family menu ideas

As the response to yeserday was very positive, here’s some actual menu’s that seem to work really well in practice so let me know what you think again?

Some simple ideas for a simple, full of energy week!

  • Monday
  • Breakfast Porridge with blueberries and strawberries. Glass of apple juice
  • Mid-morning banana and tangerine
  • Lunch wholemeal wrap with chicken and salad
  • Afternoon Apricots and almonds
  • Supper chicken stir fry with couscous and salad
  • Tip 1  when you’re making healthy food, make it tasty by being  more creative, use different flavours such as spices herbs and make your own sauces more or use lower fat versions. This will then feel as if healthy food is finally tasty for you!
  • Tuesday
  • Breakfast porridge with a little honey and sultanas for flavour. Glass of orange juice
  • Mid-morning-3 oatcakes and an orange
  • Lunch turkey and veggies stuffed into a wholemeal pitta bread
  • Afternoon a fruit salad
  • Evening mashed sweet potatoes with some trout stuffed with peppers and peas in sliver foil
  • Tip 2 let children decide what evening meal is which makes food choices more interesting
  • Wednesday
  • Breakfast-muesli with chopped apple and blueberries. Glass of orange juice
  • Mid-morning a small handful of almonds and a banana
  • Lunch jacket potato with tin of tuna and a green salad
  • Pm fresh fruit and yoghurt smoothie made night before from fridge put in cooler box
  • Evening prawn stir fry with jacket potato
  • Tip 3 let kids pick veggies and prawns and help cook the stir fry as it’s so simple
  • Thursday
  • Breakfast porridge with grated apple and cut up dates. Glass of red orange juice
  • Mid morning wholemeal muffin with apple
  • Lunch scrambled eggs in school on wholemeal toast with beans, no spread
  • Pm strawberry smoothie in cool box
  • Evening  home made cawl, broth full of veggies with pieces of ham or chicken
  • Tip 4 limit or eliminate salt in cooking or on food
  • Friday
  • Breakfast poached eggs on wholemeal toast with beans and glass of pineapple juice
  • Mid-morning pieces of pineapple
  • Lunch two wholemeal  turkey sandwiches with little spread and plenty of salad
  • Pm natural yoghurt with berries and nuts in cool box
  • Evening salmon fishcakes with potato and green beans
  • Tip 5-frozen fruit, veg, chicken, fish are as good as fresh food so having a good freezer supply is vital
  • Saturday
  • Breakfast scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast with glass or orange juice
  • Mid-morning apple and small flapjack
  • Lunch tuna, potatoes, olives, red onion, green beans, boiled egg
  • Pm dried cranberries and walnuts
  • Evening butternut squash and soya bean risotto with broccoli
  • Tip 6 Keep plenty of snacks available, fruit, nuts and more natural snack bars
  • Sunday
  • Breakfast 2 boiled eggs with whole wheat bread to dip in and glass of orange juice
  • Mid-morning fave veggies with hummus dip
  • Lunch traditional lunch but try to reduce gravy a little bit
  • Pm frozen fruit and yoghurt smoothie
  • Evening salmon and prawn casserole with mashed potato and spinach

Tip 7 use a variety of foods throughout the week, and remember to keep your shopping trolley mostly full of fresh, nutritious food but with the occasional treat. Everything in moderation works and this way you will keep your cravings at bay.

See how you get on and let me know any problems/advantages you find with it.


Guide to eating well as a family

Living as a family often means eating together too, so it’s important to get the right foods in, to help make your family as healthy and active as possible. You won’t always be perfect, but making small sacrifices can be important in the long term, and make sure healthy habits are formed early, which means they are likely to last long term studies have shown.

Here are some ideas i have given out to all the parents i train, to help them make healthier lives for their children and themselves! 

 The right way to eat for your family


  • Breakfast

–     We all  have problems eating breakfast, especially eating good stuff. Here’s some ideas. 

  • You can throw some sultanas, berries or some banana over your cereal, how about mixing 2 or 3 fruit juices up together as a drink or making your own smoothie by throwing in some fruit with some milk in a blender, you can make your own muesli more fun by putting in some apricots, dates, figs, chopped orange and apples.
  • How about chopping up a ripe banana on some toast instead of a big spoon of butter or marge?
  • Eggs are great for protein and can taste great on toast. These ideas work well especially when you’re trying  to get more fruit in your diet without really noticing.

