Meal Planning

Thinking ahead and planning meals and snacks for yourself or your family based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australian Guide to Healthy Eating is the key to healthy eating and also the best way to lose weight. Planning helps manage the budget, makes shopping easier and maximises foods that are high in nutrients, but lower in kilojoules.

Some people prefer three meals without snacks and others like smaller meals with mid meals, like morning and afternoon tea, in between. Thinking ahead about mid meal snacks is important for healthy eating, but absolutely essential for weight loss. Well planned snacks can make it easier to limit portion size at meals by allowing a ‘top up’ between meals and also avoids being so hungry at the next meal that you eat too much or eat unplanned discretionary foods.

However, for successful weight loss mid meal snacks need to be considered part of a meal saved for later eating and be a choice from the Five Food Groups. For example:

Breakfast: a small serve of wholegrain cereal, low fat milk and fruit

Morning tea: a slice of fruit toast with a scrape of unsaturated margarine

Lunch: a salmon wholegrain sandwich filled with plenty of salad

Afternoon tea: a piece of fresh fruit

Dinner: a small serve of lean grilled meat with plenty of coloured vegetables and a jacket potato

Supper snack: a fruit and low fat yogurt based dessert kept until later in the evening

Illustrative image showing a meal with a shopping list alongside.

Sample Meal Plans