A better diet thanks to Morrisons #MorrisonsMum #MotivationalMonday

What to buy on a Bank Holiday Weekend from Morrisons

 When I was asked to be a #MorrisonsMum I thought that it was a great opportunity to expose our diet. I decided that due to Easter being late this year that maybe it was a time to get some “proper” cooking done. With children coming and going at different times (with school, clubs and work) it can be difficult to cook meals so we can sit together, and often rely on things that can be made quickly. Due to our Sensory Seeker being a fussy eater then meal planning is made all the more difficult. I would really like to consider how we could make improvements, but more importantly to ask others for their input. As you may be aware I have been trying to improve myself and one of the ways I am doing this is by making small lifelong habits, which hopefully I will also pass on to my children. Recently we discovered that my whole family are suffering with their teeth despite regular brushing and no added sugar in their diets. Fizzy drinks are a treat and sweets/chocolate for special occasions. We had changed dentists and the new one asked my husband whether we drank orange juice from the carton. It seems so obvious now that something I could put in the cupboard and it would last forever would be bad for you but I just thought “orange juice.” Needless to say we were drinking it ever breakfast time and my youngest was even taking a small carton to school with him. On examination of the packet it turns out that one 200ml serving was 20% of the daily recommended sugar.

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What food groups and what foods are needed to make a healthy diet

I was really hoping to find something that told me things like I should eat fish twice a week but could not find anything. I did get a general idea of the different food groups and what was in them to start me off with a basic idea for shopping. Since going shopping I have learnt that I seriously need to meal plan (and need help with this please), and that we possibly eat too much meat, that cutting back would increase our health and wallets!

Carbohydrates: Pasta, cereals, potatoes.

Fats: Oils, dairy, nuts and fish

Protein: Meat, pulses, fish

Vitamins: Fresh fruit and veg

Minerals: Fresh fruit, veg and fish

Fibre: Fresh fruit veg, and cereals

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Swapping for a healthier alternative

Firstly pasta we tend to buy the cheapest white pasta going and know that it is affordable and the children like it. In hindsight it probably has very little (if any) nutritional value and so I decided to look for wholemeal. As luck would have it Morrisons had an offer that their 95p 500g bags were 2 for £1.50. I was a little disappointed to see that there were not many wholemeal rice options but did manage to get a bag. I also switched to wholemeal bread and skimmed milk. I have to say we’d tried the 1% milk without noticing too much difference but the skimmed really was like water. I need to research further about whether the semi-skimmed would be more beneficial for my 5 year old as he has a poor diet.

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Morrisons Cheaper Me

I really ought to make my own curry with fresh ingredients but as mentioned things can be a bit manic so we buy jars of sauce. As part of the new cheaper Morrison’s the jars of curry sauce have now been reduced from £1.15 to 89. Morrisons have cut thousands of prices on favourite products. These aren’t offer prices they are new every day lower prices.

There are some good value money saving ideas that have been around for a while too, like a 12.5KG bag of potatoes costing only £3.49. This is not only a thrifty way of shopping but it also means I will not run out of a versatile food. Cereals have really shocked me lately as we tend to have the ones with dried fruit in. Turns out they are also really high in sugar. The best we have found is the wheat biscuits (we do not add sugar). A known brand name had 24 on offer until the 11th May for £2, whereas the Morrisons version had a “cheaper me” sign saying that 48 were now only £2.49.I do like that Morrisons have also worked out and displayed how much that is per biscuit – so it makes it easier for you to compare what a bargain you are getting.

The protein category I’m sure also covers eggs and baked beans – does anyone know please? I tend to buy a lot of chicken (3 for £10) and mince on offer and cook from there. Richmond sausages go straight in the freezer and can be cooked from frozen so I usually have some of those at hand too. We then have a roast dinner each week, and casseroles when it’s cold. What I really need is to up our intake of fish. I am ashamed to say my family do not like fish unless it’s pre-packaged cod/haddock or shaped like a finger (or a fish). I like tuna, prawns, crab sticks, and salmon (which is a “cheaper me” product.) After doing some research online I came across this fish for kids website and decided that we would try the Fish wraps.  If you do decide on a BBQ then these can also be cooked that way too.

healthier diet morrisonmum

Ingredients for the fish wraps came to £7.43 (but that was for a whole bag of carrots and I only used one) – making it a serving cost of £1.24 each.

