There’s nothing wrong with a good potato, especially with the skins on and as part of a warm salad. Keeping the skin on potato will increase the fibre, potassium and vitamin C. Potassium and fibre are found in greater amounts in the skin, and cooking with the skins on reduces the loss of vitamin C during the cooking process. If having in a salad, cooling the potatoes after they have been cooked can possibly increase the resistance starch which is a type of fibre that feeds friendly bacteria. This salad was made with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard. Plenty of salad leaves, dill, chives, flat leaf parsley and a boiled egg to balance the meal and provide protein. Delicious!
I made this meal last night and it was both tasty and filling. I kept the skins on the potato to increase the fibre in the meal and added peppers to include some vegetables. Here is the recipe:
Ingredients: 500g salad potatoes (thinly sliced), 8 eggs, 1 large white onion (sliced), 3 cloves of garlic (crushed), 1 large pepper (sliced), 2 tblsp of vegetable oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Method: Fry the potatoes for 5 mins, add the onion and garlic for 10 mins, add the pepper for a further 5 mins, stir often. Meanwhile whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper, heat the oven to 170 degrees. Add the potato mix to the eggs and transfer to a greased and lined oven dish. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the egg is cooked through. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!
We all know that eating fruit is good for us, but what about fruit juice? By fruit juice I mean 100% juice not a fruit drink which will contain added sugars.
A small glass (150mls) of fruit juice can count as one of your ‘five a day’ and it seems that most people don’t replace fruit with fruit juice which is important as fruit juice lacks fibre.
Fruit juice helps contribute Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate and phytonutrients – it can also play an important role in increasing the body’s absorption of Iron when drinking it with an Iron containing meal.
However, all fermentable sugars have the potential to cause dental caries and some fruit juices are particularly acidic. It is recommended that fruit juice should be taken at meal times only, and not drunk too late at night or too close to tooth brushing. Fruit juice should be diluted with water for children, and for adults if not diluting it is a good idea to swill your mouth with water to reduce damage to the teeth.
For more information visit: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/FruitVeg.pdf
Why do we need them? Anti-oxidants, fibre, phytochemicals (eat a rainbow), vitamins and minerals.
Just take a moment to think back to what you ate yesterday….. did you manage to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables? Only about one third of adults do.
A quick rough guide to portion sizes:
Remember that frozen is as good as fresh, and can also help cut down on food waste.
Tomorrow is a new day – see if you can make it to five!
Dietary fibre and wholegrains offer numerous health benefits, including good digestive health. But do you know how much you should be eating each day for good health?
In 2015 the UK SACN (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition) published its 'Report on Carbohydrates and Health', and recommended an intake of 30g of fibre a day. Diet surveys over recent years have repeatedly shown that in the UK our fibre intakes are considerably lower than recommended. So how can you increase your dietary fibre intake? Firstly, it is wise to increase fibre gradually and drink plenty of fluids so that your gut can get used to the change. Secondly, to achieve recommended amounts of fibre you will need to increase the wholegrains in your daily diet.
Here are a few tips:
Children aged 2 – 5 years 15g/day
Children aged 5 – 11 years 20g/day
Children aged 11 – 16 years 25g/day
16 years and older 30g/day
For more information about wholegrains and how to include them in your daily diet visit: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/wholegrains.pdf
Reference: SACN (2015) Carbohydrates and Health www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-committee-on-nutrition
Break that fast with breakfast - it's an important meal of the day! Did you know that when you are pregnant it is best not to leave more than 12 hours between the last snack of the day and the first meal of the following day? If you are pregnancy or not, breakfast is a great opportunity to pack in key nutrients.
Choose a balanced breakfast to include:
A cereal food like wholemeal/granary toast or a bowl of wholegrain cereal
A portion of fruit
A portion of dairy
If you choose to have toast you could add beans for a source of Iron. Don't forget to have a drink, ideally water, milk or 150mls fruit juice. Save the tea and coffee (which are also a good source of fluids) to a little later.
With a good breakfast in your tummy you are less likely to snack on high fat/sugar snacks during the morning, as well as feeling better!
For more information and ideas visit:
In 2015 new UK targets were introduced to limit free sugar intake to 5% of daily energy. This includes sugars present in honey and fruit juices. Current intakes are far higher than the 5% target, for children free sugars account for approximately 13 – 15% of their daily energy. Perhaps easier to grasp are the following guidelines for maximum free sugar intakes:
Under 1 year Not to be given
1 – 3 years No recommendation
4 – 6 years 19g a day ( 4 ½tsp)
7 – 10 years 24g a day ( 5 ¾tsp)
11 years and older 30g a day (approx. 7 tsp)
Thanks to Jamie Oliver (as well as other campaigners) there are national standards for school meals which all school caterers must adhere to. However, there is still more sugar than you might expect in school puddings. For example, a slice of chocolate cracknel (information correct from Warwickshire menus in 2016) contains approx.16g of sugar. If you compare this to the table above most children in reception and year 1 will be consuming 84% of their recommended maximum free sugar intake in that pudding alone. True there is the option of fresh fruit, but is your child making that choice?
