16 December 2012

What More sweet Treats?!

I tend to use carob more than chocolate for children's recipes as quite often with the sugar and caffeine found in chocolate they can become very hyper. I am not saying that chocolate should be banned completely - just be aware of the effects. Try it for yourself and see! 

Why make life more stressful for yourself this Christmas? And why not give them an alternative which is healthier for them in the long run?

For these carob chunks all you need is 1-2 large bars of carob (naturally sweetened with no added sugar), some chopped nuts and dried fruit such as raisins, rice syrup, orange rind and cinnamon.
  • Break the carob bar/s into chunks and place in a glass dish. Place this dish in a saucepan with simmering hot water and continue to simmer until the carob has completely melted.
  • Caramelise the nuts in a pan with the syrup, cinnamon and orange rind (1 minute in the pan is plenty) set aside to cool and harden.
  • Lightly grease a dish with a small amount of olive oil, pour in the carob and then start placing the caramelised nuts and dried fruit on top. Gently press ensuring that they are all pressed into the carob.
  • Leave to cool (cools best in the fridge) and then remove from the dish and cut into chunks.
  • If you have difficulty removing the carob from the dish you can use grease proof paper before hand or turn the dish upside down (with a plate underneath to catch the carob) and gently pour a little hot water onto the base of the dish - this will melt a little of the carob helping it to slide out easily.
Children with supervision can help chopping the nuts with a child safe knife and gently pressing the nuts into the carob.

Perfect Christmas treat for all the family. Even the fussy ones!

Sweet Potato Treats

Have some fun in the kitchen this Christmas with your little ones and made some sweet potato treats for the whole family to enjoy. This is an alternative to the traditional Spanish sweets called 'Panellets' usually made with potato flour and sugar.

In this recipe all you need is the flesh of some oven baked sweet potatoes that have been baked in a low-medium oven until soft inside (the drier the consistency the better), orange rind, and ground almond powder.  Mix together and create little ball shapes and roll into some toasted pine nuts or other nuts. (If you find they are not sweet enough for your liking you can add a little rice syrup to the mixture).

You can also create different flavours by adding some carob powder and rolling the balls in desiccated coconut.

Have fun!

ABC Soup

Recipe for this soup can be found on the recipes page - perfect way to get children involved with vegetables and warm them up this winter!

A spoonful of sugar...

Refined sugar has become one of the most widely used substances in the modern day diet. It is added to virtually everything from the usual cakes, chocolates, sweets, fizzy drinks as well as being hidden in many other products such as bread, baked beans, sauces, crisps etc - yes even savoury foods contain sugar!

Have a little read of labels when you are next in the supermarket -
more than half of breakfast cereals contain between 25%-70% sugar (especially children's brands!) Don't be fooled by the added vitamins and minerals that make the cereal seem healthy!
(There are plenty of good sugar free, natural cereals available)

So what is wrong with sugar anyway? As with anything, we all have free will, however being aware of the affects that each food gives us we can then choose what is best for us in in the moment as well as long term. Once we know and notice how a particular food can harm our health, most tend to opt for a healthier alternative.

If you find you or your children are craving the sugary stuff, try increasing the natural sweetness within main meals. Use more root and round veg roasted in the oven, mashed, in creamy soups, nourishing stews - sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrot are perfect for this. Avoiding excessive consumption of salty foods such as meat, cheese, crisps and added raw salt will help to reduce this sugar craving too.

A few points about refined sugar...
  • The extreme refinement and concentration of sugar is difficult for the body to cope with.
  • It is known as empty calories with no nutritional value.
  • Excessive consumption can give a roller coaster feeling which can also affect emotions, giving a quick sugar rush (when kids become hyper) with a big low afterwards (when children become tired and cranky) and this doesn't just affect children!
  • Sugar consumption creates acidic blood. Regulars to this blog will know that we need a slightly alkaline pH level of the blood to function properly, if the blood is too acidic the body rebalances itself by using minerals from the bones to balance the blood - not good if you want healthy bones!
  • It is harmful to teeth, which can lead to rotting, the need for fillings and other problems.
  • After consuming 100g the body's pulse and blood pressure increases just after 15minutes.
  • Sugar can become addictive.
  • It tires the Liver, Spleen and Pancreas that all help to keep blood sugar levels stable within the body.
  • Excessive consumption can produce diabetes and obesity.
  • It can reduce the body's natural defence's and feed bacteria.
  • With the extreme energy highs and lows that come with sugar, this can increase the chances of depression, anxiety, and concentration levels - not good for school children!
...and the list goes on.

