Monday, January 31, 2011

'Do You Eat' Facebook Page

People have asked if they can get updates when we publish a new post on our blog.  The best way to do this is to visit our Facebook Page.  If you go to our Do You Eat? Facebook Page and 'like' us, you will get regular status updates to tell you we have posted something new on the blog, as well as other useful tips and suggestions.

Friday, January 28, 2011

10 tips to get kids to eat vegetables

Written by Kate Bullen, APD
This is a question I get asked a lot. And I mean at least once a week! My children are certainly not perfect vegetable eaters, and some days are better than others. But I have a few strategies that I like to employ, that often work. Consistency is a big part of getting kids to eat anything that want them to – so across all these tips – consistency is a big one to keep in mind. So what you did last week, you need to do again this week. Here we go!
1.       Role modelling. This is just so powerful and often underestimated. Do you eat veges? As the parent you are the first and best role model. Show your children how you enjoy eating vegetables.
2.       Offer variety. This might involve taking your children vegetable shopping to let them choose some vegetables to try. Discuss different colours of vegetables. Perhaps your child has a favourite colour and they could choose a vegetable to match this colour. You could make this a weekly activity to try new vegetables each week. The rule here is whatever your child chooses you MUST buy and prepare, and you as the parent must try it too!
3.       Peer pressure. Yes – it starts at a young age! If you have a catch up with friends take foods that contain vegetables. For example, sandwiches with grated carrot, cucumber, tomato and avocado are a great snack. Yep – snack – sandwiches don’t just have to be for lunch J. Or make some vege fritters with 1 small  tin of corn, 1 cup flour, ½ zucchini grated, 1 egg, ½ teaspoon curry powder and enough milk to make a batter consistency. Cook in frypan over medium heat.  Vegetables sticks with a dipping sauce are also brilliant for sharing with other kids.
4.       Make a game of it. Create a traffic light with red capsicum, cucumber and corn. One of my friends refers to broccoli and cauliflower as trees. Do whatever works! Agree on a number of vegetable sticks they have to eat each day and let the children count them out at the beginning of the day and leave them accessible for them to eat at any time. Reward them with a non food treat eg: extra time at the park, visit to a friend, stickers.
5.       Involve your child in food preparation. My 4 yo now spreads the margarine and vegemite on crackers/bread for her lunch while I cut up her vegetables. Another good activity is to bake something eg: zucchini and date loaf, carrot cake to show your children that vegetables can be fun.
6.       Praise. Just like most the positive discipline techniques say, you will get best bang for your buck if you praise and notice good vegetable eating and ignore the not so good vegetable eating.
7.       Discuss the benefits of vegetables. Sophie tells her nearly 3yo that carrots are important because they help to make your eyes sparkle. Pretty close to the truth and kids love this kind of chat! Another one is Vitamin C found in red capsicum, potato, onions and brussel sprouts helps to heal wounds. I don’t know about your kids but mine are forever covered in cuts and grazes (no need to call child services!). Dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and baby spinach contain vitamin A to help with night vision (c’mon – boys would love this fact).
8.       Vegetables are not just for dinner time. Try offering a tasting plate of cut up veges at lunch or have them ready for snacking in the afternoon while you get dinner ready. Then if the kids just eat rice and meat for dinner it isn’t such a stress. Cut up vegetables last well in containers in the fridge. I will often cut up carrot, capsicum and celery and leave it in a fridge container for a few days – easy to grab and snack on with some cheese and crackers. Here is what my 4yo's tasting plate looked like at lunch last week: 
And here is what the plate looked like after she had finished her lunch. Not perfect – but not bad!

