Foremost on every mum’s mind daily is how best she can serve her family. Whether she is at work, with friends, running errands or doing chores, a mother thinks on the utmost way she can attend to her family emotionally, nutritionally, spiritually, physically, socially and so on.
Generally, every day, mothers think of what food to make for household members; putting into consideration individual food preferences, variations in age, nutritional needs, allergies, etc. Unfortunately, due to inadequate planning, most times, the family ends up been fed the same kinds of food regularly. As a result, the family gets only same nutrients every time and miss out on some if not most.
Therefore, to ensure that one’s family gets the best nutritionally as much as possible, having a minimum of a 7-day meal plan is necessary. Meal planning for a family is important for healthy eating, helping to stay within budget for food without compromising on good nutrition, making shopping easier, saving time on food shopping, maximizing on foods high in nutrients but lower in calories and helping to ensure every family member is nutritionally covered.
Now, you ask, how do I design a good meal plan?
Tips for designing a good meal plan
- Have a food roaster- You can have different foods assigned for each day. For instance, beans on Monday, Amala on Tuesday, rice on Wednesday, yam on Thursday and pasta on Friday.
- Cook foods in different ways. You do not have to boil beans every Monday. You may decide to make moi-moi instead. Make coconut rice instead place of fried rice. Roast instead of boiling or frying. Some nutrients in foods get lost in some cooking methods while some are only available for bodily use when cooked.
- Eat raw foods. Sometimes eat the veggies raw as against cooking.
- Eat varieties of a food. Some food varieties contain nutrients some may not have, and some may have nutrients in larger doses than some. Sometimes, cook ‘Tete’ instead of Ugwu.
- Make sure to incorporate fruits and veggies into your food daily. Don’t take oranges only… Take tangerines sometimes. Don’t take just apples, take watermelon too. You may assign different fruits for each day. Work with fruits available during that season.
- Make different soups for your swallow. Don’t eat only okra because of ease in preparation.
- Eat proteins from different animal sources. If partial to only fish, eat different species/type.
- Learn new recipes, learn new foods.
You can have different meal plans depending on how varied the age groups in your home is. When you do adequate meal planning as a mum, it certainly will make life easier for you.
This article was contributed by Adeola Akanbi
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