My experience of Morrisons

I have to admit I am a regular at Morrisons and often visit several times a week. The place is always clean, the staff always polite and products are well displayed and easy to access. Sometimes the quality of some of the fresh products leaves a lot to be desired, but I see that some of the other stores have cold areas to keep them in, my local store just has them on the shelves. Again, I guess due to the nature of freshness the fruit on the shelves was short dated and a lot of it did not cover the Bank holiday weekend. I admit I did my shopping on the Thursday though as I do not like crowds of people.

Straight away it was clear that they had made some changes with clear illustrations of money saving baskets, and bright yellow displays. I liked the fact that the savings were on things I actually buy rather than expensive products. Although I have noticed a huge rise in some of their cheapest products, but they are still cheaper than their competitors. This was across all the shop including shampoo etc, not just food. I like how Morrisons do not just sell food but it can be an expensive business – like the Spiderman towel (£7) that I just HAD to buy my son (he has recently had a birthday).

What I bought at Morrisons

Firstly I bought lots of fruit and nuts to snack on. Plus some fromage frais as an after dinner treat to give some dairy too.

I went for the following meals:

Roast dinner. I was disappointed to see that there was not a lot of choice with the met. I ended up with beef £12.20. This was a good size for my family and no doubt there will be leftover meat for another day. We always have Yorkshire puddings and eggs are always a hit – pleased to see that they have been reduced to £1.62. This we have with roast and mash potatoes and plenty of vegetables (sweet potatoes, runner beans, carrots, corn, cabbage and broccoli) – some of these were on a 3 for £1.50 deal too.

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Chicken Curry: We really go to town and cook all 3 packs of chicken with 3 jars of sauce and naan bread. I had never noticed before the distinct lack of vegetables. I guess I could make my own samosas. The intention is always to tub up and freeze the leftover curry but this rarely happens. I bought this food choice as it is really simple to cook as I am away at the weekend. Simply cut the chicken, fry and simmer in the jar of sauce. This time I have a pouch of rice to try wholemeal but we have a Jamie at Home rice dish which just goes in the microwave.

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Steak dinner: It is a difficult time of year for my husband as it’s the anniversary of his granddad’s death. I decided to make him feel special by buying steak. Served with jacket potatoes and salad, with a diane sauce. I was disappointed to only find thinly cut sirloin steaks and instead had to have prime rump.

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Fish wraps and sweet potato wedges: We often have wedges and salad with chicken dippers or fish fingers. To make it healthier I decided to make the fish burger wraps and serve with sweet potato wedges. This did not go quite to plan and my balls fell apart. However, the fish in wraps was a hit, healthier and cheaper too.

Kat’s Pasta.

Chicken tonight: Chicken in white wine sauce, with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

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Sausages, beans and mash.

So there we have our week of food. I have to admit I pretty much planned what we were having after I had done my shopping and do have some other stray items. Shopping this way is costly and I ended up with lasagne sauce with no meat and no plain flour for the Yorkshire puddings. We would like your thoughts on our diet, and ways that we could improve it, as well as my poor meal planning, and shopping habits.

PRICES

Steak £6.62. Sausages £2. Chicken £20. Beef £12.20.  Pieces of cod £2.29. Rice £2.25. Potatoes £3.49. Sweet potatoes 82p. Carrots 69p. Runner beans £1.19. Brocoli 49p. Sweetcorn £1.70. Cabbage 55p. Cheese £4.26. Milk £3. Eggs £1.62. Fromage frais 42p. Cereal £2.49. Wraps £1.38 (for 12), Bread 50p a loaf. Naan £1.00 each (x3). Pasta £1.50. Curry sauces 89p each. Diane sauce £1.00. Pesto 89p. Chicken tonight £1.26. Dry roasted peanuts £1.75, Salted peanuts 65p. Tomatoes 69p. Leaf salad 99p. Beef tomatoes 59p. Mushrooms 99p. Apples 99p. Pineapple 69p. Bananas 31.50. Pears 99p. Oranges £2.00. Red grapes £1.00. Peppers 99p. Gravy £1.25.   Butter £1.00.   Cucumber 49p. Baking potatoes 69p. Heinz Baked beans £1.25

You may also be interested in this Diet Chef Review

I received money off vouchers to shop at Morrisons for the Bank Holiday weekend. All words and opinions are my own.

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