Healthy Meals


Meal plans are a great way to cut down waste, make shopping for food quicker and easier, and help you to stick to healthy choices. But where do you start? What makes a healthy meal plan for the week, and how do you know what to include?

Firstly, there is no healthy meal plan that works for everyone. At different stages of your life, you will need different levels of nutrients, but there are some general principles that you can follow, and then adjust as necessary.

Here’s how to create a healthy meal plan for the week.

For the vast majority of adults, these practical tips should be the backbone of your meal plan:

A range of fruits and vegetables.

  • Whole grain carbohydrates (brown rice, brown bread, millet, bulgar wheat, etc)
  • Fermented food such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut
  • Unsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados, and nuts
  • Two portions of oily fish such as salmon per week (or nuts and seeds if you don’t eat fish)
  • A handful of nuts and seeds a day
  • Aim for 30g of fiber a day
  • Eat a range of beans and pulses (such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils)
  • Drink approximately 8 glasses of water a day.

Calorie Counting

A calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1g water from 14.5 to 15.5°Celsius. This is calculated in a laboratory, by burning the food. However, the food is not “burnt” in our bodies, and people’s metabolism and energy expenditure vary, so it’s a very rough estimate.

The absorption and, therefore, how much energy is available for you to use, is also affected by how the food is processed. An example of this is sweet corn. If you grind it down into a powder and make a tortilla, you will absorb far more calories than if you eat whole sweet corn kernels. Instead, you will see most of the kernels untouched, in the toilet!

Another concern with calories is that instead of thinking about nutrient quality, it promotes prioritizing quantity. For example, there is a huge difference in the number of nutrients you could consume in 500 calories of fruit and vegetables, versus 500 calories of ice cream.

Also the number of calories you need varies according to so many factors, such as age, gender, lifestyle, and activity level, that it is hard to accurately predict exactly how many you need. Instead, I prefer to recommend a general principle of how to balance your plate and a reminder to eat mindfully when you are physically hungry, not because of an emotional trigger.

How to Balance Your Plate

When thinking of your healthy meal plan, for each meal your plate should contain approximately:

  • Fruit and vegetables (1/2 plate)
  • Whole grains (1/4 plate)
  • Lean protein (1/4 plate)
  • A spoon of unsaturated oil

This will help you when you think of each meal to work out what to include and approximate portion sizes.

An Example For A Day


  • Overnight oats, with chia seeds and milk or fortified plant based milk
  • A piece of fruit
  • Snack
  • A handful of mixed nuts


  • Grilled tofu with a mixed salad and bulgar wheat
  • A piece of fruit
  • Snack
  • Apple slices with nut butter


  • Chicken / tofu / salmon with miso brown rice and spring greens
  • OR vegetable curry, daal, and brown rice
  • OR stuffed aubergine with mixed vegetables and millet or quinoa
  • A piece of fruit

How to Adjust Your Meal Plan

There are certain phases when more or less nutrients are needed, so it is important to consider your changing needs.

When You’re Pregnant

During your pregnancy, you should limit oily fish to once a week, and only 2 tuna steaks or 4 medium sized cans of tuna per week, because of the risk of pollution.

You should also avoid the following food groups:

  • Raw or undercooked eggs
  • Unpasteurized cheese
  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Homemade ice-cream with raw egg
  • Soft-serve ice cream from vans or kiosks
  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Liquorice root
  • Alcohol

When You’re Breastfeeding

While you are breastfeeding, your body needs more calcium (1250mg), selenium (70mcg), and iodine (200mcg). Ensure that you include these in your meal plan.

When Going Through Menopause

Menopause changes your long-term risk of disease, so it is important to focus on items that help support bone and heart health. The framework above already sets out a diet to support long term heart health, but for bone health aim for:

  • 1200mg calcium per day
  • High-quality protein at every meal
  • Foods rich in vitamin K
  • Foods rich in phosphorus
  • Foods rich in magnesium
  • Organizing Your Shopping

Once you have completed your healthy meal plan for the week, you can save the ingredients that you regularly need to an online shopping list, in order to make repeat ordering simpler. Some recipe books also now have a QR code so that you can easily synchronize the ingredients needed with your online shopping.

Try to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables where possible, but canned beans, frozen, dried, and freeze dried fruit make great substitutes for fresh, retaining most of the nutrients.

Final Thoughts

Creating a healthy meal plan for the week may be daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll become a fun addition to your weekly planning, and one that will ultimately improve your overall lifestyle. Try to use the general feedback above and adapt it to your own specific needs. Enjoy looking for new and exciting recipes to include in your plan!

