24 February 2013

Making A Change

Great to see so many parents taking an active interest in improving their children's health and well being and attending the 'Natural Nutrition For Children' course at the Montse Bradford School in Barcelona.

Education starts at home and if we can all provide healthy, nutritious meals for kids, that is definitely a positive step to help them have the best possible start in life.

12 February 2013

Fizzy Drinks

Fizzy Drinks are very popular with children and teenagers, however with so many different types widely available on the market it can be easy to forget the serious health concerns related to fizzy drinks.

So what is actually in fizzy drinks?
Leading brands (especially Cola drinks) often contain the following...

  • Not only can refined sugars increase hyperactivity in children it can also bring extreme highs and lows of emotions, behaviour and blood sugar levels. This can affect children's concentration in school and can lead to the development of diseases such as diabetes.
  • Sugar can affect the gums and teeth of growing children.
  • Excess sugar can produce acidic blood in the body which leads the body to search for minerals from the bones in order to balance the blood to keep the body functioning normally.
  • See a previous post on this blog 'A Spoonful Of Sugar' for more details about the side effects of consuming refined sugar.

  • Do not be fooled by the 'zero' sugar label of products on the market - always read the label as artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame (E951) and Sorbitol (E420) are just as harmful.
  • They are artificially produced and difficult for the body to deal with.
  • They have been linked with MS, muscle spasms, weight gain, cancer risk, lowered immune system etc.

  • Phosphoric acid is a corrosive chemical and it is widely used in Cola drinks.
  • Excess consumption of fizzy drinks containing this can lead to pains, digestive problems, blurred vision, difficulties in swallowing and breathing, increased risks of cancer etc.
  • Ever wondered why people sometimes use Cola drinks to unblock drain pipes? Is this really the best quality drink we can give our children when there bodies and digestive systems are growing into maturity?
  • This also effects teeth and bones just like excess sugar can, affecting the enamel on teeth and creating an acidic blood where the body needs to find minerals from the bones in order to be able to continue functioning normally.

You will probably be pleased to know that there are plenty of healthy, delicious Cola (and other popular flavoured fizzy drinks) alternatives from health food shops and some large supermarkets which are naturally sweetened with agave syrup or corn syrup, without artificial sweeteners or added refined sugars and most importantly no phosphoric acid.

Sweet Potato and Apple Cake

This is my adapted version of a recipe from a large Health Food store. It is very easy to make this rich, moist and delicious cake...and there is no added sugar, gluten, wheat, or dairy.

Get children involved - they will love making this!

Check out the recipe section of this blog for the recipe. YUM!

11 February 2013

Pan Fried

Add more interest to vegetables this springtime...

We can serve bright, colourful, crunchy, sweet and delicious vegetables which will be far more appetising to children than mushy, over boiled vegetables that do no favours in getting kids to eat vegetables.

Try this:
Pan fry some lightly steamed carrots (cut once length-ways), sliced cooked beetroot and asparagus or green beans with a little olive oil and few drops of soya sauce or tamari. This is great served with avaocado pate and as part of a meal (see recipe section of this blog for the avocado pate recipe).

A delicious, colourful, and appetising way to serve vegetables that will go down well with all family members!

Mmm Pancakes!

Pancake day on Tuesday!
Here are a few healthy and delicious ideas to try...pancakes are so versitle and a great way to get children involved with fruit and vegetables.

Savoury Pancake Fillings:
  • Stir fried vegetables
  • Stir fried vegetables with walnuts
  • Stir fried vegetables with prawns
  • Stir fried vegetables with braised tofu
  • Scrambled tofu and sweetcorn
  • Scrambled tofu, leeks and smoked salmon
  • Pan fried asparagus and bechamel sauce (see earlier posts for cauliflower bechamel recipe)
  • etc...
Sweet Pancake Fillings:
  • Rice syrup and lemon juice (just like the traditional sugar and lemon but a healthier version without bringing hyperactivity to your kids!)
  • Rice syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon
  • Apple compote and caramelised nuts
  • Rice Syrup and caramelised nuts
  • Strawberries and rice syrup
  • Mixed berries and rice syrup
  • Banana and carob sauce (Carobella spread found in health food shops works great as a chocolate alternative without sugar and caffiene)
  • Banana and caramelised nuts
  • Pan fried banana and cinnamon
  • Pan fried sliced apples, cinnamon and raisins
  • etc...
The lists are endless...