November meal plan 4 – get your 5 a day

five a day meal plan

Recent figures show that 70% of us are not getting the five a day we need to keep us well over the Winter. The data doesn’t give us the answer as to why so many of us neglect eating well, although it really isn’t that difficult to reason.

Some just don’t like fruit and vegetables (very poor reason when there is such a variety available all year round), though time and money would have to factor high. If you are stuck for time, planning at least five meals a week for the family will help routinely include your family’s five a day and in the long term save you a lot of money.

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

As a rule of thumb:

  • 1 portion at breakfast time (eg. a glass of unsweetened fruit juice)
  • 1-2 portion at lunchtime (vegetable soup / cheese and tomato sandwiches)
  • 2-3 portions at dinner time -refer to my meal plans this week, including a warm fruit dessert at dinner time is excellent)
  • Any time of the day a smoothie drink will account for 1 -2 portions
  • (Potatoes are not included as a 5 a day, because of their high starchy content)

Meal plan

My Meal Plan this week contributes up to three affordable ‘five a day’ portions of vegetables for every main meal.

About our family meal planner

The meal plans for the week are inclusive of animal and plant protein such as fish, white meat, red meat and eggs. You’ll find nuts, chickpeas, cheese and seeds on the meatless day. Sian comments that the secret to affordable, healthy meals is to plan ahead to make sure you are stress-free, and have the right ingredients in the correct amounts in your kitchen ready to cook.

These family meal planners are made up of dinners that are child friendly, forming part of a weekly balanced diet. It will give you plenty of nutrients from each of the food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals), says Sian.

Every week, Sian provides you with five simple recipes to plan. 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 week’s meal planner

Shopping list

Red wine – 100 mls

Breakfast Cereals
Oatmeal – 6 tblsp

Cereal Grains and Pasta
Basmati Rice – 100 g

Dairy and Egg Products
Butter – 1 tblsp

Fats and Oils
Olive oil – 2 tblsp

Fruits and Fruit Juices
Orange Zest – 1
Apple – 5       
Plums – 450 g

Legumes and Legume Products
White beans – 1 tin   
Kidney Beans – 1 tin    
Butter beans – 400 g   
Red Lentils – 6 tblsp

Nut and Seed Products
Coconut milk – 1 tin    
Chopped Nuts – 2 tblsp

Mince – 250 g
Pork Tenderloin  – 1

Poultry and Fish
Turkey – 1         
Chicken Breast – 3
Chicken – 3 kg
Prawns – 200 g
White Fish – 4
Sausages and Luncheon Meats
Chorizo – 6 slices
Black Sausage –    1

Soups, Sauces, and Gravies
Chicken Stock –    150 mls
Chicken Stock Cubes      2
Beef Stock – 500 mls
Vegetable stock – 400 mls

Spices and Herbs
Coriander – 1 Bunch
Cinnamon (ground) – 1 tsp    
Bay leaf – 6
Black Peppercorns – 6
Herbs – 1 Bunch
Nutmeg – 1 Pinch
Medium Chili Powder – ½ tsp
Green Thai Paste – ½ tsp

Brown Sugar – 70 g
Caster Sugar – 50 g

Dried goods
Noodles – 150 g

Vegetables and Vegetable Products
Green Pepper – ½        
Yellow Pepper –    1½
Red pepper – 1½
Onion – 8
Chopped Tomatoes – 1 tin    
Cabbage – 1   
Cherry Tomatoes – 12        
Carrots – 14
Parsnips – 2         
Tomato puree – 2 tblsp
Celery – 4 stalks
Potatoes – 4

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