Delicious fluffy pancakes made with yogurt for an added protein boost and sweetened only with honey. Perfect for a snack or breakfast for the whole family.
You really can’t beat strawberries at this time of year. Big and juicy, they are absolutely delicious and because they are in season you can buy them for much cheaper as well. I’ve been taking advantage by making as many strawberry recipes as possible, as well as just eating them straight from the punnet!
The word “healthy” is so subjective. So what does it actually mean to me when it comes to feeding my family.
I’ve been mentally writing this post in my head for weeks now but it’s time I just got all my thoughts out in words, however coherent or not they might be! Recently I’ve been getting some push back from people on my blog, but especially on social media, about some of my recipes and meal ideas
A delicious No Bake Cheesecake made with Loacker wafers and a biscuit base and topped with more wafers and fresh fruit. The perfect dessert to make this summer!
If you are looking for a tasty and fun dessert or snack to make with the kids this summer then I have the best recipe for you. I’ve teamed up with Loacker to make this delicious no bake cheesecake packed with their delicious wafers.
Feeding kids out and about over the summer can be expensive and there are often very few healthy options. Here are my top tips on making a fun and nutritious Summer Snack Box to take with you on days out or when travelling! (Sponsored Post)
There’s no doubt that the summer holidays can be expensive for parents. With the kids off school for several weeks, they need to be entertained more than usual and the cost of days seems to be getting more and more. Most parents also notice a big increase in their food bills. Children are eating at home more, there may be more meals eaten out at restaurants and of course their constant request for snacks soon add up!
Healthy Eating Week and the importance of family mealtimes with Uncle Bens and Dolmio (sponsored post)
This week just gone was Healthy Eating Week here in the UK and I partnered up with Uncle Bens and Dolmio to talk about the important role that dinnertime plays in fostering a happy and healthy relationship with food for the whole family.
Modern life is very hectic and it is so easy for several days to pass by without everyone sitting down to eat together. With different work and school schedules this can be impossible some days, but it is important to grab some time every week when everyone can enjoy a meal together as a family. It has so many benefits for everyone.
Benefits of cooking & eating together:
1. Nutrition – cooking together as a family helps kids to understand the importance of a nutritional and balanced diet and can encourage them to explore healthier meal options. If a child is involved in the process of making a meal, then they are much more likely to show an interest in eating it.
2. Family bonding – dinnertime is the ideal time for busy families to come together and communicate over good food, even if it is only for 10 or 15 minutes in a day.
3. Health & Wellbeing – preparing meals together and sitting down to share and enjoy food can have a very positive affect on parent-child relationships.
4. Adolescent Wellbeing – finding the right time and route in to talk to teenagers can be very difficult for parents. The time spent preparing and cooking family meals provides a non-confrontational space in which to facilitate important conversations.
This week I’ve worked with Uncle Bens and Dolmio to create two quick and easy family meals that can be whipped up in 20 minutes or less and are perfect for getting everyone pitching in, helping out and enjoying good healthy food together.
The first recipe I created was a One Pan Cheesy Broccoli Rice. Made using Uncle Bens Express Long Grain Rice, this recipe is ready in just 10 mins and it all cooks together in one pan, meaning less washing up afterwards! It’s delicious, comforting, super speedy and my kids love it. Plus it contains two portions of veggies!
The second recipe was my One Pot Sausage & Veggie Spaghetti. Made with Dolmio Original Bolognese Sauce, it’s packed with vegetables and makes a tasty and nutritious mid week meal that the whole family will love. And again there is minimal washing up!
To assist in my understanding of family mealtimes can contribute to the overall wellbeing of the whole family, I spoke to UK Mars Food Expert Lucy Jones
1. What are the main benefits of eating together as a family.
Eating together as a family has benefits far above those associated with a balanced meal. It provides protected time as a family to talk about events, worries or feelings; allowing families to support one another and strengthen the bonds between them. It is one of the last havens from the interruptions of devices from TV to computers to phones, meaning you have each other’s undivided attention.