9.       Consider a vegetable patch. It doesn’t have to be huge. We grow tomatoes very successfully and the kids love them! We have grown snow peas before and they are also loved. Kids love getting involved – from choosing the seeds or seedlings (we have more success with seedlings) to planting, watering, fertilising and then harvesting. You can take this a lot further to planning what you can cook with the vegetables.
10.   Roast vegetables. Salads and vegetable sticks are great. So are roast vegetables. I often chop up pumpkin and sweet potato into cubes, add a teaspoon of olive oil and then sprinkle with ground cumin and coriander, roast for 30-40min at 180C. Delish! Although this won’t be happening today as it is a scorcher!
11.   What is your child’s favourite meal? Agree to cook their favourite meal more often if they agree to try and eat more vegetables. The art of negotiation can work well! In fact – tell me what your child’s favourite meal is and I will offer some tips for the type of veges to include.
12.   Covert vegetables. I mean including grated vegies hidden in dishes such as Bolognese sauce, goulash, meatloaf, meatballs etc. I use covert vegetables often – but I try to also use the above strategies for overt vegetables. I guess my philosophy is about teaching kids why veges are important and embracing the taste of them. I also use these strategies with my husband, as sometimes he is a bit like the 3rd child when it comes to vegetables!
Oh look – I did more than 10 strategies! I could go on a lot more but before you start to nod off, I thought I would finish at 12!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Product Review: Kraft 'Cream for Cooking'

Written by Sophie McGough APD CDE

Light Philadephia cream cheese has long been promoted by dietitian's as a great substitute for using margarine or butter on bread.  Just recently I noticed that Kraft have been promoting a new Light Philadelphia cream cheese product called 'Cream for Cooking' so I thought I'd check it out from a nutrition perspective.  Just like the philadelphia cream cheese there are two versions of the 'cream for cooking', regular and light.  I chose the 'light' version.

The packaging makes the claim that it has 60% less fat than regular cream.  So I compared the fat and saturated fat content to a regular thickened cream.  It would appear that the claim is correct.  The 'cream for cooking' not only has a 1/3 of the fat of regular cream but also 1/3 of the saturated fat.  Regular cream is 36.5% total fat while the light 'cream for cooking' is only 12.6%.

A bonus is also the reduction is kilojoule/calorie content for those of you watching your waistlines.  For the amount pictured below (a heaped tablespoon - unofficially known as the 'dollop') you would be getting around 188 kJ/47 cals compared with the 360 kJ/86 cals you would be getting if you used regular cream.


That is a saving of 172 kJ per dollop which would be equivalent to an extra 1/2 glass of wine with your meal :)

The only downside (nutritionally) was that the sodium (salt) content is nearly 10 times as much in the light 'cream for cooking' (299mg/100g) as for regular cream (30mg/100g).  It would still however be considered a low sodium product because it is less than 400 mg per 100 g.  

Most importantly, is it a good substitute for cream in cooking?  Well I have to say yes.  I've tried using it in a butter chicken recipe,  creamy pasta sauce recipe, beef stroganoff and on baked potatoes and the family haven't noticed the difference.  The hubby even used it the other night when trying out a new 'thermomix' recipe - 'Honey Mustard Chicken and it worked well.  It is not as low fat/kilojoules as using evaporated skim milk in recipes but unlike the evaporated milk, it doesn't curdle and has a thicker texture.  I will probably use it in recipes where the amount of cream is only around 2 tablespoons and/or I'm worried about curdling.  If not, the evaporated skim milk is still going to be a better option.

I'd be interested to hear if any of you have tried it......

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recipe - Japanese Chicken, Rice & Edamame Beans

Written by Kate Bullen, APD
This is our all time favourite family recipe. My 4yo constantly asks for it, which means it is usually on our menu at least once a fortnight! Please don’t be overwhelmed by the few steps that are required in cooking – the result is so worthwhile. The beauty of this recipe is that it uses nice and lean chicken breasts and makes them just so tender and juicy. Perfect for kids as they tend to reject dry meats. I have been adding the edamame beans since coming back from Japan – they are green soy beans that you buy in asian shops in the freezer section. Defrost them or if you haven’t the time to defrost, then just wack in a saucepan of boiling water straight from the freezer for 1-2 minutes. Cool under cold tap and then pod the soy beans out. Warning – don’t eat the pod – it isn’t very tasty... but the beans are!
Ingredients:
400g chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieced
2 tablespoons potato flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake*
1 tablespoon mirin*
1 teaspoon sugar

Method:
1.       Coat chopped chicken with potato flour
2.       Heat frypan over medium heat and add oil. Add chicken and brown (chicken doesn’t need to cooked through at this point)
3.       Turn off heat and add approximately 2 cups of boiling water to chicken (or enough boiling water to cover chicken). Turn heat back on and bring water to a simmer. Simmer 5-8 minutes and then drain off boiling water. Return chicken to frypan.
4.       Mix soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar to make sauce. Add this sauce mix to chicken, stir and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until sauce has adhered to chicken.
5.       Serve chicken with rice, edamame beans and salad immediately. Also delicious with some steamed asian green vegetables in winter.

