Category Archives: Eating Out Gluten/Wheat Free

Colour up kids restaurant menus

Let’s talk childrens menus when eating out. This can be a topic of division in my mind and in general amongst parents. I doubt many people choose where they eat out based soley on the kids menu but when you are eating out with small ones it is hugely important. 

Often childrens menus are high on beige foods and low on colours. I’m talking fishfingers, nuggets, burgers,  chips, potato waffles with maybe beans or peas but not much else. I totally get why, as a restaurant you want children to enjoy their meal and hey, it’s only one meal. So does it really matter?

 I think it does. Children are little adults, as an adult I want choice, flavour, foods that I don’t usually eat at home, foods that make me think and that my tastebuds explore. Beige food menus are devoid of a variety of  tastes, textures, fibre and colours. All things we want kids to be eating.

Now for my kids eating out is a complete treat. We don’t do it that often. I also don’t tend to offer “beige meals” often at home, unless they are requested. Not that I am against those foods, they have a place. However, I  prefer to go for plenty of veggies and variety, aiming for homemade foods when I can. So we may have fishfingers from the freezer but I’d serve them with a mixture of veggies, potato wedges, with the skin on and thus provide a range of nutrients, fibre and tastes.  Nuggets and fishcakes can totally be offered as part of a balanced diet but do they need to make up the majority of children’s menus when eating out? I think not. Let’s get some balance on the menu please. 

Miss K totally loving her ramen bowl.

If we start to offer variety and treat children as little foodies maybe they will start eating in this way? Having had a boy who was anti-vegetables I’ve had first hand experience of how consistency, being non-judgemental and continual exposure works. So if we only offer beige foods they will only eat beige foods! This is part of the basis behind raising intuitive eaters, as parents we offer a range of foods and let them choose how much and what to have.

My crazy kids actually get a bit excited about a kids menu but at times I get “why is my food not as nice as yours”.  Which has led to us ordering an adults meal for the kids to share or of course sharing our own meals. I do remember at a wedding the sausage and chips being shunned in favour of the delicious buffet. When travelling I encourage the children to try cultural foods and things they have not had before – with varying results but it’s all about continuing to promote these values and ideas.

 Eating out is about pleasure and enjoying meals different to those at home. My 7 yr old especially loves eating “adult meals”. So I love places who make small versions of the adult menu. In my mind this is how it should be. Yesterday we ate out at a restaurant that did an amazing menu with kid friendly versions of their dishes – no chilli, smaller portions and some meals where all the foods were separate for those, like my boy, who would have wanted to pick bits out. They were also happy to make changes to the kids meals. My children were VERY happy. 

This boy, so happy with his meal and he demolished it.

It’s all about enjoyment, choice, variety and #empoweringkids to do this. I see it as part of intuitive eating, letting them choose what to have and how much to eat. My kids are very different in their eating and how they eat but all loved their lunch out today. 

 

 

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Sticky and Sweet Greengage Flapjacks

We are lucky enough to have a large plum and a large greengage tree in our garden. Cue lots and lots of yummy fruit which cannot be wasted. With the immense flapjack love I have and the glut of greengages this one was a no brainer – it worked REALLY well.

These are healthier as I’ve not added any sugar, the greengages and prunes add sweetness. I’ve reduced the butter and used part peanut butter for monounsaturated fats. The oats add wholegrain goodness.

I’m off to sit in the sun, with a cuppa and some flapjack 😉

Dietitian UK: Greengage Flapjack

 

Greengage and Prune Flapjacks
Yields 20
A healthier take on flapjacks that uses the sweetness from the fruit instead of sugar.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
143 calories
22 g
0 g
5 g
4 g
1 g
54 g
18 g
3 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
54g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 143
Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 18mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 3g
10%
Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
2%
Iron
7%
* 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. 450g greengages or plums
  2. 150g prunes
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 350g oats
  5. 70g peanut butter
  6. 50g butter/margarine
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6.
  2. De stone the greengages and chop each one into about 8 pieces.
  3. Chop the prunes finely or blitz in a food processor.
  4. Mix the fruit with the cinnamon.
  5. Weight out the oats and then mix in well.
  6. Now measure out the peanut butter and butter, melt in the microwave then mix into the oaty mix, stirring well.
  7. Add about 50ml water to help the mixture bind together well.
  8. Press into a well greased and lined tin.
  9. Cover the top with foil and bake for 30 minutes then remove the foil for the last 15 minutes.
beta
calories
143
fat
5g
protein
4g
carbs
22g
more
Adapted from BBC Good Food "Sticky Plum Flapjacks"
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Picnic Food, wheat and gluten free.