Children learn from watching and doing so from their parents and siblings, they can learn an appreciation for different varied foods and meals, how to cook and prepare a meal and how to respect time together. One of the mainstays of overcoming faddy eating habits is modelling good eating behaviours and repeated exposure to new foods; two techniques easily accomplished when eating together as a family.
2. If it’s not possible for a family to sit down and eat dinner together every evening, what’s the next best thing, or how else can they get the benefits.
Busy lives and working to different schedules can make eating together as a family challenging on a day to day basis. Try to set days in the week where you can all eat together such as the weekend and then during the week, make sure you still sit with your child whilst they eat, without distractions, giving them the time to talk.
Getting your children involved in meal planning for the week, shopping, prepping, growing, cooking and the dinnertime chores like setting the table and clearing the dishes can reap similar benefits if done together, as a team as helps them to understand the importance of a balanced meal and the effort that goes in to prioritise it. Even if you can’t eat together every day, making sure there are still times in the week you do can make a big difference.
3. What are your tips for making healthy mealtimes less stressful and more fun for families.
Have expectations that are realistic for the time you have. Its no good trying to cook a roast if you have half an hour before you need to get them in the bath and prepped for bed. There is nothing more stressful than trying to rush through the evening routine. Therefore, prep ahead where you can, making the most of batch cooking at weekends; stuff like bolognese that you can pair with some quick rice or pasta or bringing in the genius of a slow cooker that can be popped on in the morning before you all set off.
If short on time, go for quick options like omelette and salad or a stir fry with microwave rice. Try to keep it fun and add in an element of gamefication like splitting the table into 2 halves and see who can set their half the best (not quickest if you want any unbroken plates left). Make sure everyone gets involved and plays a role – this keeps it more enjoyable and increases the time you spend together too.
Children often love helping in the kitchen, whether breaking eggs, stirring ingredients or helping to dish up so try to involve them as much as you can. Most of all, keep the conversation positive and no arguing. Mealtimes are a time for peace and enjoyment, save the more challenging chats for later.
Disclosure: I have worked with UK Mars on this campaign for Healthy Eating Week but as always all thoughts are honest and are my own.
A quick and easy one pan family meal ready in just 10 minutes
1 garlic clove
150ml veg stock (low or no sodium)
2 pouches Uncle Bens Express Long Grain Rice
100g creme fraiche
a small amount of grated cheese (can use low fat)
1. Add the oil and onion to a large pan and fry for 2 minutes until soft.
2. Add the garlic, broccoli and courgette and cook for another minute.
3. Pour in the stock and milk, pop on a lid and leave to cook for 4 minutes or until the veggies are soft.
4. Mix in the Uncle Bens Express Long Grain Rice pouches and cook for a couple of minutes until the rice has warmed through.
5. Finally stir in the creme fraiche and grated cheese and serve immediately.
A delicious spaghetti dinner all cooked together in one pot!
1 tsp Oil
300g Chicken Sausages
1 Red Pepper
600ml Veg Stock (low or no sodium)
1 jar Dolmio Bolognese Sauce
1. Add the oil and chopped sausages to a large pan and fry for 6-7 minutes until browned.
2. Add the red pepper, courgette, spaghetti, stock and Dolmio and stir until everything is well combined.
3. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the spaghetti is cooked and the stock has been absorbed.
4. Add in the peas, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Create an impressive three course dinner party meal with minimal fuss thanks to Discover Delicious Wales (sponsored post)
If you enjoy having friends round for dinner parties but always dread the planning and cooking part, then you’re going to love today’s post! I’ve teamed up with Discover Delicious Wales, the online marketplace that celebrates and promotes the incredible artisan food and drinks producers of Wales.
The website allows people from all over the UK to buy Welsh products that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to find.
Discover Delicious Wales challenged me to create a three course dinner party menu that was impressive and super tasty yet easy to put together.