With so many artificial sweeteners (which are just as harmful), syrups, honey, raw cane sugar, fructose etc things can get a little confusing when looking for an alternative.

So what do I recommend as an alternative? Sweet and simple, syrups made from whole grains...corn and barley malt, rice syrup etc 100% natural and delicious and because they derive from whole grains they will not give the same extreme highs and lows as sugar can.

Try it out, see the difference when you and your family consume sugar vs rice syrup.

Disclaimer: If you haven't done so already check out my disclaimer on the Welcome page.

Getting into the spirit

Whether you are one of those people who is relishing in all the festivities or one of those who trying to ignore everything until the 24th December, without a doubt Christmas day is approaching fast!

I found myself wrapping a few presents last night (one of my favourite things!) and was thinking about Christmas food alternatives for this blog. Its a day usually filled with many sweet treats often containing lots of refined sugar, which we all know tends to leave the kids hyper, parents exhausted and a quite a lot of chaos in the family home (more information about refined sugar will be posted shortly).

Here I want to offer some alternatives, easy to make treats that children will love helping with the preparation. This gives the family some bonding time, fun in the kitchen and best of all, some yummy goodies to eat in the end!

Recipes coming soon...

18 November 2012

Comfort Food

Ok so the blackberries may have disappeared by now but any fruit will do for homemade compotes. Apple and banana work really well together, making a delicious and comforting dessert - especially with the homemade granola and custard!

The trick is to use eating apples instead of cooking apples, which means you don't need to add any sugar (thus removing the hyperactive behaviour afterwards!) Bananas too add a wonderful sweetness and a tiny pinch of sea salt will bring out more of the natural sweetness of fruit.

Simply peel and chop the fruit (children can help with this with supervision), and season with some orange zest, little rice syrup, (tiny pinch of seas salt as previously mentioned) and a little Kuzu or Maize flour as a thickener and cook until soft. Perfect!

For the homemade granola, mix a packet of sugar free muesli with some rice syrup with a little olive oil and orange zest and bake until lovely and golden. Perfect on top of compotes and porridge etc.

This dessert is wonderful for the little ones around an hour or two before bedtime, as the natural sweetness will have relaxing effect on them by the time they need to go to bed.

14 November 2012

The White Stuff

You may of noticed that I don't use dairy in soups...for me this blog is all about encouraging children to enjoy fruit and vegetables, getting them involved with natural, unprocessed foods that will create health and vitality.

Nowadays so many people have lactose intolerance's (lactose - a sugar found in milk), as well as increasing levels of respiratory problems, skin problems etc all of which have been linked to dairy foods.

We are the only species on this planet that chooses to regularly consume milk from another species and continues to do so when we are full grown adults

A few things about the white stuff...
  • Cow's milk is originally only intended for calves.
  • Our body naturally reduces the levels of lactase (enzyme that digests milk) when we no longer need to be breastfed. This is natures way of indicating that we do not need milk when we are adults.
  • Cow's milk is high in saturated fat.
  • We need many more minerals than just calcium to create healthy, strong bones which are not present in Cow's milk.
  • Dairy foods have been linked with skin and respiratory problems, as well as being known for creating mucus within the body.
  • Cow's milk can contain many growth hormones and added chemicals.
  • Cow's milk has been linked to digestive problems, prostate and breast cancer.
  • Cow's milk has an acidic effect on the body - in order to function properly the body needs a slightly alkaline pH of the blood. If the blood is too acidic, the body uses minerals from the bones to neutralise the blood, thus defeating the whole purpose of consuming milk!
  • Oriental countries, who have never traditionally consumed any dairy products have some of the lowest levels of osteoporosis in the world...what did they consume for healthy bones? Sea vegetables!

For many thousands of years sea vegetables were consumed worldwide, however only the oriental countries continued to this day. Traditionally in the UK people consumed Laverbread from Wales, Dulse from Scotland etc etc. Even the Vikings were known to chew on Dulse on their sea voyages!

If you are new to sea vegetables, it may be a little weird at first to consider them as part of your diet, however start first with soups for the family. A piece of Kombu, Wakame etc added to soups and blended will be undetectable but all the goodness will remain. They have been said to offer the broadest range of minerals than any other known food on Earth and their properties are easy to digest and gentle on the stomach.

They are great for stronger healthier bones and helping to add to the wonderful nourishment of vegetable soups.

Disclaimer: If you havent done so already please read my disclaimer on the welcome page.

Make Soups Fun

As seen in the photos section of this blog, adding a decorative element on top of soups can help children to be more interested in eating it.

