All posts tagged: healthy eating

The secret to guilt-free treats

Finding foods that satisfy a 4pm slump or a craving for dessert after dinner that aren’t really bad for you can be hard. Feeding children something healthy and filling, when they seem to be constantly hungry can also be a battle. The key when feeding children (and adults) is to include wholegrain carbs alongside the sweet stuff.  If you have the time at the weekend, baking biscuits or a crumble can be a great activity with kids and gives you a supply of snacks or pudding that can be included in lunchboxes or eaten at home. Fruit tastes fantastic when it’s baked and you add a lot less sugar when cooking yourself. Here are a couple of my favourite recipes: Sultana and oat cookies 125g butter 85g brown sugar 1/2 tbsp vanilla essence 1.5 tbsp milk 1 large egg, lightly beaten 120g wholemeal plain flour 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 200g oats 85g sultanas or raisins In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until …

Barbecues – the easy way to make food taste amazing

It’s barbecue season once more which means loads of healthy and fabulous tasting food. Meat, fish and vegetables all take on extra flavour when barbecued. It’s also easy to make simple food taste good in summer as the fruit and vegetables in the shops are often grown closer to home and are naturally full of flavour. A dash of olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs is all it takes. Serve everything with a big salad. I would recommend investing in a gas barbecue as results are so much more predictable than on a charcoal one and it’s quicker and more user friendly. However, whichever type of barbie you have, here are a few simple ideas for fab food: 1.  Make your own burgers Finely chop 1/2 onion and add to 500g mince together with 1 tsp wholegrain mustard and a good dash of salt. Mix thoroughly and shape into patties with your hands, large for the adults and smaller ones for the kids. 2. Sausages with homemade guacamole Elevate the humble hot dog by …

To be or not to be a vegetarian

Becoming vegetarian is usually a decision based on religious beliefs or the ethics of eating meat. However, some people may try it for health reasons. A currently high profile example of this is the blog and recipe book, Deliciously Ella. Its writer, Ella Woodward adopted a vegan and gluten free diet after suffering a debilitating illness and found it helped her recovery. There are many different types of vegetarian diet, depending on what is excluded from the diet – some people eat fish but not meat, others avoid meat and fish but eat dairy products, while vegans exclude all animal products. On the whole, a vegetarian diet offers many health benefits; vegetarians tend to have lower body weights, lower blood pressure and incidence of heart disease and lower rates of cancer. However, to be healthy, a vegetarian must understand how to plan a balanced meal without meat. There are several important nutrients that are not as abundant or well absorbed in plant foods. Meat is a good source of protein as it contains all of …

How sunshine can boost your health

In recent years, we have heard much about the dangers of too much sun causing skin cancer. Most people now heed the warnings about sunburn and slather on high factor sunscreen or cover up. However, what has often been missed in this discussion is that humans are not that dissimilar to plants – we need sunshine to thrive! Humans derive most of their vitamin D from sunshine that is absorbed through the skin. It can also be found in high amounts in oily fish such as salmon and sardines, in lower amounts in eggs and liver and in fortified foods, such as milk, margarine and cereals. However, it is difficult to get the recommended intake from food alone. Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential to good health. The most well-known action of vitamin D is its role in assisting the absorption of calcium, to ensure strong healthy bones. In childhood, if children don’t get enough vitamin D, they can develop rickets (a disease of malformed bones and impaired growth) and in adults, it …

More Tips on Feeding your Kids

What you should feed your children every day is essentially the same as what you should be feeding yourself. There is no reason why children should eat different food to adults and the vast majority of foods marketed for children are processed and nutritionally inferior, often containing hidden salt and even sugar. There is nothing wrong with serving fish fingers occasionally, but they contain considerably less protein than a piece of fish and are generally eaten with chips, which provide few nutrients. Children enjoy many of the same foods as adults – pasta sauces with tomatoes, garlic and herbs, casseroles, chilli con carne without the spice, steaks and prawns are super nutritious and should be eaten by all the family. Growing children need a regular supply of protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy. I believe that poor behaviour can often be linked to hunger or under-nutrition, which can be a result of them not eating the right foods rather than just not eating enough. A child’s diet should be comprised of …

How much protein and do we really need to eat so much fruit and veg?

Protein Meat, fish and eggs provide vital protein to the diet. High protein, low carbohydrate diets are in fashion currently, but the average western diet provides more protein than our bodies actually require. A portion of meat or fish should be the same size as the palm of your hand and your protein requirements can easily be met from one meal per day of meat, fish or eggs and a serving of nuts, cheese or legumes. To eat meat or not should be a matter of taste and personal preference, however eating large quantities of processed fatty meats such as bacon, ham and sausages has been linked to colorectal cancer and premature death (Rohrmann, 2013). As with all my dietary recommendations, moderation and variety is key. Some healthy eating guidelines recommend eating red meat no more than 3 or 4 times per week, and I tend to follow that advice, whilst usually eating meat just once a day. Meat that is grass-fed also tends to contain higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids (the really …