Tag Archives: baby

Eating Well in Pregnancy

Eating Well in Pregnancy.

Pregnancy is an important time to be focusing on your health and on eating well so both mum and baby get all they need to grow.

However pre-pregnancy is as important, you want your body to be in tip top form and able to provide the baby with all it needs, then continue eating well into pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding.

 

Top tips:

  • Reduce or cut out alcohol pre-pregnancy.
  • Super sizing your fruit and veggies, aim for more than 5 portions a day.
  • Take 400 µg of folic acid every day pre-pregnancy and for the first 12 week of pregnancy.
  • Wash all fruit, veggies and salads to remove any traces of soil which could contain toxoplasma.
  • Go wholegrain as often as possible with bread, pasta, rice and other starchy foods.
  • Up your iron stores by eating red meat, green leafy veggies, fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, tofu, pulses and beans regularly.
  • Eat regular meals and keep snacks healthy.

The big pregnancy myth is that you need to eat enough for 2. Unfortunately this isn’t true! The body becomes more efficient at using the food you give it. So you don’t need to eat any extra until the second and third trimester when you may need 2-300 kcals extra a day.

 

There are several foods that you need to stay away from when pregnant:

  • Mould ripened cheese (brie, camembert, goats cheese that has a hard rind).
  • Soft blue cheese (Danish blue, gorgonzola, roquefort).

Cheese made with mould can contain listeria, listeriosis can cause miscarriage and increase the risk of still birth.

  • Eggs should be well cooked, raw and undercooked eggs can cause salmonella poisoning. Avoid home made mayonnaise as well.
  • Pate can also contain listeria.
  • Raw and undercooked meat.
  • Liver, liver pate, liver sausage and other liver products, these contain high levels of vitamin A which can cause birth defects.
  • Alcohol should be avoided due to fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Caffeine should be limited to no more than 200mg per day (2 mugs of tea or instant coffee, 1 mug filter coffee). Watch out for caffeine in energy drinks, chocolate, hot chocolate and cola drinks.
  • Sword Fish, shark and marlin should be avoided due to the levels of mercury they can contain, oily fish should be limited to 2 portions a week due to the levels of PCB’s and dioxins (pollutants) in them.
  • Shellfish should only be eaten when properly cooked as these can also cause food poisoning.

 

 

Frittata, Frattati, Frittato

Frittata. It’s a great word. Try playing around with it in your mouth. It lends itself to all kinds of twists and turns.

In our house Frittata night usually means it’s been a busy day, the cook of the house is tired and something quick and easy is needed for dinner. This recipe is satisfying to make, satisfy to cook and satisfying to eat. Plus it’s healthy, packed with high quality protein and plenty of colourful veggies. If you are the type of person who eat with their eyes then this will not fail to disappoint.

Personally I think the fresher the eggs the better. We have chickens so are very spoilt. Eggs provide a great protein source, in fact eggs are the benchmark for protein against which other protein foods are compared to.  they also contain zinc, iodine and phosporus along with the fat soluble vitamins A,D and E. Although eggs do contain about 11% fat, about half of this is monounsaturated, the healthy fat.

Onto the recipe. This is great served warm, straight from the pan with salad or cold the next day for lunch.

Recipe:

Serves 2 plus 1 toddler (withe leftovers for lunch)

5 eggs

A mix of veggies (e.g. peas, diced carrot, diced onion, finely chopped green beans and cherry tomatoes)

2 medium sliced and diced potatoes or sweet potatoes

rapeseed oil

mixed herbs

salt and pepper

  • Drizzle about 1/2 tbsp oil into a pan and saute the potatoes first.
  • After a out 5 minutes add the rest of the veggies and saute for another 3-5 minutes. Add a splash of water if it starts to stick.
Dietitian UK: Veggie and Sweet potato being Sauteed.
Dietitian UK: Veggie and Sweet potato being Sauteed.
  • Meanwhile beat the eggs, add the seasoning and herbs.
  • Spread the veggies out in the pan and try to arrange them a little so there is an even mix of them across the pan.
  • Pour the eggs into the pan and swirl it around a little so the veggies are covered.
Dietitian UK: Frittata cooking.
Dietitian UK: Frittata cooking.
  • Cook for 5 on a medium heat  and then put under the grill to cook the top surface. Cook until the top is golden and firm to the touch.
Dietitian UK: Fully Cooked Frittata
Dietitian UK: Fully Cooked Frittata

The Joys of Toddler Eating.

Yesterday I was sat having lunch with my toddler, Kezia – hummous and rice cakes with avocado and tomato. All foods that I know she likes but avocado is one that we haven’t eaten in a while.

She tasted a slice of it, pulled a hilarious face, removed it from her mouth, and in true toddler love then handed it to me. You’ve got to love the sharing of sucked on, dribbled on, slightly chewed food. The next slice met with a similar facial expression and quickly ended up on the floor. Humph, cue not impressed mummy face.

