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7 day healthy meal planner

We've created a seven-day meal plan to help you get through the week. It's full of recipes to keep your family heart-healthy and includes a handy shopping list.

7 day healthy meal planner

7 healthy meals for the family

Day 1: Dahl curry

A vegetarian curry recipe that everyone can enjoy. It's simple, easy to make and a great way to experiment with using lentils in your meals.

Day 2: Chop suey

We've redone this Pacific favourite to help you serve up a healthier version with chicken.

Day 3: Roast vegetables with chickpeas

This healthy vegetarian recipe is a good introduction to chickpeas for the family. It's an excellent warmer on a cold day and great as leftovers the next day.

Day 4: Roast chicken drumsticks with vegetables

Want to encourage the kids to help in the kitchen? Get them cooking some roast chicken drumsticks with their choice of vegetables on the side. 

This recipe is on page 26 of our Cheap Eats cookbook.

Day 5: Stir-fried rice

It's a good idea to mix up your family meals to include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. This stir-fried rice is delicious and works well with almost all vegetables.

Day 6: Tuna cauliflower mac'n'cheese

A good recipe for a Saturday night in with the family. You can choose to make with tuna for some added protein or keep the tuna to the side if it doesn't suit everyone's tastes.

Day 7: Cottage pie

As a family favourite you can’t look past the humble cottage pie. The foundation of this recipe is our staple Bolognese meat sauce. Choose which vegetables you want to whip into a mash for on top; potato, pumpkin or kūmara all work.

This recipe is on page 37 and 38 of our Cheap Eats cookbook.

All of these recipes are in our Cheap Eats cookbook. You can download it for free on our website.

Download Cheap Eats cookbook (PDF)

Meal planner shopping list

Cutting down trips to the supermarket is essential at the moment. So we've put together a shopping list to save you time. It includes everything you’ll need to prepare the recipes listed above.

Dry goods 
400gm cantuna
1 cupbrown rice
125gmrice vermicelli
1/4 packetmacaroni/bite sized pasta
1 canchickpeas
1 cupred lentils / 1 can lentils
3 canschopped tomatoes
1 cancreamed corn
1 tbspcumin seeds
4 tbspcurry powder
75mlsoy sauce
Fresh produce 
3/4 bagspinach
1red onion
1 bulbgarlic
Frozen vegetables 
1 bagfrozen mixed vegetables
1 cupfresh/frozen beans
1 cuppeas
1 cupmilk
500gmchicken breast
8chicken drumsticks
500gmbeef mince

Download the shopping list

How much will this cost?

Each of these recipes cost under $3 per serve, in total the ingredients needed to make these seven meals costs under $70.

Recipes serve four adults, or two adults and three children. The cottage pie will make enough to serve six people.

Can I swap out ingredients?

There are some simple swaps you can make if you can't get to the shops and want to make these recipes. 

  • Swap a red onion for a brown onion if you already have one.
  • You can swap brown rice for white rice (medium, long grain or basmati are all great).
  • Swap rice vermicelli noodles for spaghetti or any other thin noodle.
  • Swap fresh vegetables in the stir-fried rice, dhal curry or the roast chicken drumsticks with vegetables for frozen vegetables. 
  • Use pork or chicken mince instead of beef mince for the Bolognese meat sauce.
  • If a recipe uses dried lentils, you can use a can of drained and rinsed lentils instead.
  • If you don't have chickpeas, but you have black beans or kidney beans, use those instead.
  • If you don't have canned tuna you can use canned salmon or mackerel.
  • If some vegetables have gone up in price in-store, choose seasonal vegetables that cost less instead.
  • If you want to make these meals vegetarian there are options within each recipe in the Cheap Eats cookbook.

How can I make these meals go further?

You might want to stretch these meals out to serve six people instead of four, or you might want to pack up some extra for your lunchbox the next day. There are some simple and cheap ways to bulk out these meals.

  • Add 1-2 cans of drained, rinsed lentils to the Bolognese sauce to bulk this out.
  • Increase the amount of red lentils and frozen vegetables in the dahl curry, or add In a can of drained, rinsed lentils.
  • Add some extra frozen vegetables and another can of chickpeas to increase the number of portions you get from the roasted vegetables with chickpeas recipe.

If you want to cook some of these meals in advance and freeze for another day then options that will freeze well are the dhal curry, tuna cauliflower, mac’n’cheese and the cottage pie.

It's likely you'll have some leftover ingredients, like pasta, frozen vegetables and eggs. Take a look at the rest of our healthy recipes for more family meal ideas.

Remember, all of these recipes are in our Cheap Eats cookbook, which you can download for free.

Download Cheap Eats cookbook (PDF)

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Nickie Hursthouse, NZRD

Nickie Hursthouse, NZRD

National Nutrition Advisor

As a Registered Dietitian, I know that food gives us so much more than just nutrients. I am driven to simplify nutrition messages, educate on all aspects of food and support Kiwis to develop a love of food that helps them stay healthy throughout their life.