Dont worry this needn't be a Picasso masterpiece, however a simple smiley face, a heart, a sunshine etc will add a bit of fun to their meals.

Through using nuts, seeds (If your child cannot chew properly then grounded nuts/seeds in a coffee grinder work just fine), croutons etc...

Small cubes of fried Tofu, Seitan or other good quality proteins also work well giving extra protein and a delicious crunchy texture to the soup which kids will love.

12 November 2012


Flavours to try...

Creamy soups (Blend to create creamy consistency at end with a hand held blender)...
  • Carrot and Orange (add some orange zest when cooking carrots with the sauteed onions)
  • Pumpkin and cinnamon (add a touch of cinnamon powder when cooking the pumpkin with the sauteed onions)
  • Pumpkin and chestnut (add some cooked, peeled chestnuts to the pumpkin and sauteed onions)
  • Lentil and Fennel (add red lentils and chopped fennel to the sauteed onions)
  • Cauliflower (Add a few bay leaves or a little nutmeg along with the cauliflower and sauteed onions - This makes a perfect alternative to bechamel as well)
  • Courgette and leek (Add courgette and leeks to the sauteed onions. Wakame sea vegetable works very well with this soup)
The list is endless...

Just experiment! Remember the sauteed onions are key and also watch how much water is added. Keep the soup nice and thick and creamy, bringing lots of nourishment for the little ones!

Nourishing Soups

Soups are the perfect way to cram the veggies in, and the best way to start a nourishing, creamy soup is with onions.

Sauteing onions is the key to bringing natural sweetness, creaminess and body to soups.

Finely slice 2-3 onions and saute in olive oil with a pinch of sea salt for 10-12 minutes until they become transparent. The longer onions are cooked, the more natural sweetness they bring, something that is really lacking in modern day diets. No need for dairy, thickeners etc. You can make completely delicious soups using only vegetables and a few natural seasonings.

Once you have the onions sauteed, you are then free to add many different vegetables as you like, a little water (adding hot water instead of cold will create more natural sweetness) and cook until soft. To season try adding some white miso before blending, which helps to reinforce the intestinal flora and strengthen digestive systems (perfect for growing children) as well as adding great flavour.

For extra nourishment add a piece of Kombu sea vegetable (available from health food shops and large supermarkets) and cook with the vegetables. Kombu contains high mineral contents and its calcium is much easier to digest compared to dairy foods. Keep it in the soup when blending to ensure that all of the minerals remain in the soup. Once blended its completely concealed, and it will not affect the delicious flavour of the vegetables.

Why not give it a try? You may be pleasantly surprised!

1 November 2012

Happy November

Happy November everyone!

Well it may be getting a little cooler and the days drawing shorter, however this is not to say this season doesnt come with benefits - there is so much on offer too. Perfect time to wrap up warm, enjoy the comforts of our home after a beautiful autumn walk by the sea or in the countryside. This season is all about comfort and what a better way to achieve this than to bring in some hearty comforting food.

This season is all about soups, stews, caseroles, bakes, vegetables roasted in the oven...all of which can offer a wide variety of possibilities and opportunities of giving nutritious vegetables to your children.

I will be focusing on soups over the next few weeks, a perfect way to serve vegetables and also add the extra minerals of sea vegetables without drawing attention...

Keep posted for delicious recipes!

26 October 2012

Pumpkin Fun

Why not be a little creative in the kitchen with your children and design some Halloween pumpkin faces...

...everyone can design their own face and draw it on to their chosen pumpkin. Children can also help to scoop out the seeds from the pumpkin. Cutting the face is a little tricky so is best left to the adult.

And why not have a pumpkin themed evening with some roasted pumpkin for dinner too!

24 October 2012


Who doesn't love sitting by the seaside with some freshly prepared fish and chips from the local chippy - I do for sure...every once and a while. However when fast food becomes a weekly, daily habit it can cause many health problems as well as offering not much nutritional value to keep ourselves and our children going in this ever hectic world of ours. 

Chips are popular with children especially, being (for many years) a staple in school lunches. Thanks to Jamie Oliver and other like minded people/organisations this is starting to change.

So heres an alternative, try cutting sweet potatoes into chunky chip shapes and roasting them in the oven. Just a little olive oil, tiny sprinkle of sea salt and bake until golden and crispy. Delicious and it also counts as one of your kids 5 a day...

16 October 2012

Oven Baked And Delicious

Baked Pumpkin, Squash and Sweet Potato have to be one of my favourites and they are also a huge hit with children. The natural sweetness and crispy texture will be a winner for sure.

