Monthly Archives: November 2013

Children’s Nutrition Clinic

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I am very excited to announce my new venture…Tiny Tots Nutrition!

I will be based at the Groves Medical Centre, New Malden, Surrey KT3 on wednesday mornings from early December.

I have 16 years experience in all aspects of paediatric nutrition and will see children presenting with faltering growth, iron deficiency, fussy eaters, food allergies, gastro-oesophageal reflux, weaning advice, feeding problems and any other queries relating to your child’s nutrition!

Please give me a call or drop me an email if you would like to ask a question about your child’s nutrition or if you would like to come and see me!

Paula x 

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Winter Warmers!

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Now that the weather has definitely turned chilly, my girls and I have been making some hearty, filling and healthy foods to warm us up from the inside out!

I’ve been making a lot of soups, stews and casseroles in the slow cooker as I can put this on when I am working from home and by the end of the day ‘voila’ dinner is ready!

Stewed fruits

My mum used to make stewed fruits for us when I was growing up as a dessert served with custard. I like to stew dried apricots, dried apples and prunes (but any dried fruits will do) with a little cinnamon and then puree the mixture. Add a few spoonfuls of this mixture to oats porridge in the morning for a tasty and healthy breakfast that will give your children a great start to the school day.

You could also add the stewed fruit puree to natural yoghurt as a delicious dessert.

Tomato soup with cheesy scones

I love this tomato soup recipe!  It is from one of my favourite recipe books called ‘The English Summer Cookbook’ by Thane Prince. It is so simple; I could hardly believe how easy it was when I ready the recipe for the first time!

Ingredients:

3-4 Tbs Olive Oil

4 medium shallots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2kg ripe tomatoes on the vine, roughly chopped

Few sprigs of tarragon or basil

1 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil and add the shallots and garlic – gently stew over a moderate heat until softened (no need to brown). Add the tomatoes plus the tarragon/basil.
  2. Add the sugar (just enough to take the tartness away) and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes until soft and very thick. Yum!
  4. Now whizz up the mixture (I used a Braun hand-held electric mixer) and if you want to you can sieve the soup to get rid of the pips but I don’t bother!
  5. You can add a little water/stock if it is too thick or enjoy it as is…it is delicious with some crusty bread or cheese scones (see below)!

Healthy, Cheesy Scones

We love to eat these straight from the oven when they are still warm with the tomato soup above or any other soup. It makes a lovely family meal on the weekend!

Ingredients:

255g plain flour – I use 200g plain flour + 55g wholemeal flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

¼ tsp dry mustard powder

½ cup grated mature cheddar

150g natural yoghurt

5 Tbs sunflower or olive oil

1 small egg – beaten to glaze

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220oC/Gas mark 7
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, including the cheese
  3. Add the yoghurt and oil to the dry ingredients and combine to form a dough
  4. Knead the dough briefly and press out the dough to about 1cm depth
  5. Next fold the dough in half and use scone cutters to cut out about 6-8 scones (depending on size)
  6. Brush with the beaten egg to glaze and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
  7. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed these recipes – let me know if there are any other recipes you have to share with me or that you would like to see on my blog!

Paula x

Drinks for toddlers

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We all know that water is essential for children (and adults!) but how much do they need? And what fluids should we be giving our children? What if they don’t like water? Hopefully I will be able to answer these and other questions below! I have also included a few tips for getting your child to like water.

Why do we need fluids?

Of course we all know that water is essential for survival but why? Fluids are an essential component of the diet to maintain hydration, aid digestion and absorption and to protect against constipation. Children lose water through sweating, urine, faeces and even breathing! This fluid needs to be replaced in order for the organs to function properly.

How much fluid do children need?

Toddlers and children should be offered 6-8 drinks per day – the size of the drink will depend on the age of the child. For toddlers 100-120ml per drink is a suitable size and for older children 150-180ml at each drink is suitable. Of course a child will need additional fluids if they have been doing extra physical activity or in very hot weather.

What types of fluids are suitable?

Water is the ideal choice, as it contains no sugar or acid that can both damage teeth. Tap water is absolutely fine (in the UK) and is suitable for toddlers and all children to drink. Water should always be the drink of choice for quenching thirst.

What about milk as a drink?

Milk is also a suitable drink for toddlers but make sure they are not drinking too much milk as this can decrease their appetite for food and decrease iron absorption. See my previous post on ‘Milk…how much is enough?’

Toddlers under 2 years of age should be given full cream / whole milk as lower fat milks do not contain enough vitamin A (a fat soluble vitamin).

Infants (children under the age of 1) should be given breast milk or formula milk as their “milk” as cow’s milk does not contain the correct balance of nutrients for infants (it is too high in protein and some salts as well as too low in certain vitamins and iron).

What about pure unsweetened 100% fruit juice?

Pure fruit juices are a good source of vitamin C, which can help the body absorb iron. However, fruit juices have also been shown to be acidic and can therefore erode tooth enamel in young children. If you are going to give fruit juices, make sure they are very well diluted with plenty of water (one part juice to about 6-10 parts water) and are given with meals, not between meals.

Tips for helping your child like water

  • Start to offer water when you wean your child (approximately 6 months of age)
  • Offer water at each meal and snack (regularly)
  • If you want to give some diluted fruit juice, offer it with meals and offer water between meals
  • Drink water yourself and with the children so that they see you drinking it!
  • Be positive about drinking water!

Paula x 

Pumpkin fritters

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This is a fun post about Pumpkin Fritters…a delicious way to use up leftover pumpkins from Halloween!

It is also a South African recipe and reminds me of my childhood growing up in Cape Town as my mum used to make these for me, my brother and my sister. We used to have it topped with a little cinnamon sugar but you can also top it with some plain yoghurt and raisins with a sprinkle of cinnamon as a healthier alternative.

My mum’s pumpkin fritters!

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked pumpkin

1/2 cup plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

2 large eggs

Method:

1. Cook the pumpkin until it is very soft and mash/mix in a food processor until smooth.

2. Add the dry ingredients and mix

3. Beat the eggs together, add to the pumpkin mixture and mix well

4. Spoon the batter into a hot pan and cook until golden brown

5. Serve with some cinnamon sugar sprinkled over each fritter

Enjoy! 

Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene (the precursor of vitamin A which gives pumpkin it’s deep orange colour),vitamin A and other antioxidants….all good stuff for children and adults alike!

NOTE:

– To make a low protein version of Pumpkin Fritters – use low protein flour instead of plain and 2 tsp egg replacer instead of eggs. This will make it PKU-friendly! (see http://www.nspku.org for more information on PKU)

Paula x