*Sake and mirin can be purchased from asian shops and gourmet deli

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

Written by Sophie McGough APD CDE

Australia Day - the day we celebrate all things Aussie...and you wouldn't be an Aussie if you didn't celebrate by throwing a couple of snags on the barbie (or shrimp if you're Paul Hogan!).  The good old Aussie BBQ is also a great way to get some veggies into those kids (and Dads), in between the classic catches taken in the backyard cricket!

When it comes to kids and vegetables, the more colourful and fun the better.  Using brightly coloured vegetables like capsicum, carrots, beetroot, corn, snow peas and cherry tomatoes makes it look appealing and you can encourage your children to eat them by telling them that they are 'eating a rainbow' (works for mine!).

Having a variety of different textures means you can also make eating veggies fun.  My daughter and I have 'crunch games' with carrot, cucumber and capsicum to see who can make the loudest crunch.  We call veggies with different textures silly names like 'squishy wishes' (avocado) and 'juicy lucies' (tomatoes) and tell each other which one we are about to have and then giggle as we gobble them down!  Sounds very silly but if my daughter is ever struggling to eat her salad veggies, I start this game and suddenly the veggies are all eaten!

Don't forget you can add some veggies on the barbie as well.  Our family favourites are corn on the cob wrapped up in foil, pumpkin (parboiled first) and asparagus (you do need a little melted margarine on the spears and they only need a few minutes).

If you kids struggle with having steak on the BBQ, there are plenty of lower fat sausages now on the market that you can use instead.  Just look for those less than 10g of fat per 100g.  Just remember to cut them up for children under 2 because they can choke on the skin.

Have a great Australia Day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Live Your Life: Weight Matters

Written by Sophie McGough APD CDE

This week is ‘Healthy Weight Week’ promoted by the Dietitians Association of Australia (to whom Kate and I both belong) as part of their strategy to fight the rising obesity in Australia.  I thought I’d take the opportunity to give a brief overview of weight and what it means for your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Weight is assessed using a combination of Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference.  The BMI gives you an idea of how you weight compares to your height and the waist circumference gives an indication of how ‘dangerous’ your fat stores are.

To work out your BMI, do the following calculation:

1. Take your weight in kgs                                            eg. 100 kg

2. Divide your weight by your height in metres twice   eg. 100/1.70/1.70 =  34.6

Your Body Mass Index is categorised as follows (don’t blame me for the terminology!)

Underweight                < 18.5
Normal weight             18.5 – 25
Overweight                  25 – 30
Obese                           30 – 35
Morbidly Obese            > 35

Many people get frustrated with the BMI because they feel it doesn’t take into account their muscle mass or where their fat is stored, which is true.  Some elite athletes like footballers or tennis players have BMIs that would be classified as ‘overweight’ but of course we know it is because they just have a lot of muscle.  So, if you feel you have a high muscle mass, the BMI may not be the best indicator for you.  

The waist circumference is now considered the best indicator of how risky your weight is for having a heart attack or developing type 2 diabetes.   Weight carried around your waist is the most dangerous for your health.  Now fellas – your waist isn’t just where your pants sit.  In order to measure your ‘waist’ you need to be more specific.  You are actually better off having someone else measure your waist for you, if possible.

1. Find your lowest rib and the top of your hip bone on one side of your body.
2. Place a pen mark on your skin half way between these two points
3. Repeat on the other side
4. Run a tape measure straight around these two points, making sure you are breathing normally and not sucking the tummy in!

