As the weather starts to turn chilly we begin hunting for those lovely in-between seasonal dishes that are not too heavy and not too summery either. Soups begin to make their way onto the family dining table and baked goodies into lunch boxes because it’s no longer too hot to turn the oven on. It is also the time to enjoy seasonal fruit and veg that will soon vanish from the supermarket and green grocer shelves as winter sets in.
We’ve created the Autumn meal plan with all of this in mind. Here are some tips on how to best use it.
Think seasonal produce
With a change of season comes a change in diet. Eating seasonally is not only better for your family’s health but also the family budget so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with what’s in season. In-season fruit and veggies are also always going to be at the best and cheapest to buy. In Autumn you can expect a plentiful supply of fresh fruit like apples, figs, peaches and pears. While cabbage, eggplant, pumpkin and sweet corn are vegetables that you will start to serve on a nightly basis.
For a full list of what’s in season when and also tips on how to pick the best produce, read How to pick perfect fruit and veggies.
Planning quantities and portions in the Autumn meal plan
The Autumn meal plan has been devised as though every family has two adults and two children. A larger family may need to extend certain items or pad out the meals with more vegetables. Smaller families will want to make greater use of leftovers and freezing items for re-use.
A rough rule of thumb is that adults need between 100g and 200g of meat or protein as a main meal, while young children under the age of five may eat just 50g. Every person is unique though, and portion size is a very personal thing for families. Most mums who control the weekly grocery spend are the best judge of how much to buy for their families. A family that has a teenage boy will eat differently to a family with a newborn baby.
How to use the Autumn meal plan
This Autumn meal plan is only a weekly guide to how you can plan your family’s eating to fit your time, budget and desire to spend time in the kitchen.
It’s planned so that families who spend time at home together on the weekends can have great meals together, and then use leftovers for during the week.
Just so you know, these suggested daily menus can be applied to any day of the week, but day one has been configured as a Saturday with day seven a Sunday, so working mums can do most of their meal prep on non-working days.