Monthly Archives: July 2013

The healthiest ice cream ever!

Pleeeaaasse…..Can I have an ice cream Mum?

With this gorgeous summer weather we are having in the UK, also known as a heat wave (!), ice cream is something my girls are whining asking for EVERY day! As a dietitian, I feel uneasy about giving my children ice creams or ice-lollies every day but with this new gadget in my kitchen, I can make  ice cream for them every day and not feel guilty about it!

This has to be the healthiest ice cream I have ever come across as it is made from frozen fruit only and nothing else, but still has a lovely, creamy texture.

So what is this gadget?


The gadget is called ‘Yonanas’ and all you do is pop some fruit in the freezer, such as bananas (peeled), strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, mango, peaches, melon, etc. and then place the frozen fruit in the “chute” of the machine and it does the rest…see the pics below for how it turns out!

photo 1photo 3

The pictures above show a banana and mixed berry ice cream and a banana with mango and peaches. So they are suitable for dairy and soya free diets and super healthy for all children as they contain frozen fruit only and nothing else!

I also made some into “real” ice creams on a cone today which went down a treat…

photo 4

My other job…

My other job, other than writing this blog, is the Dietitian for a national charity called the NSPKU, which stands for the National Society for Phenylketonuria (PKU for short). PKU is a genetic condition, screened for just after birth (in the UK) and is treated with a special low protein diet. So when I came across the Yonanas machine, I was not only intrigued for my own children, but also for children and adults with PKU. As it is “ice cream” made from fruit only, people with PKU will be able to enjoy a ‘Yoananas ice cream’ too as they are low in protein….fantastic news!

In conclusion

I think this is the cleverest kitchen gadget I have seen for a long time and it is so simple. So if you would like to make fresh and healthy ice cream every day, why not try it out for yourself?


I have not been paid for this post and what I have written is purely my own opinion of this gadget. I bought the Yonanas machine myself and was not given one for free in exchange for a favourable review. I will always be open and honest about foods or gadgets that I have been asked to try out and write a review on.

I will be away in France for 2 weeks so will be taking a break from my blog…keep the feedback and suggestions coming!

Paula x 


What is a healthy packed lunch?


There has been a lot in the news in the UK recently about packed lunches, as there has been a suggestion that packed lunches should be banned! This is to encourage more children to have healthy school dinners, as packed lunches are allegedly full of unhealthy foods such as crisps and chocolates, according to a new report. But what is a healthy packed lunch?

As school is almost out for the summer (woohoo!)….packed lunches are about to become a thing of the past (for 6 weeks) but with all of this amazing weather we are currently experiencing in the UK, picnics are a popular lunch or dinner option. You could use these packed lunch ideas for picnics too.

So…what is a healthy packed lunch?

No surprises here, but it should contain a balance of foods from all the different food groups. Try combining ideas from the groups below for some tasty and different ideas for your child’s packed lunch.

Is your child tired of sandwiches? Here are some alternative ideas:

Pitta, Wraps, Rice cakes, Bagel (½), Pasta salad, Rice salad, Couscous, Bulgar wheat

Also try different types of breads – granary, brown, ‘best of both’, seeded, soda bread, rye bread, oat-based bread, etc so that you child does not get bored of one type.

Protein ideas:

Boiled egg, Cheese, Falafel or Hummus, Salmon or Tuna, Chicken, Lean beef, Peanut butter

Fruits and vegetables – all types (fresh, dried, frozen, tinned – in juice)

A drink – water preferable

Dairy products – eg. 150-200ml milk, 30g cheese (matchbox size), 150g pot of yoghurt

Some examples:

  • Falafel and hummus pitta with carrot sticks, baby tomatoes and peppers; fruit kebabs and yoghurt.
  • Lean beef mince in a wrap with mushrooms and peppers (can be leftovers from the night before); natural yoghurt with blueberries
  • Rice cakes with peanut butter and apple slices.; pot of yoghurt
  • Salmon and cream cheese bagel with cucumber; orange segments or grapes
  • Tuna pasta (or rice) salad with apple, gherkins and celery; cubes of cheese and raisins
  • Chicken and sweet corn sandwich on brown bread; cubes of melon and a Frube (squeezie yoghurt)
  • Boiled egg with plain crackers or oatcakes with side salad (carrots, baby tomatoes, cucumber) and fruit yoghurt
  • Couscous or bulgar wheat salad with cucumber, tomatoes, onion (chopped finely) with a lemon and olive oil dressing; add cubes of cheese and pineapple/mango slices for dessert

Remember to provide a drink of water with each packed lunch, especially in this hot weather we are having (in the UK)

TOP TIP: freeze a bottle of water or a squeezie yoghurt to place in the lunch box – it will keep all the other foods cool and will defrost by the time it is lunch time!

 Paula x


Why do toddlers refuse food?


Following on from an earlier post on ‘How to cope with fussy eaters’, I thought I would write a little bit about understanding food refusal as it can be a very emotive  subject for a lot of parents / carers.

The facts… The first thing to say is that food refusal is a normal part of toddler development and it is nothing that you as a parent have done or have not done! Phew, you can stop feeling guilty now, okay? There are perfectly good reasons why toddlers start to become suspicious of foods and why babies (less than 12 months) are more open to trying new foods:

  • Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, most babies are willing to try new and many different types of foods. They are naturally curious and want to try foods that you and other members of the family are eating. This is why it is so important to use this “window of opportunity” to offer lots of foods for your baby to try the taste and explore the texture. If a baby is not offered a variety of tastes and textures at this stage, they could go on to become fussy eaters.
  • After the age of 1 year, toddlers begin to develop a more cautious or suspicious view on food. This is called the ‘neophobic response to food’, which means that they become slightly wary of trying new foods. It is thought that this is a safety/survival mechanism to protect a child from eating something poisonous.

The good news… But the good news is that most toddlers grow out of this ‘neophobic’ phase and will develop a healthy attitude to foods if they see their siblings and parents/carers eating a wide variety of foods. You can imagine them thinking…“If it’s safe for them to eat, it must be safe for me, right?” The other piece of good news is that a child will need to try a food many times (up to 10-15 times) before they like the food! So if your child rejects a food, don’t give up on that food! Offer it again in a casual way and try the food yourself in front of your toddler. Try to stay as relaxed as possible!

A final note… If your child is an extremely faddy eater or is particularly sensitive to sound, touch or smells, they may be sensory-sensitive. Ask your GP to refer your child to a Paediatrician and they may recommend a Feeding Clinic. If you are worried about your child’s growth, speak to your GP or Health Visitor. I will be opening a Children’s Feeding Clinic soon – If you would like further information, please contact me on: P x 

More avocado please Mum!


My youngest daughter has recently discovered avocados and she loves them so much she wants to eat them everyday for lunch! I don’t mind as I love avocados too, but what makes it really great is that they are super healthy too…what a bonus!

So why is avocado such a healthy choice? And how can you encourage toddlers and young children to try new foods?

Health benefits of avocados

Avocado is high in fibre, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate and vitamin E.

Avocados also have almost all (84%) of their fat as the “good” type of fat or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. In addition, as an avocado fruit ripens, the “bad” fat or saturated fat decreases and the “good” fats increase.

They also contain substances called “phytochemicals” or plant chemicals, which are beneficial to health in a number of ways. Some examples of how avocados can improve your health include:

  • Heart health – avocados have been shown in clinical studies to have a positive effect on blood lipids. In addition, potassium in avocados has been shown to decrease blood pressure.
  • Healthy aging – several clinical studies have suggested that the plant chemicals in avocado may have protective effects on aging by protecting DNA (DNA is our genetic material which, if damaged, can contribute to aging).
  • Cancer – it has been suggested that the plant chemicals and antioxidant vitamins in avocados may have an “anti-cancer” effect.

So overall, avocado is a great addition to your diet….whatever your age!

How can I encourage my child to be more adventurous with foods?

Try these tips to encourage your child to try new foods and be adventurous with their choices:

  • Involve children in food preparation – they are more likely to try something they have helped prepare
  • Talk about food and where it comes from
  • Try growing veggies or fruit in your garden – children love watching things grow
  • Encourage children to touch or smell a food without any pressure to eat it
  • Enjoy a variety of foods yourself and your children will too!

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates

P x