Category Archives: Weaning

Lentil Lasagne and Lasagne made easy

Lasagne is one of those meals that is loved the whole family. Let’s face it, if you don’t love lasagne then you are very usual! Often seen as hard to make, time consuming and more comfort food than “healthy” I want to share my top tips for making it a standard weeknight family meal.

  1. Pack in the veggies. Lasagne does not have to include meat! I rarely use mince to make lasagne these days. Instead I use lasagne as a way to pack in the veg. You can use lentils, beans or tofu or quorn to get protein in. There is nothing wrong with using the normal beef mince but  if you are looking for more variety with meals or like us, are wanting to eat a greater range of plant based protein sources then it’s time to expand your lasagne repertoire.
  2. Making your own sauce doesn’t have to be complicated. As much as I love a white sauce, if I’m in a rush it always goes lumpy or I burn the bottom of the pan. One of my hacks is to use cottage cheese. Add a little natural yoghurt to thin it down and pour it on the top of the lasagne, top with grated cheese and the jobs done. I wasn’t convinced this sauce would pass the lasagne police in my house  but it did. Phew. The other easy alternative is to use a half fat creme fraiche, simple. 
  3. Embrace your freezer. I totally love my freezer, it saves me on a regular basis. Oh, and it needs defrosting, in case anyone fancies helping me with that. You can either make a double batch of the main filling and freeze it for another meal, or I like to make a whole lasagne and freeze it, makes me feel like a proper domestic goddess. Minus the tidy kitchen, mine is never tidy.
  4. Make ahead. I often make lasagne in stages. so I will either get the main filling out of the freezer and leave to defrost, or make the filling up and leave it. Then later I get a child to help me put it together, layering the filling, pasta and sauce. 
  5. Use pre-bought lasagne sheets. I know most people don’t make their own fresh lasagne sheets, but I sometimes do, it makes the lasagne SO good, literally the best lasagne. But it takes more time that I just don’t have that often. 
So why not transform your lasagne into sometime more inventive. It’s a forgiving dish. Here is a recipe for a wheat free, dairy free version I made this week:
 
 
 
Lentil Lasagne
Serves 4
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
585 calories
89 g
13 g
11 g
35 g
3 g
533 g
221 g
14 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
533g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 585
Calories from Fat 94
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 13mg
4%
Sodium 221mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 89g
30%
Dietary Fiber 34g
136%
Sugars 14g
Protein 35g
Vitamin A
203%
Vitamin C
165%
Calcium
24%
Iron
49%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion
  2. 2 garlic cloves
  3. 3 carrots
  4. 2 peppers
  5. 1 medium courgette
  6. 1 tsp olive oil
  7. 2 cups of dried lentils
  8. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  9. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  10. 250ml stock (I used homemade chicken stock but you could use a stock cube and water)
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. Dried mixed herbs
  13. 1 small glug of balsamic vinegar
  14. Lasagne sheets (wheat free if required)
White sauce
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 2 tbsp wheat free flour
  3. Soya milk as needed, approx 250ml
  4. 250ml water (you may not need it)
  5. Soya cheese or normal cheese
Instructions
  1. Chop all the vegetables in a food processor (this saves time!) or chop finely by hand.
  2. Saute in the oil for a few minutes, then add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaf, dried herbs, balsamic, stock and simmer for 20 minutes. This is your basic lasagne filling, You can now freeze this, keep it in the fridge for making up later, or use straight away.
  3. Make up the lasagne with 1 layer of lentil mix, lasagne sheets, lentil mix and lasagne sheets.
White sauce
  1. Pour the oil into a sauce pan and mix in the flour with a wooden spoon, it will make a thick paste. Mix in a little milk and stir to make a batter, now add in the rest of the milk place on a gentle heat and keep stirring to incorporate it all. The sauce will thicken, if it is too thick add some water. Keep stirring! Let it gently bubble but not too much. I like to let it cool a little and then pour on top of the lasagne.
  2. Top with cheese and bake at gas mark 5 for 45 minutes.
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calories
585
fat
11g
protein
35g
carbs
89g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
 

Salmon and Spinach Fishcakes

It’s been a hot week, needing summer food. These salmon and spinach fishcakes hit the spot. Yes you have to put the oven on to cook them but they can be prepared ahead of time and then served hot or cold. They also freeze well, I always mean to make extra for this purpose but then the kids eat them all!

