…but this time with a little help from an Insta-friend and Registered Nutritionist to give you a nutionally balanced and healthy meal plan that hopefully you and your family will love!
I’m sure by now you’re getting into the full swing of January and back to the routine after Christmas. Not sure about you but Christmas already seems a lifetime ago!! With a new year though often comes new resolutions! What were yours? Did you make any? Often they start with a promise to yourself to be healthier, that you WILL join that gym and that you will actually GO to the gym for longer than the first month! You may make a promise that you’ll start eating healthier meals, maybe cut down on the takeaways and alcohol consumption! What about to be more organised, save money on food bills??
Well with this blog hopefully I can help with a lot of the above! As i’ve just mentioned I’ve worked with the lovely Catherine from Catherine Lippe Nutrition and together we have devised a healthy and balanced weekly meal planner which I really hope you will love and also follow along with.
When I first set about writing up this meal plan I felt quite nervous! I do meal plans most weeks (has definitely saved me money and time as well as my sanity!!) but I wasn’t 100% sure a nutritionist would agree that what I feed my kids is actually healthy and balanced! Well i’m very relieved to say my first draft wasn’t far off but with the help from Catherine and her expertise we tweaked this slightly to get a truly balanced and varied weekly plan which is nutritionally approved and hopefully tasty for the whole family! Please download the planner and the shopping list, get your food ordered and let’s cook together! I’ll be starting Monday 22nd Jan and posting each meal as we go!! There’s a shopping List right at the bottom of this blog…
So to start here is the meal planner:
Catherine made some really interesting comments about each meal which i’m going to include below but please do follow along with me on Instagram and facebook and i’ll feed (haha pun intended!!) you some more info on each post and each meal as we go along. I’ll include the recipes on each post as well…
Monday: Chicken Tikka Traybake with wholegrain basmati rice and cauliflower
I am such a fan of a traybake. Those who have been following for a while will already know this! One pan, minimal washing up and the easiest of meals to prep and cook. Perfect for a Monday night! Don’t be afraid to try spices etc with your little ones you may be surprised! Choose a mild sauce or paste to start with and then you can gradually increase the spices and the heat but keep it mellow to start with.
Rough Method: I”ll coat the chicken with tikka curry paste, coat the veg (cauliflower, green beans, onion) with the spices and then add to the pan. I’ll then throw in the rice and pour over the stock. Pop into the oven for 40 – 45 mins but click here for the full recipe
Catherine: Using wholegrain or brown rice is a great way of increasing fibre intake. Recent research shows that, as a nation, we aren’t getting enough fibre in our diets (that applies to both adults and children) so simple swaps such as wholegrain rice instead of white rice is a great way to boost our fibre intake and keep our guts happy and healthy.
Tuesday: Breaded Pesto Salmon with Sweet Potato Wedges and Green Beans
We do try to eat a fair bit of fish. It’s so quick to cook as well. Another good one for busy mums! There is a little prep here with regards to coating your fish with pesto and then coating in breadcrumbs but that’s literally it!! A few potato wedges and some veggies and dinner is done!
Rough method: Paste the pesto on the salmon fillets all over. Then dip the fillets into some breadcrumbs and coat all over. Pop into the oven for 20 mins. Cook with potato wedges and steam/boil some green beans. (or reheat leftover beans from yesterday if there are any!)
For the full method click here
Catherine: Salmon is an oily fish and a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Including oily fish at least once a week is a great way to ensure you are getting some of these omega 3 fatty acids into your diet. Other foods that also contain omega 3’s are walnuts, pumpkins seeds, rapeseed oil or linseed oil, soya products and green leafy vegetables. NB: children under 16years, pregnant and breastfeeding women and women of child bearing age shouldn’t consume more than 2 portions of oily fish per week due to higher levels of contaminants in these fish.
Wednesday: Veggie Lentil Stew
This year one of my resolutions is to try and eat more plant based meals or at least have one per week. We usually eat a fair bit of meat and fish but it would be great to get the kids to eat more veggie based meals. So i’m trying this one out! I”m hoping the garlicky crunchy croutons will lure them in! It’s always good to have something on the plate you know they’re going to eat!!
