No Bake Energy Boosting Date Balls

Raw food and no baking is becoming very popular. I am always experimenting in different ingredients to make healthy nutritious snacks for my children.

When I was diagnosed with Cancer last year, I researched what food the body needs to help fight those¬†bad cells. As a family we changed our diet and now consume more foods that are not baked and that are raw, with no added GMO and organic. Does it help? I don’t know but it tastes good and we do feel more healthier.

These energy balls are mostly made from medjool dates that are high in fibre and an energy booster. They are simple and quick to make and are super healthy.

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Ingredients:

  • 24 Medjool dates (or similar) de-pitted
  • 2 tbsp refined Coconut oil
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 2tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 3 heaped tbsp organic oats
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1tbsp chia seeds

Method:

Place the dates and coconut oil into a blender and blitz to a paste, add in a little bit of water to smooth it up.

Add in the peanut butter and ground almonds and blitz to combine it all.

Empty into a bowl. Mix in the cacao powder, maple syrup, oats and chia seeds.

Place in the fridge for half hour.

These balls are quite oily because of the coconut oil.

Take out of the fridge and take a heaped tsp and shape within the palm of your hands to make a ball.

Wrap each ball in some cling film and store in the fridge.

 

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These balls are ideal for grab and go food as they are stored in the fridge and wrapped in cling film it makes it easy for the children to grab a healthy snack when they need one.

They are high in fibre, minerals and vitamins promoting a healthy bowel. They also provide energy for people who suffer from anemia.

As long as you have the base of the dates and coconut oil you can experiment with adding in different ingredients. Our next one we are going to add in desiccated coconut or even roll the balls in the coconut or cacao powder. You could even add in dried fruit.

Thank you for reading ūüôā

 

Breakfast Survival

Do you struggle with your children in the morning to get them to eat their breakfast?

My mornings are like competing a mini obstacle course when it comes to organising the boys, with three boys all under the age of 11, it’s not an easy task!

  • First I have to awake them from their warm comfy beds, which is survival in itself having to enter their bedrooms (the youngest would happily stay there all morning)
  • Secondly I have to get them all washed and dressed
  • Then I have to prepare their pack lunches, trying to put a balance of healthy foods and snacks in them

Whilst I am doing this all 3 of them will be climbing up the banisters, hanging from door ways, shouting at each other and trying to get past me to the back door so they can go out for a morning jump on the trampoline (My house is like a Jungle full of monkeys)

  • Then I have to get them all to sit down at the ¬†table to eat their breakfast cereal, but only after they have raided the cupboard for their choice of breakfast.

This is the only time in the morning that they are calm and sitting down and it’s the only time from when they have woken up that I may get a chance to sip my coffee (which by now is cold!)

  • Once breakfast has been consumed, teeth have been brushed, book bags been checked and any last minute work added to the homework/reading books we are ready to leave the house.

Having a nutritional breakfast is an important part of the day, it sets you up for the rest of the day. The boys need to eat something that is quick but filling to get them through their tough morning at school til lunch time. I always make sure that we have a good selection of cereals for the boys, our cupboard is always full of cereal boxes their favourite being Shreddies.

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According to new research by Nestle Cereals, 70% of families have less than an hour to get ready for school, I totally agree with this and the more children you have to get ready the harder the routine gets, But we always make time to eat out breakfast! Eating their cereal means that they are getting a good start to the day and taking in important nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that Shreddies contain 8 vitamins and minerals, and are low in saturated fats and are a great source of fibre?

Did you know that Cheerios are a great source of 9 vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and vitamin D?

Celebrity Mum, Marina Fogle, says: ” Just like most families, sometimes we find it hard to navigate the jungle of the morning routine. But, however busy we are, making time for a nutritious breakfast is a key. A bowl of cereal is not just quick and easy but a source of important nutrients my family needs to start the day in a nutritious balanced way.”

“My husband is best known for travelling to remote locations and being a survival expert, putting himself through his paces, but back at home I’m a survival expert as a mum!”

To support other parents looking for help to survive the jungle of family breakfast, Marina has teamed up with Nestle Cereals to launch ‘Breakfast Survival Guide’, full of tips and advice.

 HOW ELSE CAN I GET MY ESSENTIAL VITAMINS?

How about eating some bugs! Did you know that bugs, grubs and plants from the jungle are packed with vitamins and minerals!

Kids love eating weird and wacky things, A Mopane Caterpillar is a good source of iron and the root of a Bulrush might be a great way get your fibre, or you could eat 100 Jewel Beetles for a great source of calcium.

We was invited along to A breakfast Survival event run by Nestle Cereals, where we got to go on an exciting exhibition through the jungle of the family breakfast routine. The boys had a blast meeting some wonderful creepy crawlies, tasting some of the alternative choices of a jungle cereal and we even got to meet Marina Fogle and renowned nutritionist, Juliette Kellow who were around to answer any of our questions.

Jak tasting a BBQ bamboo worm
Jak tasting a BBQ bamboo worm

 

Holding a Millipede
Holding a Millipede

 

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What breakfast would you prefer?