I must admit to my brain needing a kick start to come up with ideas for summer food. My family aren’t huge salad lovers, so all those beautiful salads that my mind fancies have to take a step back. It is like digging up buried treasure, deep in the recesses of my dusty brain were recipes I haven’t made for well over a year. This was one of them. The hardest part about these is getting the breadcrumbs on them, which really even my toddler can do. In fact, maybe next time I should get the kids to cook these and sit down with a cuppa. 

The salmon provides a great source of omega 3’s needed for brain development and cognitive function, heart health and reduction of inflammation. They can be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis and depression. It is recommended that we eat 2 portions of fish a week of which one should be healthy. I try to ensure my family get 1 portion a week in their evening meal and it is usually salmon that we favour. I’ve used tinned salmon for ease in these, to save extra faff and cooking.

Spinach is a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a source of dietary fibre, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc. Using frozen spinach again saved cooking and I find it easier in dishes like this. Frozen spinach is such a versatile and great ingredient to have on standby. If you don’t have frozen spinach in your life, go and get some. 

So the iron and omega 3 content also make this recipe a great one for pregnant ladies and for toddlers. A great family meal, one where you can cook just the one meal for all. I served ours with courgetti cooked in the wok with lemon juice and garlic, plus homemade coleslaw. 

 

Salmon and Spinach Fishcakes
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
389 calories
23 g
105 g
13 g
42 g
3 g
293 g
232 g
1 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
293g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389
Calories from Fat 120
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
21%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 105mg
35%
Sodium 232mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 1g
Protein 42g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
4%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 500g potatoes, skin on for extra fibre and for speed
  2. handful of frozen spinach (I used 4 lumps)
  3. 1 tbsp butter
  4. 2 tins salmon
  5. 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  6. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  7. 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  8. 1 tbsp fresh chives
  9. seasoning
  10. Breadcrumbs or polenta (see below)
Instructions
  1. Wash the potatoes, cut into small chunk and boil. Add the frozen spinach for the last few minutes.
  2. When soft mash the potato and spinach, leave to cool.
  3. Mix in the salmon, mustard and lemon juice, parsley, chives and seasoning.
  4. Now comes the fun part, shape into patties with your hands.
  5. Roll in the breadcrumbs.
  6. Now you can leave these to chill until you want to cook, freeze them or cook straight away.
  7. Cook at Gas Mark 6 for 10-15 minutes.
Notes
  1. I used bought breadcrumbs for the family, as they were in the cupboard and then I used cornmeal for my own fishcakes to make them wheat free. The picture above is of my wheat free fishcake with the polenta crumb.
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calories
389
fat
13g
protein
42g
carbs
23g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

 

Vitamin D for under 4’s

I’m writing this post after a few people have asked me if they should be giving vitamin D to their children. The answer is Yes. In 2016 the guidance on vitamins D changed and now the recommendations are that everyone in the UK takes 10 mcg a day. Especially in the autumn and winter months.

Usually as a dietitian I would encourage people to get their nutrition from food first, but with Vitamin D it is hard to meet the bodies’ requirements through food and UVB rays alone.

The original Dietary reference values for vitamin D were set back in 1991 by COMA. It was thought then that people aged 4-64yrs would synthesise enough vitamin D in the summer months to cover their winter needs. A review by SACN in 2016, found this not to be the case. If you live in the UK it will come as no surprise to know there are not that may days in the year that we have enough sun at the right position for this is happen. During autumn and winter we definitely do not have the sunlight we need to make vitamin D. Those with darker skin tones may also not get from sun exposure in the summer so taking a supplement all year round is a good idea.