Simply remove the seeds from the pumpkin and cut into slices (about 2cm thick) and the sweet potato into similar sized slices or wedges and drizzle the following dressing all over for an extra mmm factor...

1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple juice concentrate and a dash of soya sauce

...bake in a medium oven until edges are crispy and the vegetables are soft and delicious in the middle.

Perfect as a vegetable side dish for many different meals, leftovers (not that there will be many left!) can even be added to soups, stews, cold salads etc etc.

Enjoy and do let me know how your children respond!

13 October 2012

Pumpkin Soup With Cinnamon

Pumpkin soup is one of the most simple and easy recipes to do and kids will love the natural sweetness as well as the added smiley face :)

All you need is to saute 3 chopped onions in olive oil and a pinch of sea salt for 10-12 minutes until transparent, add chopped 1 or 1/2 a pumpkin depending on size (seeds removed), and a little water to cover a third of the vegetables and a pinch of cinnamon. Bring to the boil and simmer until the pumpkin is soft. Add some white miso to taste (roughly 1-2 tablespoons) and blend into a lovely creamy soup with a hand held blender.


11 October 2012

Second Spring

I read a beautiful quote the other day which I thought was worth sharing...

Autumn... a second spring when every leaf is a flower - Albert Camus

So with the leaves beginning to change, the landscapes filled with hues of red, orange, yellow and gold its the perfect time of year to sample some of natures delights. Over this month I'll be focusing on a few of those delights, one of which is the humble pumpkin.

Pumpkin and squash are much over looked, often only used at Halloween as lanterns but they are one of the most versatile and delicious vegetables there are. Not to mention a great source of natural sweetness, something that tends to be lacking in modern day diets, often leading to cravings of the sugary stuff!

So lets wrap up warm, enjoy the second spring of colour around us and delight our senses with the delicious recipes to come. Your children will love them for sure!

21 September 2012

Go Jamie!

  • Do you believe that every child deserves the best start in life?
  • Do you long to see a change in poor food quality in schools?
  • Do you want to help but not sure how?

If you answered yes then please take a few seconds and scroll down to the bottom of this blog to sign Jamie's Food Revolution global petition. By signing we can use this global petition to pressurise the governments to make a difference.

Something so simple and we can then all help to make a change and bring better food standards to children's plates.

Let's spread the word!!

11 September 2012

Lets Get Things Started!

Some days, whilst out and about I am shocked by the quality of food given to children. It is something, when I see a 2 year old being fed crisps and cola for breakfast on the bus, that makes me even more determined to promote healthy eating for children.

I believe it is sooo important as they are growing, developing their brains, studying at school, learning about life and with all this going on they need as much strength and vitality as they can get. And we, as adults are the ones who are here to set an example and teach why eating well is so important. We need to set an example, there is no way we can improve our childrens diets if we eat junk food all day ourselves.

So as with anything, we all have a choice. However just consider this for a moment...our actions can affect others and everyone has the power (no matter how big or small the actions you take are) to make a positive difference.

If you have any comments, tips and ideas please feel free to post them on this blog.

Lets join together and get things started!

Lunch Box Vegetables

Add some colour to lunch boxes this Autumn with some vegetables cut into shapes. See previous posts for June 2012 for information how to cut carrots into flowers. Surprisingly quick and easy!
If your children are not used to having many vegetables and are a little fussy then serve delicious pates to go with the vegetables - see Recipes page for ideas.

9 September 2012


We all know how much children are influenced by their school friends, that is why it is important to keep in regular check with your children about lunch boxes.

Find out what they like and what they don't like, what their friends are eating, what things they are willing to try. Not forgetting to explain to them clearly and simply why certain junk foods may not be appropriate.

Children are a lot smarter and wiser than we give them credit for and if they know the reason they will understand and be more open and willing to try new foods rather than reacting and refusing just because they were told 'because I said so'.

Make the lunch boxes fun, appealing, wholesome as well as socially acceptable - this may mean to include some crisps at times so they feel like they fit in. The most important thing is variety and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

8 September 2012

The Nitty Gritty

Ok so what should we include in a Lunch Box? What are the essential components?

