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Half-term cooking with children is fun and can teach them healthy eating

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If Helen Burgess had ruled the country 10 years ago, she would have taught every child how to identify and cook healthy food. As it was, this nutritional advocate had to keep her “very strong views” to herself during a high-flying career in the civil service.

“I had privileged access to all of these issues – sugar tax, obesity, hospital food – but I had to be strictly impartial,” said former private secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood in the cabinet office.

Before becoming pregnant with her son Artie in 2013, she was promoted to a strategy manager – but the 40-year-old admits that her high-pressure work accelerated towards implosion.

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“I loved my job, but it was pretty brutal with the hours and stress in Cabinet and Number 10, and Artie gave me the chance to indulge my passion.” Her maternity leave sparked a career change and reinvented herself as an evangelist to teach young people the importance of good nutrition.

That passion was sparked 20 years earlier with what Burgess calls “the strangest Christmas present ever” – a book by a doctor who claimed to have overcome cancer thanks to a healthy diet.

“The book had a lasting effect. I became known as superfood Helen in college and pushed friends to eat more kiwi fruit because the vitamin C in them was a great hangover cure! “

After completing a three-year graduate course in nutrition, Burgess launched Little Cooks Co, a subscription service designed to inspire children with recipes and meal sets for healthy eating. The business started in their living room and had sales of £ 1 million that year, reaching around 10,000 subscribers.

Now Burgess has released You Can Cook Tasty Food, a bright, smart recipe book aimed at young foodies whose adult is ready to oversee them.

“Artie can make breakfast pancakes and could probably rustle an omelette, but I always watch him at the stove,” she says of her seven-year-old, who has the sole right in his household to chop the mushrooms for Spag bol. “He is so proud of this job that is only his. We started mixing cake batter and pouring it into pans together when we were two, and I bought him a child-proof knife when I was three. “

Artie clearly has an advanced palate. “He does the recipe tests, and when he lets me know there’s too much cinnamon in a dish, he’s usually right.” This was driven by Burgess’ belief that taste buds should be tickled early on. “The more aromas a child young is exposed to, the better.”

Your recipes are anything but boring. Children are instructed to chop garlic on toast in tomatoes and lace with balsamic vinegar, add fresh mint to their meatballs, and make ketchup and tortilla wraps from scratch.

Hoping more parents to use halftime to cook with their kids, she suggests a supermarket trip to pick a new, fascinating ingredient as a starting point. In addition to Romanesco broccoli, which is “positively psychedelic”, she suggests “buying anything a child likes to see and has never tried before.

“The key is to get them to choose and commit to cooking the ingredient with them.”
The slower pace of the school holidays is an ideal time to go to the kitchen en famille, she says. “You can afford to create a mess if you don’t have to be somewhere right after it. And I recommend the largest mixing bowl you can find to minimize spillage! “

Burgess’ book maximizes the fun aspects of healthier foods and explains how, for example, the lightest fruits and vegetables are often the most nutritious ones.

She admonishes the benefits of cooking from the ground up and is “appalled” to learn recently that 64 percent of British children’s consumption is classified as ultra-processed. “It makes me very angry – like the fact that our restaurants have the worst and most unhealthy foods on children’s menus, while in tribal societies they are best reserved because the boys are known to need nutritious food to grow.”

Now, outside of politics, she can be open about how she feels about government initiatives to improve diet: basically, they don’t go far enough.

“It’s definitely a good thing to encourage kids to eat unhealthy foods, but the sugar tax has just resulted in the replacement of sugar with artificial sweeteners that have their own set of problems – they can affect the production of microbiomes and hormones Affect the intestines. It’s an unintended consequence, but I totally disagree with it. “

Two of Helen’s recipes

Banana lollipops

Served 6

Tools:
Lollipop sticks, a tray that fits in the freezer, parchment paper

Ingredients:
3 bananas
Natural yoghurt
Toppings and sprinkles such as freeze-dried strawberries or pomegranate seeds

Helen Burgess’ banana lollipop (Photo: Little Cooks Co / Gráinne Freeman)

Method:
Peel and halve the bananas.
Gently slide a lollipop stick into the cut end – make sure the lollipop stick is in the center of the banana so it doesn’t go through the sides.
Dip the bananas in your tub of yogurt so that they are completely covered.
Now add your sprinkles if you have any.
Gently place them on a tray covered with parchment paper and put them in the freezer for at least an hour. When they’re done, carefully peel them away from the parchment paper.