Bones, Bones, Bones.
Low vitamin D is linked to increasing the risk of rickets in children. In adults, vitamin D is shown to reduce fracture risk and falls in those aged over 50yrs living in the community. There is also a beneficial effect of vitamin D on muscle strength and function.

Vitamin D advice for children under 4yrs:

Children aged 1-4 years should take 10 mcg per day, all year round.
Babies should take 8.5-10 mcg per day as a precaution unless they are having more than 500ml of formula milk a day, as this is fortified.
Data for children under 4 yrs is limited so it is hard to know how much vitamin D should be recommended, SACN have been cautious and set a safe intake of 10 mcg.

You can buy Vitamin D supplements in liquid form from supermarkets, Boots, Superdrug and pharmacies. Good examples are Abidec and NHS Healthy Start vitamin drops.

 



Disclaimer: I was sent some Vitamin D supplements courtesy of SuperDrug, which has not affected my views in the post above.

Courgette and mushroom patties

I’m always after ways to get more veggies into the children and myself. Hubby likes to do his own thing at lunch, so I made these as a preparation for the toddler, baby and my lunches. They were fast to make and went well warmed up with a salad for lunch. Make a batch, freeze a batch and feel smug all week.

Courgette Patties 2

Courgette and Mushroom Patties
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
43 calories
6 g
17 g
1 g
2 g
0 g
53 g
34 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
53g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 43
Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 34mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
3%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Spray olive oil x 5 squirts
  2. 2 courgettes, grated
  3. 5 mushrooms, grated
  4. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  5. 1 beaten egg
  6. 2 tbsp parmesan
  7. 1/2 ball mozzerella
  8. 75g cornmeal
  9. 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6.
  2. Saute the courgettes and mushrooms in a pan for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Leave to cool a little and then mix in the other ingredients. It will make a thick batter.
  5. Drop large spoonfuls onto a greased and lined baking tray. It will make about 12.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
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calories
43
fat
1g
protein
2g
carbs
6g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Courgette patties 1 

Easy Peasy Star Biscuits

So when your toddler asks to make star biscuits, you can’t really say No. I’m not a fan of my kids having too much sugar so we always are on the look out for ways to reduce the sugar content of our baking, here we have used just a little apple juice and it worked well. A plain biscuit but you could add spices to it and make it your own. The plain biscuits are good for weaning too.

I used a greek yoghurt topping so the kids could decorate their biscuits which they loved. You need to only decorate the ones you aret going to eat there and then. Store the rest in a tin and the topping in the fridge. The decorating was a good after school activity and make your own snack session.

 

Easy Peasy Star Bicuits
Yields 20
Simple, low sugar star biscuits that you can add spices to and make your own.
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67 calories
8 g
1 g
3 g
1 g
1 g
19 g
4 g
0 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
19g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 67
Calories from Fat 30
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg
0%
Sodium 4mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g wholemeal or rye flour
  2. 100g plain white flour
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 75g margarine
  5. 75ml apple juice
Topping
  1. 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt and 1 tbsp cream cheese mixed with a dask of milk
  2. sunflower seeds
  3. chopped dried fruit
Instructions
  1. Weigh out the flour and baking powder.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour and baking powder mix.
  3. Add the apple juice and mix to a dough.
  4. Roll out on a floured surface.
  5. Cut and put onto a greased and lined baking tray.
  6. Bake at Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.
  7. Eat as they are or top with the Greek yoghurt mix.
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calories
67
fat
3g
protein
1g
carbs
8g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

How to prepare yourself for weaning.

I love the adventure of weaning. The excitement of seeing your baby try something for the first time. Their facial expressions when they taste. The determination they have in picking up a food. The mess they make as they feel the texture. Taking photos of them, it’s all rewarding and funny in my eyes. 

Dietitian UK: How to start weaning

However there can be a level of stress in it too. What do I feed them? How do I start them off? How do I minimise the mess? What do I do when out and about? Which foods are best to give them?

