April 21, 2019

Menu Planning for Working Couple

Wiki 1Menu planning for a working couple can be a herculean task. However with some meticulous planning this important task can be brought under much control if one applies their mind to it.

Firstly one must realize that it is not just a task. On Menu planning would depend upon your health which is paramount.

Food is medicine. One eats the right kind of food then one won’t need medicine and vice versa.

Typically one must do the weekly grocery on a Sunday morning and plan the whole week’s menu. The list of grocery should be almost full proof. This would save a lot of time and energy and would be monumentally helpful in having lot of peace at home particularly where both the spouse are working.


You’re saved from post-work dinner palpitations; because dinner is always planned (one can go ahead and prepare a time table in advance if it works).

Ingredients are guaranteed to be on hand. Cooking goes much faster, since you go in knowing how to prepare a meal (by instinct or through print-out recipes).

You eat healthier, as home-cooked meals are generally much more nutritious than calorie-laden takeout or heat-and-eat dinners

Grocery shopping goes faster. You go in knowing exactly what you want, and don’t have to blow an extra half-hour wandering around. Extra trips to the grocery store are mostly eliminated.

For budgeting purposes, you can pretty much estimate the cost of your bill to the Rupee.

There’s less food waste, because you’re buying only what you need.

It allows for variety during the week, since you’ve got all the ingredients on hand anyway.

Here’s what I do:

Typical weekly grocery list:

This would depend upon what groceries are running low and what food one eats regularly.

Fruits. Papayas ( its my favourite fruit which has vitamin A, C and E all in one)and any seasonal fruits (for e.g. mango/litchi etc.)

Eggs, Curd, Cereals

Vegetables: Green leafy like palak and Methi etc. plus seasonal vegetables for e.g. : peas and sweet potatoes during winter)

Gud powder ( can used in tea or coffee or to make a sweet)


Rawa/poha/ragi/besan ( for snacks)


Dates/gud chikkis ( Dessert)

And other ingredients required like garam masala etc. Plus other bathroom and kitchen items as required would differ from a day to day basis

Our body needs fuel ( i.e. food) every four hours. Therefore ideally have four meals a day with difference of approximately four hours each for e.g. 8.30 am /12.30pm/4.30 pm/8.30pm with a standard deviation of half hour. Try and stick to this rule as much as possible and you would be free of any acidity during the day and in fact for life.

Guidelines for week days

Break Fast:

Please note that one portion of fruits daily is mandatory. And it’s strongly recommended to have fruits (which is a natural and uncooked food) should be consumed on an empty stomach. Therefore a plate of papayas and eggs are an ideal breakfast. Or an Orange/Apples or two with cereals. Try and avoid the sugar in your tea and coffee. Once you had the fruits quota in the morning you are done with fruits for the day. Don’t look at it for the rest of the day. •Items like Fruits and salad has to form a part of our diet irrespective whether one is overweight or not. This is because fruits and salads have a lot of fibre in them. Please note that Fibre is not digested by the body and is simple thrown out as it is. However, it helps in making the intestines work efficiently which helps in digesting the food. Absence of fibre results in acute constipation.

Lunch :

I am assuming that most couple try and eat their lunch outside which is practical. Practical because most couples would tend to take left overs which would be more harmful than outside food. Having said be wise in choosing what’s available on the canteen menu. Try and stick to the regular roti non oily sabji and dal stuff.

Evening snack:

Evening snacks plays a very vital role as one tends to get very hungry by say 6 pm. Therefore try to plan to have a healthy snack available around your office. For e.g..Idli or poha or upma or oil free dosa or tomato omlet without bread. A healthy evening snack would help you in not indulging in junk food like a vada pav on the road while returning home.

The idea is avoid anything which is packed as much as possible for e.g.: bread/Maggie/biscuits/chocolates/farsan /papad/pickle/jam/sauce/butter/etc. and ofcourse junk food like vada pav/burgers/fries/bhajia/chaat items/aerated drinks etc.


Brainstorm the dinners you want to eat. The week dinner list may be as follows:

Dinner should typically have 2 or 3 rotis one green leafy vegetable like palak ( Palak is a wonder vegetable )  and dal/fish fried and little salad daily.

For people with a sweet tooth try and keep gud chikki and dates handy. These are healthy and would satiate your sweet cravings too. A mango juice or a litchi during season also is good but again without sugar or cream.


As suggested can be a cheat day and one can actually indulge in elaborate cooking. One can choose and exotic recipe from the net like a Mutton nalli nihari or a chicken biryani or for the vegetarian exotic dishes like a veg thai curry with rice or malai kofta etc. And indulge in a couple of glasses of exotic wine too and also in their favourite desserts in limits. Try dark bitter chocolates containing above 80% cocoa. Extremely healthy and would also keep your blood pressure in check.

One can always keep a cheat day like Sunday so that one is not frustrated. This is what actress Shilpa Shetty does.

Key points to remember:

a ) Weighing machine: Firstly buy a good weighing machine.

b) Food Diary: Secondly note down the following in a food diary. Either in a note book or excel sheet)

It may have the following format:

Date    Breakfast         Lunch    Snacks  Dinner  Remarks (work out done info)

c) Note down Current weight

d) Note down Waist size

e) Keep the consumption of the following five white items in check:

i) Rice

ii) Milk

iii) White flour( Maida)

iv) Salt

v) Sugar ( Avoid almost completely)

The above piece is a macro level guideline which if observed properly can go a long way in streamlining one’s health. A micro level guide line would require individual data and routine.

Happy Eating!!

Pic Credit: Wiki

About Chandrakant Kotian 10 Articles
A Chartered Accountant who is currently into practice and business. Has worked in institutions like Ernst & Young, Citibank and e serve. A person with extensive views on social and current events who has been writing to various news papers like Midday and Afternoon in the letters to editor column for the last two decades. Has a blog www.writerchandra.blogspot.com Has extensive knowledge about food and restaurants in Mumbai and has done restaurant reviews for the Times of India on several occasions. Has extensive knowledge of diet and nutrition and has helped many people lose substantial weight. A fitness fanatic who has been running the marathon (full marathoner) for the last 13 years.