Picnics, they can be amazing and they can be awful. Good location, company and food are essential, and to me having food that is easy to eat and easy to prepare is the key. My toddler is a complete outdoors girl so picnics have become a must. Here are some of my top tips and food ideas that don’t include sandwiches:

Picnic Tips:

  • Have a specific picnic bag. We have an insulated one that keeps the food cool with a seperate section for plates, cutlery, cups, serviettes, an empty carrier bag for the rubbish and the all essential corkscrew 😉 Keeping it all together makes it easier for those picnic moments, no more rushing around to find plastic plates.
  • Remember to plan the drinks: if it’s cold then go for ice in the drinks, don’t forget a flask of tea/coffee too.
  • Picnic blankets can make or break an occasion for me…. I’m not a fan of sitting on my coat.
  • If you have young ones a beach shelter can be good for a bit of shade.
  • Take some bits to amuse small children – bats/balls then you may get some peace! Mine loves a large space to just run in.

Dietitian UK: Outdoor Fun

Picnic Food:

  1. Hummous with raw vegetables, an absolute must, try raw carrots, peppers, cucumber and celery. Don’t forget you can make your own.
  2. Frittata packed with your favourite veggies, make it ahead of time, slice it up and it’s good to go.
  3. Quiche, an old 70’s favourite… try my gluten free version here.
  4. Salads: quinoa, rice, potato for the carbohydrate part of the meal.
  5. Cold homemade pizza.
  6. Cheese and crackers.
  7. Mixed salad for the colour and veggie side of things – try grated carrot, sweetcorn, chopped raw mushrooms, broccoli and sugar snap peas along side the usual tomato, lettuce and cucumber.
  8. Fresh fruit salad, we are into melon and grapes right now.
  9. Boiled eggs. Enough said.
  10. And in a rush we just grab Sushi from the shop!

These are just our top favourites, I’d love to hear yours, please comment below and let me know.

Family Foodie’s: Thyme and Tides Deli.

This is not a sponsored  or paid for post.

On Friday we often make it a family treat to go out for a treat, which usually involves a trip to a cafe and often involves a slice of cake 😉

I have a little hit list of new places I want to try out, these are often deli’s, places that sell gluten free food or independant yummy sounding cafe’s. This Friday we went off to visit one.

Dietitian UK: Thyme and Tides Deli

 

Thyme and Tides has been in my little foodie book for a while. I’d hear rumours of gluten free foods being available there and combining that with it being a Deli situated in the quaint area of Stockbridge it had a definite Friday appeal. Now taking a toddler on these foodie adventures could be construed as a bad idea, fortunately my little one has grown quite used to it and enjoys browsing the shelves with me, we chat about the foods we see and she really enjoys cafe culture. Thyme and Tides had a lovely looking fish counter which meant we spent a whilst discussing all the fish together and I was suprised to see Sri-Lankan Tuna steaks for sale. Obviously not local produce but it reminded us of a trip to Sri-Lanka where we bought fresh tuna steak from the fish market and cooked it in the nun’s kitchen!

This particular deli and cafe had a wonderful, welcoming open feel to it, with large glass sliding doors that opened onto the village high street. There didn’t appear to be much choice in terms of gluten free, wheat free or free from foods in the deli or the menu but there were 2 types of gluten free cake of offer and it felt like the place where you could ask for adaptations to be made to meals. The even bigger bonus is Stockbridge is a lovely foodie place to wander round with a fabulous looking butchers and a great grocers too.

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