Beef burger packed with vegetables

Served 8

Tools:
Cutting board and knife, measuring cup / scale, mixing bowl and spoon, tea towel, pan, grater, kitchen roll

Ingredients:
500 g ground beef
50 g tomato puree
1 small onion
1 medium zucchini
1 small carrot
1 small apple
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper
Olive oil for frying

Helen Burgess’s Burger (Photo: Little Cooks Co / Gráinne Freeman)

Method:
Finely chop the onion.
Rub the zucchini, carrot and apple over a clean tea towel and squeeze the juice over the sink.
Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Shape into burger patties and place in the fridge for 5 minutes.
Heat a pinch of olive oil in a ready-to-cook pan.
Fry the burgers for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side (until they are brown and not pink in the center), then place them on a piece of kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil / liquid before transferring them to a plate, to cool them down a bit.
They can be eaten as is or served in burger buns or pitta bread with your favorite toppings. What about lettuce, tomato slices, and avocado?

Helen Burgess ‘You Can Cook Tasty Food’ recipes, with photos by Gráinne Freeman, available now (£ 7.99, HarperCollins)

Healthy Eating

The #1 Worst Breakfast to Order at McDonald’s

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Breakfast is always a treat, and a drive through the drive through can be a fun way to get up and shine. Unless you’ve made menu choices that are too decadent, which can make you feel heavier for the rest of the day. No fun!

The good news is that, with a little wisdom, choosing a fast food breakfast that won’t ruin your day can be easy. If you’re heading out for a McDonald’s breakfast, we’ve researched the menu. Read on to learn about the worst breakfast you can order at McDonald’s, as well as some options that will fill you up without feeling like you have let yourself down.

RELATED: 7 Healthiest Foods You Can Eat Right Now

And if you’re curious about the nutritional values ​​of your favorite food, find out what the worst ranch dressing is on grocery store shelves.

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Yes, we kept it simple and based our worst breakfast order choice at McDonald’s based on calorie count. Calories aren’t the only way to gauge how good or bad a particular food is for you – but especially for fast food items that are naturally high in fat, sodium, and other nutritional information, a calorie check can be one be an easy way to narrow down which items to choose and which to avoid.

RELATED: You Should Be Burning This Many Calories Every Day, Experts Say

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Let’s start by pointing out that the fast food giant has some decent products that, if you grab them occasionally, are unlikely to ruin your nutritional and wellness goals.

mcdonalds egg mcmuffin and hash brown on trayMoab Republic / Shutterstock

Even most of McDonald’s breakfast combo dishes are workable if you’re not in transit per se. A choice like the McGriddle bacon, egg and cheese combo weighs 570 calories, which is almost a third of the calories in the standard 2,000-calorie diet. While it doesn’t really fit most definitions of “healthy”, most people are probably okay with enjoying it every now and then.

Jamba Juice Purely OrangeCourtesy of Jamba Juice

The right fruit juice can offer great health benefits, so we’re not against juice overall. But ordering McDonald’s orange juice with a combo meal – or regular lemonade – consumes more calories and more sugar than a coffee.

RELATED: A Major Side Effect of Drinking Coffee Out of a To-Go Mug, According to Experts

McDonalds Egg McMuffin and Breakfast Burrito in wrappersShutterstock

It might seem like a given, but by choosing not to include meat in your McDonald’s breakfast, you can keep the calories (plus fat, sodium, and others) low.

Bacon slices close-upShutterstock

Consider requesting bacon. That’s because a single McDonald’s sausage patty drives the calorie count of a breakfast item about 120 calories higher than bacon. (That’s not to say we strongly recommend bacon – read that eating bacon could cause this type of liver disease, new studies reveal.)

At 450 calories, the sausage burrito meal has the fewest calories of any McDonald’s breakfast combination. (The Egg McMuffin Meal has the same thing.)

