Tag Archives: vegetables

Help, my child won’t eat his veggies!

We are firmly in a fussy eating stage, frustrating is the word. I currently have Miss K who will eat pretty much any fruit or vegetable and the J boy is decidedly anti-vegetables. I’ve tried explaining the evidence behind why vegetables are so good for you, talking him through the nutritional benefits (I know, he is only 22 months right now but they understand more than we think, right?)… but he still insists on not eating that veg. His current trick is to pick up a carrot, tell me rabbits eat them and pop it on my plate. Hilarious.

Dietitian UK: Help my child won't eat vegetables!

To be fair we have been through very bad chicken pox, an infection and now teething, so I fully well know why he is being fussy. However it still grates with me.

So I’ve been coming up with all kinds of inventive ways to get those veggies in. I’ve found that actually he likes the taste but is less keen on them in their whole form.  Grated is fine, added to muffins and flapjacks is fine, chopped up small on pinwheels works, blended in a sauce is all ok, but not in chunks on the plate. However I have persistently kept on offering them at each meal, hoping it will pay off. We have a few fail safe options including raw mushrooms, baked beans and spinach, kale or chard. 

Then today at lunchtime, a complete surprise. The J boy asked for avocado, not unusual as his sister was having some and he hates to be left out. I reluctantly gave him some expecting to get it put back on my plate in a squished, licked form… but he ate it and asked for more. 

© Alexstar | Dreamstime.com - Avocado Photo
© Alexstar | Dreamstime.com – Avocado Photo

So I’m just sharing for those of you in that frustrated place. It will pass. Fussy eating does not last for ever. 

All we can do as parents is to keep on offering healthy food, be good role models, stay calm and let them choose with no pressure.

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.

 

 

Eating for Energy.

If you often wake up feeling tired or hit that mid afternoon slump then this post is for you…. if you’ve been up most of the night with a little one, you’ve been working long hours or just need a pick me up, read on!

Eat Frequently:

If you want to have more energy you need to give your body regular energy, through food – so eating 3 meals a day at the very least and actually snacking can help keep you going. It’s just important to make sure your overall calorie intake is not too high and that those snacks are healthy.

Breakfast is Key:

Skipping breakfast has been shown to increase fatigue, which makes a lot of sense. Overnight you fast, which means our blood sugar levels come down, as sugar is the body’s energy source when levels are low you can feel tired, moody and out of sorts. Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism so not only will it boost your energy but it can also help you lose weight. Good  choices include wholegrain breakfast cereals with fruit and yoghurt, poached egg and tomatoes on wholemeal toast or porridge with fruit and nuts. The B vitamins in bread and cereals help you release and use energy.

porridge
porridge

 

Eat Carbs:

Many people I meet have cut the carbohydrates out of their diet. Carbohydrates are the bodies preferred energy source, much like the petrol in a car they fuel you. Yes if you overeat them you will gain weight but sensible portions of them at your meals will help boost your energy. Choose wholegrain versions as research shows these are the healthier options and links them to increased energy.

Get your Fruit on:

Fruit and Vegetables are the true superfoods. They provide vitamin C, magnesium and other micronutrients that help your body release energy from food. Vitamin C deficiency is linked to fatigue….so eat more to energise yourself. Aim for over 5 portions a day, do this my having at least 1 portion per meal and then snack on them too. Add fruit to cereals, vegetables to omelettes, salad with meals, fruit and custard as dessert, dried fruit and nuts as a snack.

Steer clear of sweet treats:

It can seem like the best thing to do is to eat more sugar to get more energy, but in fact the opposite is true. Eating sugary snacks raises the sugar levels too fast causing a temporary energy boost followed by a sugar slump. Instead stick to regular meals and healthy snacks….sounds a bit boring but it really does work!

 

Eat Low GI:

Eating foods that keep your blood sugars lower for longer can keep your full up for longer. Try wholemeal foods, oats, yoghurt, lentils beans and pulses.

Give it a try…it may just surprise you 🙂

 

 

 

Should we all be Vegetarian?

Meat. A lot of us eat it. A lot of us like it. Really we should be eating less of it though. Why you ask? Are you serious? Sorry but Yes.

Although meat itself is not bad, eating too much of it is not good. It contain saturated fat which can contribute to heart disease. In fact people eating a plant based diet have a 20% lower incidence of heart disease and a lower risk of diabetes.

However the other big issue for me is the environment. We are going to run out of land to graze animals on and there is not enough meat to go around if we continue to eat it at our current rate. Eating less meat will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently in the UK we eat TOO MUCH meat, fat and sugar and TOO LITTLE fruit, vegetables and wholegrains.

Now I’m not advocating that we should all go vegetarian, but I am suggested we all try to reduce the amount of meat we eat in a week. Try more meat free days. There are plenty of yummy vegetarian recipes to try out, let’s help the environment, help our health and broaden our horizons.

Plant based proteins include beans, pulses and legumes (chickpeas, lentils and any form of bean – kidney, cannelini, black eyed, mung and even baked beans), soya, quorn, cheese and tofu, nuts and seeds.

How to eat more plants:

Aim for 2/3 of your plate to be veggies and wholegrains, with just 1/3 being meat.

Make some plant food swaps in your usual dishes, so try quorn mince instead of beef or tofu in a stirfry.

Halve the amount of meat you use in dishes and add pulses instead, this works well with casseroles for example.

Try vegetable rissotos, vegetable and bean bakes, veggie pastas and vegetable lasagne. The possibilities are endless.

So I challenge you to have 2-3 meat free days a week. I’ll be putting up some pictures of our meat free meals, I’d love you to share your pictures and journey with me too, comment below or tweet me.