Your waist should be as follows:

Women:            < 80 cm
Men:                 < 94 cm

If your waist is greater than these recommendations then you are at greater risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.  Keep reading our blog and hopefully we can help you on your way to reducing this risk.  You may also like to visit the healthy weight week website for more tips and advice.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Product Review - Boost Juice

Written by Kate Bullen, APD
Some of you might recall my previous post on Boost Juices – I have a small update, as one of our clever readers pointed out to me that there is very little price difference between the medium size and the Original size (ahem, the large). So as I walked past my closest Boost Juice outlet I made a quick note of their pricing:
·         Kids/small - $4.80
·         Medium - $6.20
·         Original (LARGE) - $6.50
Our savvy reader was spot on – thanks TP! Now let’s quickly calculate how that 30cent increase from a medium to LARGE translates in terms of calories/kilojoules.  You are paying 4.84% extra for 44% extra calories/kilojoules if you choose to upsize from the medium to the original (large). So you aren't having to lose much from your wallet, but you are potentially adding a lot to your body weight. Something to think about next time you are thinking about upsizing!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Recipes - Weekend Breakfasts

Written by Kate Bullen, APD

As the weekend begins, I thought I would give a few suggestions for healthy and tasty breakfast ideas.  My first suggestion - a traditional cooked breakfast. This was my husband's choice:
What do you need to do this breaky? A slice of wholemeal/wholegrain toast, some thinly sliced avocado (instead of butter/margarine - avocado is a 'healthy' fat), poached eggs (apparently the eggs in this photo were overcooked), grilled tomatoes, grilled bacon and caramelised onion. All cooked without any added fat. When choosing bacon look for the leanest possible bacon (ie: no obvious fat), and if there is any fat, cut it off. In a non stick pan, the bacon shouldnt need any oil to be cooked, nor should the tomatoes or onions. A great tip to add some extra zing is to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to your onions and tomatoes when you are cooking them. Delicious!

Weekend breakfast number 2 - mushroom stack:
A vegetarian option. Chop mushrooms and place in saucepan with a dash of water. I also add about 1 tablespoon of either soy sauce/balsamic vinegar/worcestershire sauce, plus pepper. The mushrooms are sitting on some steamed baby spinach, with avocado smeared on toast. Delicious!

And finally - my favourite - pancakes:
I made my pancakes gluten free, but I think the key ingredients in a pancake mix is 1 cup self raising flour, 1 cup milk and 1 egg - and of course you can increase proportions for how many you need to make. I added a mashed banana to my mix - just to increase the fruit content. Pancakes are a great recipe to use wholemeal flour - it adds extra fibre and no one will know! On top of my pancakes I have some natural yogurt and frozen blueberries that I quickly defrosted in the microwave. I also added 1 tablespoon of maple syrup - indulgent, delicious and worth it!

So as you start your weekend, you might want to try 1 of these great breakfast ideas to fuel your body for the day. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vitamin Supplements

Written by Kate Bullen, APD

Just a quick blog post tonight. I am not a big fan of vitamin and mineral supplements unless there is a defined need (eg: pregnancy, breastfeeding, osteoporosis, low iron levels). Supplements are expensive and they shouldn't replace a healthy diet. Glad I got that off my chest.

I have a client who has had a reaction to taking Vitamin B3. The male client suffered from hot flushes as a direct result of taking a dose of Vitamin B3. The message that I would like to share is that you CAN overdose on vitamin supplements - and unlike prescription medication, there seems to be a perception that vitamin and mineral supplements are natural. But they are not natural - they are generally synthetic and they can be damaging to your body. Please keep this in mind next time you go to take a supplement. If you are taking a supplement, do you need it? 

Do You Eat Blog 2011

Written by Kate Bullen, APD
What can you expect from reading our blog for 2011? Well that is a question that Sophie and I asked ourselves this week. Without wanting to get to rigid or structured, we thought we would aim to do a recipe and a product review each week. We will still do other posts as well – based on feedback from you, our valued readers, or nutrition news that catches our eye, but we will endeavour to put a new recipe up and review a product each week. How does that sound to everyone?  So, if you would like to hear about a food product – then please email us!
How does the below meal look? Tasty & Healthy! More details to come soon...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dangers of the Raw food Diet

I recently caught up with a girlfriend who expressed some concerns about the Raw Food Diet.  Her sister in law has been following the diet for the last few years and has her young children on it as well.  She is concerned because she feels the boy may be physically delayed in his development and she was wondering if the diet had anything to do with it.  I’d only vaguely heard about the raw food diet so I decided to investigate further in order to give her an evidenced based response.

