A dietitian has lifted the lid on what she feeds her family of four for dinner during the week, and how you can strike the right nutritional balance while still making something everyone will enjoy.
Susie Burrell, from Sydney, said when she does the meal plan each week, she sets the menu according to the proteins she has bought – whether they are meat-based like mince, fish or legumes such as black beans or quinoa.
‘Different protein rich foods contain different nutrient mixes,’ Susie wrote on her website.
‘Red meat, for example, contains significant amounts of well-absorbed iron, while oily fish such as salmon contains extremely high amounts of Omega-3 fats.’
Susie said the aim with a weekly meal plan is to strike a ‘balance of different protein-rich foods over the week’ that ensures your family has the right nutrients and plenty of variety.
A dietitian (pictured) has lifted the lid on what she feeds her family of four for dinner during the week, and how you can strike the right nutritional balance while making something delicious
It’s vitally important to include lean red meat (pictured) in your diet once or twice a week, as it give you easy to absorb iron but also plenty of zinc that is hard to find in other foods
LEAN RED MEAT – ONCE OR TWICE PER WEEK
It’s vitally important to include lean red meat in your diet once or twice a week, as not only will it give you easy to absorb iron but also plenty of zinc that is hard to find in other foods.
Susie recommends red meat like extra lean mince, lean sausages, steak and lean cutlets if you’re looking for the best examples.
The dietitian will often make a red meat meal at least once a week, and will always make enough so that there are leftovers for another meal.
‘This will help to ensure all family members have access to the well-absorbed iron they need for energy production in the body,’ Susie said.
Susie’s weekly go-tos include a mince meal such as tacos or spaghetti bolognese, as well as either lean sausages or cutlets with salads or mashed vegetables.
Fish (pictured) is one of the best nutrition options you can make, thanks to its high dosage of Omega-3 fats, and Susie recommends incorporating fish like salmon once a week
FISH – AT LEAST TWICE PER WEEK
Fish is one of the best nutrition options you can make, thanks to its high dosage of Omega-3 fats.
Susie said she introduced salmon into her twins’ diets very early, and now as a family they include salmon fillets in their diet ‘at least twice a week’.
‘Generally, we have a plain or marinated fillet with roasted or mashed veggies, but salmon patties, tacos or schnitzels are all family-friendly meals that can be enjoyed at least twice each week to ensure your family gets their dose of Omega-3s,’ Susie said.
Omega-3s are good for immune and brain function, as well as heart and cell health long term.
Chicken (pictured) can be one of the easiest meats to cook during a busy week, and it’s often a family favourite too
CHICKEN – ONCE OR TWICE PER WEEK
Chicken can be one of the easiest meats to cook during a busy week, and it’s often a family favourite too.
Susie said she likes it because it’s cost-effective and versatile.
It can be eaten as it is in a breast, or thrown into curries, stir fries, stews and casseroles.
‘Chicken offers protein, it is relatively lean if you buy breast or tenderloins and contains zinc,’ Susie said.
She makes it once or twice in any given week.
Many have made the effort to include more vegetarian meals (pictured) in their weekly diet, and Susie and her family are no exception
VEGETARIAN MEALS – ONCE OR TWICE PER WEEK
Many have made the effort to include more vegetarian meals in their weekly diet, and Susie and her family are no exception.
The dietitian revealed she makes the effort to include one or two plant-based meals in her menu every week, as they are higher in fibre, bump up your vegetable intake and cost a lot less than meat meals.
‘I make soup, bean nachos, spinach pie or vegetarian pizza on high rotation,’ Susie said.
She will do these once or twice a week.
EATING OUT OR ORDERING IN – ONCE PER WEEK
Finally, while Susie said she normally cooks five or six dinners per week, she isn’t averse to ordering in or eating out once a week.
Her family love pizza or burgers, so she lets them have them once in a while.
‘When you have the energy to meal plan, optimise your nutrient intake by planning according to protein balance,’ Susie said.
‘It makes the meal prepping process surprisingly simple.’