With my mummy head I was thinking “Oh I guess she has gone off avocado” but then my dietitian head thought “I wonder if she just doesn’t like the way I’ve given it to her”. Nope, I’m not on medication for these voices in my head…yet 😉

So I mushed the avocado a little and spread it onto the rice cake, suddenly it was out of my hand and into small girls mouth, being eaten and enjoyed. No more avocado on the floor and no more sharing with mummy.

Dietitian UK: The suspect Avocardo
Dietitian UK: The suspect Avocado

Why am I sharing this? I guess I wonder how many other mummies sometimes assume their little ones just don’t like a food when actually they just:

1. Don’t fancy it at that particular moment.

2. Aren’t keen on it in that form but may like it if it is given to them differently.

3. Teething or out of sorts.

Remember it takes about 10 attempts of a food for a toddler to know if they like it or not, so keep trying, keep being creative and keep smiling when that food ends up on the floor or spat out.

Banana and Sultana Flapjack

This recipe is one of our family favs and I love the fact that although it’s a flapjack it’s not full of syrup. My toddler girl loves cooking with me and this is a recipe that she can really get involved with, here’s some photo’s of her doing so from an earlier post.

Recipe:

200g oats

1/2 cup sultanas

1 tbsp honey

75g marg

2 mashed bananas

  • Weigh out oats and sultanas
  • In a separate bowl weigh out honey and marg, then melt, if you prefer a sweeter option you could add a little brown sugar too, I don’t (I heat in the microwave for 40 seconds).
  • Mash the bananas (my little one does this)
  • Mix all the ingredients together. I tend to find that a lot of the sultanas end up in small persons mouth whilst the mixing process occurs!
  • Place into a greased tin and bake at Gas Mark 5 for 30 mins. You may want to cover the top for half the cooking so the sultanas don’t burn.
  • Slice whilst it is warm and leave to cool before removing from the tin.
  • YUM!
Dietitian UK: Banana Flapjack
Dietitian UK: Banana Flapjack

 

Banana Bread and Butter Pudding.

Do you ever end up with slightly hard bits of bread? Wonder what to do with them? Well feeding them to the ducks and the chickens is often my response, however now I’m making most of my own bread it makes me really want to get the most out of a loaf. So yesterday I saw a couple of slightly stale slices of bread, some ripe bananas and my mind leapt to banana bread and butter pudding!

I actually made this for my toddler (lucky girl), here’s what I did…

Recipe:

  • Lightly butter the bread then tear the bread into small pieces.
  • Slice 1 banana and line the bottom of 3 ramekins with it, cover with a layer of torn up bread, 1 more layer of banana and finish with 1 layer of bread.
  • Heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 and place a deep baking tray in that can act as a bane-marie.
  • Heat about 100mls milk in a pan, when it is warm (but not boiling) remove from the heat and add 1 egg and whisk. I chose not to add sugar but you could at this point.
  • Leave the egg mix to thicken slightly, then pour over the bread and banana ramekins. Leave it to all soak together for 10 minutes and then you may be able to add a little more. Meanwhile boil the kettle
  • Sprinkle the top with a little sugar and place the ramekins in the baking tray in the oven. Add the boiled water from the kettle to the baking tray so it comes about halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  • It should feel set and not liquidy when ready to come out of the oven.

I served half of one of these ramekins with yoghurt as a dessert for my toddler, it went down VERY well!

 

Dietitian UK Banana Bread and Butter Pudding
Dietitian UK Banana Bread and Butter Pudding

Ginger Biscuits: gluten free, toddler friendly or great with a cuppa.

I’ve had a yearning to make ginger biscuits for a while and today I finally kicked myself into action and did it. My little toddler helper was very pleased to be cooking as we’ve been reading all about Maisy making Gingerbread the past few days, so making Ginger biscuits was the same in her eyes 😉

Recipe:

40g muscovado  sugar

50g rice flour

50g cornmeal/ fine polenta

2 tsp ground ginger

1tsp xanthum gum

50g margarine

2 tbsp milk

Mix all the dried ingredients together, then rub in the margarine until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk a little at a time and mix to a dough (you may not need it all).

Roll out and cut into whatever shapes you like……ours had to be teddy bears and were cut by my helper.

Cook at Gas Mark 3/160C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack and enjoy.

Dietitian UK: Gluten free, toddler friendly Ginger Biscuits
Dietitian UK: Gluten free, toddler friendly Ginger Biscuits

Cheesy Courgette Biscuits for Little and Big People.

So this recipe started off as a decision to try out this lovely looking recipe from MamaCook. I weighed out the flour and then opened the margarine tub to realise it was pretty much empty. Boo.

Skip forward a few hours and margarine is back in the house. By now I’m in creative mode and the biscuits took on a life of their own! I’m a bit of a stickler for encouraging my small one to eat her veggies, so finding a courgette to hand, I decided to grate it in and then add some cheese for added yum factor. I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting great things, but you know what, these have been a huge success, not only with the toddler girl but also with her Daddy!

