How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon (Guest Post)

How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon (Guest Post)

Today’s guest-post is written by a friend of mine Mandy Sacher of  Wholesome Child, who is a qualified nutritionist specialising in children’s health.

As a busy mother of 3 young children (8, 5 and 4 years old) who are very fussy eaters, I struggle to come up with healthy and varied options at mealtimes that actually get enjoyed.  As Mandy explains in her  article below,  Salmon is a wonderful super food that can really benefit the health of our children.  She has shares some great tips on how to include more salmon into your family’s diet.  You will also find below my recipe for The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon and Noodles our go-to favourite salmon recipe – one of the few dinners that gets demolished every time.  I hope you enjoy this post!

How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon

By Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child

Salmon is a super brain boosting food for babies and children.  It is rich in omega-3-fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are essential for developing brains. These types of oils are found in breast milk and are always added to infant and follow-on-formulas. Recent studies show that children whose diets are rich in these essential fatty acids achieve better results at school – especially in the areas of reading and memory performance. Evidence has also shown that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behaviour/learning disabilities are more likely to have diets which are low in omega-3’s and would benefit from increasing their DHA levels.

Not only are these essential oils important for brain health, they are also crucial for healthy eye development and strong immune systems as they ward off inflammatory childhood diseases. One of the best ways to ensure they are getting enough of these fatty acids in their diets is to bump up their salmon intake.  However, when choosing salmon – especially for babies and small children – it is important to take note of where it comes from and how it is fed.  Many farmed salmon are fed pellets which contain genetically-modified grains and fats such as soy, corn and canola oil.  Synthetic dyes may also be added to their feed to give their flesh that attractive pink colour and there is a widespread use of antibiotics and other chemicals which are not found in high quality premium grade salmon such as wild salmon or organic salmon.

Most parents reading this article are thinking “I am aware of the health benefits of salmon but how do I get my children to eat more of it?”   Here are Wholesome Child’s Top 10 ways to get kids to eat more salmon.  Many of these recipes are perfect for healthy lunchbox meals.

  • The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon with Noodles (see below or click here for recipe)
  • Coconut crumbed salmon nuggets with dipping sauces such as home-made tomato sauce, tzatziki or beetroot hummus.
  • Spelt pasta spirals with creamy salmon and cheese sauce (great for winter, if your school does not heat food up send in a thermos).
  • Tasty salmon hamburger patties served on a sourdough spelt bun or in a wrap.
  • Savoury salmon and veggie mini- muffins.
  • Home-made cooked salmon sushi rolls.
  • Goat cheese, pumpkin and salmon mini-quiches
  • Rice paper rolls with cooked salmon and buckwheat soba noodles.
  • Salmon sandwich: layer sandwich with flaked salmon, crème fraiche, Dijon mustard and sweet potato puree
  • Salmon Shepherd pies are a great alternative to meat.
  • Salmon lasagne with plenty of vegetables.

So which is the best salmon for kids?  Many parents who are concerned about mercury levels, taste (compliance – getting their kids to eat it) prefer organic salmon to commercially farmed salmon and wild salmon.

Organic Norwegian Salmon is reared in the ocean in their natural habitat and there are 50% less salmon per habitat than non-organic salmon. They are free to eat natural occurring food sources within the ocean that flow into their estuaries and they are reared on 100% organic feed, which is fit for human consumption (100% sustainable).  There are no pesticides, no chemicals, no synthetic dyes and no nitrates. It’s really important when recommending fish for pregnant women, infants and children that we know exactly what the mercury, dioxin and PCB levels are and where our salmon come from.

About The Author:

Mandy Sacher is a paediatric nutritionist and health writer, who sources quality products for her clients.  She has had over 15 years of experience in the health industry and is the founder of Wholesome Child – helping parents to feed their children RIGHT from the start!

Mandy stocks the best quality organic salmon and is located in Rose Bay, Rozelle and delivers to St Ives on Tuesday.

