One Week Meal Planner

Being on a low protein diet can be tough, and often one of the biggest hurdles can be deciding what to eat! To help provide you with some inspiration, check out our sample meal planner. We know that the number of exchanges allocated can vary widely from person to person; so we've given ideas that include very little protein with some options of how you might increase the exchanges if you need to. Remember to check out the footnotes for each day of the week for handy tips!

 

Being organised and writing down what you plan for each week is a great way to help you stick to your low protein diet. Once you have decided on your week’s meals and snacks, write yourself a shopping list to take with you to the supermarket. Check out our meal planner example below.

 

 

NOTE: If you are prescribed a protein substitute or supplement by your dietitian, it is very important that you take the full amount of this alongside your meals and snacks 

MONDAY

  How Could I Increase the Exchanges?
Breakfast

Low protein breakfast cereal (e.g. Loprofin loops) with low protein milk replacement (e.g. Loprofin drink 1) topped with canned peaches in juice 

  • Use a normal breakfast cereal of your choice for exchanges (e.g. cornflakes or Cheerios)
 
LunchSweet potato jacket2, topped with ratatouille3
  • Add sweet corn to the ratatouille or another vegetable that contains exchanges 
 
DinnerVegetable stir-fry4 with Loprofin Rice

 

  • Use normal boiled rice for exchanges (can be mixed with low protein rice once cooked if you need to bulk it out)
  • Add vegetables to your stir-fry that contain exchanges

 

HANDY TIPS 

  1. Loprofin drink contains exchanges, ask your dietitian how many to count per carton for your condition.
  2. Sweet potato is free to eat for PKU, MSUD and HCU. For low protein diets, it will need to be weighed for exchanges. Try making your jackets in advance – preheat your oven to 200˚C/180 ˚C fan/gas 6, then rub each sweet potato in a little vegetable oil, prick the potatoes in several places and bake for 45 mins until soft. You can then freeze them for easy use later on. 
  3. Ratatouille is a vegetable stew originating in France, and is delicious served hot or cold. You can make it yourself (check out the recipe here), or buy it in a can from the supermarket. You can use it to top a jacket as mentioned above, but it also makes a lovely addition to pasta, you can use as a filling for bread rolls, a topping for low protein pizzas, as a filling for a low protein pie, or blend with a stick blender to make a yummy soup.
  4. Check out our recipe section , or our ‘Eating for Good Health’  recipe book for how to prepare a delicious stir fry.

TUESDAY

  How Could I Increase the Exchanges?
BreakfastFruit Smoothie: Use a blender to combine a banana1, some frozen berries and a carton of Loprofin Drink2 to make a delicious breakfast smoothie
  • Add a carefully measured amount of natural yoghurt to the smoothie recipe
 
LunchColourful salad3 with buttered low protein bread roll
  • Use some vegetables in your salad that contain exchanges
  • If you have a larger exchange allowance, you may be able to have a small portion of certain nuts or cheese added to your salad 
 
DinnerVegetable sausages4 with mashed sweet potato and steamed green beans
  • Use a measured amount of mashed potato instead of sweet potato
  • Replace green beans with a measured amount of green peas
 

HANDY TIPS:

  1. Banana needs to be counted in some conditions - please check the exchange list given to you by your dietitian 
  2. Loprofin drink contains exchanges, ask your dietitian how many to count per carton for your condition
  3. You could use lots of combinations for your salad – for example make your own coleslaw by finely chopping red or white cabbage, grating carrot and finely slicing red onion. Add chopped coriander, mint or parsley if you like this, and a mayonnaise that is free to use. Squeeze on some lemon or lime juice and season to taste with a little salt and pepper
  4. Check out our recipe section for how to make your own vegetable sausages. You can also purchase vegetable sausages or fingers from some supermarkets – these usually contain some exchanges so always check the label. Ask you dietitian for more information. 

WEDNESDAY

  How Could I Increase the Exchanges?
BreakfastLow protein toast with suitable spreads1
  • Use a spread which contains exchanges: measured cream cheese, or a suitable homemade pesto2 would work well. Avocado can also be used as exchanges for some conditions and is lovely spread on toast
 
LunchCold vegetable sausage (leftover from night before) on a low protein bread roll with ketchup or brown sauce and sliced tomato
  • As above, you could use a spread on the roll with some exchanges 
 
DinnerVegetable risotto3 served with a green salad on the side
  • Add vegetables which contain exchanges to the risotto. If you have a larger exchange allowance, normal rice could be used 
 

HANDY TIPS:

  1. Butter and margarine, jams, fruit compote and honey are all free to use as spreads. For a savoury option you could use a suitable chutney or pickle
  2. Homemade pesto is lovely spread on toast, or as an addition to low protein pasta. You can make a protein free version, or include vegetables that need to be counted for exchanges. Check out our recipe section, and speak to your dietitian for more information
  3. Check out the ‘Eating for Good Health’ recipe book for a recipe to make lovely, filling vegetable risotto

THURSDAY

  How Could I Increase the Exchanges?
BreakfastFruit salad1
  • Add some carefully measured natural yoghurt 
 
LunchLow protein pasta salad2
  • Use normal pasta for exchanges (can be mixed with low protein pasta once cooked if you need to bulk it out) 
 
DinnerStuffed peppers3 served with a green salad. Add a buttered low protein roll if needed.
  • Add some vegetables that provide exchanges into the peppers recipe (e.g. spinach)
  • Replace the low protein bread roll with some boiled potatoes
 

HANDY TIPS:

  1. You can use any number of combinations of fruit depending on your taste – popular choices include banana, sliced apple, kiwifruit, strawberries, orange segments, pineapple and melon. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the salad to prevent the fruit from going brown, and store in the fridge until needed. Always check whether any fruits need to be counted as exchanges for your condition.
  2. Check out our recipe section or the ‘Eating for Good Health’ recipe book for ideas on how to make pasta salads. Why not make a little more than you need and store in the fridge for your lunch the next day also?
  3. There is a lovely recipe for stuffed peppers in the ‘Eating for Good Health’ recipe book.

