, preferably organic.
  • Which days are busiest and who's home for dinner?  The busy nights are the ones you'll plan to bring out your pre-prepared freezer meal!

There are plenty of meal planners on the Internet you can use, but if you need a starting point, here's a Healthy Eating Planner to get you going.



Menu ideas



1.  Breakfast Menu Ideas

Remembering that breakfast is the first meal of the day (and you are charging up for another busy day),  rather than buying cereal from the supermarket, try making your own muesli or chia seed pudding.  They can both be made in advance and are super easy (even the kids can do it).  To mix things up a bit and  for a super nutritious change, you can also alternate eggs (poached or boiled) or a smoothie.  

Click here for more Healthy Breakfast Recipe ideas...



2.  Lunch and Snacks Menu ideas

Keep a home made trail mix, or nuts and seeds on hand.  Remember to watch your portion sizes (try 1/4 cup).  Alternatively, have a serve of your favourite seasonal fruit or vegetable sticks and a good quality hummus.  

Click here for more Lunch Box Ideas ...



3.  Dinner Menu Ideas

Vary your protein.  For example, 2-3 serves of red meat, 1-2 serves of white meat (pork or chicken), 1-2 serves of fish and 1-2 vegetarian meals, per week.  Take into account any left overs you may be able to use.

Click here for more Healthy Dinner Recipe ideas ...


Now that you've got your Healthy Eating Menu planned for the week, it's easier to build your shopping list! 


Happy Healthy Eating!