Of course this is only one example but sugary puddings are offered most days, which is a change of habit for families that may have previously given sugary puddings occasionally. And true children are not at school every day of the year, but it doesn’t take long to create a new habit.
A simple way to reduce sugar would be to reduce the portion size, or recipe modification. If your child’s school meals are an area of interest to you, you can find out more information by contacting Warwickshire County Caterers.
For more information on sugars visit https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Sugar.pdf
We all need a small amount of salt in our diet to aid important functions such as muscle contraction, but this could be as low as 1g a day. The recommended 6g a day of salt is a maximum figure for good health, not a target. The current average adult salt intake in the UK is about 8g; around 7 out of 10 adults eat more than 6g of salt a day. Eating more salt than we need causes the body to store more water, and this extra water raises blood pressure. High blood pressure affects more than a third of adults, and about a third of those people don’t realise they have it as symptoms go unnoticed. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels and leave you three times more likely to have heart disease, heart failure or stroke. The good news is that as you reduce your salt intake, high blood pressure is also reduced and the risks associated with it. In fact if you have high blood pressure, you could lower it in just 4 weeks by eating less salt.
What about babies and children? Children’s blood pressure is also raised the more salt they eat. Babies and children need very little salt as their kidneys are still developing and cannot cope with lots of salt. Babies under 6 months get sufficient sodium (component of salt) from breast or formula milk and cannot tolerate any salt added from foods.
Reference salt intakes per day:
7 – 12 months <1g
1 – 3 years 2g
4 – 6 years 3g
7 – 10 years 5g
11 years and over 6g.
So what is salt? Salt is sodium chloride, the sodium damages your health if you eat too much. This includes sodium in cooking salt, sea salt, rock salt and Himalayan mountain salt whether in granules, flakes or crystal form.
How to reduce salt? About ¾ of the salt we eat comes from processed foods, check food labels and look for products with 0.3g salt per 100g or less, and cut down on foods high in salt (over 1.8g salt per portion or 1.5g per 100g). Avoid foods labelled ‘in brine’ or ‘salted’. Keep portions of cheese, bacon, ham, sausage and smoked fish to a minimum. Try and switch to more home cooking and use lemon or lime juice, pepper, vinegar, tomato puree, herbs and spices, garlic and onion. Take care when using salty ingredients like soy sauce, stock cubes, seasoning mixes and sauces. Using less water and steaming or microwaving can help preserve the flavour of vegetables and rice. And remember that your taste buds change, after a few weeks of eating less salt your taste buds will become more sensitive and you will enjoy meals more with less salt.
A couple of sunny days and the smiles are spreading. Are we also starting to get a bit of vitamin D?
Vitamin D works with calcium and phosphorus for healthy muscles, teeth and bones. Our bodies make Vitamin D under the skin when we are outside in sunlight. In the UK, the suns UV rays are strong enough to make vitamin D from April to September. We make the most vitamin D during the summer in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. However, up to 40% of the UK population have low vitamin D levels during the winter months. In addition during the summer months we are now all being a bit more skin savvy, and most of us follow advice to stay out of direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest and wear sunscreen. So, how do we get enough?
Last year new recommendations for vitamin D were published in the UK.
For more information on vitamin D visit https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/VitaminD.pdf
It’s that time of year and the talk of the town is ‘dry January’. So you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? It seems some are already starting to crack ‘I’ll just have a glass of wine with my meal’. And so the cycle continues until only a moist January has been achieved.
Before we celebrate the hardships of those following a moist January, let’s think about the dry nine months that pregnant women endure. Well done to those that manage to follow the current UK advice which is to avoid alcohol throughout pregnancy.
Here’s a little something to make you feel better about it – we know about the benefits for baby, so this is just for you.
Good, you will be getting many personal benefits from not drinking alcohol and that’s before we consider that alcoholic drinks are fermented from starch or sugar! This means alcoholic drinks contain quite a few calories, let’s take a closer look:
1 large glass of wine approx. 220kcals (bar of chocolate)
1 large gin and tonic approx. 150kcals (bag of crisps)
1 glass of prosecco approx. 85kcals (chocolate digestive)
1 glass of pimms approx. 125kcals (a slice of toast with spread)
2 bottles of beer approx. 275kcals (large slice of pizza)
1 pint of cider approx. 210kcals (2 fried eggs)
1 pint of beer approx. 200kcals (2 rashers of fried streaky bacon)
Reap the benefits – don’t start eating the food instead! And of course, the true dry January ambassadors will reap the same benefits so……………a very large pat on the back.
For more information on alcohol and health visit drinkaware.co.uk