A family of 4, 3 meals a day, over 5 days, with just $100.
Meet the Walshes. They did it, in our Aussie Farmers Direct $100 Shop Challenge.
Thirty-eight year old Sophie Walsh from Eltham in Victoria is your classic busy mum. A part-time job, two kids under five, a hard-working hubby and a proud household to maintain. There was no better candidate to take up our challenge to create three nutritious, filling meals for the whole family, every day for five days, with our new Aussie Farmers Direct $100 Shop selection.
We started with an Aussie Farmers Direct family-sized fruit and veg box. We added some meat and fish, oats, bread and milk, eggs, butter and cheese, as well as one of our delicious ready-made lasagnes. We also devised a nutritious meal guide, which gave Sophie the tools she needed to go out and conquer. How did she go? Let’s find out!
Sophie, how did you find the challenge?
It was easy and simple. I didn’t really have to think! The weekly menu suggestions were all planned out which was fantastic, and the food was really fresh.
What did you love about it the most?
The ease of delivery. It was great having everything you needed, ready to go. I loved that I didn’t need to pile the kids into the car and head down to the supermarket where, as much as you try not to, you end up over spending and over buying when the kids grab food and sneak it into the trolley! It also encouraged healthy eating. We’re pretty good on that front anyway – my kids can’t get enough fruit – but the suggested meals were all really nutritious, which meant we didn’t cut any corners. Planning meals in advance was also a bit of revelation. It meant one less thing to think about when mealtime rolled around. It’s a new habit that I’ve now embraced. Having the ready-made lasagna was also fantastic – it meant I had a bit of a night off!
Did anything surprise you?
It made me realise I’ve been stuck in a pretty boring routine when it comes to meals, and so the $100 Shop Challenge has actually reignited my passion for cooking! It made mealtime more interesting. It gave us items I would never ordinarily order, such as the Catch of the Week fish. Instead of just grilling it, I wanted to be more creative, and in the process found a new recipe that the whole family absolutely loved, and I’ll definitely be doing again. The family fruit and veg box is like a mystery box. You don’t know exactly what you’re going to get; you’re just getting whatever is in season. In my box was bok choy, which I haven’t cooked with for ages. I made a vegetarian frittata in which I used the bok choy, and that recipe has also now become a new family favourite.
What did the kids think?
Apart from trying some new recipes, which they loved (and keep asking for again!), my kids caught onto my new enthusiasm. Because I was excited about it, the kids were too and wanted to be involved as well, so they helped me prepare a lot of the meals. How often does that happen?!
What about hubby?
I do most of the cooking but one or two nights a week I have to work late. I had the menu plan stuck on the fridge and he thought that was great. He knew exactly what was planned for that night and could get dinner organised really easily. I was a little worried that there may not be enough food, but there was plenty and he didn’t complain of being hungry!
To Take The $100 Shop Challenge, visit: AussieFarmers.com.au/FamilyShop100
The $100 Shop Nutrition Report
By Karen Inge, Institute of Health & Fitness
With so many of us being frantically busy, the thought of planning meals and shopping becomes a low priority, so we often find ourselves taking the easy way out and resorting to unhealthy food choices. Having a ready-made selection of nutritious foods at an affordable price for a family makes healthy eating so much easier. The Aussie Farmers Direct $100 Shop selection can meet the recommended serves of all food groups for an average family of four.
One of the biggest nutritional challenges is achieving the five serves of vegetables a day however when you receive a family seasonal box of fruit and vegetables as part of the $100 Shop, you will see how easy it is.
This is a great way to have fun with food as well. You sort of have your own ‘mystery box’ of healthy foods to plan your menus for the week and cook what you like, knowing that everything you make from the box is good for you and your family.