You can find out more about Mandy at her website www.wholesomechild.com.au, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Wholesome-Organic-Salmon or you can contact her at mandy@wholesomechild.com.au

The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon With Noodles

What you will need:

  • 1-2 fillets organic salmon
  • 1/3 cup of good quality brown rice miso paste (found from organic health food shops or whole food shops)
  • 1 packet Vietnamese Rice Pad Thai Noodles (or you can use buckwheat or soba noodles – adjust cooking time according to instructions.)
  • A couple handfuls green beans (topped and tailed)

How to pull it together:

  • Bring a medium-sized saucepan to the boil.
  • Add the miso paste and using a whisk mix together well.
  • Add the rice noodles (which generally take around 8 minutes to cook or if using different noodles adjust cooking time accordingly).  Cook for 2 minutes.
  • After 2 minutes, add the salmon fillet/s to the miso and noodles.  Cook for 4 minutes.
  • After 4 minutes add the beans and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Dish out into bowls, ensure to add a couple of ladlefuls of nutritious miso broth to the mixture and serve.

Notes:  For a more grown up version – this is delicious drizzled with some tamari, a little sesame oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.  You could also add some chilli oil for a kick.

 

 

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes (And How To Find A Little More Time In Your Day)

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes (And How To Find A Little More Time In Your Day)

We all know that being a Mum is not easy !  I put a few feelers out there amongst some of the mums I know and on my Facebook page to ask what they find hardest about motherhood, and resoundingly the biggest challenge for most busy mums is definitely lack of time.  At whatever stage you are with your parenting – be it babies and toddlers or school-aged kids, life seems to get busier and busier as time goes on.  What often happens unfortunately, is that we tend to put ourselves last in the pecking order.  In honour of Mothers Day in Australia next weekend and for all the busy mums out there, I thought I would share some of my favourite tips for making some more time in your day.  I hope that you manage to spend some of this extra time on yourselves!  I am also sharing a new yummy pancake recipe so that your loved ones (or even you!) can spoil yourself with a delicious, healthy and comforting breakfast next Sunday.  They are Thermomix friendly but you could use a food processor or blender just as easily.  Don’t you think they would be yummy to have in bed with a cup of tea and the Sunday papers next weekend?  Hint .. hint ..!

Here are just some of my suggestions to increase some time for yourself during your busy day:

  1. Prioritise! Decide what really matters to you and organise yourself so that you can make time to fit those things in.
  2. Get up an hour earlier and factor some time for yourself– walk, run or even meditate.  If you find it hard to get motivated for morning exercise, make sure you have a plan so you know exactly what to do when your alarm goes off.  Set your clothes out the night before, fill up your drink bottle and put it next to your keys.  Download some music to make your walk/run more interesting.  Make a commitment by writing it in your diary or organise to meet up with a friend so you will be more motivated to go.
  3. Go to bed an hour earlier.  The best time to get your important sleep is before midnight and everything is so much better when you are well rested (plus if you have an early night it makes it easier to wake up the next morning!)
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask those close to you for help if you are struggling!  If you need a little time-out, your partner could watch the kids for so you can go for a walk or have a relaxing bath.
  5. Be clever in the kitchen – pack school lunches the night before, when you buy fruit chop it and pack it up straight away so it’s easy to grab in a hurry, freeze sandwiches in bulk, make more at dinner and freeze half/ or have for lunch the next day.  Do big cook ups on the weekend so you don’t have to worry about it during the week.  Cook batches of chicken, hard boiled eggs, quinoa, rice etc and keep on hand in the fridge so you can quickly pull together healthy meals.  There are some great gadgets out there that are designed to make your life easier in the kitchen.  The Thermomix (or thermo-type appliances) or a slow cooker can really save time.  Try my Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks, my Chicken and Eggplant Bake or Greek Inspired Shepherds Pie which are all easy to make double of and all freeze beautifully.

