Before I state my waist-to-hip ratio, I’d better introduce myself. I live in the midlands of England, and work part-time in an office. My name is Anne, and I have two children at high school. Food is on everyone’s mind – children saying ‘I’m hungry’ and ‘What’s for dinner’; adult thoughts focus on much the same things, and I am the one who does most of the cooking.

I want my kids to grow strong and helathy, and for myself, I want to be well nourished and enjoy my food without increasing my waistline. Okay, the waist-to-hip ratio is 0.77. Not too bad, but there are some tight waistbands in my wardrobe and I’d like to get into those clothes again.

Since I don’t take enough exercise to cancel out all that sitting at desks, I need to modify my diet to suit, but I want to sit down and eat the same food at mealtimes as my children. It must be a question of balance.

I am a bit skeptical about the 2000 calories a day recommended for women. I’m not average! I am also pretty unimpressed with low-fat diets, and think they won’t deliver the essential fats my children need. Since my brain is more than 60% fat, just as theirs are, I reckon we all need to know our fats.

So, where do I start with planning the family meals? Vegetables seem uncontroversial, more green stuff is on every diet list bar the most way-out. Protein is on the menu mostly in the form of meat, fish and dairy products, with a few beans and lentils. What is the right amount? Too little is no good, and too much is apparently hard work for the body to process, and hard on the budget. More research coming up.  Nutritious meals on a budget will be achieved this year!