Planning your meals and snacks ahead of time can make an enormous difference to the overall quality of your diet and to achieving your weight loss goals.
If you plan ahead, you are more likely to make wise choices at the supermarket, save money and be more relaxed when preparing meals and at meal times.
Create a menu that is easy, appertising, varied and flexible such as the simple menu below:
Carrots, Green Beans
Sweet Potato Mash
Nutrient rich snacks if hungry between meals or needed to meet protein requirements:
Fresh Fruit; Yoghurt; Cheese; Mixed Nuts; Celery & peanut butter; Carrot sticks & Hommus
Little Helper Shopping List
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- Once you have created a menu, it is easy to develop a shopping list to ensure you have all the ingredients you need for the week. Many of the above meals can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen and reheated when required.
- The above menu can be adapted from one week to the next, by simply varying the protein source, vegetable or salad variety and using different herbs, spices, sauces and marinades. Using different textures and flavours keeps meal times interesting and fun.
- Being well organised is the key to healthy, balanced and enjoyable meals, so plan ahead and reap the rewards!
- To make a versatile savoury mince, use extra lean mince, onion, grated carrot, grated zucchini, sliced mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and passata (bottled Italian tomato sauce). Serve with steamed vegetables such broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, baked pumpkin, peas or spinach.
- Use savoury mince for the whole family to create a healthy, spaghetti bolognaise, Mexican mince, cottage pie, moussaka or lasagne. Lean mince can also be used to make tasty, moist rissoles or meat balls in a tomato based sauce.
- Casseroles can be cooked at the weekend and easily reheated during the busy working week. Serve with some steamed or microwaved vegetables for a vibrant and balanced meal.
- Homemade soup such as pea & ham or chicken & vegetable soup are warm, satisfying and nutritious, perfect to come home to on a winters night, after a long day at work.
- Stir-fries are quick, easy and tasty. Vary the sauces each week to create different flavours such as soy sauce, tamari, teriyaki, sweet chilli, hoisin and satay. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to balance the saltiness and sweetness of these sauces. To provide essential protein in stir-fry dishes, use chicken tenderloins, lean beef strips, pork fillet or thick slices of firm white fish. Combine with fibre rich, colourful vegetables such as red onion, spring onions, carrots, red, green and yellow capsicum, mushrooms, Chinese greens, broccoli, snow peas and baby corn.
- Baked fish is a super quick evening meal. Add a squeeze of lemon and some fresh herbs to white fish or salmon. Wrap in baking paper and pop in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with a mixed salad or steamed greens. Add a jacket potato to make a complete and filling meal for the family.
- Ensure your pantry, fridge and freezer are well stocked with canned tuna, salmon, sardines, baked beans, four bean mix, nuts and fruit tubs; eggs, milk, cheese and yoghurt; steam fresh vegetables and frozen berries. These are invaluable items when you are short on time or energy.
See some delicious recipes…