Family Meal Planning for the Housekeeper, Cook

Planning healthy, nutritious meals for a busy family is a job in itself, which is why we’re here to help. The best domestic staff are the most organised. If you don’t have a wall planner already, get yourself one. Even better, if you’ve an Ipad or similar you can use any of the apps to support your working week. In today’s world of tech-savvy family life, you should be able to navigate your way around a screen desktop as well as a dishwasher.

Once you’ve got yourself a wall planner or are adventuring on to your app store, it’s time to plan your client’s meal requirements. Most families will want a balance of nutritious, wholesome foods that they can enjoy through the week. Obviously, it’s important to know in the first instance if you have any allergies or dislikes to deal with or any particular favourites – especially relating to the children.

Most families will be thinking consciously about how they shop and eat so consider this when doing your weekly shop. Does your employer talk about wanting to source food more ethically, or do they simply want tasty meals provided quickly and easily? Do they want the children to be involved in the cooking ever, or not? Once you’ve got your planner up (a chalk board will do) and communicated with your employer on what foods they like or dislike and got an idea of what kind of cooking they expect, you can get started. It’s helpful to ask your employer the following questions:

  • Who do you have to feed and when?
  • How many meals needs preparing per day? It can be up to 4 a day.
  • Are the children happy with cereal, toast and fruit on the school week mornings?
  • Do the children need feeding an early supper or wait for parents to eat together?
  • What dietary requirements / allergies are there?
  • What snacks/ treats do the family enjoy?
  • Will there be any guests this week and do they have any dietary requirements?

Once you’ve got an idea of the above and taken note, you’re free to plan your weekly menu and then do your shopping list accordingly. Doing your shop in accordance to the week ahead is the most cost effective and efficient way of shopping. Thinking about cooking a larger dish and freezing some portions off is sensible forward planning. If the children are fussy eaters, getting them involved in the cooking process (starting with very simple things like a pizza or cup cakes) will help.

Always try to source your meat, vegetables and fish locally and independently to support environmental sustainability. Choose wholewheat pasta and bread where possible and organic fresh foods. Avoid processed pre-packed meats and snacks.

Below is a weekly menu example which could work for all the family:


Breakfasts: cereal, wholewheat toast, homemade jam, boiled eggs, yoghurt, fruit and pancakes at the weekends

Monday: Steamed fish with grilled veg and noodles, sweet and sour sauce (add garlic, chilli and ginger for grown ups)

Tuesday: lamb chops with mashed potato and green beans, gravy (or dauphinoise and sugar snaps for grown ups)

Wednesday: Shepherds Pie with a green salad

Thursday: Thai chicken curry

Friday: Fish Pie with peas

If you are looking for work as a Housekeeper or Cook, or you require someone to help you or your family at home, please call us on 0203 857 9945 or contact us here