–     mid-morning

–     Remember this is a way of life and not a diet! No starving yourself please?

  •  Smaller apples with more flavour work well as well as tangerines which can be easier to peel than oranges.
  • Kiwis taste great as well as cherries, blueberries and strawberries.
  • Nuts like brazils, cashews and almonds are beautiful as a handful and give you a lot of good fats for a change!





–     Because you’ve eaten twice before lunch time, you should feel less hungry  than you normally do. If you’re starving eating lunch, then you’re likely to pick the wrong foods and have a real binge.

–     Packed lunches are often the choice for most children and with a little planning, they can make a successful day for you.

  • Sandwiches are often king and although wholemeal bread is king, white bread kids love and with some wholemeal flour can be better than just plain white, also you could combine white and wholemeal slices in a sandwich?
  • Whole meal pitta bread is also a great choice and is lower in calories and can make a great change. Also, when making a sandwich, try and pack it with veggies as well as the meat,  fish, chicken etc, it may be a toughie to start with but you’ll soon get used to it.
  • Fish is a great food for the brain as well as rest of body which can be mixed with things like pesto and veggies, and can go great in a sandwich. Chicken also works well and seems to be universally liked, providing a high protein source and goes well with any combo of veg and salad. Lean beef is also good as it’s tasty and much lower in fat than it used to be .

–      Remember to keep the spread small too, don’t slap it on, merely a smearing will do

  •   If you want to use mayo, use a small amount and the lowest in fat please.
  •  I used to have yoghurts in my sandwich box but most seem full of sugar these days. Natural yoghurt sounds horrible but with some berries, chopped apples, dried fruit, nuts in a re-usable sealed pot can be very tasty and hugely energising.
  •  Rather than put cheese in a sandwich, use it as a snack. There a lot of cheese snacks these days but most are full of additives, a simple piece or two of tasty cheese will do the trick. Low fat versions for parents or cottage cheese versions much better again!
  •  However good your lunch box, don’t serve the same stuff every day or kids get bored, mix it up with different fruit, different bread for sandwiches, different yoghurts etc and interest will be maintained. Same with parents, we all get bored if you don’t change it!
  • Using dips works too with things like hummus and a cool box for the lunch box will keep all of these healthy ingredients cool and much more appetising after being in a school bag all morning. Same with parents food boxes, we all want nice food and cool to taste.

–     You’re never going to completely ban treats so just trying scaling them down to very other day to start. Most of us  adapt quickly to this and soon get used to having treats sometimes just once a week. A good idea sometimes is to make your own cakes perhaps using a little less sugar than normal. And if you put mostly natural ingredients in, at least they are going  to be much better than what we can get in shops!

  •  Mid-afternoon

–     This is a typical time when all of our energy levels are tested.

  •  A small handful of nuts (almonds, brazils, cashews etc) would be a great choice and give you some of the healthy fats your body needs.
  • A piece of fruit such as an apple, banana or orange would be great too for some added energy.
  • Remember to keep a variety of food every day so you’re not eating the same old stuff all the time or you will rebel and grab something that’s high in fat and sugars and normally off limits for you.
  • Evening meal

–     How many of us have got home and felt starving even before we’ve got through the door. We pick something sometimes like a cheese sandwich to tide us over before the bit meal comes along. There’s nothing we can do about it either unless we have followed the typical day’s eating we have just talked about which will sort out those feelings.

  • Good examples of an evening meal would be some chicken/fish, with vegetables in whatever way you want as long as they’re not drowned in rich sauces, from a stir fry with a little olive oil to any healthy cooking method you want, and some brown rice, whole wheat pasta or some new potatoes and more examples to follow.
  • You can get buy or make your own tomato sauce/pesto to add to these meals. 
  • Always look to add veg to whatever meal you’re having in the evening, extra veg on some pasta and top of a pizza, use hummus as a dip,
  • use fruit salad a gorgeous dessert, or some natural yoghurt with fruit chopped in, with some nuts and maybe dried fruit also, a bit of imagination can go a long way in making the most important family meal of the day a roaring success!
  • Eating often is fun and good for you!

–     This day’s eating is all about eating every 3 hours or so, raising the rate our bodies burn calories so we burn more fat, feeling full throughout the day so we don’t feel the need to binge at certain time, and actually feel about hundred times better than we have before.


Positive trade off’s

–     You CAN keep this way of eating up if you really try and all it takes sometimes is  5 minutes preparation the night before making a packed lunch.

