Preparing family meals can cause much anxiety. Advice changes monthly, along with new fads about gluten free, diary free and raw unprocessed foods being the ideal. Have you ever noticed a kid who is obese and ever thought ‘what are the parents doing?’ Society puts a lot of pressure on us parents that we are answerable for everything. However, weight gain isn’t simply calories in and calories out, emotional status and stress can influence eating patterns. However that’s another topic for another day.
So as with anything in life my mantra is keep it simple and don’t worry if it doesn’t happen, try again later. Healthy eating for me means preparing home cooked meals the majority of the time, not all the time but most times. Eating out as a family is fun and a good bonding experience, which we inco-operate once a week.
If I plan my meals for the week ahead it takes away a lot of the stress and definitely less trips to the supermarket, saving us mums (or dads) precious time!
A word on organic food
Organic food has been around for centuries and in all cultures. Civilisations have been rearing their own food for years. Animals have been free to roam the earth since the time of Adam without being in cages. It is not a new phenomenon, my parents are originally from Bangladesh and it is an everyday way of life to cultivate your own crops and livestock, without the need for pesticides.
Nonetheless, if you’re like my husband he doesn’t bother with tradition, he wants scientific proof. Research this yourself but here is some food for thought (excuse the pun). Prof Carlo Leifert at Newcastle University, conducted a study which concluded that there are “statistically significant, meaningful’ differences, that the presence of antioxidants were “substantially higher” in organic food. Antioxidants are important to protect your body against ageing, cancer and heart disease. A large study in the USA by the Consumers Union looked at data from more than 94,000 food samples and 20 different crops. They found that organically grown crops had less pesticide residues.
Often we want the best cars, willing to spend money on the best clothes, the best accessories, so why not put the best food into your body? So as much as possible try local home-grown, in season, organic food while supporting your local farmers.
So here’s my meal plan for the week (assuming kids are at school in the weekday). These foods are quick and easy to prepare with no fancy ingredients. Please share yours!
Roast Potatoes pre soak them and put in airfyer for less fat
Salad with chia seeds chia seeds and hemp seeds for omega3
Caesar Salad after school clubs and working so shop brought pastry
Kofte (meatballs) Curry can freeze meatballs and the curry sauce
Organic basmati rice
Salad with hemp seeds
Tandoori Chicken marinate with shop brought tandoori and mix lemon and yoghurt
Steamed broccoli and carrots
Make your own Tandoori Mix
Left overs! End of the week need a break.
Lunch: Get the kids involved homemade pizzas! Add a side salad and dough balls.
Dinner: Already cooked once today so something easy for dinner, roast chicken and potatoes/veg.
Lunch: No time to cook kids activities, eating out!
Dinner: Lovely lasagna and hopefully enough leftovers for Monday! Served with bread and side salad