At the end of the day we should be grateful that our lives are so full – those little people might be hard work – but they are more precious than anything!  Happy Mothers Day!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes

– Serves 4 –

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons aluminium free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 organic free range eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Organic butter or coconut oil for cooking
  • Fruit, yoghurt and/or organic maple syrup or honey to serve

How to pull it together:

Put all the ingredients in your Thermomix or food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds speed 9/10 until well blended and of a consistency you are happy with.  You may wish to experiment with the amount of water you use depending on how thick you like your batter.

Heat a large frying pan, add a dollop of butter (or coconut oil) and let it melt.  Spoon out the batter (I did 3 small pancakes at a time).  Watch carefully and when nicely browned, flip and cook the other side until ready.

Serve as you like – Some suggestions are:  fruit, organic maple syrup, raw honey, almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dollop of greek yoghurt.

Enjoy X

Roast Vegetable and Haloumi Salad

Roast Vegetable and Haloumi Salad

This flavour combination of grilled haloumi and fresh lemon juice is a match made in heaven! This fresh salad is perfect for your next dinner party or barbeque – it goes beautifully with beef, salmon, chicken (or even on it’s own as an appetizer).  So easy, tasty and delicious (and really good for you too!).  Every time I make this there are always fights for seconds and ultimately there is nothing left on the platter!  I hope you enjoy 🙂

Roast Vegetable and Haloumi Salad

What you will need:

  • 1 small or 1/2 a large eggplant (aubergine)
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 Zucchinis (courgettes)
  • Rocket (arugula) (or rocket and baby spinach mix)
  • Haloumi
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts.
  • A large handful of fresh parsley leaves to garnish

For the Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

How to pull it together:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or 350 degrees Fahrenheit)

Cut the vegetables into wedges (I quarter the tomatoes lengthwise, the zucchinis I cut in half lengthwise and quarter, and I chop the eggplant into approx 3 inch wedges).

Lay out the vegetables on a baking tray and brush with the marinade (I like to cook the tomatoes on a separate tray to the other veggies) and cook for about 30 – 40 mins or until well roasted.

On a serving platter lay out the rocket (arugula). Place the vegetables  on top.

When ready to serve your salad, heat some olive oil or coconut oil in a pan (if you want those delicious looking grill lines use a griddle pan) and fry the haloumi until it’s golden brown.  Place on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and parsley.

Drizzle with the lemon and paprika dressing and serve.

Forceful Delight – guest post by Charby Ibrahim, The Ancestral Body

Today’s guest post, by Charby Ibrahim of The Ancestral Body is a great read!  For those of us who try and eat well, sometimes it’s those awkward social situations that let us down, and not necessarily by choice.  Please read and enjoy, and be sure to check out his website The Ancestral Body.  Charby’s story is inspirational and you will really enjoy reading his posts.  He has some great workouts and recipes on there too!

(PS – If  after reading Charby’s story you are looking for some healthier cake options – I have a few on my website.  You might like to try my quick and easy carrot cake here, my apple and zucchini loaf heremy vanilla cupcakes here or my chocolate protein balls here.  You don’t need refined sugar and grains to enjoy a sweet snack!  Enjoy!)

Forceful Delight

By Charby Ibrahim, The Ancestral Body

An overly firm handshake, a boisterous greeting, a forceful slap on the shoulder, a little banter. Ok, where’s this going? He may as well have lifted his leg and used me as a lamp-post. Yup – Awkward. Even when he makes fun of my shirt, questioning my sexuality, I smile and nod… compliment his ‘lovely’ house. Clare, his wife, shoots me an apologetic glance, served up with a warm hug. I remember why I’m here. We’re old friends; great friends! Geoff comes with the package these days though. I can handle that. “9 beers in, mate!” Geoff announces, interrupting the embrace. “You’ve got some catching up to do, CH-arbs!” A harsh CH- sound, and we’re in nickname territory. I don’t correct him. It’s a different story in my head, a few expletives added. SH-arby! “I’m ok, Geoff. Maybe I’ll grab a glass of red wine in a minute,” I reply. Clare, as though reading my mind, steps in. A brief reprieve – “Speech time guys. The cake is ready!” Time for Geoff to shine. His 15 minutes of fame. Laden with slurring jagged tangents, and anecdotes from his ‘playing days’ – Aussie Rules Football, that is. His son, whose birthday it is, gets the odd mention too. Made in the image of his mother, the kid smiles bashfully between sips of the black fizzy stuff.