Rough Method: Fry off an onion with some garlic and add the spices. Then stir through the lentils. Next add the stock and cook the lentils. Next in goes all the veg and the tinned tomatoes. Cook until tender. Meanwhile make your croutons. Cut some bread into 1 inch chunks, drizzle with olive oil, rub with garlic. For those not on a dairy free diet you could also grate some parmesan over these. Then pop into the oven for 15 mins or until crunchy! For the full method and recipe click HERE
Catherine: There is evidence that including more plant based meals (such as this stew) in our diet can have numerous health benefits such as improved gut health and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This is mainly because plant based dishes have higher fibre and lower saturated fat content (depending on what other ingredients you add obviously!) Whether you’re keen to include plant based dishes for health, animal welfare or environmental/sustainability reasons the important thing is to ensure you’re not missing out nutritionally. Making sure you include some plant based protein such as beans, pulses, lentils, chickpeas, nuts or seeds in every vegetarian dish will ensure you’re not missing out on protein or iron.
Thursday: Lemon Fish parcels – with fish pie mix, cous cous, broccoli and courgette
My two don’t always like the same thing so offering them a variety of fish by buying a simple fish pie mix they’ll get a bit of something they like. Smoked haddock, white fish and salmon are all good for this! Likewise the same with veggies. I often cook more than one veg per meal so that i know my kids will have one if not both veggies. My daughter will eat most veggies, my son not so much so the more I offer him the more chance he’ll eat some!! Cous cous is super quick to make as well so it really is a very easy meal with minimal washing upl!
Rough Method: Cook your couscous first as per packet instructions. Grab youself a sheet of greaseproof paper. For each parcel add 2 tbsp cooked couscous, 2 lemon slices, splash of white wine, handful of fish mix, some crushed garlic and some courgette slices. Then fold the greaseproof paper around the fish to make a loose parcel. Pop into the oven for 20 mins or until the fish is cooked through. Serve with some broccoli on the side.
For the full recipe and pics click HERE
Catherine: It’s great to see fish feature on this meal planner twice. Fish is a good source of protein as well as providing healthy fats (in the case of oily fish), vitamin A and iodine amongst other vitamins and minerals. But it’s not always easy to get the kids eating fish. If your children aren’t keen my advice would be to keep trying. You can encourage your children by continuing to offer the food (without pressurising) and by eating it yourself. It takes time and a lot of perseverance but it’ll pay off in the end. And don’t beat yourself up if they are reluctant to try these delicious lemon fish parcels. Start with fish fingers (it’s still fish) and work from there. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Friday: Honeyed turkey skewers with mini hassleback potatoes, carrots, peas
Everything always tastses better on a skewer! My kids love anything if it’s presented this way…even fruit skewers!..If using wooden ones make sure to soak these beforehand so they don’t catch. Don’t worry if you don’t have skewers you can just marinade the meat and cook in the oven but i do think skewers make the difference!?…Hassleback potatoes are easy to make too they just require a little time in the oven but use mini potatoes and it speeds this meal up! Add your choice of veg! Tip for hasslebacks, rest the potato onto a spoon and then make your slits, that way you won’t cut all the way through the potato. I’ll try and include some photos and video when I make these so you can see!
Rough method: Marinade your turkey fillets in some honey, ginger, lemon, soy and garlic. Try to marinade for as long as poss, maybe overnight or do this part earlier on in the day if you can. Once marinaded simply thread the turkey onto a pre-soaked skewer or a metal one if using and then pop under the grill, turning a few times so it doesn’t catch.
Meanwhile you need to get the potatoes into the oven, make incisions along the potato, toss in some olive oil and pop into the oven at 180C for around 35/40 mins, depending on how big your potatoes are! Pop some carrots into the oven with the potatoes as well and drizzle with some honey. Serve with some peas.
For the full method and pics click just HERE!!