The eldest and I tasted all of the bugs, they wasn’t as bad as i thought they would be but we still would prefer to eat a bowl of cheerios any day! Whilst we was tucking away into our nutritional helping of bugs, Joseph was sitting in the next room tucking into a bowl of his favourite Shreddies.

Not only does Nestle Cereal make the perfect choice of breakfast but they are also ideal to put into pack lunches for the children to snack on.

Do you have any tip to make mornings that little bit easier? Why not share them on twitter using the hashtag #BreakfastSurvival

We was invited along to the event for the purpose of this post, thank you to Red Consultancy and Nestle for a lovely interesting and yummy afternoon.

 

 

 

 

Vitamin D Day 31 March 2013

FIRST UK VITAMIN D DAY LAUNCHED TO EDUCATE PARENTS

Vitamin D Day to shine spotlight on vitamin D

¬†At the dawn of British summertime 2013, growingupmilkinfo.com launches the UK’s first Vitamin D Day (31 March) to raise awareness about the importance of the vitamin for toddler development. I recently wrote about how we get our recommended dose of the sunshine vitamin Here

With a recent survey highlighting that the majority of UK mums (91%)¬† don’t know the recommended daily intake of vitamin D for toddlers, Vitamin D Day has been created to address misconceptions, and educate the nation’s parents, about the role of diet in providing the essential vitamin.

Health expert and ITV’s This Morning regular, Dr Chris Steele, who is backing Vitamin D Day, stressed the importance of dietary intake of vitamin D for toddlers. He said: “Many parents don’t know how much vitamin D is needed for the normal growth of toddler bones and teeth.

growing up

He added: “The low levels of vitamin D in toddler diets is a growing health concern and we need to ensure that our toddlers are getting the best from their diets. Presently, the average British toddler is only getting 27% of their recommended daily dietary vitamin D intake ii and the sun cannot be relied upon alone to fulfil a toddler’s vitamin D needs.”

Vitamin D Day aims to educate Brits on the food sources, like oily fish, liver and eggs, as well as foods and milks fortified with vitamin D, such as fortified breakfast cereals and Growing Up Milk, to help top-up vitamin D levels in our little ones’ diets.

To support Vitamin D Day growingupmilkinfo.com has launched its new website which includes vitamin D rich recipes for toddlers and expert health advice and tips, as well as a vitamin D Q&A video with Dr Chris Steele.

Dr Chris Steele raises a beaker to support the UK's first Vitami

 

For more information on the importance Vitamin D and toddler nutrition, visit www.growingupmilkinfo.com.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Children need Vitamin D to help their bones develop properly, grow and stay strong. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium which helps us to build strong teeth and bones. A deficiency in Vitamin D at an early age can lead to a child developing rickets (a bone deformity), delayed motor skills, aches and pains and future bone fractures.

We get about 80% of our Vitamin D recommendation from the suns Ultra Violet (UVB) rays, when the sunshines on our skin our bodies make the Vitamin D, although if the sun is low lying or it is a cloudy, foggy day then our bodies will struggle to make the Vitamin so we need source it from other materials either by suppliments as an adult or from a food source.

Regardless of age a child’s Vitamin D daily requirement is 10 micrograms/400iu

Good Sources of Vitamin D:

  • Oily fish like Salmon and Tuna
  • Egg Yolk
  • Orange Juice
  • Fortified Milk (Formula)
  • Breakfast Cereal
  • Meat
  • Fortified Margarine

How we get our Vitamin D:

Get Active: 10-15 minutes of play a day outside, receiving sun exposure on your arms and legs should be enough for your Vitamin D requirement, remember to apply sunscreen on really hot days. 2-3 days a week during the summer months (April-October) should be enough to get the sufficient amount of Vitamin D.

Eat Healthy: Eating a balanced diet which is rich in dairy and fish

Formula Milk: Infant formula milk is already fortified with Vitamin D and if your child is drinking about a pint (500ml) a day then they will be receiving enough of their daily Vitamin D without having to supplement their diet.

Oliver my 19 month old boy still drinks two bottles of 6oz growing up milk a day, one in the morning after breakfast and one in the evening just before bed, so I ensure he gets the rest of his recommended dosage by giving him a balanced diet. We eat fish twice a week, once on a Friday and another day it will be tuna with pasta, which Oliver prefers to eat over¬†chicken,¬†he drinks lots of orange juice and loves his breakfast cereal so I¬†make sure¬†that it is one that is fortified with Vitamin D. Oliver is¬†a very active boy who is full of energy and is always running and climbing I want to make sure that he stays strong and healthy so he doesn’t at an older age have weak bones. Oliver loves to be in the great outdoors and the weather is nice he will spend most of his time digging playing in the garden, if the suns rays are¬†strong I do take precaution and rub suncream onto his skin, although in order for our bodies to get the sufficient amount of vitamin D from the rays the exposure needs to be without sunscreen.

How would you recommend that we receive our Vitamin D requirement?