Family Food Planning

Guest Blog post by Tracey Sokoya

Happy Labor Day and welcome to another edition of HELP for Mums!

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend with your loved ones even as you prepare for the month ahead.
September is one of my favorite months of the year for a number of reasons;

  1. Its the beginning of Fall -the most beautiful season!
  2. The start of a new school year – which I always loved as student, but love even more as parent 😀
  3. My Wedding Anniversary Month – which we always get to celebrate over labor day weekend!

I guess I just love the fact that September is a month of new beginnings for me and my family and is such a beautiful month. I always feel so motivated and inspired in September. Therefore its only fitting that this month I will be featuring some wonderful Mums who motivate and inspire me.
[If you are new here, check out the Inspire Series I did back in March which featured some pretty amazing women!]

We start off this month’s series with Tracey Sokoya of  Traycees.
Tracey (pseudo name Traycees) is a Yummy Mum of 2, a Food entrepreneur, a Food Writer & a Food blogger. Traycess provides simple, tasty, tried and tested recipes for the family.
Today Tracey shares some great Family Food Planning Tips.
Ok so, the world is talking healthy lifestyle, from food to exercise and the list could go on. Healthy eating has now become a part of everyday living in many homes including yours and mine:D. As a busy mum who is managing the family’s needs including food and everything else which competes for your time, it is important to develop some techniques to help ensure that your family continues to eat different foods to;
Increase varieties
Increase nutrient intake because you are varying the family meals… and very importantly
Reduce boredom in the kitchen (as you are not cooking the same thing all the time)


Developing healthier eating habits requires some dedication in order to build a healthier, happier home… Taking bite-size steps can help even the busiest of mums!
As a busy mum of two young ones, food planning is essential to ensure that my family takes in a variety of foods, fruits and vegetables within my food budget. Below are a few of my family food planning tips to ensure my family gets a variety of healthier options.
• Each week, I have a habit of spending at least 30mins/1 hour planning out what we (as a family) will eat for that week. This is especially important if I know I will have a busy week ahead attending to work and business.
• I allocate a certain amount from my food budget for fruits and vegetables for the week. Sometimes, I buy fruits and vegetables from farmers markets because they are organic, sometimes cheaper and taste even better than shop bought fruits and vegetables 😀
• I try to balance the food for the family to ensure that we are having a variety of different foods i.e. decent amount of carbs, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and vary dishes from Western to African foods, curries, stews, sauces. We also love our little desserts for afters- mostly during the weekend 😀
• I use healthier oils in my cooking for example rapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil as they contain saturated fats which are resistant to heat and less likely to react with the oxygen in our bodies , producing free radicals that are harmful. I always look for offers in supermarkets on healthier cooking oils because they are generally more expensive!
• Using herbs, spices and seasoning in my cooking reduces my chances of using prepacked seasonings which contain chemical additives and in some cases, refined salt. Some of my favorite everyday herbs include parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, coriander. Chop away and get those exotic natural flavors in your everyday cooking!
• “Themed fruits” for the week keeps a balance on the fruit intake especially if you find yourself throwing away a lot of fruits because no one is eating them.
• Using ginger and garlic in your cooking has health benefits – for example increasing digestion and absorption of food.
N.B. Did you know that garlic is also great for fighting cold and flu like symptoms? Add in lukewarm water, with some cut ginger , teaspoon of honey and squeeze of fresh lemon for that homemade remedy to fight the cold *wink*

Planning ahead like in all things – saves you time, money, adds value and creativity!
Eat well, live well, feel good…

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