Flash forward – “Just eat the f@#king cake, mate!” Two tiny balls of spit fly in my direction. They’re homing in… one lands on the already infamous piece of sweet spongy cream, and the other assaults my left cheek. I wipe it away with an exaggerated gesture… I’m not sure why. Actually, yes I am. I want him to know that he’s out of control, that there’s a strong chance he’ll regret this tomorrow. I even throw him a cheeky smirk. So often I’m the mediator, keeping the peace, politely navigating my way through awkward situations. Not today – I’m not about to be bullied by a man taking umbrage over a piece of bloody cake. Geoff fires up again – “So what… You think you’re pretty good ay? Standing around judging us all. It’s my son’s birthday. It’s my son’s birthday cake! What’s a bloody Health Coach do anyway? Please!” The plate, and a smear of pink cream, now pressed up against my chest. “No thanks, Geoff.” He holds it there firmly, glaring through me. The pointed edge of the square plate digging in hard now. Still, I don’t flinch. Instead, I take a slow sip of my wine, breathing in through my nose. My first glass. I must be miles behind now.

The birthday boy is wrapped around Geoff’s leg, and I spot Clare’s look of concern over Geoff’s broad shoulder. She’s been here before. “Eat. The. F@#king. CAKE!” he thumps. The room falls silent. A pause in the music. An audience to boot. Growing up as a Lebanese kid, I was no stranger to having food forced on me – and even more recently, I know I’ve rubbed the odd host up the wrong way with my ‘peculiar’ food choices. Most of the time though, they could care less. I tend to load up before arrival, pick at what takes my fancy, and we get on with the party. This time it’s different. I’ve been drawn into a one-sided cock-fight, and folks seem more interested in the spectacle than dragging this bloodied rooster away.

“This is my house!” he declares proudly, staring me down. Judging by the football trophies lining the walls of his ‘man-cave’, he isn’t lying. It’s definitely his house. Confirmed. Team photos from 1995 through to 2003. His face growing sterner, tougher, as the years progress. He was promised a long career, but it just didn’t eventuate. One can’t help but wonder if the subtle limp he carries around has anything to do with it. I figure it’s best not to ask at this juncture. A big frame, strong, towering over me, taking up space; much like the houses he grudgingly builds these days. A solid bulging barrel chest, and a round belly way out in the front cabin- not in any of the photos, but a new addition – not quite lived in. “It’s OUR house!” Clare promptly reminds him, “…and you’re being a dick… AGAIN!” They lock eyes for a few seconds, and I’m almost relieved that the attention has shifted, and the pressure eases off my sternum. A new feeling of unease though; the fight response kicks in. What might transpire between the happy couple when the crowd disperses eventually?

Clare’s stare is harsh and piercing. She wears him down. Geoff’s hand forgets that it’s holding the plate. Slowly falls limp. His body folds into itself, starting at the navel. He just about disappears – The cake is sliding slowly off the plate. I watch it with gleeful anticipation, instead trying to stop it. SPLAT! He wears it well down the length of his left leg and shiny shoes. Time for this guy to exit stage door left. I finish the last sip of my wine, grab for my coat, and I get the proverbial truck out of there.