Try to include some of each food group...
  • Complex Carbohydrates - Whole grains such as wholegrain rice, millet, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, good quality wholemeal or sourdough breads. These will provide steady energy needed through the school day as well as nourish the nervous system. If your children aren't familiar with these products then slowly adapt the food at home and start substitute first the bread by using the best quality you can afford.
  • Vitamins and Fibre - As mentioned in previous posts, vegetables can be added to sandwiches, used with pates etc. Essential for vitamins and fibre keeping the body and digestive system working healthily. A small amount of fruit can be added to lunch boxes as a snack or dessert for some added vitamins. You can always add some 100% fruit juice cartons, fruit slices, grapes, dried fruit pieces, mini fruits such as baby pears and bananas, fruit compote etc. However emphasise more on vegetables as too much fruit can have a relaxing effect on the body after the initial sugar rush which is not what children need during maths lessons!
  • Fats - When I say fats, I mean good quality. A handful of nuts such as walnuts, pecans, almonds etc or some natural peanut butter or tahini (sesame paste) in sandwiches (works both well for sweet and savoury sandwiches).
  • Minerals - If you are serving soup in a flask then be sure to blend in some cooked Kombu or Wakame sea vegetables for essential minerals and high calcium levels (higher and more easily absorbed than in Dairy). The main sea vegetable intake is recommended during home meals as children love to fit in with their peers and whilst lunch boxes should be healthy they should also be and socially friendly.
  • Protein - as I have mentioned before, protein is very important for growing children. Their bodies are changing and growing constantly and the protein acts as the building blocks of their bodies. 


To make a change from the usual sandwiches try some of the following....
  • Vary the bread, opting for good quality wholemeal or Sourdough versions (Spelt, Rye, Wholemeal with added seeds or nuts).
  • Instead of sliced bread why not try filling some bread rolls. Children can help with this the evening before give them a choice of fillings (which go along with some added vegetables/salad) and they can fill their own rolls.
  • Wholewheat or Corn wraps work well too for many different fillings such as hummous and salad
  • Salads - Pasta, Wholegrain rice, Quinoa, Millet etc. Wholegrains are essential for children to develop a strong and healthy nervous system as well as providing stable energy during their school hours. Again children can choose which vegetables they want to add to the salads and help with the preparations.
  • Soup in a flask with bread rolls.
  • Selection of pates with corn chips and vegetable sticks.
  • Rice or Corn cakes with a selection of pates.
Please Note: Be sure to serve protien rich pate's  or plenty of added protien to salads if these are used as a sandwich substitute.

Pack Them In!

Vegetables can play a significant role in Lunch Boxes without loosing the appeal for children. Try the following...
  • Sandwiches - The best way to add in the vegetables. Try adding some salad leaves/lettuce, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, saukraut, grated carrot, cooked beetroot slices, tomatoes, or avocado...etc etc.
  • Vegetable sticks and dips - Fill a little tub with a pate along with some vegetable sticks for a morning snack or an extra to their lunch.
  • Shapes - Cut some vegetables into shapes to make them more appealing, see previous posts about carrot flowers and cucumber rings.
  • Sweetcorn - Cooked sweetcorn on the cob cut into slices (2 cm thick) make a great extra for lunch boxes and are just as tasty cold as they are hot.
  • Soup - During the cold months some warm soup can be put into a little flask if your child is old enough - a great way to pack in the vegetables (Carrot and Orange Soup, Pumpkin Soup, Beetroot Soup, Lentil and Fennel Soup...the possibilities are endless)
If you have any tips, questions, or recipes, then feel free to post them on this site to share with everyone.

6 September 2012

Back to School

Its back to school time! This brings back many memories of stationary shopping before starting school. Always one of the highlights!

So with all this talk of school, I thought it would be fitting if this month we focused on the big topic...the big topic that is LUNCH BOXES!

I will be featuring ideas and tips to bring a little fun to lunch. To make lunches both appealing for children as well as healthy and nutritious so they can get the best out of school.

Lets get started!

1 August 2012

Fresh Vegetables are Always Best!

Enter the wonderful world of growing your own vegetables!

If you don't have time or space you can always just start with ordering an organic veg box for your weekly vegetables instead of relying on supermarkets. There are so many different box schemes out there and prices for organic produce can be more affordable than previously thought. We are what we eat, and children deserve the best quality food that is affordable to become fit and healthy as well as performing well at school.

Weird but Wonderful!

This is one of the fun, exciting parts of growing vegetables which children willl love - harvesting the vegetables and finding supprises!

We are so conditioned to what vegetables should look like through the selective demands of supermarkets we often forget that they are a product of nature and that differences can occur. This doesn't mean to say the tatse or goodness is any less if one carrot differs from another in size or shape.

Fruit Flan Recipe

The recipe for the delicious celebratory Fruit Flan that I previously posted about is now in the recipe section of this blog - perfect for any occasion and fruit/colours/designs can be altered for any occasion!

This is great for getting your children involved. If you have individual dishes every child can create their own design with varying colours of different fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, kiwi slices, banana slices, tangerine segments etc etc - happy creating!