So here are my “mum of 3” tips of what you need to get started. 

What you need to start with:

Bibs: I like to have the ones that cover as much of their bodies as possible! Long sleeved as great. It saves a clothing change after eating. You need at least 5 if you can. 1 per meal and 1 in the wash plus 1 in the change bag. It saves hassle to have more bibs around. Although a muslin folded into a triangle can be tied around your little ones neck as a make shift bib. Be warned the food stains may not come out! 

A high chair with a table: I’ve started 2 of mine off in a Bumbo with the tray attached. I like it as they have sat on the table and there is less chance of throwing food onto the floor. However it didn’t work for my boy as he wasn’t safe in the Bumbo. 

Dietitian UK: How to prepare for weaning 2

I don’t think that is any need for an expensive high chair. The Ikea Antilop white one is our fav. Wipe clean with hardly any nooks or crannies for food to get stuck in it is also portable in the car as the legs come off. This highchair fits out table well, however I like it away from the table for the start of weaning so I can prevent baby throwing food in my dinner! It is also found in lots of cafe’s so when you eat out baby feels like it’s a home from home.

A mat: having a plastic sheet, shower curtain or washable mat under the highchair saves a whole heap of clearing up. You can then pick it up, shake the bits of food off outside and put the mat in the washing machine when wanted. I have this one which I take to people’s houses as well (saves apologising constantly about their cream carpets!).

Plastic Spoons: These can be picked up cheaply from any supermarket. These are specifically designed for fit a babies mouth and are shallower than other teaspoons. Metal spoons are not suitable as if baby bites on them or pushes them further into the back of their mouths they could harm themselves. 

Plastic Bowls: Again easily picked up in a supermarket or online. Safe in a dishwasher, microwave and unbreakable as they will get dropped on the floor.  Having some with lids is useful for storing and transporting foods.

weaning-bits

Cups: If you can use an open beaker then that is the best way to encourage baby to drink. It is messy however as they can pour it everywhere! I like to use a combination of different cups. My favourite open cup is the baby cup as it is so small it is easy to hold and there is not much liquid to be thrown around!  Safe, easy to clean and approved by dentists. I also like doidy cups.

 Wipes: We use washable wipes, they just get thrown in with the normal washing. I have a tub that sits on my table with damp wipes in it. Everyone ends up using them for messy hands and faces. I’ve found cheeky wipes really good as they trap all the bits and wash well. 

Patience: baby may not be that interested and eat that much initially, which can be stressful. It is almost best to ignore them and let them get on with it, whilst keeping a quiet eye out for safety. Let them play, let them eat with the family, let them make mess, let them try and feed themselves. 

A plan: Not necessarily a spreadsheet of foods to try out, but some vague plan of what you are cooking and how you can therefore adapt it for baby. I often find it easiest to save leftover from the day before and give that to baby for lunch the following day. You don’t need to cook different meals for baby, but it can also be useful to have bits of food saved up to offer them or spare meals in the freezer.

Good books: If you want to do some reading up then the Baby led weaning book and cookbook by Gill Rapley are good and for some great evidence based information try ”Easy Weaning” by Sara Patience.

Foods to have ready: As babies are used to sweetness in milk I find it good to start with a mixture of a few sweeter foods such as fruit but also plenty of vegetables and starchy foods. 

Examples:

Breakfast : 

Porridge fingers (porridge cooked and left to go hard! I often some to last several days. It is sticky but easy for little fingers to pick up.

Toast fingers with butter, scrambled egg or hummus.

Eggy bread with vegetable sticks.

Weetabix with mashed banana.

Lunch:

Pitta bread in fingers with cream cheese and avocado.

Large Pasta shapes with roasted carrot and courgette strips.

Savoury muffins with cheese and cucumber.

Pancakes with steamed green beans, mushrooms and trips of chicken.

Tea

Risotto with a no/low salt stock

Roast dinner with no gravy

Potato wedges with broccoli florets steamed, sweetcorn and fingers of fish.

