Tag Archives: calcium

Lunch box ideas?

School lunch box ideas.

With the school term fast approaching I’ve been thinking of different foods that I can use in my little mans lunch box that are nutritious and yummy.

He is a very fussy eater so coming up with different food ideas that he won’t get ‘bored’ of but foods that will also sustain his hunger, give him energy, are healthy options and are a nice variety.

He is only 3 but is very picky. He used to be a great eater and ate everything I have him, right up until he was about 2.5 years old. Then, like a switch, he ‘didn’t like anything’.

I try many options in his lunch box but the majority of the time, the lunch box comes back with the prepared food still not touched. Such a waste of good, wholesome healthy food.

I’ve tried asking him what he would like to eat. He still won’t eat it. I end up packing things that I know he will eat. Not always the healthiest options but he will eat it.

It makes me question, is it better to feed them what they like and want knowing it will get eaten?

Or pack him what I think is a better and healthier option knowing that it may possibly come back home untouched and know, my little guy went hungry as he didn’t like what was prepared for him?

He isn’t one of those children that sees other children eat and decided he wants to eat the same. He isn’t swayed by peer pressure. He is very head strong and is very confident.

So below are some options that I pack for my little guys preschool lunch box. I’d love to hear what you pack in your little ones lunch boxes.

Vegetable pancakes –
Yes I purée vegetables and put it in a pancake mix then make ‘regular’ pancakes. Great way to hide vegetables as my little man loves pancakes but ‘doesn’t like vegetables’.

Cereal –
I pack either Nutri grain or mini wheats. Yes I know they have sugar, but not as much as Cheerios or fruit loops and many other cereals. My little man will eat both and it’s a good easy way to get him to eat whole grains.

Crackers –
I make home made ones with my ThermoMix, they are quite healthy and really tasty. He eats them plain. If I have made a batch I will pack brown rice crackers or vita wheats. Again he eats them plain. Another easy way to have him eat while grains.

Cheese sticks –
A good source of dairy and protien and they keep well. If I have no cheese sticks I will cut up cubes of cheese. Full day of course.

Yogurt squirts –
I pop these in the freezer the night before school to ensure they stay cold for his lunch box. He will only eat vanilla and that’s fine. It’s another way to get dairy in his lunch box and brewing a squeeze pack, no mess and no need to pack a spoon.

Fruit squeeze pack / jelly squeeze pack –
I know some of you will think SUGAR but, I go for the lowest with no added sugar. He refuses to eat solid fruit even if I cut it up, so this way he is still getting fruit, some fibre and it’s a ‘sweet treat’.
I have tried making my own and using the refillable squeeze packs but he won’t touch them. I’m happy to buy them as its something I know he will eat.

Left over cold meats –
Example of i make mini meatballs for dinner, I will cook extra and pop those into his lunch box. He happily eats them cold. Or an extra sausage. Again if u cut it up he will eat it cold. Or even chicken tenders or home made chicken nuggets. So easy to make, good source or protein and iron and he will eat them cold.

Cold pasta –
Befor you think I’m nuts, it’s easy. I cook either shells or spirals, let them cool and put some in his lunch box. He likes cold pasta. I usually do while grain pasta or spinach. He won’t eat the ‘red’ but I find he doesn’t mind the ‘green’ or ‘brown’. Good carbohydrates and being low GI keeps his energy levels up.

Banana bread fingers –
He thinks it’s cake 😉 occasionally he will eat it. Plain though, no butter and it must be cut in rectangles. I again make my own in my ThermoMix so has almost no sugar and I again make it on half kamut and half wholemeal flour rather than plain white. Kamut flour is high in protein. You could also use chickpea flour.

An alternate in the banana bread fingers could be mini fruit muffins? If you make them yourself you can cut down in the sugar. I know some may question why cutting down on sugar in children.

Well 1 it rots teeth, 2 it can cause health issues and 3 if sugar is not burnt within the body from activity or exercise its stored as fat and our nation is already overweight. I don’t see I big issue in using either natural sugar sources such as fruit over refined sugar and I also think so much food has hidden added sugar that by cutting down on some can not hurt.

I don’t send my little man to school with muesli bars as its a nut free environment. I also don’t like the idea of roll up as its loaded with refined sugar.

I’d love to hear your ideas for fussy eaters that won’t eat a sandwich or cut fruit and vegetables.

Email me :
Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Breakfast!

Breakfast.

For as long as I can remember breakfast has been promoted as the most important meal of the day. I also am a big believer in this.

Breakfast is the first meal that you eat after sleeping for most of us 7 hours. Yes some lucky people get more sleep, some get less however the average person gets 7 hours. Anyway, it’s seen as the most important meal as it kick starts your day. Fuels you for what’s ahead and can also play a major part in the energy levels and amount of food that you may consume for the rest if your day.

I know many people that have a ‘liquid’ breakfast. For the most part I agree that this can be a great start to your day, providing it’s nutritious and wholesome. A think a smoothie packed full of fruit, yoghurt and or some type of fibre and protein is great however what I don’t agree with is those package sugar filled products.

We all know that by starting our day with sugar only kick starts the sugar craving for the day. Your taste buds enjoy the sugar therefor have you wanting more. They are not filling and lack protein and fibre therefore you will be hungry not too long after you have eaten and this can also cause you to reach for the ‘not so healthy’ snack.

By eating a good breakfast you are recharging the brain and body, you’ll be more efficient in just about everything you do.

Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight, but that’s not a good idea — it can backfire.

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to consume more food than usual at their next meal, or go for high-calorie and or high sugar snacks to stave off hunger.

Several studies suggest that people tend to add more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. It’s been proven that by eating small meals on a regular basis you keep your metabolism consistent and therefore your GI (glycemic index) low and you will find you feel more satisfied for a longer period of time.

While adults need to eat breakfast each day to function and perform, kids need it even more. Their growing bodies and developing brains need regular refuelling from food. When kids skip breakfast, they get distracted easily as they are hungry and skipping meals can also have adverse affects.

According to Australian Food News, in 2012 alone, Sanitarium sold over 34 million litres through supermarkets. Up&Go to me it’s clearly a marketing success and appeals to those that are either time poor, lack the knowledge to eat better, can’t be bother to eat better or are happy to just have convenience?

I know many people who simply reach for Up&Go as it is convenient and easy for them.

I personally would never consume it nor allow my child to have it. I’d rather get out of bed 15 minutes earlier to prepare something more wholesome and delicious for him. Especially after doing readers h in it. I’m shocked that’s it’s allowed to be marketed as a “nutritious start” for busy people when they need to “get up and go”.

With Up&Go claiming that it has the protein, energy and fibre of 3 Weet-Bix and milk, it has somehow slipped into the breakfast landscape without much comment or opposition. Yet many taste-test reveals, it is a highly processed product that actually contains NO Weet-Bix which will come as a shock to many.

Up&Go have been given a Nutrition value of 13 out of 20 from food watch which is a website that provides information in various foods. It is written by Catherine Saxelby who is an accredited nutritionist and dietitian and is qualified to answer questions on food, diets, fads/trends and weight problems as they relate to health and wellbeing.

She is an accomplished author, freelance writer and speaker who helps busy people eat well at home and on the go. She can ‘translate’ complex scientific detail into interesting and easy-to-understand language.

Up&Go Ingredients (Chocolate flavour)
Filtered water, skim milk powder, cane sugar (4%), wheat maltodextrin, soy protein, vegetable oils (1.5%) (sunflower, canola), Hi-maize™ starch, corn syrup solids, inulin, fructose, cocoa (0.5%), cereals (oat flour, barley beta glucan), minerals (calcium, phosphorus), food acid (332), flavour, vegetable gums (460,466,407) vitamins (C, A, niacin, B12, B2, B6, B1, folate), salt.

332 = Potassium Citrate – related to citric acid, a natural food acid in lemons and citrus
460 = Cellulose microcrystalline – this is a fibre – don’t know why it’s listed here as a gum
466 = Sodium carboxymethylcellulose – ditto
407 = Carrageenan – a seaweed extract that thickens

Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is an oligosaccharide (glucose polymers) which is absorbed very rapidly into the body. It is produced from wheat starch by partial hydrolysis and looks like a white spray-dried powder. It is used as a thickener or texture modifying agent in foods such as flavoured milk drinks (like Up&Go), pasta sauces, puddings and cake mixes.

In terms of glycemic index, maltodextrin can be considered to be metabolically equivalent to pure glucose (dextrose). In other words it has a very high GI and but has little or no sweetness. It equates to 3 per cent which also has me wonder why Up&Go has to have three vegetable gums as well as this thickener?

Sugars
Up&Go has THREE different sweeteners – cane sugar, corn syrup solids (think high-fructose corn syrup) as well as fructose. Why on earth would a flavoured milk drink need all these three? Surely just sugar would be enough to sweeten? We all know sugar is not great for our health especially our teeth.

Nutrition Information

Per Serve (350ml) Per 100ml
Kilojoules 1150 329
Calories 277 79
Protein,g 11.6 3.3
Total fat,g 5.3 1.5
Saturated fat, g 0.7 0.2
Carbohydrate, g 42.4 12.1
Sugars, g 26.6 7.6
Dietary fibre, g 5.3 1.5
Sodium, mg 228 65

Looking over the ingredient list, it’s easily seen there are actually NO Weet-bix present.

There is 11.6g protein, 1150kJ and 5.3g fibre which is more than in 3 Weet-bix with 125ml whole milk if you go by the pack.

Water is the first ingredient followed by skim milk powder so the drink is mixed up from dry ingredients – it’s not made from whole fresh milk.

Up&Go is highly fortified with 8 vitamins (C, A, niacin, B12, B2, B6, B1, folate) and two minerals (calcium and phosphorous).

Some of the vitamins in a Up&Go are in substantial quantities eg

Vitamin A: supplies 24% of your RDI
Vitamin B12: 50% of your RDI – B12 is often short in the diet of vegans
Calcium: 400mg which is 40% of your RDI

Where does that protein come from?
Protein is derived from skim milk powder followed by soy protein and a small bit of oat flour? This is not ideal protein and I can think of many other easy and convenient foods that is rather reach for, for my protien intake.

Where does the fibre come from?
Not from whole wheat as in Weet-Bix but a mix of Hi-Maize starch (Hi-Maize starch is a special commercial strain of maize or corn that high in resistant starch), inulin (a commercial fibre derived from chicory) and beta-glucan from barley (a soluble fibre that’s also found in oats and can help sweep cholesterol out of the body).

These are vastly different forms of fibre than in Weet-Bix. These are all highly processed forms of what is to be claiming to be nutritious and good for you.

They are attractive to manufacturers as they are soluble in liquids so stay nicely mixed in a drink such as this.

In contrast wheat bran or oat bran tends to settle at the bottom of any drink and would form a thick sludge in a drink like this. Ever blended up an oat bran smoothie? You’ll soon see the bran settle to the bottom! It’s just its nature.

If you simply struggle to eat or can’t make time for a proper breakfast, perhaps look at a better option of Oats Express.

Oats express is made from milk and positions itself away from soy milk. It has a much simpler list of 9 ingredients which are:
Low fat milk, milk solids, sugar, oat fibre (min 1.25%), tapioca maltodextrin, cocoa powder (min 0.7%), malt extract, natural flavour, vegetable gums (460,466,407).

Read more: http://foodwatch.com.au/reviews/item/product-review-upgo-liquid-breakfast.html#ixzz3CFFBX07F
Read more: http://foodwatch.com.au/reviews/item/product-review-upgo-liquid-breakfast.html#ixzz3CFDN7HSm