One Day Healthy Meal Plan Example – Brisbane and Gold Coast Home Delivery

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks healthy meal delivery – (Brisbane and Gold Coast)

Breakfast:  Frittata, roasted Pumpkin, semi dried tomato and wilted spinach

Lunch: Chicken and Almond Salad

Dinner: Roast Lamb, beetroot and feta salad

Snacks: Date and chia choc protein balls, nuts and fresh fruit

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Tips and Ideas for Fussy Eaters

fussy eaters love healthy meals to your door | www.healthymealstoyourdoor.com.au/beta

Let’s face it; our children can be fussy when it comes to their food. If you’re feeling frustrated with your children’s eating habits try a few of these tips:

1.     Lead by example

Are you a fussy eater too? If so, try incorporating a wider variety of foods into your own diet. Who knows, maybe your child will see you doing so and will want to copy!  Also watch your comments while you are eating or talking about food.  What you audibly loathe and moan about, what do you absolutely love and talk up?  Notice if these attitudes rub off on your kids.

2.     Turn cooking/food preparation into a fun activity

Studies have found that children were more likely to eat food that they had helped to prepare the food. Turn cooking into a fun activity and it might have more benefits than just bonding time!

3.     Establish good eating habits

Set up regular eating habits so that your child knows what is expected of them at meal time. For example, sitting at the table with the TV off, eating with cutlery, do you eat as a family or do they eat separately (see our blog post “The Importance of Eating Together as a Family”).

4.     Know what their favourite foods are and include them in the meal

It’s ok for children to have preferences, we all do after all, especially when it comes to food.  If you know that they like banana then you could make (and even get them to help) a very mild curry dish served with coconut banana slices (banana slices drizzled with lemon and dipped in desiccated coconut). This way, they are getting to try a new cuisine whilst also having at least one food on their plate that they like.   What’s their favourite vegetable to eat?  Give them a choice of which vegetable they would like for dinner, as long as they have something green on their plate does it matter what…

5.     Make sure you serve them a child-sized meal

What can often be seen in the elderly when they are dished up meals that are too large is that they end up feeling too overwhelmed by it all that they end up not eating anything at all. So make sure that your child has the right sized meal for their age.

6.     Hide the veggies!

While we are not into deception, and children should know the benefits of eating healthy food and be encouraged to eat fruit and veggies because they are good for them.  However if children have preconceived ideas about a food without tasting it or you are worried that your child is a fussy eater and just won’t eat veggies because they don’t like the taste then hiding veggies in foods that you make is always an option! Try grated carrots and zucchini into bolognaise sauce or finely dicing celery, as well as blending steamed cauliflower into mash potatoes.  And for sneaky slightly healthier treats which are always popular try beetroot muffins, chocolate avocado mouse, black bean brownies or chickpea cookies. Your child will never know they’re in there, (unless they helped you make them of course).

7.     Repeated Exposure Works

Research shows conclusively that the more familiar a taste is, the more acceptable it becomes.  Just because your child says no to something after tasting it the first time, don’t give up on the food.  Keep exposing them to the same food but in different ways, for example they may prefer raw carrot to cooked carrot, and they may not even notice grated carrot in a Spaghetti Bolognaise sauce.  They may not like chicken stew but they are quite happy with grilled chicken.  Melon or stewed pear might be rejected the first time because of the texture but served cold on a skewer on a hot summers day or chopped into fruit salad it might go down a treat.

8. If your children really don’t like a certain food, rather don’t focus on that food and turn it into a food war… work around the food and within reason work within their preferences.  As much as you can put the focus on how to get healthy food they love into them :)

Another Tasty Home Delivered Meal in Brisbane!

A customer emailed this pic in to us yesterday to say thanks, as he said it was delicious and really hit the spot for him after a long day!