 

If you want to stock up online here is a little list of my recommendations:

 

Childhood Obesity – due to larger portions or eating too frequently?

One of the big connundrums around obesity is whether people put on weight because they:

1. Eat more at each meal/snack (larger portions) so eat more calories or…

2. Eat more frequently, so eat more calories.

Dietitian UK: Childhood Obesity

With levels of childhood obesity rising at an alarming rate, young children is an area we need to focus more on and study in more depth. If you become overweight as a child you are more likely to be overweight as an adult too. Habits learnt in childhood are hard to change.

 A study of the UK  2011 Diet and Nutrition Survey of Infants and Young Children (DNSIYC) looked at the eating habits of 2564 young children (aged 4-18 months) by asking to parents to complete diet diaries to report the childrens food intake.  The results were presented in an oral presentation at the European Obesity Summit in Gothenburg (1-4th June 2016). They show that overweight children consume larger portions at meals (141 calories versus 130 calories, respectively at each eating occasion), but do not eat more frequently, than healthy weight children.  This may seen small, only 11 kcals higher but if a child is eating 5 times a day this could be 56 kcals extra per day, 393kcals a week and 1703kcals extra a month. It soon adds up, so the overweight children were eating an extra 2 days worth of food each month. For every extra 24 calories (100 kJ) consumed during each meal, there was a 9% increased risk of overweight/obesity.

It was LARGER PORTIONS that were shown to be the main issue. The overweight children were eating more of the same foods: (160g of a food versus 146g).

The authors conclude: “Larger portions rather than eating more often may be a risk factor for the development of childhood overweight in early life. Further prospective studies that look at the development of excess weight over time are needed to establish causation.”

My Viewpoint:

The UK Diet and Nutrition Survey of Infants and Young Children (DNSIYC) suggests that portion sizes are larger in overweight children. I would agree that this is often the case but it is not the only issue. The research used diet diaries which are subject to under and over reporting errors.

From my experience as a dietitian and a mum, the other issue is the type of snack foods being offered to children. There are a lot of sugary snack foods available to buy in the shops and these foods seem to be used regularly as a snack item instead of fruit and vegetables. Biscuits, juices and cakes are also frequently given at toddler groups and have become the normal foods to have. Parents need to focus on the balance of the diet, ensuring children get a good intake of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and protein foods.

Being overweight now will mean that the child is likely to struggle with their weight throughout their adult years too. So the quicker a good lifestyle of eating and being active can be established the better things will be.

On the one hand we want children to learn to eat according to appetite and to be able to regulate their intake. However that is not always possible. Some children do this intuitively and others need to be taught. I find it fascinating that if I give my 2 older children a piece of cake, my boy will eat nearly all of it very quickly, then stop when he has had enough. My girl will eat it slowly and leave some to have later on. Both eat according to their appetite but eat in a very different way. Parents need to teach children that it is ok to leave food when they are full, that all foods are healthy in moderation and that listening to their appetite cues is essential.

Second helpings is a tricky issue. I do let my children have seconds if they ask but it may only be a small spoonful if I know they have had enough. Or I may talk through with them “Are they actually still hungry, do they want to wait for the next eating occasion instead, would having fruit or vegetables be a better option?” Think through how much your child had had to eat and if it should have been enough. Are they asking for more because it is a specific meal? (my children always ask for seconds of risotto and pasta). If you feel that they have had enough then keep seconds to vegetables or salad. We have started having salad on the table each night and it is making a huge difference to my girl who is really enjoying have seconds and thirds of salad!

Good guidance on portion sizes is available here from the Infant and Toddler Forum, here is a little snap shot, you can click through to get the full guidance.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.15.25

As a general rule for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain starchy foods you can use your child’s fist or palm as a portion size. I’m planning on doing a blog post showing the portions I give to my children very soon.