Growing Tips

Thought I'd make the most of my time visiting the family garden expert the other day so I made the point of getting some extra tips for growing vegetables for everyone.

Baby carrots are perfect as a lunchbox snack/filler and are so easy to grow in your garden, patio pots, windowsills etc etc (all they need is about a 20cm depth). You can buy seeds from local garden centres for small carrot varieties.

The following tips help to produce a good crop of baby carrots...
  • FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD - Use fertile soil (garden compost or fertile soil from garden centres)
  • BRING ON THE WATER - Keep the soil moist
  • NICE AND COSY - The soil should be warm (this means planting in March/June to get a summer crop)
  • LET THERE BE LIGHT - Grow in an area of the garden or a widow that recieves plenty of sunlight.

30 July 2012

A Splash of Colour

Its Olympic time! This is something I whipped up for our last minute Olympic ceremony party which went down a treat - a Summer Berry Flan suitable for children as well as adults, filled with lots of fresh fruits (feel free to experiment with different fruits). Completely sugar free, dairy free and wheat free but absolutely delicious mmmm!

Recipe will follow shortly...

20 July 2012

New Recipes Posted!

Check out this months recipes in the recipe section of this blog, the much loved Summer Berry Polenta cake recipe as well as the promised Vegetable Sand Castle recipe.

Happy cooking!

Summer Berry Cake

Perfect for summer (or anytime of year made with other sesonal fruit) is this delicious berry cake made using polenta. 100% sugar free, wheat free, gluten free, lactose free but 100% full of flavour.

Cut into squares for birthday parties, serve for special afternoon teas, decorate with strawberries, raspberries and other berries, use a special treat with packed lunches, etc etc

See recipe section of this blog for the full recipe


9 July 2012

Lets Get Creative

Here's an idea...its quick, easy, simple to do and will bring a little fun to dinner time! Lets make vegetable sand-castles made with Polenta!

Polenta is derived from corn and is so simple to use and very versitle (the recipe for this will follow shortly on the recipe page of this blog).

All you need to do is pour the cooked vegetable/polenta mix into individual bowls and allow to cool. Once cooled turn upside down and pop on the plate along with the rest of your chosen dinner.

29 June 2012

Talk Their Language

We all know how children love junk food, fast food and other oily, salty or sugary foods. The most important thing with children is to provide them with nutritional, healthy meals and snacks crammed full of fresh fruit and vegetables however presented in a way that will appeal to them. Talk their language!

Children (especially when they are at school) want to fit in with their peers, therefore it is essential that they can have healthy versions of well known foods so they can feel more accepted. Pizza is loved by almost everyone and especially children and teenagers.

By making your own pizza at home you are then in control of what toppings you put on top. This needn't be a laborious affair as there are many good quality ready made pizza bases available (all good Helath Food shops sell quality wholewheat/spelt pizza bases). Add a little tomato or even better beetroot sauce (see recipe section of this blog for beetroot pasta sauce - also great for pizza) and then top to your hearts content with chopped vegetables such as the following...Sweetcorn, Onion, Courgette, Mushroom, Asparagus, Artichoke etc etc etc.

To involve your children, choose and chop some vegetables together and then they can create their own pizza. Remember as children are growing fast always include plenty of protein too on the pizza or seperately with the same meal.

Carrots Carrots Carrots

What are the health benefits of carrots?

Carrots are very high in Beta Carotene which the body then converts into retinol (a type of Vitamin A). Vitamin A is essential for good quality skin, hair and especially eyes...thats where the well known phrase comes from 'carrots help you see in the dark'. Whilst they may not give you ultra night vision abilities, they do help promote good eye health so very important for growing children.

Quite fitting don't you think how the centre of carrot slices look like the iris of the eye?

Make Vegetables Fun!

There are many ways to make vegetables more fun and one way is by varying the cutting styles. At first, it may look like too much work or time, however it needn't be. The following image with carrot slices in flower shapes literally took me a couple of minutes and it is so effective.

Perfect for special occasions to add some vegetables to a birthday party spread or even just as something different for a normal everyday meal. If your children don't like carrots or cucumber try the following shapes, along with some pate or a dip and see what happens!

Carrot Flowers: Wash, peel (especially if not organic) and top and tail the carrots. With a knife cut long slithers length ways down the carrot and repeat all around every 0.5 or 1cm, removing a little of the carrot slither. Slice into rounds as usual and voila! (Can be served raw or cooked).