The dish is Cashew Pesto Tagliatelle, Parmesan and Pine Nuts!  YUUUM!!

tagliatelle

 

 

Healthy Eating Tips for Parents – The Antidote to “Destroying Your Kids Lives”

“An antidote to the eating dilemma blog post: How to destroy your kids lives…”

Someone tagged me on facebook to an article entitled “How to Destroy Your Kids Lives”. I usually cringe momentarily wondering what I have been connected to and wondering if I am going to agree or disagree profoundly or be like – “mmeh”, usually the former.

The particular article was written by a mother, apparent personal trainer with some nutrition quals.  She describes a move Home delivered healthy meals for kids in Brisbanefrom an extreme scare mongering position on the terrors of junk food to a corrected position of a more moderate response to eating well most of the time and letting go some of the time. The article ends with a message that I might support, but the article is so full of guilt and accusation that it ignites such an emotional response by readers that it gets people’s back up and I fear the only useful message is lost.

The reality is this type of mother is the minority, the “obsessive controlling neurotic mother who is so terrified of unhealthy food she verges on disordered eating because food becomes such an obsession it affects her psychological well being” is not the mother I usually have to worry about or come face to face with. Although absolutely they can and usually do affect their poor children’s eating habits and lives.

Sadly the majority of parents I meet are of the view that it doesn’t matter or doesn’t hurt kids to consume unmonitored amounts of sweets or treats, because they are of the view “they are just kids and they are active so they can burn off the sugar” or because “it’s cruel to deprive them of sweets” or parents don’t have sufficient knowledge or grounding to know how to feed their kids well or tell the difference between what is nourishing and healthy and what is not, or because a healthy eating message feels boring or like too hard work. And often parents are being misled or fed confusing and conflicting messages about what is healthy.

The truth is the norm is no longer just eating junk or treat food at a party anymore, unhealthy snack food items now make up a huge one third of Australian children’s daily energy intake – that’s one-third that could be taken up by whole grains, whole foods, fruit or vegetables. And it doesn’t stop at snack food, fewer mums cook or prepare their families meals from scratch these days. We know that the increase in production and attractiveness of processed snack items and general groceries is a major contributor to this, but is there anything else that can influence a child’s eating patterns just as much, if not more?

Here’s my take on it and some research to give you a bit of a grounded position moving forward.

Strategy 1: Be a good role model:

how_to_teach_children_to_eat_healthy_1A recent study by Boots et al. (2015) found that parents can effectively shape their child’s eating behaviour and patterns by using modelling techniques. This means ensuring that parents model good and appropriate eating behaviours in front of their children. It is not just your words they respond to, they are watching you and learning from you.

Like it or not children will usually model their eating habits and attitudes to food off their parents first, then their peers and their environment.

Sit down together as a family to eat one meal a day at a set table.

Strategy 2: Availability Bias:

Children are more likely to eat what is easily available and visible. Make sure you are strategic about what you make readily available in terms of food in the home. Make sure that there is an adequate amount of healthy food and make junk and processed food scarce or store it out of sight. You are a nutrition gatekeeper, you can directly influence how nourished your child is by what you make available for them to choose from at home.

Parents have the greatest control over the food environment their children are exposed to.

Parents are nutritional gatekeepers, they have huge influence on how well nourished their children are.

Repeated exposure works, children will develop preferences for familiar food.

Taste is a driver for food preferences, and cleverly engineered junk food will often trump natural tasting food, so crowd out junk food or make it infrequently available.

Manage expectations that junk food is everyday food or available on tap.

Strategy 3: Restriction and control can backfire!

An interesting finding of the above study was that higher restrictive feeding practices were associated with poorer levels of child eating outcomes. In particular, when parents enforced clear standards of behaviour and structure and had low responsiveness, this tended to predict restrictive feeding. Restrictive feeding practices include restricting a child’s access to certain foods (usually unhealthy foods) in an attempt to make the child eat healthier. Sometimes it is also used if a child is acting with bad behaviour in an attempt to convince or bribe the child to stop the behaviour. A different study done by Durao et al. (2015) also produced findings in line with this. Maternal restriction was associated with an increased consumption of snacks and excessive unhealthy food intake. Interestingly, parental firmness and pressure to eat was associated with fruit, vegetable and dairy consumption above the recommendations.

