Tag Archives: childrens nutrition
Those of you who visit our Facebook page may have seen me mention that I had recently tried chia seeds. I’d first heard of them a year or two ago when I read the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (one my favourite books ever), but assumed they were the sort of exotic ingredient that would be very hard to source.
However I recently read Eat and Run (can you tell I’m into running?) by Scott Jurek and saw them mentioned again so decided to find out more. It turns out they are available in the UK and that they are ideal for vegetarians as they are very high in Omega 3 fatty acids. They are also high in fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients, are a source of protein and are gluten free. Continue reading
Most people assume that vegetarian kids love vegetables. Unfortunately that is soooooo wrong… Both of my boys decided to become vegetarian because they didn’t like the idea of animals being killed for them to eat, but only one of them actually likes his veggies.
My other son is not at all a fan. There are only a few vegetables he likes, such as peas, raw carrots, cucumber and lettuce, but that’s about it. His idea of a nightmare meal is a veggie stirfry! (At least he has a sense of humour about it though, as he wants this t-shirt.) Continue reading
This isn’t mean in the sense of stingy with money (though I may well be that too) but in that I don’t coddle my children and do expect them to pull their weight now and then around the house.
Apparently NONE of their friends have to make their own beds (seriously?) or help with chores, both of which my boys are expected to do on a regular basis. They also have to eat healthy cereals for breakfast when ALL of their friends can eat whatever sugary junk they feel like whenever they want to (yeah, right). Continue reading
My children have always loved snack bars, but so many of them are just junk, even less healthy than the cereals so many of them are based on (read what I think about children’s cereals here). However recently there have been a lot more nutritious snack bars on the market, some of which can help meet a vegetarian child’s nutritional requirements as well as fill the gap.
Before I go any further, please don’t think that I am some kind of health nut who never allows her children to eat anything fun or sweet. I love chocolate as much as (ok, more than) the next woman and my kids have sadly inherited my sweet tooth along with my brown eyes. What I can’t stand though, is when junk masquerades as healthy food. If I want to eat junk I will, and so will my children, but I don’t want them to be under any illusions that it’s good for them.
Anyway, back to the healthy snack bars… The following are favourites in our whole family, and well worth the extra cost:
They’re absolutely gorgeous (a worthy replacement for chocolate when necessary) but the main reason I love them is that they contain vegetarian omega 3 and 6. I’m more than happy for my children to have them on these grounds alone! They also supply all sorts of other vitamins and minerals though, thanks to the nutritious seeds they are made from.
9bars are also free from artificial additives and don’t contain wheat, gluten, dairy, lactose, yeast or egg, so would be ideal for vegan children or kids with food allergies.
You can buy them in packs of 3 for between £1.60 and £2.29 and they are usually found in the Free From sections of supermarkets, at Holland & Barrett and at some independent health food shops, though varieties other than the Original are hard to come by.
These bars contain crisped rice, nuts, seeds and honey together with a variety of dried fruits, yoghurt or chocolate. They do contain a fair amount of sugar but have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and are also delicious. The cranberry, macadamia and dark chocolate is mine and my children’s favourite, but my husband prefers others. There are a lot of different flavours!
They are vegetarian and gluten free, but not suitable for vegans. The bars are sold individually (about 75p in Sainsbury’s) or in packs of 3 (about £2.05), but not every flavour is available in both. Eat Natural has also recently brought out Lunchies, which are smaller bars in a pack of 4 (£2.39 in Sainsbury’s), which I’m testing out as a lunch box treat at the moment.
These are probably the most natural bars of the three, containing no sugar, just raw fruits, nuts and spices. The ones we like are called “nudie bars” and come in a variety of flavours. Various family members have different favourites and preferences and one of my sons is quite picky about which ones he’ll eat, but he does love those.
These are also sold individually (about 75p in Sainsbury’s) or in packs of 4 (£2.39). On the NAKD website they’re available in bigger boxes.
I don’t think that snack bars are necessary for children, but when it comes to these three they are a yummy treat as well as providing some goodness, so I don’t mind shelling out for them now and then for packed lunches and snacks. The only problem is that I work from home and they’re a constant temptation to me!
Apologies in advance, but this one is a bit of a rant and related to general healthy eating rather than vegetarian nutrition for children.
Am I the only one who gets uptight about so-called children’s cereals? There are great selections of healthy cereals in the supermarkets, but as soon as you look in the children’s section of the cereal aisle it seems everything has to be covered in sugar or mixed with chocolate.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those parents who ban their kids from sugar and treats and, to be honest, my boys probably eat a lot more chocolate than they should. I sometimes think that banning unhealthy stuff just makes it more attractive to kids, and I’m a complete chocoholic myself, so can’t really police it too strongly without being a complete hypocrite.
However I do like to be clear about what is healthy and what is not, and the children’s cereals give very mixed messages. Yes they’re fortified with vitamins and iron, but some of them contain around 30% of sugar and have ingredients lists that go on forever! I wonder whether good quality chocolate might actually be healthier…
It’s not the fact that some cereals contain so much sugar that bothers me, it’s the fact that it’s just the children’s ones that do. The healthier (and often yummier) cereals that I prefer my children to eat are always in elegant grown-up packaging, while the fun characters and brightly coloured boxes that appeal to kids contain the rubbish.
I’m not saying that there should be laws against it – I’m really not a fan of the government telling everyone what, how and when they should eat – but wouldn’t it be great if some of the cereal companies would also create cereals that were healthy, tasty and packaged attractively for kids?