All this talk of cake has my sweet tooth crying out. As soon as I arrive home I snap into action; a fresh batch of gluten free, honey sweetened, dark cacao brownies. Down the hatch with a very generous serve of raw cream, and a handful of mixed berries. You might be asking ‘why’ then? Why didn’t you just eat the damn cake, Charby? The truth is, I really do love a sweet treat, but the refined sugar and the gluten really punish me these days… AND I have an aversion to being bullied. We are social creatures though, and even I turn a blind eye to food quality when I’m out at restaurants, BBQs, functions, and parties in the name getting along. I don’t want to know what kind of oil they’re using, whether the veggies are organic, and what kind of life the animal on my plate lived. I might never leave the house otherwise. So, I compromise. There are some non-negotiables though, and sometimes I say ‘NO’… kindly. A three day gluten hangover just ain’t worth it for this sensitive little monkey. So, I’m making a stand here and now. I’m saying NO to forcing cake on unsuspecting guests. Just say NO… thanks!

PS – The very next morning I received the loveliest apology… from Clare.

Disclaimer- In order to protect the people mentioned in this story, I have changed their names. In order to protect the integrity of the cake, I changed its colour.

About the author:

Charby Ibrahim is the man behind ‘The Ancestral Body’ – Nutritional Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Teacher, Speaker, and Writer. A graduate of The University of Melbourne, The Institute For Integrative Nutrition, and The Australian Institute of Personal Trainers, he has written countless articles for prominent online publications and blogs, is a proud member of Physical Activity Australia, and engages in education programs at both local schools and The Royal Children’s Hospital. Charby’s journey has been a personal one from the outset. He went back to ‘Eating Real Food’, lost a stack of fat, got fit, and is now using his own life skills and experience, on-top of over a decade in education, to help others find the combination of lifestyle factors that best suit their needs. Charby is also a co-host of The Primal Shift, one of Australia’s most popular health podcast shows.

charbyafter

 Stay connected to Charby Ibrahim via The Ancestral Body:

Apple and Zucchini Loaf (sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free)

Apple and Zucchini Loaf (sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something sweet on here and I’ve had this little number up my sleeve for a while but just couldn’t get it ‘right’!  I am really happy with this version so I thought I’d share.  You can substitute the coconut oil for macadamia nut oil, and I would love to try it with butter (I’ll let you know how I go).  It is best warm from the oven with a spread of salted organic butter and a cup of tea – yum!  I hope you enjoy …

PS – I have included a Thermomix version and a non-Thermomix version below …

The Shrinking Hubby’s Apple and Zucchini Cake

sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free

What you will need:

  • 2 peeled apples
  • 1 peeled zucchini (courgette)
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminium free)
  • ½ cup medjool dates (pitted) (about 90 grams)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 5 organic free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For garnish:

  • 1 apple sliced
  • Approx 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or rapadura sugar)

Thermomix version:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).

Put 2 apples (peeled and cored), 1 zucchini (peeled, topped and tailed) and ½ cup (90 grams) dates into the mixing bowl.  Mix for 5 seconds speed 6.  Scrape down bowl.

Add the coconut flour, chia seeds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil and sea salt and mix about 30 seconds speed 5/6 or until mixed together.

Pour (or mould – the mixture is quite doughy) into a lined and buttered/oiled loaf tin and top with slices of apple and a sprinkle of coconut (or rapadura) sugar.

Bake for 30-45 minutes in a moderate (180 degrees Celcius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit) oven until golden brown and cooked through.

Non Thermomix version:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).

Put 2 apples (peeled and cored), 1 zucchini (peeled, topped and tailed) and ½ cup (90 grams) dates in your food processor and blitz.  Add coconut flour, chia seeds, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil and sea salt and mix well.

Pour (or mould – the mixture is quite doughy) into a lined and buttered/oiled loaf tin and top with slices of apple and a sprinkle of coconut (or rapadura) sugar.

Bake for 30-45 minutes in a moderate (180 degrees Celcius/350 degrees Fahrenheit) oven until golden brown and cooked through.

Enjoy!

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