Cucumber Rings: Wash well and slice the cucumber as usual into rounds and use an apple corer to remove the centre of the cucumber slices (you can stack 4 or 5 slices ontop of one another to speed up the process).

28 June 2012

Healthy Snacks

With an increasing number of junk foods on the market, children are bombarded left, right, and centre with goods crammed full of refined sugars, phosphoric acid (cola drinks), excessive amounts of salt, monosodium glutamate (flavoured crisps), artificial sweetners and colourings - its no wonder that children today have many health issues and hyperactivity disorders.

Children are a true mirror to what we feed them. They will reflect back the quality of what food they have been given without fail - this is where the saying 'you are what you eat' really takes on its true meaning!

So what snacks are good? Obviously we do not want to remove their appetite for a good dinner however children have fast metabolisms and may need a few snacks inbetween meals to keep them going.

You can try any of the following and see whic work best with your children...
  • Chopped fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Vegetable sticks and dips (see recipe section of this blog)
  • Lightly salted corn chips and dips
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Oatcakes and pate
  • Naturally sweetened sweets, carob bars and other childrens snacks from Health Food shops
  • Rice/Corn cakes with peanut butter and jam and/or sliced bananas
  • Fruit kebabs with Peanut butter toffee sauce
  • Homemade dried fruit and nut cereral bars
  • Homemade Polenta summer berry cake (recipe coming soon!)
  • Homemade fruit jelly using agar agar
  • Sourdough toast with tahini and sugar free fruit jam
etc etc etc. Be creative, see what works and what doesnt, experiment and try new products out. Start getting into the habit of first reading the ingredients list of supermarket bought snacks and also visit your local Health Food shop and be amazed by the wide variety of products on offer.

Happy snacking!

Food Shopping!

Next time you are doing your weekly food shop in the local supermarket/market why not ask your children to pick one new type of vegetable or fruit to try as a treat? They can choose from the array of different colours, shapes, textures and whilst you can explain a little about where some of them come from.

They will be much more willling to try new fruit and vegetables if they are given a choice.

Who said education was boring?!!

27 June 2012

Top Tip

Another tip to get your children involved with fruit and vegetables is to have them to contribute to meal preparations. Not only can they help washing and cutting soft vegetables or fruit with a child safe knife, they can also have their say about what they may prefer for dinner. Now I dont mean asking 'What do you want for dinner?' as this may usually bring the response of 'Pizza! Chips!'. However give them a choice between vegetables.

You may have the meal planned already or need to use certain vegetables before they spoil, however by giving your children a choice between 2 vegetables that will form part of the meal not only will help them and you identify what vegetables they like, it will also give them a chance to contribute to the meal. For example you could ask... 'Do you want broccoli or green beans with your dinner tonight?'

When they then see the chosen vegetable on the table at dinner time, knowing that they helped in someway to contribute to the meal they will be more likely to eat it, rather than being forced to eat a plate of food that is placed infront of them which they had no involvement with.

21 May 2012

Always Amazing...

I picked the first carrot of the year today whilst visiting family. Such a joy and something so simple to harvest your own vegetables!!

This is not just for a select few - even if you don't have much room in the garden or even no garden you can grow alfalfa sprouts, cress, herbs or salad leave in your kitchen - something that is great for children to be involved with. For them to know where their food comes from and how their food has arrived to their plate should be one of the most important factors in their education and not just from their school lessons...I am sure many would agree that education starts at home.

So lets start the fun! Details on how to grow alfalfa sprouts are under the March 2012 posts on this blog.

13 May 2012

More Beetroot Loveliness...

Hello lovely people!

Check the recipe section for a delicious pasta sauce recipe made with Beetroots - lots of vegetables crammed in this sauce to compliment pasta which makes it perfect for children. Due the nature of Beetroot this sauce is very good for creating healthy blood unlike regular consumption of many acidic ingredients found in usual pasta suaces - tomato, vinegar, sugar etc.

Do let me know how your children respond :)

9 May 2012

Fruit Kebabs

Delicious, attractive and healthy too!

Simply chop some fruit and slide onto kebab sticks - depending on their age your children can help with peeling bananas, and chopping soft fruit with a child safe knife. Check the recipe section of this blog for the recipe of the peanut butter toffee sauce - completely sugar free but sooo good!

Please note: Be sure to always supervise while your children eat fruit off the kebab sticks.

1 May 2012

It's Trade Fair Week!

I am so looking forward to this week as I am off to the well known Eco trade fair this week in Barcelona, and will be able to have a good old nose at all the new products on the market...I will keep you posted of any exciting news/tips and recipes.

