“I couldn’t have seen Sarah’s advert at a better time. I was doing everything she described; shopping last minute, spending too much on multiple shops, buying takeaways and I had lost all interest in cooking. I wanted to take control of my family’s eating but had no idea where to start. I’m so pleased Sarah was able to come to my rescue.”

Helen’s challenges

Helen was at her wit’s end. She was shopping several times a week, spending a fortune, and yet still resorting to takeaways. Shopping was a chore, meal times were challenging beyond belief with special dietary requirements, a teenage boy to fill up and everyone’s preferences to factor in, not to mention the additional pressure of her working evenings at least once a week. It wasn’t much of a wonder that the family was eating unhealthily and that Helen had lost her passion for eating and cooking.

How we overcame them

We started with some meal plans, working together to choose meals which were family favourites as well as introducing something new to ring the changes. The meal plans included recipes for batch cooking to fill the freezer, easy to prepare lunches and nibbles for her son.

I provided Helen with lots of recipe ideas and meal inspiration, with plenty to work around her daughter’s dietary requirements, meals she can prepare in advance on the nights she is working late and ways to handle mealtime fussiness.

We found recipes to get her son involved in making his own healthy snacks and lunches, using leftovers. We talked about making good use of her freezer and store cupboard as well as how to reign in the spending.

Helen soon got into the swing of things and by the time we met for our second session to start on the meal plans, she had already cut back her shopping trips, avoided takeaways, re-arranged and sorted through her cupboards and freezer, stewed fruit that was going bad to freeze for another day, prepared breadcrumbs with her stale bread to store in a jar and was back in high spirits!

Next step

I set Helen the challenge of only doing a weekly shop and cutting back her shopping bills, initially, by £50 a week, so I’ll be checking in with her in a few weeks to see how she’s managing to stick to the meal plans to make sure she’s on track for success. I’m looking forward to another session with Helen to show her more tips and tricks for bringing back the joy of cooking and eating as a family.