THE THEORY:

There are various versions of the Raw Food Diet coming from a range of backgrounds – Presbyterian ministers, dentists and scientists in the early 1900’s.  It seems to have evolved from a similar background to vegetarianism, particularly the vegan diet.  In fact most people on the raw food diet either reduce or completely omit the meat and dairy food groups and some carbohydrate foods such as breads, cereals and potatoes.  

Whatever the background, the basic principle is that followers choose to consume greater than 70% of their diet in raw form, many as high as 85 – 90%.  So they end up eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  This is based on the theory that each food that we eat contains natural enzymes to digest that food and when we cook the food we destroy these natural enzymes and therefore our bodies cannot access the nutrients contained within that food.

OK STOP RIGHT THERE….WHAT THE????

A quick lesson in digestion physiology 101.  Any good anatomy and physiology book will tell you that when we eat food, it goes into our digestive system and is broken down by enzymes released by our body into our stomach and intestine.

A quick lesson in thermodynamics 101.  Any good physics book will tell you that heating a food can actually improve the availability of nutrients.  Good examples are lycopene from tomatoes and carotenoids from carrots.

OK let’s move on – the underlying theory did come from a book written in 1933 so I think we can safely assume we’ve learned a lot since then! 

THE EVIDENCE:

Whether the theory is valid or not….is the diet safe and does (as it supporters claim) it reduce risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

As with many of these fad diets, good quality research is thin on the ground but I did find some decent enough studies to be able to make some conclusions.  Probably the best I found was the ‘Geissen Raw Food Study’ conducted on around 500 ‘raw food followers’ in Germany.  It found that while those eating high quantities (>70%) of raw food had a low ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol, they also had a low ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol.  So eating raw foods did not reduce their risk of heart disease.   In fact the higher the percentage of raw food a person ate, the worse their ‘good’ cholesterol got. 

Of greater alarm to the researchers was that nearly half of the people had a Vitamin B12 deficiency and elevated level of a substance called homocysteine.  Homocysteine levels are an important indicator of a person’s chance of having heart disease in the future.  Anything that causes a rise in homocysteine puts a person at increased risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.  The researchers believe that this may explain the increased death from heart disease that is seen in the vegan population.

The same researchers expressed concern about the food safety and hygiene of the diet.  If meat or eggs are eaten, they are often in raw form increasing the risk of infections from parasites and bacteria.

I did also find less thorough studies that linked the raw food diet to being under-nourished resulting in low bone density and 1/3 of women ceasing to have periods.  Another one found an increase in dental erosion.

Lastly, there was some great research that compared cooked versus raw fruit and vegetables intake and the risk of heart disease.  The study followed 20 000 people for 10 years!  It found a 34% reduced risk for people who ate lots of fruit and vegetables BUT absolutely no difference if they ate them cooked or raw.

Dare I say it just boils down to this (pardon the pun) – just eat lots of fruit and vegetables! Goodness stop press…..that’s a new one!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

What about those Sultana Bran Buds? Food Labels: Part Three

I hope no one was holding their breath waiting for this next instalment! It has taken me a while to get out of holiday mode and get back to blogging!

So where were we….oh that’s right. In the last food label blog I covered total fat and saturated fat. Let’s finish off the label reading now by looking at Carbohydrates, Fibre and Salt and finally make a decision on those Sultana Bran Buds.

CARBOHYDRATES:
First thing’s first…carbohydrates have been getting a fair bit of bad press in recent years, so let’s get this out of the way.....

‘Carbohydrates are not bad for you so long as you eat high quality carbohydrates (wholegrain/high fibre, low - medium GI) and in the right quantities.’

There, I’ve said it….now we can move on.

A quick ‘Carbohydrates 101’ lesson….the term carbohydrate refers to both starch AND sugars (added and naturally occurring). So if you were to make a list of high carbohydrate foods it would include not just foods like pasta and potatoes but also fruits, some dairy and extra foods like lollies, soft drink and jam.