RELATED: 15 Unhealthy Fast Food Breakfasts That You Should Never Eat, According to Nutritionists

McDonalds big breakfastCourtesy McDonald’s

It may not be shocking that number 1 on the McDonald’s breakfast menu is the Big Breakfast of Hotcakes. This is a belly breaker – McDonald’s describes the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes as “a warm biscuit, hearty hot sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, and golden brown hotcakes with a side of real butter and the sweet taste of maple”. (Note that they don’t say “real maple syrup,” which may tell you you don’t even have to read the syrup packet to know there’s a lot of fructose in it.)

At 1,340 calories, this is one of the highest calorie items on the entire McDonald’s menu. It even beats the 1,270 calories of the Double Quarter Pounder Combo Meal.

Those heavy carbohydrates, the saturated fat, the fried foods: this isn’t a recipe for feeling energized for the day. Unless you share this with a few other people, stay away from McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hotcakes.

RELATED: The Best Pancakes in Every State

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McDonald’s says the Sausage Burrito, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, and an Egg McMuffin all have 310 to 320 calories. As an alternative, a single order of hash browns is only 140 calories.

All of this shows that knowing what to ask for can also be better for your health when it comes to fast food breakfast!

Get the nutritional news you need by signing up for our newsletter and checking out The # 1 Worst Blizzard to Order at Dairy Queen. Also read:

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Healthy Eating

The 5 Reasons and 6 Tips to Make It Happen

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There is no better gift than good health. On this Father’s Day, help your father or someone important in your life say goodbye to flesh – forever. Although he loves the barbecue season, there are so many important reasons for him to avoid meat, be it for his health, the environment or the animals. Below is an overview of why pop should part with the (traditional) burger and simple tips to ease the transition to a meatless life.

Why should men give up meat?

1. Eliminating meat is good for your heart health.

“As men get older, their bodies naturally begin to store fat in the middle of their abdomen,” says Trista K. Best, MPH, RD, LDN, at Balance One, referring to this study. “This accumulation of fat can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. The fat in meat, saturated fats, along with physical inactivity and other lifestyle choices increase fat storage in this area. “

Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, Cardiology Dietitian, author of the cookbook The Truly Easy Heart Healthy, added, “A recent study showed that taller red meat with smaller ventricles, poorer heart function, and stiffer arteries, all of them Are signs of poor heart health. This may be because red meat contains high levels of saturated fat and TMAO production that stiffen the arteries and promote dangerous plaque build-up, leading to narrowing of the arteries and future cardiac events. ”Yikes, we’re passing that on.

2. Meat can increase your risk of cancer.

Another compelling reason for men to reduce or eliminate meat? No other organization than the World Health Organization has classified red meat as a Class 1 carcinogen, which is equivalent to smoking cigarettes. Read this to Dad: WHO says, “Eating processed meat is” carcinogenic to humans “and consuming red meat is” likely to be carcinogenic to humans. ” Skip the dogs and opt for meatless choices on this Father’s Day.

“According to a study published in Nutrients, eating red and processed meat was associated with a higher risk of stomach cancer, which men are more prone to than women,” said Brittany Lubeck, MS, RD and advisor to Oh So Spotless. If you need more evidence that a plant-based diet is the way to go, check out this article on how a Harvard study found you can lower your risk of cancer (spoiler: it’s a healthy plant-based diet).

3. You don’t have to worry about breaking up meat and affecting your testosterone levels.

If dad heard that vegan food can affect his testosterone levels, think again. “Men no longer have to worry that a plant-based diet will lower their testosterone levels because this theory has proven to be untrue,” says Lübeck, citing this study on the relationship between plant-based diets and testosterone levels in US adults .

4. Avoiding meat generally reduces the risk of a long list of health conditions.

It is not only the risk of heart disease and cancer that affects meat consumption, but diabetes and obesity as well. “Contrary to popular belief, men need to watch their meat consumption to avoid excessive consumption of saturated fatty acids, which put them at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer,” says Lübeck. “A plant-based diet was also found to reduce cases of metabolic syndrome, obesity and coronary artery disease.”