Here’s how we did it:

Recipe:

100g plain flour

15g oats

70g margarine

1/2 grated courgette

15 g grated cheese

Measure it all out and then add a dash of milk to mix to a dough. My little one likes baking with me, so she rolled out the dough:

Dietitian UK, Rolling the dough for Cheesy Courgette Biscuits
Dietitian UK, Rolling the dough for Cheesy Courgette Biscuits

My little helper then advised on which cutters to use and helped me cut it all out:

Dietitian UK: Cutting out Cheesy Courgette Biscuits
Dietitian UK: Cutting out Cheesy Courgette Biscuits

We baked them at Gas Mark 5 for 15 minutes, you may need less depending on how thin your dough has been rolled (or not rolled in our case!). Here is the final result.

Dietitian UK: Cheesy Courgette Biscuits.
Dietitian UK: Cheesy Courgette Biscuits.

 

 

Baking Flapjacks with the Little One.

My healthier take on flapjacks are well known by my friends, I’ve almost always got a tub of them on the go. They got me through the long early days of breastfeeding and are now enjoyed by 1 year old too. In fact she absolutely loves them. So today, when she was struggling to sleep and I was unable to bake during her naptime I decided she may as well help me. This turned into a really fun learning experience for us both.

I weighed out the oats and sultanas and Kezia enjoyed playing with the dried ingredients, especially as she was able to sneak a few sultanas! She also liked watching me measure out the sugar, honey and margarine.

Playing with the dry ingredients.

 

Then came the bananas, amazingly none of these went into Kezia’s mouth, she spent some time transferring the bananas from one bowl to another and watched as I mashed them. I left her a little in the bowl to play with being an interesting texture and tasty too 🙂

Banana time

Stirring all the ingredients together was a lot of fun, although the spoon was probably a bit too large! It was a pleasure watching Kezia have a good go at mixing and seeing the look of satisfaction on her face.

Stirring with the biggest spoon!

I was allowed to place it all in the baking tray and of course Kezia then was left with the empty bowl and spoon, which she instantly started to scrape with her fingers….finding the leftovers showing it’s a natural reaction to lick the cake mixture off the spoon 😉

Scraping out the bowl and spoon

Finally we had time for more mixing practice at super fast speed!

Look at me Mummy! Mixing in action.

What are your favourite recipes for cooking with children? Any tips to pass onto me?

 

Roasted vegetable and mozzarella pasta.

Tonight I needed a quick, easy meal that could be thrown together with ease. You know those days when you wake up feeling tired, then spend the day running around, get to the evening and suddenly uh oh, it’s almost dinner time and you’ve not made any, you need something healthy and filling….well that was my day today. Pilates class, washing, cleaning, baking, baby party, and a teething, clingy baby but hungry mouths to feed.

So 5pm came and I raided the fridge. Finding a pack of peppers and some mozzarella I felt inspired. Cue the oven warming up to gas mark 6. Peppers thickly sliced onto a baking tray, chunky onions join them along with some halved large mushrooms, a drizzle of olive oil along with a splash of water and in they go to roast for about 40 minutes. Remember olive oil may be a healthier fat but it is still a fat, so a small drizzle, the water does the rest.

Meanwhile the baby partially ate her dinner and partially painted it in her hair and around her highchair 😉

Towards the end of the roasting the pasta went on (wheat free for me). Once cooked all that needed to be done was mix the pasta with the roasted veggies, mix in some chunks of creamy mozzarella and a teaspoon of pesto. After a busy day, this was simple, quick, easy, healthy, tasty family food.

Baby Brekkie Ideas…

I was recently asked for some ideas for baby breakfasts, which got me thinking…. my baby is pretty easy with breakfast, we tend to stick with a range of cereals and add fruit to them. At 8am I’m not usually feeling in the mood for cooking. However it can also be good to vary things and most foods can be prepared to some extent the night before. Some here are my baby brekkie ideas, please let me know yours…

  • Readybrek with milk and fruit (we love banana and blueberries).
  • Scrambled egg on toast – make sure eggs are well cooked I find this best cooked on the cooker and not in the microwave. Try adding chopped ham/tomatoes/mushrooms whilst cooking the egg.
  • Bagel with cream cheese and tomato
  • Fruit salad with yoghurt
  • French toast/Eggy bread
  • Pancakes with fruit puree
  • Crumpet with butter and marmite
  • Hard boiled egg with toast
  • English muffins with melted cheese and cooked mushrooms
  • American pancakes with berries – see my previous post, use plain flour if wanted: http://dietitianuk.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/wheat-freegluten-free-pancakes/ 
  • Porridge fingers – Take a handful of porridge oats, and add just enough milk to cover them in wide-bottomed bowl, microwave for 60s.  Allow to cool before slicing into triangles/fingers. Or add mashed bananas and microwave for 90s.
  • Porridge – add different combinations of fruit to oats, add milk and cook in microwave. We love sultanas with apple and cinnamon at present. Baby loves the juice sultanas 🙂
  • Griddled peach slices served on an English muffin with cottage cheese.
  • Homemade Muesli (for baby and mummy!) – 65g oats with 175 ml apple juice, refridgerate overnight. Next morning grate 1 apple and 1 pear, add a little lemon juice and mix in, add any other fruit wanted and serve with full fat natural yoghurt.
Scrambled egg on toast!