Now back to the Sultana Bran Buds™ food label (apologies I can't get it to come up as a table)……

Sultana Bran Buds™ Nutrition Information Panel


Quantity per
Serving
(45 g/ 1 cup)
Quantity per
100g
ENERGY
PROTEIN
FAT, TOTAL
- SATURATED
CARBOHYDRATE
- SUGARS
DIETARY FIBRE
SODIUM
POTASSIUM
640 kJ
3.8 g
0.7 g
0.2 g
29.7 g
11.3 g
7.1 g
60 mg
171 mg
1430 kJ
8.5 g
1.5 g
0.4 g
65.9 g
25.1 g
15.7 g
135 mg
380 mg




As you can see, our food labels have both CARBOHYDRATE and a subheading SUGARS. The heading CARBOHYDRATE refers to the total of both the starches and sugars combined. The term SUGARS refers to both added and naturally occurring sugars in the food. So it is very difficult to know for sure how much is ‘added sugars’ and how much is ‘naturally occurring sugars’ such as fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar).

It is very important to note that with the advent of Glycemic Index research we now know that refined starches can be as unhealthy for you as added sugars. As a result, knowing the GI of your product is no doubt more important than reading the SUGARS content on the nutrition information panel. Unfortunately though not all products have been tested and if they are, not all products have registered to have the GI symbol on their label. So for now, if you know the product you’re looking at is low – medium GI, forget looking at the carbohydrates on the label…you don’t need to.

Rule of Thumb:






This will indicate if the carbohydrate content of the product is low or medium GI and you don't need to look any further...easy!

Exception:

IF you don't know the GI it's a bit of a guessing game hence different dietitians will have slightly different opinions. The general consensus seems to be that 5 - 10g of SUGARS per 100g would be considered a reasonable product and relatively low in sugar (it still doesn't account for the refined starch content in the product though).

IF the FIBRE is high (at least 9g per 100g) and the product has a large percentage of fruit in it, then it is fine if the product has more SUGARS in it because we assume that a large percentage of these SUGARS are naturally occurring and not added.

You can double check this by looking for added sugars in the ingredients list: brown/raw sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, dextrose, disaccharides, glucose, golden syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt, malt extract, maltose, molasses and sucrose.

FIBRE:
Dietary fibre is something we would like a lot of in our food, so the higher the better. As adults we need at least 30 g of fibre per day and many Australian Adults do not come even close to achieving that.

Rule of thumb:
Look for a product that has at least 5g of fibre per 100g, preferably closer to 10 g of fibre per 100 g in breakfast cereals.

Exceptions:
Some food groups such as dairy and meats do not contain fibre, so don’t bother looking for fibre on these products.


SALT:
The recommendations for salt vary if you are being treated for heart disease. The guideline below is the recommendation for the general public and really relates to reducing your risk of having high blood pressure.

Rule of thumb:
Look for products less than 400 mg of sodium per 100g

Exception:

It will be difficult to find some products like cheese that are this low in sodium. Just compare these products and go for as low as you can find.

So how do those Sultana Bran Buds™ stack up….
Nutrition Information Panel:

Quantity per
Serving
(45 g/ 1 cup)
Quantity per
100g
ENERGY
PROTEIN
FAT, TOTAL
- SATURATED
CARBOHYDRATE
- SUGARS
DIETARY FIBRE
SODIUM
POTASSIUM
640 kJ
3.8 g
0.7 g
0.2 g
29.7 g
11.3 g
7.1 g
60 mg
171 mg
1430 kJ
8.5 g
1.5 g
0.4 g
65.9 g
25.1 g
15.7 g
135 mg
380 mg


  • Total Fat is less than 3g/100g
  • The Saturated Fat is less than 1.5g/100g
  • The Sodium is less than 400 mg/100g.
  • The fibre is brilliant at 15.7 g per 100g
  • Carbohydrates: Sultana Bran Buds have not yet been tested for their Glycemic Index. The Sugars are 25.1g/100g but the fibre is brilliant so the questions remain – where is that sugar coming from? The ingredients list shows the added sugars are mainly in the ‘sultana filling’ that makes up about 20% of the product. If I am reading it correctly, it appears to only contain around 10% sultana, which is interesting in itself! Not perfect from the sugar perspective but better then Nutri-Grain™ that has 32g of sugar per 100g, only 3g of fibre and sugar as its second ingredient! Not as good though as good old weetbix and porridge! It will be good if Kellogg’s get them tested for GI because that will give a better indicator as to whether the sugar content is a problem or not.


