10 September 2013

Superfood - Broccoli

Broccoli is great, full of chlorophyll (if lightly boiled for 3-4minutes) and vitamin C, bringing a wonderful freshness to help cleanse the liver. Especially useful to include in daily meals if you find your kids are grumpy in the mornings (can sometimes be a sign of a liver trying hard to process too much fatty, salty foods).

Children love the sweet and sour taste too so if you are struggling to get them to eat broccoli, try serving it with the following dressing...

  • 1 teaspoon of umeboshi paste, few drops of toasted sesame oil, 1-2 teaspoons of rice syrup, a little water and some orange or lemon zest.

Broccoli can also be added to minestrone soups (add in the last 3 minutes before serving so to retain the green colour, ie the vitamins).



What are superfoods, and should we be feeding our children superfoods daily?
The term Superfood has been used over the past few years to describe foods that contains high levels of certain properties that are considered beneficial to our health. It has in some respects become a little bit of a trend, with a new superfood being hailed as the latest must have in shops and the media every year, resulting in a huge increase in sales for that product.
While certain foods contain higher levels of vitamins etc than others, it is important to remember that our body needs a wide range of nutrients, even those small amounts of trace elements are important for a healthy body. A varied, balanced diet based on natural wholefoods is ideal rather than overdosing on one particular superfood.
I also believe that sustainability and the care of our planet is so important at this moment in time. Therefore focusing the majority of our diet on local, seasonal produce is ideal rather than importing Goji berries all the way from Tibet for daily consumption.
I am not saying that we cant try new foods and get to know other products, however focusing our daily consumption on local, seasonal produce is not only great for the environment but also our health. Particular plants and dishes originate from certain countries for a reason...hotter foods traditionally come from hotter climates as spices such as chili help to cool the body down in the long term. As well as hearty rich stews with root vegetables tend to originate from colder climates as they help to warm and ground the body.
However saying that over the next month I will post some information on a few vegetables that have been classed as superfoods. These can be included in your children's diets for added health benefits.
If you have any questions about a particular superfood do post your comments here and I will answer any queries :-)

5 September 2013

Coming up...

Seems like superfoods is a popular topic! Many parents have been asking me what superfoods they should be feeding their children. Information will be coming very soon with all the answers!

Food Types

What should we be feeding our children?
Here are a few essential food types to be included in children’s diets for overall health and well being…
Complex Carbohydrates: Help nourish the nervous system, strengthen the brain, stabilise blood sugar levels and provide long lasting energy. Essential for studying school children.
Examples are…wholegrain brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, rye, barley and wholegrain oats.
Fats and Oils: Good quality fats and oils are essential for overall health, helping to keep joints supple, provide insulation and protection around vital organs as well as improving brain function. Good quality fats and oils provide nourishment and warmth to the body especially during winter months and colder climates.
Examples are…omega oils found in oily fish, as well as nuts and seeds.
Vitamins: Found in fresh fruit and vegetables. Green vegetables that have been lightly cooked for 3-4 minutes retaining the rich green colour have large amounts of chlorophyll and vitamins essential for overall health and healthy liver function. Light, freshly cooked vegetables help to bring balance to the body when consumed alongside cooked proteins especially during the spring and summer months and warmer climates.
Examples are…broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, spring greens, and green beans.
Minerals: One of the food groups with the highest amount of minerals is sea vegetables. Widely consumed for centuries in Asia where some of the lowest osteoporosis levels in the world are found. Minerals are essential for bone growth and creating good quality blood. This helps to strengthen and nourish the body, especially during winter months and colder climates.
Examples are…sea vegetables such as Wakame, Dulse, Kombu and sea salt.
Protein: The building blocks of the body. Essential for growing children to help build body mass, strong muscles. This provides nourishment, helping to feel fuller and satisfied for longer, helping to reduce some food cravings.
Examples are…eggs, fish, vegetable proteins such as tofu and beans.
Natural Sugars: Sweet foods needn’t be sugary sweets or deserts. Naturally sweet vegetables can help relax the body and nourish the spleen and pancreas. Root and round vegetables strengthen and ground the body providing ´roots´ which are often much needed in hectic modern lifestyles.
Examples are…sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin.