My Healthy Snack of the Week – Kiwifruit

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HAPPY WAITANGI DAY!!

Today is Waitangi Day in New Zealand, which is the celebration of the signing of the Waitangi Treaty in 1840.

So, in honour of all our New Zealand friends, the Snack of the Week is the beautiful kiwifruit.

What Benefits do Kiwifruit offer?

  1. First and foremost, a medium size kiwi provides approximately 46 calories so they make a good low calorie, nutritionally dense snack.
  2. Kiwifruit have a low glycaemic index which means they are low in sugar.  This makes them a good fruit for diabetics and those wishing to avoid high insulin sugar spikes.
  3. Kiwis help fight Heart Disease – research has shown that eating 2-3 kiwifruit a day helps to reduce blood clotting by 18% and triglycerides by 15%.  Kiwifruit therefore have the same anti-clotting benefits as aspirin without the side affects and added nutritional benefits.
  4. Kiwifruit are an excellent source of Vitamin E which helps protect the skin from degeneration = younger looking skin!
  5. Kiwifruit help protect the eyes from macular degeneration and other problems as they contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.  These are naturally occurring chemicals within the eye, so eating kiwis gives your eyes a nutritional boost.
  6. Kiwis are high in Vitamin C which boosts your immunity.
  7. They contain a good range of antioxidants that can protect cell DNA from oxidative damage.  This may help prevent cancer.
  8. Kiwis manage blood pressure due to their high levels of potassium.
  9. Raw kiwi contains actinidain, an important enzyme that dissolves protein and therefore helps in digestion.

Your challenge this week is to see if you can get the kids to eat these little GREEN beauties.  Pop them in an egg cup and let them scoop out the goodness with a spoon.

AND YES, you can eat the fuzzy skin, although I prefer them without and I’m sure the kids will too.

Have a wonderful Waitangi Day, and when you’re eating your Kiwi you can image you are sat by this beautiful spot in New Zealand.

www.newleafhealthandwellbeing.com

Please share and like and help get everyone enjoying the benefits of Kiwifruit.

sources:-

http://www.care2.com

http://www.livestrong.com

 

 

 

My Menu Planner for this week

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www.newleafhealthandwellbeing.com

 

This week I am afraid I only have six meals for you as it was my little boy’s birthday, so we went out for a meal to celebrate.  I hope these help in planning your week.

  • Sweet and sour pork with rice
  • Rigatoni Bolognese
  • Homemade Burgers with salad
  • Spicy Sausage casserole and rice
  • Creamy salmon pasta
  • Roast Pork Loin, Roast Potatoes and vegetables.

Have a wonderful week.  If you enjoy my menu ideas, please like and share on Facebook.

 

Is our love killing our children?

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www.newleafhealthandwellbeing.com

 

As parents I think we are all probably guilty of this ….

What do I mean?

I mean that we all love to treat our children – usually with foods that are considered unhealthy.  And the problem is that this mindset was most likely instigated by our parents or if not, it’s what we did for ourselves when we were young, free and single.

You knowthe “I’ll treat myself to a cake/chocolate bar because I’ve been working really hard”, “I’m feeling a bit down, so I’ll cheer myself up with some chocolate”.  “If you’re really good children, I’ll give you a sweet/biscuit”, “If you eat all your dinner you can have a pudding”.  It’s a mindset that’s been going on for generations and across many cultures.

The problem is that these treats are so much more affordable and widely available therefore it’s much easier to succumb.

The downside for our children (and ourselves) is that treats are one of the causes of obesity, ill health and dental decay.

So, how can we break the “treat” mindset with our children?

It’s a really hard habit to break.  With my first two children I didn’t let them eat any sweets or chocolate until they were about 2 years old – and that was fine because they didn’t know what they were missing.  But, as children get older, peer pressure and media advertising has a much greater influence on them.  They can feel left out and awkward that they are different, and no parent really wants their kid to be the ‘odd’ one in class.

As parents I think it’s inevitable that we will still hang on to an element of the ‘treat’ mentality, so we need to endeavour to teach our children to enjoy treats in small doses and make them aware that whilst enjoyable, they shouldn’t become everyday choices.  Treats also shouldn’t be seen as a reward or punishment.

They should just be a TREAT – something that’s allowed every now and again.