All of the products shown here came from the Discover Delicious website and can be ordered online. They arrived in this beautiful hamper which was a lovely change from my usual online grocery shop!
The website has a wide variety of produce, from meat & poultry to cheese and other dairy products, store cupboard essentials, snacks and desserts and even drinks.
There was so much choice it took me quite some time to finalise my menu but in the end I settled on:
Starter – Beetroot Bombs with Salad Leaves
For the starter I decided to go with these delicious Beetroot Bombs. They are a delicious combination of beetroot, carrot and spices and are the perfect no-fuss starter; just put them in the oven for 20 minutes and serve with some salad leaves and a horseradish dip on the side.
These Beetroot Bombs come in a box of six but you can freeze any that you don’t want to immediately use.
Mains – Chilli & Garlic Rubbed Roast Chicken with Umami Wedges & Kale
The main course went down an absolute storm and I’ve included the full recipe at the bottom of this post if you’d like to try it out for yourself. The combination of classic ingredients with a modern foodie spin worked really well and everyone was very impressed!
We washed it down with some bottles of Hallets Cider which felt the perfect drink to have at this time of year.
Dessert – Vanilla Ice Cream with a Salted Caramel Drizzle and Peanut Butter Chocolate
Although I love to cook, I have to admit that desserts are not my forte. So I was really pleased to see that Discover Delicious Wales had lots of ingredients on their site which could help me pull off the perfect dessert to end our meal.
Fruity Raspberry Ripple Frozen Yogurt Bark; an easy and fun snack to make this summer! (sponsored post)
At this time of year there’s nothing better than frozen treats to help cool you down in the summer sun. My family loves ice cream and I’m sure my kids would eat it several times a day given the chance! But in the interests of balance and moderation I’m always trying to come up with other new and exciting snacks for them to try.
15 Easy & Delicious Smoothies that even picky eating kids will love!
One of the most frequently used electrical items in my kitchen is my blender and a lot of the time it’s used for making smoothies.
One of the reasons I love smoothies so much is that they are so versatile.
Not only are they a fantastic way of packing in loads of healthy and nutritious fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and even grains (that they might otherwise refuse if served on a plate!) into your child’s diet, they are easy and quick to put together which is always a plus when you have a busy family lifestyle.
Add to this the fact that the flavour and ingredient combinations are pretty much infinite and generally adaptable depending on your tastes and dietary requirements, they really are a brilliant, quick and easy breakfast for when you are running short on time or can also be served as a healthy snack.
Like I said, the flavour combinations are pretty much endless but with kid’s in mind, I’ve put together my favourite 15 kid-approved smoothies for you!
Spinach, pear, dates, ginger and water make up this vibrant smoothie. You can either serve it in a glass or poured into bowls with a good dollop of greek yoghurt and some linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds to make more of a meal out of it!
A delicious and refreshing recipe for a Coconut & Berry Smoothie made with coconut milk, coconut water, frozen banana and berries. This smoothie isn’t just confined to the morning and would make an excellent after-school snack.
Also try this smoothie with frozen pineapple or peaches swapped with the mango, to switch up the taste… any yellow fruit will work! This is an easy recipe for kids of all ages to help with! Adding ingredients, measuring, pressing blender buttons, and sampling…
Get your morning off to a healthy but tasty start with this Choco Banana Breakfast Smoothie. It’s packed full of energy with the oats and banana giving kids a natural energy boost, yet low GI too, giving sustained release throughout the morning.
A frozen smoothie fit for superheroes. Blended frozen bananas, strawberries, spinach and almond milk make this smoothie as delicious as it is vibrant. This recipe uses almond milk, making it vegan friendly, but you can also use coconut milk or cows milk too.
A green smoothie in disguise! Thanks to the bright purple hue from blueberries, no one has to know that this smoothie is packed with spinach! A great smoothie for kids, toddlers and nervous adults alike!
A delicious and healthy kid-friendly Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie packed with hidden spinach and flaxseed for extra nutrition! It’s so quick and easy to make and is a great after school snack for kids.