meal plan

The daily routine can get very busy leaving little room to plan what’s for dinner. It can be a juggle to find meal ideas that fit within a budget and please the discerning taste buds of those you live with, or finding motivation if you are cooking for one.

Meal planning is one idea that can help take the pressure off late afternoon, when you are suddenly struck with the question, “what’s for dinner”? 

The Pros of Meal Planning

  • If you have a rough idea about what you are going to eat in the evenings ahead for the week, this helps to compile a grocery shopping list that will help keep the number of visits to the supermarket down. You're also likely to spend less money over the long term (you know what it’s like when you pop in to the grocery store for just a couple of top up items).
  • If the ‘menu’ is on display, the household knows in advance what you are having for dinner. 
  • This could be a chance to share the load of cooking if there are people at home capable of helping out. 
  • It gives you an opportunity to check you and your household are getting some variety across the week. Planning out across the week means you can look at how many meals are including red meat for example, and if this aligns with nutrition recommendations.
  • It provides a structure to try a new recipe. This could be tweaking a favourite, such as substituting or adding some ingredients to bulk up a meal.
Putting together a meal

A meal takes on many forms and dinner can often be the one that has the most components.  This means piecing together some key tasty ingredients to make a complete, balanced meal. Our range of beef and lamb recipes do this but if you are ‘winging it’ and want to make your own delicious creation; take a look at this idea on how to do it.

Choose one from each of the protein and carbohydrate column and at least 2 or 3 from the veges column. 

Piece together your healthy meal

Choose 1 serve of protein

Choose 1 serve of carbohydrate

At least 2 serves of veges

A medium beef or lamb steak

1 medium potato or kūmara

½ cup cooked vegetables

¾ cup mince or casserole or beans/lentils/split peas

1 cup cooked pasta or rice

½ cup salad vegetables

A chicken leg or 2 drumsticks

1 cup couscous


A medium fillet of fish

1 whole-grain bread roll


An egg

1 sandwich-slice whole grain bread


Small handful of nuts or seeds



Serving sizes are based on the Ministry of Health eating and activity guidelines for adults.





PO BOX 33 648
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