 

Vegetable Beany Bake

I love vegetarian meals and we actually eat more vegetarian meals in our house than meat containing ones. However it is all too easy to get stuck in a rut. I realised that I haven’t used many beans for a while and I have a store of dried ones of all varieties. Partially this is because I don’t cope too well with having large portions of them in my diet. Also I wasn’t sure my boy would be best impressed with me. How wrong I was, tthe dish was emptied, plates all cleared and everyone had seconds!

Beans and Pulses are a Fodmap so they can cause issues for some people… the trick is to work out how much you can tolerate, I know my limit is a small portion (2 tbsp) about once a week. As with many things it is all about tolerance and moderation. 

Apparently 2016 is the year of pulses. This group of foods includes beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils, they are probably best know for their fibre content and wind producing abilites! It is recommended that we eat 30g a day of fibre, which is actually a fair amount to fit in and requires a healthy, well thought out eating plan for your day. Pulses can be a helpful way to get that fibre content up, 3 tbsp is about 6g fibre. They are a great source of insoluble fibre to help sweep the system through and helps with constipation issues. They also contain soluble fibre, which binds with cholesterol stopping it being absorbed and can help control blood sugar levels too.

A great protein source for vegans and vegetarians too. However they do not contain all the essential amino acids that our body needs to build proteins, so my advice is to always eat a variety of protein sources and a variety of different pulses. In this recipe I included cannellini beans and chickpeas.

Added bonus 3 tbsp (80g) also counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables. This recipe contains 400g beans so 5 adult portions. Along with the vegetables this works out at 3 portions of vegetables in a meal.

Dietitian UK: Beany Bake1

Dietitian UK: Beany Bake 2

Vegetable Beany Bake
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
284 calories
51 g
0 g
5 g
12 g
1 g
302 g
250 g
8 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
302g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 284
Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 250mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 51g
17%
Dietary Fiber 12g
48%
Sugars 8g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
232%
Vitamin C
108%
Calcium
10%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 onion sliced
  3. 2 galric cloves crushed
  4. 2 carrots peeled and diced
  5. 2 peppers chopped
  6. 2 sweet potatoes peeled and in small chunks
  7. 1 tsp paprika
  8. 1 tsp cumin
  9. 1 tsp mixed dried herbs or a large handful of fresh herbs
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 400g chopped tomatoes
  12. 100ml water
  13. 400g mixed pulses (I used cannelini beans and chickpeas)
Topping
  1. 2 slices of bread (wheat/gluten free if needed)
  2. 100g oats (gluten free if needed)
  3. Fresh parsley
  4. mozzerella
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and peppers and cook for 5 minutes on a gentle heat.
  3. Mix in the paprika and cumin then the sweet potatoes and cook for a minute.
  4. Now add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until everything is soft.
  5. Mix in the cooked/tinned and drained pulses along with the herbs.
  6. Break up the bread into crumbs using your hands or a food processor.
  7. Mix with the chopped fresh parsley and oats.
  8. Place the beany mix in an overproof dish and top with the oats and breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Dot with mozzerella if wanted.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes at Gas Mark 6.
Notes
  1. If using dried beans use 200g, soak overnight, drain the water and then cook for 40 minutes or until soft.
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calories
284
fat
5g
protein
12g
carbs
51g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Courgette and Stilton Pinwheels

These little beauties are something that I always like to have a ready supply of in the freezer. They make an easy lunch and are great to take out and about. We are in that stage where the toddler boy likes to eat lunch early which is usually when we are out and about, so lots of packed lunches are needed. Seeing as he isn’t keen on sandwiches I have to be slightly more inventive. Savoury muffins, savoury flapjack and pinwheels all go down well. 

Courgette pinwheels 4

Courgettes are one of those vegetables that I love because you can add them into recipes without them being hugely noticeable. Grated courgette goes into a lot of things I make! Not don’t get me wrong, I’m not into hiding vegetables but I do like to add extra veggies to dishes when I can. My boy isn’t that keen on eating vegetables on their own so they need to be mixed into dishes. You could use any combo of toppings in these, be inspired by your fridge!

