Tips for meal planning

I start my placement as a student dietitian today, working at lots of different health care sites all over South East London. In preparation I spent yesterday planning some of my meals for this week.  It can be a great way to stick to a weekly food budget, reduce food waste, and maintain a healthy diet when you’re busy, but it can sometimes be tricky to know where to start.

I often eat similar things for breakfast and lunch each day (fruit, yoghurt and muesli and various salads), especially during the week. However, I really enjoy trying out a new recipe from one of my many recipe books once a week if I have time. It’s a really nice way to increase the variety of meals that I eat.

Another good way to plan your meals is to think about each meal as a sequence;

  1. Choose the meat or protein source: beef mince
  2. Decide on a main meal: chilli con carne
  3. Think about accompaniments: wholegrain rice
  4. Remember fruit and veg: Broccoli and kidney beans in the chilli

It’s a good idea to try and include at least 2 portions of fruit and veg with your main meal to contribute towards your 5-a-day.

I also find it really helpful to cook double quantities and have it reheated the next day for lunch or dinner, or freeze it for another time. If you’re doing this remember to make sure that reheated food is piping hot before serving and always follow the instructions with your microwave for reheating.

You can get some very quirky stationary to help you meal plan which can be fun to use, but I just use a blank notebook or cheap diary. If you have a favourite meal planner or some go to mid-week meals feel free to share them here in the comments section or on my Instagram post – find me @jess_rann.

Happy meal planning!

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