–     Plus, all that money you will have spent on junk food can go on something worthwhile, like a new dvd or some new clothes!

  • Summing up

–     changing your lifestyle to a rewarding healthy one starts with what you put into your body. Make it a priority when you go to a supermarket to influence your parents on what you want to eat. As a parent, you can inspire your kids to eat well too. They will listen if you tell then you want good food (and vice-versa) and soon it will become second nature.

–     Make sure you try and work up to 5 servings of fruit and veg a day

–     Try and get 2 servings of protein such as fish, chicken, eggs, lean beef, nuts, lentils etc per day.

–     Choose 2 portions of milk, yoghurt, cheese etc for calcium and extra protein

–     Use whole meal/wholegrain versions of pasta, bread, rice, cereals, potatoes to give you lots of energy every day.

–     Try to limit these in your diet using them more as a treat-Crisps, cakes, biscuits, pastries, chips, mayo,  salad cream, margarine, cooking oil, pop/fizzy drinks

Do your best and give it a go!


food diary

Please fill this in

BREAKFAST                       LUNCH                               SNACKS                            DINNER














healthy snacks

Snacks-calorie breakdown
Snacks are vitally important, to keep energy levels up, and to keep important nutrients coming in throughout the day

Fresh fruit for energy-100g usually
Kiwi fruit-29

Dried fruit-to cure a sweet tooth and good for you

Low-fat yoghurts-provide calcium and nice desserts
Natural low-fat-56
Whole milk-79
Low-fat fruit-90
Low fat fromage frais-58

Nuts-50g-for essential fats
Pumpkin seeds-57
Mixed nuts chopped-304

lunch/evening ideas

Lunch and dinner choices often mix so here’s some options
Making the time for lunch is essential, so no skimping on time and take time out for yourself!

Chicken breast with 100g pitta bread, add a serving of salsa and a serving of lettuce
489 calories

A chicken breast, a serving of lettuce, 100g of boiled potatoes, 100g asparagus, plus 2 dates to finish
437 calories

A generous piece of salmon, a sweet potato, 100g of spinach, 10g of peas and a nectarine to finish
423 calories

A piece of turkey, 50g of brown rice, 100g of broccoli, 100g of carrots and an orange to finish
402 calories

125g lean roast chicken without skin, 225g of new potatoes and 100g butternut squash, brushed in tsp olive oil and baked, 60g peas, 100g dark leafy greens, 50g home made rice, apricot and nut stuffing, 5 tsp pan juices made into a sauce with a little wine and cornflour
631.5 calories, 21g of total fat, 4g saturated fat, 45.7 protein, 68.5g of carbs

Thinly sliced naked turkey breast, one tablespoon of cranberry sauce in a small bowl for around 30 seconds. Poor sauce over turjey breast. Serve with a portion of brown rice and broccoli.
455 calories

Grill a lean cut of steak until it’s to your liking. Squeeze the juice from half a lime over the meat and sprinkle with pepper and garlic powder. Then slice and serve with brown rice and salsa.
396 calories

Grill any fish with a selection of steamed vegetables-around 100 calories and that’s plenty of veg!
100g haddock-81, mackerel-220, canned salmon-153 etc
Lemon chicken and potato
Smother a grilled, skinless chicken breast with a freshly squeezed lemon, either a jacket potato or boiled potatoes with it.
303 calories

Brown rice salad with beans and asparagus
263 calories

In a small saucepan, mix one can of chicken broth, a sliced, grilled chicken breast, a 50g portion of cooked barley and a handful of your favourite mixed vegetables and frozen ones can work just as well. Heat for around 5 minutes and you’re ready to go.
400 calories

Tuna salad
Drain a can of tuna in brine, place tuna in bowl and mix one tablespoon of very light mayonnaise and some juice from a lemon. Pile tuna on top of lettuce and serve with a portion of fruit. This is a light meal with plenty of good stuff throughout the meal.

Pasta and tuna salad
50g of wholemeal pasta, 100g of carrotes, 100g of tomatoes, 100g of cucumber, a can of tuna in brine and an apple to finish
373 calories

I medium baked potato or sweet potato with 100g cottage cheese and tomato and cucumber
160 calories

I medium wholemeal roll, 100g tomato, a good slice of 100g turkey breast plus some strawberries and low-fat natural youghurt.
393 calories