Take the pressure off family meal planning with our seven-day guide for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. This family meal planner has been designed to feed a family of four, with two adult-sized portions and two half-sized children’s portions (or three adults). Children’s appetites vary, so although the portions are generous for younger children, you may want to make extra if your children are older, very active or have large appetites.
Our recipes give you a head-start on your five-a-day. You can add a few snacks of fruit or veggie crudités, a glass of juice or a generous handful of salad leaves, and you’ll meet the five-a-day target. If you can, start the meal plan on a Sunday. You can get organised and do your food shopping on the Saturday, and spend time prepping for the week ahead – this isn’t essential, but it will help during the week.
The plan has been designed for you to swap meals to suit your family commitments. We know that family life doesn’t always allow for leisurely cooking, so you’ll find these recipes easy to make. All recipes have a minimum amount of hands-on time (peeling and chopping), and you can reduce prep time even more by using frozen chopped veg. Most of the recipes can be frozen, too.
We’ve chosen not to add salt to these recipes unless the dish really needs it. You can season to taste, but remember that children have lower requirements. Be wary, however: the recommended daily salt intake for ages 1-3 is 2g, for 4-6 is 3g and 5g for 7-10 year olds.
To reduce waste and make shopping easier, we’ve used some ingredients more than once throughout this plan, and used up whole packets where possible.
Meal prep for the week
If you have time at the weekend, it’s well worth doing a little meal prep for the week ahead. Here are a few jobs you can do:
- Make breakfast cookies
- Make and freeze the falafels
- Make hummus
- Make and freeze the soup
- Assemble and freeze the pinwheels
- Make and freeze the fish pie mac ‘n’ cheese
Feel free to mix and match our breakfast recipes on any day of the week. We’ve included a mix of healthy meals and speedy morning solutions.
Get ahead of a busy work week and prep these cookies on the weekend. They’re naturally sweet from mashed banana and raspberries. Grab a couple as you’re running out the door to sustain you throughout the day.
Swap your regular morning toast for satisfying eggy cheese crumpets with cherry tomatoes and avocado. Submerge the crumpets in a beaten egg mixture, fry, then top with grated cheddar and grill until golden brown.
Add protein-packed tofu to this vegan blueberry & banana smoothie to make it really creamy and keep you full until lunchtime – great for a speedy breakfast on the go.
The most nutritious way to eat carrot cake for breakfast – use its ingredients (carrots, raisins, nutmeg and cinnamon) in a hearty bowl of porridge. You can make large batches and freeze it to save time on hectic mornings.
This healthy recipe is packed full of nutrients with smoky beans and baked eggs. Serve with toast or flatbreads for a filling, veggie lunch – it also freezes well (before the eggs are added), so you could make extra for another day.
Falafels with a difference – these add edamame to the usual ingredients and are baked, not fried. Add to wraps with hummus, pickled red cabbage and any other veggies you’d like.
Use up leftover falafel from last night’s dinner for this bento-style lunchbox – full of grains, veg, salad and hummus. A super-satisfying way to eat your five-a-day.
Make this comforting meatball & garlic bread traybake for a dinner the whole family will enjoy. The meatballs are made with turkey thigh mince, but you could buy a ready-made pack if you’re short on time.
Hummus rainbow wraps
Put some leftover hummus to good use with these colourful lunch wraps, packed with beetroot, carrot, spinach and feta. They only take 15 minutes to prepare, freeing up precious morning minutes.
If your family loves a korma, this creamy salmon, prawn and almond curry will be a big hit. Serve with poppadoms or naan bread and mango chutney.
Make this tortilla the night before for a quick and easy lunch. It only needs five ingredients, and microwaving the sweet potato means it can be ready in 25 minutes.
Tomato soup with cheese, Marmite & spinach pinwheels
Pair classic tomato soup with our savoury Marmite and spinach pinwheels. Use a pack of sheet ready-rolled light puff pastry to make these satisfying savoury bites in no time.
Use leftovers from Thursday’s dinner to craft a quick and easy lunch. The warming soup is rich and full of flavour. Paired with a pinwheel, it will go down a treat.
Fish pie mac ’n’ cheese
Our highly-rated twist on fish pie combines two comfort foods into a fantastic Friday night supper. Who wouldn’t love a golden, bubbling plate of creamy, cheesy fish pie mac ‘n’ cheese?
Puff pastry pizzas
Have fun preparing these puff pastry pizzas with the kids – chop up the veg and let everyone choose their own toppings. We used sweetcorn, olives, peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, spinach and basil on ours.
These terrific tacos have five-star ratings for a reason. Pork shoulder is slow-cooked with a heady mix of spices, pineapple, citrus juice and garlic until meltingly soft. Eat it in tacos with a zesty salsa, shredded cabbage and avocado for a weekend fiesta.