Winter food is all about comfort and keeping your energy up for those cooler days. It is healthy, nutrient-rich food that warms the bones while boosting the family’s immunity against winter colds and flu. It is also a time when citrus fruits like mandarins, grape fruit and navel oranges are in season and find their way into your fruit bowl. You’ll also begin serving up in-season veggies like brussels sprouts, spinach and potatoes on a nightly basis through these cold months.
We’ve created the winter meal plan with all of this in mind. Here are some tips on how to best use it.
Invest in a slow cooker
Get yourself a slow cooker or pressure cooker, depending on how busy your lifestyle is, so you can serve up warm, nourishing and filling meals for the whole family with minimal effort. Cooking with these appliances will give you larger quantities allowing for leftovers for lunches and snacks.
Make Saturday a meal prep day
Saturday is a great day to relax while getting a little meal preparation done for the following week. Make up some veggie bags to pop in the slow cooker before you leave the house this week to come home to a delicious meal or soup. Also, do a little baking and yoghurt-making on Saturday to keep the biscuit tin full and healthy options in the fridge all week.
Boost vitamins in Winter
Ensure your family is getting plenty of vitamins and antioxidants from fruits and vegetable to keep their immunity strong through winter. Make sure you incorporate veggies into every meal and sneak in antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries into yoghurt, on cereal or make smoothies with frozen fruit.
Planning quantities and portions in the winter meal plan
The winter 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 winter meal plan
This winter 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.