September meal planner 1 – family food

family meal planner

family meal plannerNow that we are entering the Autumn our food thoughts move away from salad and cold food to comforting broths and soups. Homemade is always the best nutritionally, economically and when you get it right, it has the best flavour.

Getting the stock right is important; I often use Knorr stockpots as I have found them to contain less salt and to be full of flavour. Poaching a chicken with onions, carrots, celery, herbs and bayleaf also makes a tasty stock. Although the taste will only be as good as the quality of the chicken. We can’t always afford corn fed, organic, free range chickens, so alternatively I will often sneak in a chicken cube or two.

Homemade soups and broths are also a healthy way of reducing food waste as most ingredients, cooked and fresh can be used . My meal plan this week contains a stock, a broth and a soup. Try these recipes out at the beginning of the season and by the end of the winter you will be so glad you did.

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

Did you know? Soup was the very first food to be served in public restaurants in 18th century Paris.

About our family meal planner

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

The weekly meal plans 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 says 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.

Each 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

Meats and fish

Stewing Steak – 750 g   
White fish – 200 g
Salmon – 200 g
Chicken – 1 whole chicken
Chicken breast – 3
Cooked chicken breast –    4 cups
Suet – 30 g

Dairy and eggs

Cheese – 1   
Eggs – 2
Cheddar Cheese – 100 g
Cream cheese – 2 tblsp
Fresh Vegetables and fruit;
Lemon (zest) – 1
Fresh Lime (juice) – 1
Blueberries – 200g
Apples (eating) – 250g
Yellow Pepper –    1
Red Pepper – 1
Onions – 9 (1 kg or so)
Butternut squash – 2
Shallots – 1
Potato – Baked – 4
Potato – 400g
Cabbage – 250g
Red cabbage – 500g
Celery – 4 stalks
Carrot – 9
Garlic Clove – 2
Ginger – 1 tbslp


Filo pastry – 1 pack
Garden Peas – 50 g
Prawns – 400g
Baked goods;
Self raising flour – 120g
Light brown sugar – 2 tblsp
Caster sugar – 50 g
Breadcrumbs – 16 tblsp

Dried goods

Chicken stock cubes – 4
Beef stock cubes – 2
Cornflour – 1 tblsp   
Plain flour – 2 -3 tblsp
Pasta –    4 Cups
Noodles    – 150g
Almonds    – 25g
White Sauce – 300mls

Herbs and spices

Green Thai paste – ½ tsp
Nutmeg – pinch
Dried Coriander – 1 ½ tsp
Fresh Coriander – 1 bunch
Rosemary – 1 tblsp
Allspice – 1 tsp
Cumin – 1 ½ tsp
Dried Chilli – 1 ? tsp
Turmeric – 3 pinches
Bayleaves – 3
Parsley    – 1 packet (fresh)

Cans and bottles

Chickpeas – 1 can (400g)
Tomato passata – 1 pint
Tomato chutney    – 4 tblsp
Coconut milk – 2 can (800 ml)
Wine Vinegar – 2 tbslp
Garlic puree – 2 tsp
Olive/Vegetable oil – 2-3 tblsp

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