25 April 2012

Lovely Colourful Beetroot

There some people who have been put off by Beetroot over the years after trying it with excessive amounts of vinegar in salads. This is a shame as it is probably one of the most versatile vegetables there are. I have added a Beetroot pate recipe in the recipe section of this blog for you to try - perfect way to introduce Beetroot to your children along with a few (lightly) salted corn chips. Great for parties and not just childrens parties!

So what is so good about Beetroot anyway?! It is thought due to its levels of potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6, C and along with antioxidant properties, it is great for improving stamina, assisting the muscles as well as helping the body to produce good quality blood. All essential for growing children.

There will be more beetroot recipes coming your way soon including a fabulous pasta sauce.


11 April 2012

New Recipe Posted

Check out the recipe page for details how to make a delicious avocado pate - great with vegetable sticks as well as the usual corn chips. Also delicious with pan fried vegetables such as asparagus, as a salad dressing or even to accompany fish - something for everyone!

Avocados are well known to be very rich in monounsaturated fats which is believed to help lower cholesterol and keep the heart healthy. Therefore they are a great, healthy fat and oil source, without the accumulating and blocking effect that saturated animal foods can have on the body.

Good stuff eh?!

2 April 2012

Yum Yum Yum

Add some fun in the kitchen and get your children involved!

Why not melt a few spoons of carob spread with a little water and your children can dip strawberries or other fruit into the delicious sauce. Carob spread (naturally sweetened versions available) can be found in health food shops and is great if you find your children become hyper with regular chocolate, as unlike chocolate it does not contain any stimulants.


30 March 2012

Dips Dips Dips!

Vegetable sticks and dips!

Children are growing FAST and one of the things they need as well as fresh fruit and vegetables is a constant source of excellent quality protein. So why not combine the two and make some of the delicious pates (see recipe section on this blog) to go with some fresh vegetables cut into sticks?

For example carrot sticks and hummous or cucumber sticks and Tofu and walnut pate? All great for growing children.

More pates will be added shortly...

29 March 2012

Get Them Growing!

One way to increase your children's interest in fruit and vegetables is to get them involved in the growing process. You can start of with something simple and easy such as such alfalfa sprouts. 

You can buy growing kits from health food shops, online and other stores or simply use an empty jam jar with some moist tissue sprinkled with some alfalfa seeds (these are available from gardens centres or health food shops). Water twice a day and you'll be amazed how quickly the sprouts grow. Your children will love seeing the progress each day and they can easily help with the watering.

Knowing that they helped with the growing process will increase the likelihood of them wanting to try the food

Alfalfa sprouts are known to contain all vitamins (even B12!) as well as calcium, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium and zinc - perfect for growing children!

If your children still are apprehensive at first, then try introducing a few alfalfa sprouts into their sandwiches. If they are well recieved you can then experiment and add them to salads, or on soups as a garnish (see previous blog post) or even juicing some sprouts along with your children's favourite fruit.

Do let me know how you get on :)

PS/If you haven't done so already please read my disclaimer at the bottom of the welcome page. As with all raw fruit and vegetables there can be bacteria present so be sure to wash thoroughly before eating and only ever eat when very fresh.

28 March 2012

Top Tip of the Day

Struggling to get your children to eat their nutritious veggie soup? Why not add a little bit of fun to it with some alfalfa sprouts and seeds in a shape of a smiley face. Guaranteed to put a smile on any ones face :)


Such a beautiful day it is outside! Perfect lighting for the photographs that I am taking of the recipes. I currently have bunches of carrots, wooden chopping boards and bowls of hummous decorating the balcony - who knows what the neighbours think! They are looking good and I cant wait to share them with you all...

25 March 2012

Alphabet Soup

Check out the recipe section in this blog for a delicious recipe by Montse Bradford. What a great way to learn the alphabet and enjoy lots of wonderful vegetables at the same time!

23 March 2012


Recipes and tips will be added shortly….watch this space!


As the saying goes...children are our future.

They are such bright, intelligent little beings starting out a new life, on this at times, a demanding and confusing planet. Therefore I believe excellent health is essential for all.

I started this blog for a place to share ideas, tips etc to help us to encourage children to eat fruit and vegetables. To do so in a fun way but also not forgetting to explain to children why fruit and vegetables are so important. They are a lot smarter and open to learning about health than we give them credit for sometimes.

If you have any tips or ideas that you wish to share please join in the fun…

Thank you for visiting and enjoy!

With love,

Emma Bradford

Disclaimer: This blog contains thoughts and opinions expressed by myself, other individuals along with links to other websites. Please use your own discernment related to all material and always seek advice from a health care professional.