FRIDAY

  How Could I Increase the Exchanges?
BreakfastLow protein French toast1
  • Use a measured amount of spread which contains exchanges such as cream cheese (this is lovely with sliced strawberries and a little cinnamon) 
 
LunchSweet potato or parsnip chips with ketchup or flavoured mayonnaise2
  • Swap for oven baked potato chips 
 
DinnerLow protein pizza3 served with a green salad and low protein garlic bread4
  • Add vegetables that contain exchanges to your pizza topping
  • Add a salad dressing which contains exchanges
  • Gluten free pizza bases can be a useful way to add exchanges with less protein than a standard pizza base
 

HANDY TIPS:

  1. Check out our recipe section for how to make low protein French toast with Loprofin egg replacer. Adding some berries or other fruit can be a delicious way to increase your fruit intake for the day.
  2. Always check the label to ensure the flavoured mayonnaise you are using is suitable for you. Or add flavouring to a suitable plain mayonnaise – adding a little garlic, lemon or lime juice, chive, curry powder or herbs can work beautifully.
  3. Using pre-made low protein pizza bases are a convenient way to make your own pizzas, or you can make your own pizza bases using our recipe – spread with a suitable tomato sauce or pesto, and then top with your favourite vegetables such as peppers, courgette onions and olives. Some supermarkets also stock low protein cheese which can be a nice addition, speak to your dietitian for more information.
  4. Use Loprofin part baked rolls or sliced loaf spread with some garlic butter and bake in the oven for delicious garlic bread (check out our recipe here).

SATURDAY

  How Could I Increase the Exchanges?
BreakfastLow protein pancakes1
  • Add a measured amount of natural yoghurt 
 
LunchCold low protein pizza (left over from night before) 
DinnerVegetable bolognaise2
  • Use normal spaghetti for exchanges (can be mixed with low protein pasta once cooked if needed to bulk it out)
  • Add some vegetables that provide exchanges into the bolognaise sauce 
 

HANDY TIPS:

  1. Check out our recipe section and the range of recipe books from Nutricia for how to make delicious low protein pancakes. There are sweet and savoury recipes available. A treat for a Saturday morning!
  2. Vegetable bolognaise is true comfort food. Try out recipe here, or experiment with your own versions of this classic dish: if you like a smoother sauce, try using a stick blender or food processor, otherwise leave the vegetables in chunks. You can also modify the protein content of the sauce by using your own combination of free and exchange vegetables.

SUNDAY

  How Could I Increase the Exchanges? 
BreakfastDevilled tomatoes on toast1
  • If mushrooms need to be counted for your condition, frying them to have on toast can be a handy source of exchanges
  • Add a hash brown on the side as a Sunday morning treat 
 
LunchLow protein 'Sunday Roast' e.g. roasted sweet potatoes and parsnips, boiled carrots, steamed cabbage, low protein Yorkshire pudding2 and suitable gravy
  • Use roasted potatoes as measured exchanges
  • Use pre-bought Yorkshire puddings, always check the label for the exchange value
  • Use other vegetables that contain exchanges e.g. green peas
 
DinnerSoup2 with a low protein bread roll
  • Add vegetables that contain exchanges to your soup recipe
  • Use a pre-packaged soup, calculating the exchanges from the label 
 

HANDY TIPS:

  1. To make devilled tomatoes: use 450g cherry tomatoes. Fry in a little vegetable oil, and then then add the following ingredients mixed together: 2T mango chutney, 1T Worcestershire sauce, 1T wholegrain mustard, 1T orange juice. Cook until the tomatoes are soft, spoon onto your toast and then sprinkle some chopped chives on top
  2. Check out our recipe section for how to make your own low protein Yorkshire puddings, and for some great soup recipes

SNACK IDEAS

Fruit – a healthy and tasty snack
Apple crisps* – these are available from some supermarkets and are a nice change from fresh fruit
Low protein muffins – check out our recipe section section for how to make sweet or savoury versions
A slice of low protein toast with suitable spread
Vegetable sticks (such as carrot, cucumber, pepper or courgette) with a suitable flavoured mayonnaise* to dip
Homemade oven baked sweet potato or parsnip chips
Low protein crackers with tomato salsa** on top.
Low protein breadsticks with suitable dip, check out the recipe here
A sweet or savoury low protein scone – check out our recipe section for how to make sweet or savoury versions

*Always check the label for ingredients and protein content
** Salsa is a great topping or dip for low protein crackers, vegetable sticks, or breadsticks. You can make your own tomato salsa, or buy ready made from the supermarket (check the label to make sure it is suitable for you). You don’t have to stop at tomato salsa either! There are lots of great recipes online for interesting salsas such as pineapple, peach or cucumber.

NOTE: The dietary management for metabolic conditions varies for each person so all information presented here is for guidance purposes only. If you have any questions or are unsure about the suitability of some of the products described above, please speak to your healthcare professional who will be able to advise you.

The information provided on this page is in no way intended to replace the care, advice and medical supervision of your healthcare professional. Always consult your healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet.

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