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Week Long Family Friendly Meals this 2017

Meal planning is the golden ticket when you’re trying to stick to a budget. However, this week-long meal plan gives you more. It has put together seriously viable meals that are also healthy for the family. The nutritional value of these hand-picked recipes was considered to allow you to prepare delicious meals for the entire family. The meal plan proves that it is possible to eat well on a budget.

We’ve included a balance of lean protein from meat, energizing carbohydrates, and healthy fats, including the all-important omega-3 variety. Although Some nutrients in the recipes can often be lacking in our modern-day diets, such as vitamin D and selenium. The ingredients in our recipes are rich in essential minerals for growth and development, including iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, and selenium.

“Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose!”
― Karl Lagerfeld

This year, enjoy less stress this week with the time and money you’ll save following this helpful plan! Roast Sunday!

Valerio Pardi/Shutterstock

One-pan roast chicken & potatoes

An all-time family favorite, it’s a great nutritional option because white meat is generally lower in fat than red meat. Chicken is a source of quality protein, which is needed for growth and development. Protein is especially important for children and teenagers.

Kids love potatoes. This is good news because potatoes (especially new potatoes) are a source of vitamin C. It can often be a challenge to encourage the younger family members to eat veggies. Although potatoes are starchy, which means they don’t count as fruits and vegetables, their contribution to our vitamin C intake makes them worth the plate room.

You may swap roast potatoes for sweet potato wedges or a carrot & sweet potato mash. That way, you’ll be topping up your veg intake. Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene for a healthy immune system.

You may also use a chicken carcass to make stock. Chicken stock adds a nutritional punch to casseroles and soups. The stock can also be frozen for future use.

This recipe uses a very generous six lemons and nine garlic cloves. For younger palates and to manage costs, reduce the number of lemons and garlic to suit taste preferences.


 Fried Monday!

Sweetcorn egg-fried rice with chicken Sweetcorn egg fried rice with chicken

Sunday leftovers? No problem! Use up yesterday’s roast chicken with this quick and easy dish. Adding sweeter veggies like sweet corn will ensure it hits the spot for younger taste buds. Consider adding the curry, soy sauce, and ketchup at the end of cooking. You can keep everyone happy by serving up for the children before adding spicier flavors. Remember, salt intake for seven to10-year-olds should be kept within a maximum of 5g ( an equivalent of a teaspoon) per day. Younger children and toddlers consume even less. Sauces that contain ketchup and soy sauce can be significant contributors to our salt intake.

Chicken is a good source of the amino acid, tryptophan. Therefore, opting for chicken in the evening will help raise serotonin levels and promote a good night’s sleep. This is especially important when it’s school the next day.

Adding the egg to this dish boosts its protein contribution. Moreover, eggs, namely the yolk, are one of only a handful of food sources that supply vitamin D. Whatever our age, we need this vitamin for healthy bones and teeth.

You may swap the ketchup for tomato puree. A rich source of protective lycopene, tomato puree is lower in salt and sugar. You’ll be adding all the flavor with three times fewer calories. What’s more, one tablespoon counts as one of your portions of fruit and veg.

This recipe is perfect for raiding the fridge, so grab the opportunity to use up any leftover veggies.




Spicy Tuesday!

Fishballs with spicy lentil gravy

Fish balls are an ingenious way of ensuring your family members attain their weekly fish quota. Health experts recommend that we eat two portions of fish per week, one of which should be an oily variety. Oily fish, including salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines, contain a special type of fat called omega-3. Our bodies need these fats from our diet though they are not naturally produced inside. That is why they are called essential fats. Omega-3 fats are necessary for our brain to function well, for balanced hormones and healthy, supple skin.

Lentils are a great source of the iron. This is important for school-age children because it helps energize their brains. It also improves concentration and alertness. Combining iron-rich ingredients, such as the lentils, with vitamin-C-rich foods like peppers optimizes our body’s absorption of this valuable mineral.

The spicy sauce in this recipe helps disguise the fishy flavor of the salmon. Add the spices according to your family’s taste preferences.

You may swap the white breadcrumbs for a whole meal. That way, you’ll be improving the fullness factor of this meal thanks to extra fiber. And, wholemeal bread is rich in energizing B vitamins.