We also need to teach our children that the reason we only have treats now and again is because they are usually full of unhealthy ingredients.  This is easy to demonstrate to kids – sweets, cakes, biscuits etc are immediately recognisable as sugary treats.  The NHS now has an app called ‘Sugar Smart’.  You can use it to scan a food barcode and it tells you the amount of sugar contained in the item.  Get the kids to download it on their gadgets and they can have fun educating themselves!

The main problem for most people comes with the hidden, added sugar in our everyday foods.  As recent headlines in the media have highlighted, children are eating more than half of their daily allowance of sugar just from their breakfast cereal.  As parents we want our children to go off to school having eaten some healthy grains with calcium rich milk for breakfast – this should be easy and straight forward.  BUT NO, the food industry has been allowed to sabotage this basic household breakfast staple.  They know that by sugar enriching and coating their cereals, children can be manipulated by media advertising to harass their parents into buying it for them – making manufacturers’ profits increase.

Even worse, is the addition of sugar to bread, ketchup, baked beans, pasta sauce jars – everyday foods which parents should be able to feed their children safe in the knowledge that they are providing a nutritious meal.  Parents SHOULD NOT be expected to analyse and decipher every single food label in their house, trying to understand the hundreds of different names for sugar.  It should be perfectly clear which foods are normal everyday ‘savoury’ foods and which are sugary treats.

In Britain, we all want to support and maintain our NHS.  However, as we all know the NHS is facing crisis point – diet-related illnesses currently cost the NHS £6 billion per year.  This is why the Government must implement health guidelines to the food industry (not parents!) that savoury foods must be savoury, with no added hidden sugars and sweet foods must have clear labels identifying the levels of sugar in them.  Everyday foods such as breakfast cereal for children should have restricted sugar levels.  No-one wants a ‘nanny’ state but when the health of our children is being exploited for commercial gain, the Government must act.  We can all still choose whether we eat cakes/biscuits/sweets but we should be able to eat any other meal safe in the knowledge that there is no added sugar in them.

Nutrition in the modern world should be improving life not causing us all to die an early death.

If you are a concerned parent, then sign up to the Children’s Food Campaign at http://www.sustainweb.org/childrensfoodcampaign and let’s start claiming back a healthy childhood for our children.

 

Sources:

http://www.nhs.uk/change4life

http://www.sustainweb.org

http://www.obesityhealthalliance.org.uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health

The above article is based on my own opinions.  I have no affiliations with the links provided and have received no incentives for this article.

Do you agree with me?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the state of our food industry in the comments below.  Please share and like on facebook too.

 

My Menu Planner for this week

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I can’t believe that another week has flown by and we are nearing the end of January 2017.

Here’s my menu planner for this week – I hope it gives you some inspiration to feed your family.

  • Beef Casserole with Jacket Potatoes and peas
  • Fish pie with a mashed potato topping
  • Bread-crumbed chicken breast with salad
  • Sweet chilli chicken stir fry with rice – with lots of veg added in.
  • Homemade Lasagne
  • Homemade chicken pie with homemade chips and Baked Beans

Yes, there is a slightly naughty meal in there, but sometimes when it’s a grey, cold day you just need comfort food!   However, if you make it yourself then you know you have used fresh ingredients, and are limiting the suspicious and unwanted additives.

Have a lovely week and please do share and like my post below.  I’d also love to hear whether these menus help provide a little inspiration?

 

 

My Menu Planner for this week

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my-snack-copy

 

Here’s my menu plan for this week.  I hope it gives you some inspiration.

Top Tip:

Start including more garlic in your dishes.  It has lots of great health benefits such as:-

  • it reduces cholesterol production in the liver and prevents cells from taking up cholesterol
  • it improves blood flow through the small arteries by almost 50%.
  • Studies suggest eating 28.8g a week of garlic can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 1/3 and stomach cancer by a 1/2 compared to those only eating 3.5g.
  • garlic can help reduce the chance of catching a cold and reduce the duration of a cold.

My meals this week:-

  1. Stir fried pork and vegetables in black bean sauce with rice
  2. Cottage Pie
  3. Chicken korma curry and rice
  4. Spaghetti with prawns and tomato sauce
  5. Paprika pork steaks, potato wedges and green vegetables
  6. Roast Loin of pork with roast potatoes and vegetables

I hope you have a good week and I would love it if you could like and share my post on Facebook using the link below.