Some years back, I woke up one morning with an excruciating pain in my right hand and wrist. The pain was so much that I had to seek medical help. When the diagnosis came, they called  it carpal tunnel syndrome; it’s also called pinched nerve
I was expecting to be given a jaw-breaking named drug but alas, I was given a drug called neurovit  forte and the components are vitamins B1, B6 and B12!  So as usual, I discussed the condition with my father. Yes, I always discuss things like this with him because he is the real scientist (a professor of Botany) while I am an English language graduate – a self-taught scientist.
He had a story to tell me too! He told me about a family friend of ours whose daughter suffered paralysis and after a series of tests, it was discovered that she lacked one of the B vitamins!  She was given doses of the particular B vitamin, and she recovered!
So, I said to myself: what’s so special about this vitamin B complex? .  Ok, let’s go on the journey together to unravel  the mystery behind this vitamin that keeps our body going well like a well-oiled machine.
B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function and cell metabolism.
B vitamins are water-soluble, which means your body does not store them. They are excreted from the body daily and for this reason, your diet must supply them each day.
Most people get the recommended amounts of these vitamins through diet alone since they are found in a wide variety of foods. However, factors like age, pregnancy, dietary choices, medical conditions, genetics, medication and alcohol use increase the body’s demand for B vitamins.
The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins, they are:
B1 (Thiamine)
B1 helps the body make healthy new cells. It’s often called an anti-stress vitamin because of its ability to protect the immune system. This vitamin is necessary to help break down  simple carbohydrates.
Get it from: Whole grains, peanuts, beans, spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses and wheat germ
B2 (Riboflavin)
This B vitamin works as an antioxidant to help fight free radicals (particles in the body that damage cells). It may also prevent early aging and the development of heart disease. Also, riboflavin is important for red blood cell production, which is necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Several studies suggest B2 can help stave off migraines, but more research is needed to be sure. Be careful, while sunlight does the body good, ultraviolet light reduces the riboflavin content in food sources.
Get it from: Almonds, wild rice, milk, yogurt, eggs, Brussels sprouts, spinach and soybeans
B3 (Niacin)
One of the primary uses for niacin is to boost HDL cholesterol (i.e. the good cholesterol). And the higher a person’s HDL, the less bad cholesterol they will have in their blood. Vitamin B3 deficiency is very rare in developed countries, though alcoholism has been shown to lower B3 levels in some individuals. Niacin, used topically and ingested, has also been found to treat acne.
Get it from: Yeast, red meat, milk, eggs, beans and green vegetables
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
You can find small amounts of vitamin B5 in just about every food group — its name even says so. Pantothenic comes from the Greek word pantothen, meaning “from everywhere.” In addition to breaking down fats and carbs for energy, it’s responsible for the production of sex and stress-related hormones including testosterone. Studies show B5 also promotes healthy skin with the ability to reduce signs of skin aging such as redness and skin spots.
Get it from: Avocados, yogurt, eggs, meat and legumes
B6 (Pyridoxine)
Along with fellow B vitamins 12 and 9, B6 helps regulate levels of the amino acid homocysteine (associated with heart disease). Pyridoxine is a major player in mood and sleep patterns because it helps the body produce serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine, a stress hormone. Some studies suggest vitamin B6 can reduce inflammation for people with conditions like rheumatioid arthritis.
Get it from: Chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, lentils, sunflower seeds, cheese, brown rice and carrots
B7 (Biotin)
Because of its association with healthy hair, skin and nails, this B vitamin also goes by “the beauty vitamin.” It may help people with diabetes control high blood glucose levels too.
Get it from: Barley, liver, yeast, pork, chicken, fish, potatoes, cauliflower, egg yolks and nuts.
B9  (Folate)
You may have heard another name for B9 — folic acid — which is the synthetic form used in supplements and fortified foods like cereal and bread. Studies suggest folate may help keep depression at bay and prevent memory loss. This vitamin is also especially important for women who are pregnant since it supports the growth of the baby and prevents neurological birth defects.
Get it from: Dark leafy greens, asparagus, beets, salmon, root vegetables, milk, bulgur wheat and beans
B12 (Cobalamin)
This B vitamin is a total team player. Cobalamin works with vitamin B9  to produce red blood cells and help iron do its job: create the oxygen carrying protein, hemoglobin. Because you can only find vitamin B12  in animal and no plant products, vegans must use a supplement or fortified foods for B12 intake or risk serious health consequences
Get it from: Fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, beef and pork.
I have always supported nutrition to achieve optimal health. If you will need supplementation of vitamin B complex, your doctor is in the best position to say that.

Good morning, mamas. How was school resumption yesterday? How many of you shouted Halleluyah? You see yoursefs? ?

I’m back today with school lunch. Because of our children. Because of you mothers.

What are we feeding our children? The healthiest meals are balanced meals. Every food group is needed by their bodies. The trick is to add each in balanced quantities.

I also don’t believe children should not eat sweet things, except maybe for specific health reasons. But it should not be an everyday thing and I believe in making those sweet treats myself so I know exactly what goes inside.

The School Lunch Menu contains all the above with easy preparation methods and prep ahead tips. That is your own part. You don’t have to worry anymore what to pack in your children’s school lunch. How to balance their meals. How to cook varieties. How to make all those tantalizing meals.

Everything has been sorted out for you. For N2,000.

For everyone who has been inquiring, there are currently 3 payment options available for The School Lunch Menu:

– PayPal for International Payments
– Paystack for Local Online Payments
– GTB for Direct Bank Transfer

All the payment options are on this link – http://lagoshousewife.com/recipe-books/school-lunch-menu-timetable-recipes/

Please send me an email after payment so I can send you your copy.
My email address is also included in the link.

Don’t forget, The School Lunch Menu is an e-book in PDF format and will be sent to your email after payment. So your location is no hindrance. If you have an email address or a whatsapp number, you will get your copy.

Follow my instagram account https://instagram.com/lagoshousewife  for more pictures of school meals prepared by me for my children

****This was posted  for free in line with our vision to support female owned businesses and showcase their work for free every Tuesday through our #EmpowerTuesday initiative.