Fish can be pricey, so to keep costs down, buy packs of frozen salmon. Alternatively, swap fresh salmon fillets for canned salmon. You’ll still benefit from the omega-3 goodness. What’s more, canned salmon supplies more bone-friendly calcium.


 Feel Good Wednesday!

Bolognese Spaghetti

This Bolognese packs in the veggies, which means the meat goes further. This allows you to buy less but better quality. For fussy eaters, sneak in the veg by blending to a smooth sauce before adding the meat.

Beef is rich in the iron and zinc. These two minerals are needed for growth and repair. They are especially important in childhood. Zinc helps us to stay healthy by keeping our immune system functioning well and promoting the healing of cuts and bruises. Getting adequate amounts of iron from the diet is especially important for teenage girls because they’re often low in this essential mineral. As a result, they feel tired and lack energy.

You may swap gravy granules that can be salty for a low-sodium version or for a low sodium bouillon powder such as Marigold.

Alternatively, you may swap spaghetti for pasta shapes. They’re easier for little ones to manage, which cuts down on wastage.


 Cheesy Thursday!

Tomato and chickpea bake

Maybe you’ve no time to get to the shops. Also, you may be waiting till payday. In such cases, this flavor-packed vegetarian supper makes a great fallback because it uses up store cupboard basics like canned tomatoes and chickpeas. That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on nutritional value. Chickpeas are an excellent source of soluble fiber and iron. Canned tomatoes are richer than their raw equivalent in one of the most powerful antioxidants, lycopene. Besides being great for the heart, lycopene helps protect our skin from sun damage. Topping this veggie bake with bread provides a crunchy crust without the fat and stodginess of a pastry lid. Finishing the dish with cheese helps to top up calcium levels – essential for strong bones and teeth.

You may swap Parmesan with a mild-flavored cheese, which the children are more likely to favor such as cheddar or Edam. Remember that under two years olds should be given full-fat dairy products.

You don’t need to use a baguette in this recipe – use up any leftover bread. If it is a sliced loaf, then cut the slices into triangles and arrange over the surface of the veggie bake.



 Finger Food Friday!

Fish fingers

Making your own fish fingers puts you in control of the ingredients, which means you can keep salt and fat levels down. Canny diners are likely to guess they’re not from a packet so why not employ some eager young helpers. That way, they’ll be keener to eat what they’ve cooked.

This recipe suggests using an egg enhanced with omega-3 fats. This is a useful strategy if members of the family dislike fatty varieties of fish like salmon. However, the contribution from the single egg in this recipe would be negligible. Nevertheless, if a family member has an allergy or dislike of fish, omega-3 enhanced eggs are worth using where possible.

You may swap white fish with an oily variety like fresh tuna, trout or salmon to help top up omega-3 levels. Fish is a natural source of sodium, so swap the fish seasoning (which contains salt) for mixed herbs instead.

Buy frozen fish. It is better valued, and any sustainable variety would be suitable. Replace the omega-3 enhanced with a regular egg.


 Burger Saturday!

Turkey burgers

The dried apricots in these burgers may seem an unlikely ingredient. Nevertheless, they help keep the burger succulent and moist, as well as packing in extra flavor. That’s not all. The sweetness of the apricots will win over even the pickiest of eaters, while also supplying extra fiber and iron and counting as one portion of fruit. Turkey is not only a lean meat but also one of the richest in the immune-friendly mineral, selenium. It also supplies all of the B group of vitamins.

Adding oats to these burgers helps the meat go further and makes them more filling. Just remember that young tummies can’t manage too much fiber so vary the quantity depending on your kids’ ages. Oats are a great source of slow-burn carbs that help to stabilize blood sugar levels and just might avert temper tantrums!

Finishing these burgers in the oven rather than frying or griddling keeps fat levels down.

If you fancy a change from poultry and you’re keen on introducing the family to new tastes, consider swapping for venison. As a lean meat, venison is equal in calorie content to dark turkey mince but is three times richer in iron. This recipe is ideal for introducing a new type of meat because the oats minimize the amount you’ll need, and the apricots provide a sweetness to counter the different flavor.

You may use thigh mince in place of breast mince cuts costs. Although slightly higher in fat, dark thigh meat is richer in minerals including iron and zinc.

You’ll notice a number of the veggies (like the carrots in this recipe) feature throughout the week so buy loose and in bulk to keep costs to a minimum.

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