So all in all, they don’t stack up too badly and I particularly like the high fibre content which is so important at breakfast. I’m happy enough to give them to my 2 year old now and again when she gets bored of her weetbix, mini-wheats or porridge. Just need to make sure she does her teeth well after having them!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Vegie Chips part 2

Written by Kate Bullen, APD
I tried a few more vegetables today to make chips. This time I used sweet potato, ½ potato, carrot and beetroot. Yum! For all these chips I only used 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil. Great snack, and a great way to eat a few extra vegies.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Parsnip Chips

Written by Kate Bullen, APD
I find that it is easy to get into a routine of eating pretty much the same vegetables each week. The fruit and vegie list starts to look very similar every week – carrots, cucumber, capsicum, zucchini, baby spinach, broccoli, sweet potato.... Variety in our diet is important to ensure we get a good variation of vitamins and minerals. So I decided to do a few different things.
Enter stage left – Parsnips. Yep – parsnips. I think they are usually only on most people’s menus for a roast or soups – neither is very appealing in our summer heat! So I decided to make some parsnip chips – a healthy version. Here are the very easy steps to create your own tasty parsnip chips for the whole family to enjoy!

1.       Preheat oven to 180C
2.       Get out your trusty potato peeler. Wash and chop off ends of parsnip. Peel skin and discard. Then use potato peeler to peel shards of parsnip until the parsnip is no more!
3.       Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (measure it out – easy to over pour) and toss through parsnip shards.
4.       Place on oven tray lined with baking paper. Try to evenly space parsnip for best cooking.
5.       Cook for around 15 minutes or until crisp.
6.       Enjoy!

My 4yo daughter loved them! It was our afternoon snack. Next time I think I will try sweet potato and carrot.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Product Review - Mundella Yogurt

Written by Kate Bullen, APD

One of our lovely readers, BL, emailed me this week with a question:
Thanks so much for your blog I really enjoy reading it.  I have a question, don't know if it's bloggable, but I certainly would love to hear your views on it.  It's about sugar v fat content especially around products that offer a low fat option.  Take for example mundella pot set yogurt. Yum!  The premium pot set has 4.1% fat content, 6.5 % sugar, while the fat free has less that 0.1% but 11% sugar.  Which is the lesser of two evils? If I'm honest I think the taste of the premium pot far out ways the non fat and really does 4% fat make a big difference verses the extra sugar?

Firstly, thanks to BL for sending in the question and for reading our blog! This is a great question and choosing products – particularly dairy products – can be very confusing.
Dairy products do contain saturated fat (otherwise known as the ‘bad fat’ as it can increase our cholesterol levels in our body), but dairy products are also a fantastic source of protein and calcium.
I love the Mundella yogurts – the natural flavoured yogurts I often buy as they have no added sugar – so they are perfect for children (unlike some other yoghurts that are targeted at babies... I will leave that topic for a future blog post J).
 Here is a quick table comparing the Mundella natural flavoured yogurts:

Nutrition Information per 100g
Premium (full fat)
Reduced Fat
Fat Free
Energy
419kj
312kj
274kj
Total fat
4.1g
1.8g
0.1g
Carbohydrate - Sugars
6.5g
7.9g
11.2g
Protein
4.6g
4.8g
5.4g
Calcium
200mg
210mg
225mg


I have included information on protein and calcium as well just to point out that as the fat content of a product is reduced, other components (such as protein, calcium and sugar) increases simply because the proportions have changed. Fat removed = other components increase.
In answer to BL’s question – I would suggest that taste satisfaction is a big factor – and something that shouldn’t be forgotten. It is great that there are many low fat/fat free options on the market, but sometimes it really comes down to enjoyment of food. And ultimately food is such a huge part of our day – so we should enjoy what we eat. If the taste of the Mundella Premium yoghurt is enjoyed more than the Fat Free yogurt, you are probably more likely to get a lot more enjoyment from eating this product. For someone who isn’t actively trying to lose weight, then I would recommend the Mundella Premium yoghurt, over the Mundella Fat Free option. I think it is fantastic that Mundella offer so many options with their yogurt.


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