Some pointers to unpack the above: what is useful you to take out of this?

Have reasonable boundaries, and encourage healthy eating practices.

– Teach them: we have to eat our healthy foods to nourish our bodies, so you can grow and play and learn and be strong.

– Don’t insist they finish everything on their plate.

– Do insist they choose and eat some sort of vegetables and fruit daily

– Never use food to reward or punish behaviour.

– Don’t make treats a habit or routine (e.g. don’ t condition them to expect something sweet every day after dinner.)

– Use words and explanations like sometimes foods, and everyday foods or healthy and not so healthy. They need to learn the difference.

– Allow them to have preferences, and work within those preferences to nourish them and feed them healthy choices everyday. They are more likely to choose healthy foods if they enjoy them.

– Feed them their favourite healthy foods they love to eat.

– If they ask for a treat, give them a small or reasonable serve and explain that if they want anything else to eat they will have to choose something healthy.

– It’s ok to say no sometimes, especially to unhealthy foods with little ones. You don’t want them filling up on unhealthy foods and then being malnourished because they don’t eat enough healthy foods.

Strategy 4: A new take on “emotional eating”

A recent study found that children chose healthier foods when the foods are emo-labelled (an image based labelling strategy using emoticons, happy face = healthy, sad face = unhealthy) (Privitera et al., 2015). Even if the child has food preferences, food choices seemed to be different when emo-labels were present. To bring this into the context of parenting, instead of restricting certain foods or telling your child that some foods are ‘bad’ for them, teach children to eat foods that will make them happy instead of sad. Children will be more likely to relate to these two basic emotions and relay them back to food choices

In summary, if you are parent and are looking for some tips and strategies to help your child choose healthier foods, studies show that positive parental modelling; parental firmness and ensuring that healthy food is readily available in the house are effective. In addition, the way you talk to your child about food may also be beneficial.

Finally get creative, you may be able to subtly influence your child to willingly choose healthy food, by sticking a smiley face on it. You could purchase happy face stickers and place them on your child’s plentiful healthy food options in their lunchbox to encourage them to eat the healthy foods before the other items (and try and limit the unhealthy options too). For example apples, a ziplock bag of fresh veggies with humus dip, yoghurt, a ziplock bag with chicken pieces in it, might all get happy stickers and then you might add a small treat which you would leave sticker-less or with a sad face on it. See what happens…

Now you have some more tips and knowledge to integrate into your family life. Happy eating!

Also see other articles I have written on healthy habits and tips for families.

References:

Boots, S., Tiggemann, M., Corsini, N., & Mattiske, J. (2015). Managing young children’s snack food intake. The role of parenting style and feeding strategies. Appetite, 92: 94-101.

Durao, C., Andreozzi, V., Oliveira, A., Moreira, P., Guerra, A., Barros, H., & Lopes, C. (2015). Maternal child-feeding practices and dietary inadequacy of 4-year-old children. Appetite, 92:15-23.

Healthy Diet Research. Is Fat or Protein Better For Appetite Control and Feeling Fuller Longer?

Fat vs Protein: Which One is Better for Appetite Control and Satiety?

high fat or high protein which is better for appetite control | www.healthymealstoyourdoor.com.au/beta

The foods that we choose to eat all have an effect on our health in some way. Our appetites vary from person to person and are influenced by sensations of hunger, our ‘learned’ patterns of eating and eating behaviour, our attitudes toward food and our particular food preferences. The types and levels of certain macronutrients that we consume also play an important role in appetite control.

Studies investigating the relationship between high-fat diets and appetite control have found mixed results. A study conducted in 2000 found that polyunsaturated fats (e.g. from fish) promoted stronger satiety compared to monounsaturated or saturated fats. It did this by decreasing a certain hunger hormone called MCH and thus seemed to delay the return of hunger pangs [1]. In line with these findings, another study uncovered that unsaturated fats (e.g. from nuts and avocado) can effectively curb feelings of hunger and increase fullness through the stimulation of OEA (a fat messenger) [2].

Note: that saturated fats have had a reputation for being ‘bad’ fats (because of a suspected relationship between over-consumption and heart disease).  Saturated fats that seem to be on the “cautionary list” are those found mainly in animal meats and products (butter, cream, cheese). Saturated fats typically are solid at room temperature and the term saturated comes from their composition.  Coconut oil, a saturated plant oil, although also deemed a saturated fat is the one consistent exception where a body of evidence links it’s consumption to health benefits.)

However, another study disputed this by stating that fat has a weaker effect on appetite control than other macro-nutrients like protein and carbohydrates [3]. What we do know is, the most important thing about fat is the type of fat that is being ingested. Unmodified plant fats tend to be healthiest. Unsaturated fats are more beneficial for health and are more effective at promoting satiety.

Now let’s consider protein. There is an abundance of research and evidence out there that shine a light on protein for the management of appetite and feelings of fullness. One such study is particularly interesting – when protein intake was increased from 15% to 30% over a period of 12 weeks, satiety levels increased significantly. In addition, body weight decreased by about 4.9kg, body fat by 3.7kg and random energy intake (snacking) was lowered by about 450 calories per day [4]. These results look pretty good for the amount of work that is needed. Another study found that eating a high-protein snack in the afternoon such as a yogurt will improve appetite control and decrease the amount of calories eaten for dinner (compared to when snacking on crackers or chocolate) [5].

We have two main hunger hormones working in our body – Leptin and Ghrelin. Leptin decreases appetite while ghrelin will increase it. Research has also revealed that a high-protein diet can suppress the ghrelin hormone more effectively than a high-fat diet, meaning lowered hunger levels!

To conclude, chances are that you can use protein in your diet to help with satiety.  You will notice that if you have had too little protein and you increase it you will start to see some changes in how effectively you can manage your appetite and a difference in how full you feel after each meal. If you prefer to eat a higher amount of fat than protein, make sure it’s coming predominantly unsaturated sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, oils and fish or predominantly from plants.

 

References:

[1] Lawton, L., Delargy, J., Brockman, J., Smith, C., & Blundell, E. (2000). The degree of saturation of fatty acids influences post-ingestive satiety. BrJ Nutrition, 83: 473-482.

[2] University of California. (2008). How fatty foods curb hunger. Science Daily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007123647.htm

[3] Bludell, J., Lawton, C., Cotton, J., Macdiarmid, J. (1996). Control of human appetite: implications for the intake of dietary fat. Annual Review of Nutrition, 16: 285-319. Retrieved from http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.nu.16.070196.001441?journalCode=nutr

[4] Weigle et. Al. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. Am J Clin Nutrition, 82(1): 41-48. Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/41.full

[5] Ortinau, H., Hoertel, H., Douglas, S., & Leidy, H. (2014). Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women. Journal Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.nutritionj.com/content/13/1/97

The Top Ten Most Filling Foods for Better Weight Control

Time Magazine recently listed the top 10 filling foods that can promote weight loss, making reference to foods that are low in calories but still satisfying. Items on the list included potatoes, eggs, Greek yogurt, figs, oatmeal, smoothies, bean soup, apples, popcorn and wheat berries. These foods will contribute toward satiety, due to their high-fibre content. But, there are a lot more foods out there that are equally satisfying and good for weight loss. A few that we like include barley, chia seeds, lentils and avocado.

Choosing foods that are satisfying and that help you feel fuller for longer help keep cravings at bay, stabilise your energy and help you manage your weight.

Feel fuller for longer | www.healthymealstoyourdoor.com.au/beta

Source:  Time Magazine

Are larger supermarkets partly to blame for obesity?

Could large supermarkets be having a detrimental effect on our health?

Are large supermarkets making us fat? | www.healthymealstoyourdoor.com.au/beta

There appears to be a direct correlation between how big a country’s supermarkets are and the number of obese people in that country.  A recent study of eight countries (comparatively affluent) found that the United States, New Zealand and Australia had the biggest supermarkets, and the highest prevalence’s of obesity (1).

