Meal Planner FAQ

Update for Jan 2021: We’ve made changes to make your meal plan creation even smarter. Our changes give you access to even more recipes from the Good Food database, enhanced preference options including more disliked ingredients to exclude, and the ability to select which meals you want to include in your plan. Dietitian-approved logic ensures each day is nutritionally balanced following NHS guidance. As before, you can see a full nutritional breakdown for each day, giving you all the information you need to customise the plan to suit your own nutritional needs. Please note, if you’ve previously used the planner during an earlier beta testing stage and have entered your height, weight and health goals such as weight maintenance or loss, these settings will no longer be taken into account when generating your plan.

Find out how to use the Meal Planner (BETA) with our at-a-glance guide, below.

Please remember this tool is in beta. It might not be perfect yet but with your help we will continue to improve. If you have a moment, tell us what you like and don’t like at goodfoodhdp@immediate.co.uk. We’re adding new features all the time so come back regularly to see what we’ve been working on.

1. How do I edit my preferences and settings?

When you sign up you’ll be asked to enter your preferences and settings. This includes your dietary preferences, allergies and disliked ingredients.

Once you’ve generated your first plan, it’s easy to edit your settings at any time. Simply click the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the top left hand corner of the Meal Planner, choose ‘Settings and Preferences’, then choose ‘Preferences’. From here you can change your personal information, dietary preferences, allergies, disliked ingredients and cooking preferences.

2. How choose which meals to include in my plan?

When you sign up, you'll be asked to tick the meals that you'd like to see in your weekly meal plans. If you untick a particular meal, we'll leave that slot in your meal plan empty.

You can change these preferences at any point by going into your settings (see question 1 – 'How do I edit my preferences and settings?')

3. How do I prioritise quicker recipes or more variety in my settings?

When you sign up you’ll have two options to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner – either ‘A larger variety of recipes’ or ‘Quicker recipes whenever possible’. This allows the tool to prioritise quicker recipes at times of the day when time is of the essence – for example, you may opt for quicker recipes for breakfast or lunch, and a larger variety of recipes at dinner time.

You can change these preferences at any point by going into your settings (see question 1 - ‘How do I edit my preferences and settings?’).

4. How can I exclude particular ingredients?

When you sign up you’ll be asked to add your dietary preferences, allergies and disliked ingredients. You can use these settings to exclude a group of foods (e.g. dairy-free), or to exclude particular ingredients (e.g. eggs, anchovies or Brussels sprouts).

You can change these preferences at any point by going into your settings (see question 1 – ‘How do I edit my preferences and settings?’).

5. How do I repeat my favourite recipes on other days?

Click on the menu icon (three dots) in the top right hand corner of your recipe and select ‘Repeat’.

You can then choose the day or days you want to repeat the recipe on.

6. How do I swap individual recipes in my plan?

Click the refresh icon (two arrows creating a circle) in the top left hand corner of the recipe image and we’ll auto-generate a new recipe to fill this slot. You can click this refresh button as many times as you’d like.

7. How do I search for new recipes using keywords and ingredients?

Click on the menu icon (three dots) in the top right hand corner of your recipe and select ‘Search’.

From this page, you can use the search bar at the top of the page to enter keywords or ingredients, and narrow down your results using the filter settings located on the right hand side of the search bar. This allows you to specify the cooking time per meal, courses, excluded ingredients and dietary and allergy requirements.

You can also scroll through the suggested recipes without entering any keywords for inspiration.

Once you’ve found a recipe that you like, click the plus icon in the top right of the recipe image to add it to your meal plan.

8. How do I generate a whole new week of meals with one click?

Want to mix up your menu? Simply click the ‘Swap all recipes’ button at the top of your week view meal plan and we’ll remove all the recipes in the current week and replace them with a new meal plan.

9. How do I create a shopping list for my meal plan?

To create your shopping list, navigate to the week menu and click the pink ‘Shopping list’ button in the bottom right hand of your screen and select ‘Add week plan to shopping list’. This will add all the items from your week’s plan to the shopping list.

10. How do I share a shopping list for my meal plan?

To share or print your shopping list, click the pink ‘Shopping list’ button in the bottom right hand of your screen and select ‘View shopping list’. Click the pink ‘Send’ button in the bottom left hand of the screen and choose how you want to share it – you can copy the link or send via text message or email.

11. How do I use my shopping list to shop online?

To shop online, click the pink ‘Shopping list’ button in the bottom right hand of your screen and select ‘View shopping list’. Next, click the pink ‘Shop online – Select store’ button at the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to choose from the available supermarkets and add to cart.

12. How do I change my shopping list from ‘display by recipe’ to ‘display by aisle’?

To change your shopping list view, click the three dot icon in the top right of the shopping list screen and select ‘sort items by aisle’ or ‘sort items by recipe’.

You can also use this drop down menu to hide or delete crossed off items, or clear your shopping list.

13. How do I mark which recipes I like?

Go to day view and click the pink ‘I like it’ button underneath the recipe that you’d like to mark.

14. How do I view the daily nutritional breakdown?

Click into the day view and click on the pink underlined text: ‘See my nutrition breakdown for the day’. This will take you through to your Total Daily Nutrition breakdown. You can use the drop down menu to look at the nutrition breakdown for individual recipes on that day.

15. How do I view the health suggestions?

Click into day view and scroll down below the recipes for that day until you reach the subheading ‘Healthy suggestions’. Click the pink underlined ‘Read more’ text to read the suggestion in full.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.