Courgette pinwheels 1

You could use pastry to make these, however I prefer pizza dough. I tend to make a large batch of the dough in the bread machine, make pizza with half and then make these with the rest. Knock them up, bake and freeze in a freezer bag. They defrost pretty quick for an easy, healthy lunch.

Here they are before baking…..

Courgette pinwheels 2

 

 

Courgette pinwheels 3

 

Courgette and Stilton Pinwheels
Yields 8
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
141 calories
21 g
4 g
4 g
5 g
1 g
70 g
94 g
0 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
70g
Yields
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 141
Calories from Fat 35
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 4mg
1%
Sodium 94mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 21g
7%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
1%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Pizza Dough Recipe (I make double and make a large pizza with the other half of the dough)
  2. 140ml water
  3. 75g wholemeal bread flour
  4. 150g white bread flour
  5. 1 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1/2 tsp yeast
Topping
  1. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  2. 2 tsp red pesto
  3. 1/2 courgette grated
  4. 50g grated stilton
  5. 2 slices ham sliced (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make up the pizza dough, you could mix by hand and leave to rise or make in a bread machine.
  2. Roll it out on a floured surface, to a rectangle.
  3. Spread the tomatoe puree and pesto on the top.
  4. Cover with the courgette, stilton and ham.
  5. Roll it up longways (see picture) and slice into 2 inch pieces, it should make about 8-9.
  6. Grease and flour a baking tray, pre-bake the oven to Gas Mark 5.
  7. Turn each piece so the filling can be seen from the top (see picture).
  8. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
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calories
141
fat
4g
protein
5g
carbs
21g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Priya speaks out on the sugar in children’s drinks on Wave 105 radio

A Southampton dietitian has told Wave 105 how many parents are unaware of just how much sugar is in supposedly “healthy” fruit drinks for children.

Dietitian UK: Top 3 myths about sugar

Priya Tew is offering mums and dads advice on healthy alternatives to make sure their children are not exceeding their recommend daily intake (RDA) of sugar.

It comes as a new study shows many fruit drinks for children are “unacceptably high” in sugar.

The research, published in the journal BMJ Open 24th March 2016, found that 42% of fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies surveyed contained at least 19g of sugars, 5 tsp, this is almost a child’s entire maximum recommended intake per day.

Action on Sugar is asking for a reformulation programme to reduce sugar in children’s drinks by 50% in 5 years and restrict them to 150ml serving sizes. Only 6 products surveyed were found in 150ml servings, meaning children are likely to be consuming more.

“The research doesn’t surprise me. Although it [fruit juice] is high is natural sugar, it’s a very accessible form of sugar.

“I do think parents are unaware of how much added sugar there is in fruit juice and smoothies, and they’re seen as a healthy option. I would beg to differ on that. I think a healthy option for a drink for a child is water or milk, perhaps some no added sugar squash.

“If you’re going to give your child fruit juice then my advice would be to water it down, make it half juice and half water, and only have that as an occassional treat rather than a daily option.”

When processed into fruit juice drinks, the sugars (fructose) in the fruit cell walls are released as ‘free sugars’ which damage your teeth and provide unnecessary calories; you take in more calories without feeling full (i.e. A 200ml glass of orange juice can contain 3 oranges).  

Co-author of the study Kawther Hashem, Registered Nutritionist and Researcher of Action on Sugar says: “It is highly concerning that many parents are still buying fruit juices and juice drinks for their children thinking they are choosing healthy products; children should be given as little juice as possible (maximum of 150ml/day).These juices rot children’s teeth and give children a ‘sweet tooth’ that will affect their general health in later life. 

“What is more concerning are the products with added sugar and glucose-fructose syrup. We call on all manufacturers to stop adding more sugars to already sweet juices, particularly in children’s products and to restrict children’s drinks to only 150ml bottles/cartons.

“Our advice is to eat the fruit, don’t drink the juice.  Juice should be an occasional treat, not an ‘everyday’ drink. These processed drinks are laden with sugars and calories and do not have the same nutritional benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables.”