August meal planner 2 – Spice up your life

family meal planner

family meal plannerYou’ve heard the words ‘variety is the spice of life,’ well believe it or not spices pack in more benefits to our health than some fruits and vegetables, giving us every good reason to include spices in our diets on a daily basis. By the way most spices keep for years if stored properly i.e in tight fitting lidded jars.

My meal plan therefore this week includes a variety of spices including turmeric which can be added to main courses, rice, desserts, pastries and batters.

Turmeric adds a deep golden colour to any dish, but I use turmeric in many of my dishes because it has been proven to help prevent some cancers, it has anti-inflammatory properties which is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and it is used in chinese medicine to help with depression.

Encouraging children to enjoy spicy foods is rewarding not only at mealtime but in the long term.

About our family meal planner
This week’s family meal planner
Shopping list

Did you know: Rice can cause food poisoning. Without trying to startle you, the problem arises when hot leftover rice is not cooled down quick enough and /or not placed in the fridge as soon as possible. No amount of re – heating at the highest of temperatures will kill the harmful micro – organisms that could inhabit the rice. I try and cook the right amount of rice per portion, (approx ½ cup),  however if I do have rice leftover I place the bowl of rice in very cold water to cool quickly. The rice has to be placed in the fridge within 90 minutes.

About our family meal planner

These family meal planners are made up of recipes for the week that are child friendly and all form part of a daily diet that is balanced and will give you plenty of nutrients from each of the food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals), says Sian.

Included in the plan for the week are animal and plant protein such as white meat, fish, red meat and eggs. On the meatless day there is nuts, chickpeas, cheese and seeds. Sian says the secret to low-cost, healthy meals is to plan ahead to make sure you are stress-free, and have the correct ingredients in the right amount in your kitchen ready cook.

Every week, Sian provides you with five easy recipes to plan for the week. You can decide when to make them, on whichever day suits you best. There is also a shopping list (below) that can be printed ready to take with you to the supermarket.

This weeks meal planner

Shopping List

Bakery goods

Plain flour – 3blsp
Breadcrumbs – 50grms

Cereal, grains, pasta

Basmati rice – 4 cups
Quinoa – 2 cups
Pasta – 60grms

Dairy and eggs

Eggs – 4   
Natural yoghurt – 60mls
Framage frais – 1 tblsp           
Grated parmesan (optional) – 1tblsp

Store cupboard goods

Brown sugar – 1tsp
Tin tomatoes – 2
Coconut milk – 1 can
Tomato paste – 1 tblsp
Soya sauce – 1tsp
Gherkin (optional) – 4

Fats and oils

Olive oil – 10tblsp
Drinking chocolate – 2tblsp


Tuna (canned) – 1
White fish eg haddock – 600grms


Avocados – 6
Fresh Lime – 2
Plums – 4
Lemon juice (bottle) – 8
Summer fruits – 1 punnet

Meat, poultry

Chicken fillets – 4
Duck breasts (or chicken pieces) – 4
Sirloin steak  (or 6 slices of cooked beef) – 500grms

Nuts and Seeds

Walnuts  (optional) – 15grms

Spices and herbs

Curry paste – 1 /2 tblsp
Djion mustard – 2 tsp
Cracked pepper – 2 pinches
Oregano (dried) – 1 pinch
Turmeric powder – 5 pinches
Fresh coriander – 1 bunch
Chinese 5 spice – 2 tsp
Vanilla pod (optional) – 1
Garlic clove – 3
Sea salt (optional) – 4tsp
Fresh ginger – 1 tsp
Parsley – 1 Bunch
Dried basil – 1 pinch


Carrots – 2
Lettuce – 1
Cherry tomatoes – 20
Spring onions – 1 bunch
Onions – 4
Rocket – 1 bunch
Potatoes – 8
Mushrooms – 8
Vegetables of your choice  (1 green to serve with duck) – 2
Bananas – 2

To save extra money, use left over ingredients for lunch and for days not included in this plan.

Sian is a home economist with over 25 years experience as a secondary school teacher and now running her own private cookery school with a focus on meal planning. After years of seeing people struggling to provide healthy meals everyday for their families, she created her own meal planning system at