Catherine: I love the variety of vegetables in this planner. Each dish contains at least 2 different vegetables and will go a long way to helping us meet our 5 a day goals. A variety of colours is always great to see as well. Not only does it look good on the plate but the different coloured vegetables all have different properties in terms of the vitamins and minerals they offer our bodies so there is definitely something to be said for eating a rainbow! If you’re children aren’t great veggie lovers please do get in touch with Catherine for her top tips for encouraging them.
Saturday: Beef Stew with Cavelo Nero and Dumpings
I’m a big fan of stews and as the weather is still bit dubious I think we’re still ok to cook a good hearty meal. I’m going to add loads of veggies into this, root veggies work best and then i’ll stir in some Cavelo Nero at the end to freshen up and brighten up the dish. My daughter is dairy free at the moment as we’re trialing this to see if we can ease her tummy aches, so far it seems to be working but i’m using lots of cavelo nero, broccoli and Kale at the moment to increase her Calcium! I’m also going to try dumplings! I haven’t made them for ages but i’m going to use Jamie Oliver’s recipe which doesn’t require any suet and add maybe some garlic powder and some herbs! Jamie Oliver – Dumplings
If you make a big batch of this you can freeze some…so good to have this ready for one of those days when you don’t have any time or energy to actually cook!!
Rough method: I’ll use my slow cooker for this but you can do the same in a casserole dish. I’ll brown the meat first, dusting the beef in a little flour, then i’ll add the remaining ingredients and hope that the slow cooker works it’s magic! I”ll then make the dumplings a la Jamie!
FOR THE FULL METHOD CLICK HERE
Catherine: Red meat, such as the beef in this dish, is a great source of iron. Iron has many different functions within the body. Its primary role is for the production of red bloods cells which transport oxygen to all our cells and organs however it has also been shown to help maintain a healthy immune system. Low iron levels can result in tiredness, lethargy, poor concentration and cognition and leave you susceptible to infections. So, if you want to avoid picking up all the winter bugs, give iron a thought. Including red meat at least once per week is a great way to boost your levels but if red meat isn’t your thing make sure you’re consuming lots (2-3 times per day) of the vegetarian sources of iron such as; beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified breakfast cereals, green leafy vegetables (kale, cabbage, watercress etc) and dried fruits such as apricots.
Sunday: Roast Pork with Roast potatoes, savoy cabbage, Carrot & Parsnip Crisps
Would it really be Sunday without a roast?! I love a roast and it’s most definitely my daughters favourite meal let’s hope this variation of is equally as appealing and tasty!
Rough method: I’m going to roast the pork with lots of fresh sage. I’ll make some apple sauce, using apples, apple cider vinegar and some coconut sugar. We’ll have some crispy roast potatoes and then i’m going to cut the parsnips and carrots up in to matchsticks and roast those in the oven to make them really crispy again to lure the kids in!! Alfie loves parsnips cooked this way, yet won’t eat them when simply roasted!? I’ll also do some savoy cabbage and some cavelo nero leftover from the stew!
Catherine: You can’t get much more balanced than a good old Sunday roast! This one’s got protein (pork), carbohydrates (roast potatoes) and plenty of veg (brussel sprouts, carrots and parsnips). Include something from the dairy food group (natural yoghurt, custard (or the dairy free alternatives) or a cheese board) for pudding and you’ve covered all 4 main food groups in 1 meal. Winner!
Really hope you can follow along…I know you may not be able to do all of them…after school clubs, playdates, nights out!..but if there’s anything here which you fancy trying then please do grab the ingredients from the shopping list and follow along with me on insta! I’ll try and post lots of step by steps on stories too to make this really simple! Once i’ve made the recipe i’ll also update this blog so you have the method in a bit more detail! I usually have a vague idea in my head and then i’ll make it up as i go along!…
I’d also LOVE to hear your feedback on this and whether it’s something you’d like to see more of! So please do let me know once you’ve given this a whirl!
Thanks so much for reading and here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!
CLICK ON THIS LINK BELOW FOR THE SHOPPING LIST: