Q and A

What breakfast cereal should I be eating?

Do you feel bamboozled by the ever expanding cereal aisle? Not sure what you should be looking for in a cereal?

You’re not alone. Supermarkets and food companies hope that you are confused so that you will succumb to strategic product placement, weekly specials, and clever marketing claims on front of packet. I am going to share some tips to ensure you are making the best purchase for your health, and the health of your family.

  1. More popular (and often less healthy) options will be placed at eye level and in abundance at the supermarket. These may also be found on special at the end of an aisle as part of a promotional stand. Try looking up, down and around at other options.
  2. To truly know what is in the cereal, take little notice of nutrition claims on the front, instead flip the product over and read the ingredient list, look for fewer ingredients. The more ingredients a product has, the more processed and refined it is likely to be.
  3. Ignore cartoon characters and pictures on the front, again these are there to entice kids and are often not the healthiest choice.
Image result for cereal
(Source: Pixabay)

Nutrients to look out for

Fat

Look for cereals that contain less than 10% fat on the nutrition panel (less than 10g/100g). Fats should predominately be healthy mono-unsaturated fats instead of saturated trans fats.

Sugar

Look for products that have less than 10g (2 teaspoons) of sugar per serve. If a cereal has more than this, check the ingredients to see if the sugar is naturally occurring or added sugar. Added sugar has many names, glucose syrup, dextrose, brown rice syrup, fructose to name a few.

Fibre

Breakfast should be contributing close to a third of your daily fibre intake, particularly if you are a three meals a day person. Fibre is therefore a really important nutrient to look out for when choosing a cereal, as many processed and Gluten Free options are lacking. Look for cereals that have 3g at a minimum per serve, but higher towards 6-7g is ideal. Inadequate fibre in a cereal will leave you hungry not long after eating, and can lead to over-eating.

Salt

Cereals that have less than 120mg per 100g serve can be classed as low sodium. This is an ideal range. If a cereal has more than this, try to keep it below 300mg at a maximum. Excess salt can cause fluid retention and bloating, not to mention extra pressure on your heart and kidneys.

I hope these few tips remove some of the confusion around breakfast cereal selection and get you thinking next time you hit the cereal aisle!

As always,thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).

This post first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog and was written by Madeleine Baumgart.

What breakfast cereal should I be eating?

Q and A

Q: Is ghee ok to eat as part of an Ayurvedic (yogi) diet?

Today’s question comes in response to my recent blog post on the paleo way of eating.

A.

As mentioned previously, ghee is clarified butter, made by reducing butter, removing the milk solids (lactose) leaving 65% saturated fat. Regular butter is around 50% saturated fat.

Ghee has been consumed for thousands of years in India and neighbouring countries as not only a food, but a type of medicinal product, revered for it’s nourishing and healing properties. If following a yogi diet (which includes ghee), it would be sensible to eat only small amounts to keep overall calories in check. If I had a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease or weight gain I would exercise caution with this product, and enjoy sparingly.

For heart health it is recommended to replace saturated fat with poly and monounsaturated fats in the diet, as these can help to raise the good cholesterol in your blood (HDL), and lower the bad cholesterol (LDL). These “good fats” come from foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and oils such as extra virgin olive oil (more on this later!).

Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine (THG).

 

 

Q and A

Q. What’s the best way to get kids to try new things, like new vegies?

A.

When feeding kids, I think there are two important things to remember.

Be persistent and consistent. 

It is quite common for toddlers and young children to start exerting their independence by refusing certain foods, or frequently changing what their favourite food is. One week it’s cheese toasted sandwiches, then the next they hate cheese, but want strawberry jam, no crusts! Sound familiar?

When introducing a new food to a child, the key factor is repeated exposure. It could take up to 15 times before a child even samples the item, so don’t give up.

  • Continue to place a small amount on the child’s plate, for example one broccoli floret, so as not to overwhelm. And as you have probably heard before, try not to make a fuss. If the child refuses the item, gently remind him/her that it will stay on the plate until they finish the rest of the meal.
  • If it is a vegetable that you are introducing, try cooking it differently as some children prefer different textures, much like adults! You could roast, steam, boil or bake.
  • This last tip is a tried and trusted method, if all else fails, hide the vegetables! It will be much better for the child long term if they do accept and eat vegetables once sleepovers, school camps and parties start happening. But if this is just not happening, permission to get sneaky is granted. Try grating carrots, onion or zucchini in a spaghetti bolognaise or lasagne. Puree vegetables such as roasted beetroot or sweet potato and add feta, or try using avocado in a smoothie. Grated beetroot also hides really well in chocolate cakes or brownies.

Remember that is is normal and healthy for your child to put up resistance, so you are not alone! Remember to maintain control.

For more tips be sure to check out a blog on health eating for children, titled Little Tummy Tucker. The articles are written by Kate Di Prima, a very knowledgable Dietitian who writes on fussy eating and has a book titled More Peas Please, available from Allen and Unwin.

I’d love to hear if you have any of your own tips?

Thanks for stopping by, Madeleine.