These larger supermarkets seem to encourage two behaviors that directly impact obesity:

1.     People tend to shop less often (they buy more – in bulk),

2.     and they buy less healthy food, (because of a greater exposure to a variety of processed, convenient and packaged foods with a longer shelf life).

An article in The Conversation (2) suggests several ways in which our large supermarkets may be negatively impacting our health by influencing our behavior in the following ways:

1.     Causing consumers to shop less often, but buy more in bulk when they do shop.  And they also tend to buy less healthy food probably because it is perishable and can spoil.

2.     Modern society sees us using cars as modes of transport to and from the shopping centre, equalling less physical activity being done.

3.     These large supermarkets are often packed full of highly processed unhealthy items and marketing tactics that persuade us to impulse buy.

So, one obvious solution is to get healthy meals delivered to your home instead!  That way you avoid the risk of over-shopping and the temptation of unhealthy convenience foods.

Reference:

  1. Cameron, A., Waterlander, W. & Svastisalee, C.  The Correlation between supermarket size and national obesity prevalence. (2014: 1, 27).  BMC Obesity. http://www.biomedcentral.com/2052-9538/1/27
  2. Read more at The Conversation

 

You need both food and love

you need food and love to be free from emotional eating | www.healthymealstoyourdoor.com.au/betaFood is not something that simply stops us feeling hungry.  It is  an elemental human need.
So is love.
Together, they sustain and nourish us, providing fuel for our bodies and hearts and our lives, to grow and to fulfill their potential.
For this to happen, food must be authentic and real… and delicious, we feel.
But don’t get confused.
You can’t replace love with food and you can’t replace food with love.
You need both.
Feed your spirit, nurture yourself.
Feed your body, nourish  yourself.

Stop counting calories, instead focus on the nutrient quality of your food

Stop counting calories and start focusing on the quality of your food, says a recent article by Daily Mail Australia, and we have to agree (in general).  In particular, this article promotes a high-fat Mediterranean diet for health and weight loss.  It has been proven in evidence-based research that restriction and calorie counting alone does not help with weight loss, and may even prompt people to eat more, if the research isn’t enough to convince you, ask anyone who has ever been on a restrictive diet. The text also highlights the importance of unsaturated fats (oily fish, nuts and olive oil) as daily additions to our diet (which we know are essential for a healthy brain and heart).

However, we believe that a diet high in fruit and vegetables, that is naturally high in good plant based oils and fats and contains some healthy protein is the best way to tackle weight loss and promote health.  (We have based our meal plans on this philosophy… that’s why we focus on healthy delicious ingredients, and healthy meals… much more than we do on counting calories.)

Read more here: Daily Mail: Calories obession makes obesity crisis worse

The Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet

healthbensvegandiet

A recent article by Medical News Today wrote about the topic of veganism, including the difference between vegetarians and vegans and reasons for why people may turn vegan.

One of the reasons we love a vegan diet (or our vegan meal plan) is the health benefits. According to the article, cutting out animal fats and proteins decreases ones risk of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a range of other conditions. This information can definitely be supported by numerous studies and research, including a few that were mentioned in the article.

One study conducted by Food Technology explained how a vegan diet can significantly reduce ones genetic predisposition to chronic diseases1. These findings are very interesting and although the idea of being a vegan may probably be against the norm for some, we think this research deserves a few good reads.

It can be an effort eating well as a vegan and getting enough essential nutrients in, a lot of people find it too much effort, and some people love the idea in principal but find it very challenging to follow.

As a nutritionist I have helped guide many vegans on their quest to eat well, stay vegan and address concerns of becoming deficient in iron, protein, B12 or calcium.

If you are vegan already or you are thinking of making the change, over here at Healthy Meals to Your Door we have both vegetarian and vegan plans that can be delivered to your home, no work necessary!

1. Tarver, T.  (2012). The chronic disease food remedy. Food Technology, 66(10). Retrieved from http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2012/october/features/the-chronic-disease-food-remedy.aspx

2. Read the article at Medical News Today