Best adds, “A vegan diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome in both men and women. One study shows that the stroke death rate in men following a plant-based vegan diet was 22 percent lower. “

Research has also shown that a predominantly plant-based diet can also reduce the risk of dementia. Some doctors are even telling their clients to go plant-based to reduce their risk of contracting coronavirus.

5. It’s just not that cool.

For your health. For the animals. For the planet. Eating all that meat is, unfortunately, partly a social matter. “Meat and men seem to go hand in hand. A study by the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that men who were worried about the status of their manhood decided to eat more meat to restore their manhood, ”explains Lübeck. Just as smoking was once “hip”, the meat and grill culture also has a certain association with masculinity, although there is no shortage of incredible vegan bodybuilders and athletes who live on a plant-based diet.

Also, instead of complaining about the meat = masculinity factor, how about a sobering statistic with this meat platter: “Men would benefit greatly from limiting their meat consumption, as research-based science shows that high consumption of red meat is associated with it is at increased risk for heart disease. “[In a study published last year by Al-Shaar et al.] for every additional serving of red meat per day, it increased coronary artery disease by 12 percent! ”That heaped rib platter doesn’t look so good anymore, does it?

bonus: If your dad goes against the grain and adopts a plant-based or predominantly plant-based lifestyle, he can inspire those around him to do the same. (Read: Uncle John.)

Tips to help dad stop eating meat

1. Start slowly.

“Going plant-based doesn’t have to be made cold. This is a change that will only be sustainable if the individual is fully on board and convinced of the benefits, ”shares Best, highlighting research showing that eating a healthy plant-based diet in adults in the US can help lower risk for all causes of death.

“That’s why I recommend weaning yourself off the meat slowly,” she continues. It is best to eat plant-based foods one day a week for a full week, followed by two days the next week. “He can do this until he’s got a full week, or if he feels it’s getting easier, he can drive for several days at a time until he gets to his destination,” says Best.

2. Customize the way you look at the plate.

A little creativity in eating goes a long way. “Instead of the meat being the center of the meal, think of it as a side dish. Then [tell your dad to] are you considering taking a survey on how much red meat? [he is] eat in an average week and have a realistic expectation to slowly titrate back, ”suggests Routhenstein. “It can be easier to initially swap out red meat for grilled chicken or even dark chicken breasts. Focus on the plants first by filling your plate with veggies in a playful way – grill the veggies, use a spice mix you would use for the veggies’ red meat instead, or try different plant favorites from different cuisines. “

3. Try the “cut it in half” tip.

Routhenstein says if dad is used to eating two red meat burgers while grilling, it may help to have one red meat burger and then a grilled burger with black beans or vegetables. Following this rule of thumb can make it easier for your favorite person to switch to a more plant-based diet. “Or when [he is] Make a homemade burger, fill it up with cauliflower rice, frozen spinach, spices and mushrooms, which adds more plants but also reduces the actual consumption of red meat. “

4. Make friends with vegetable sources of protein.

“Some options for men who want to replace meat with vegetable protein are tofu or other soy products, beans, lentils, quinoa and nuts,” says Lübeck, adding that a vegetarian burger or an impossible burger are other options (like the Beyond .). Burgers and other similar products), but she cautions people to watch out for the saturated fat in some of them. “Adding a delicious fruit and vegetable smoothie with a serving of protein powder to your day is a great way to meet your daily protein goals when you’re eating less meat,” she adds.

5. Eat more vegetables.

But let them taste amazing. “Eating more vegetables is easier than it sounds. If you are already a grill master, you can cook your vegetables on the grill, ”says Lübeck. “Vegetables can be placed on skewers or directly on the grill. Some vegetables that are particularly well cooked on the grill are zucchini and other pumpkins, onions, peppers and mushrooms. “

6. Get dad to try new recipes.

Whether you buy him a herbal cookbook, or better yet, cook with him in person, this is a great way to ease the transition to a meatless life. “If he tries a new herbal recipe every week, he can discover new foods he didn’t know he liked and shut others out,” shares Best, adding that he will have to do so after a month or two quite a few herbal recipes that he likes. “I recommend using one of these recipes as a meat alternative for the grill, like mushroom caps.” (Fellas just love to grill.)

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Healthy Eating

Ways Eating Fruit Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians

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Cherries, grapes, white peaches. Bananas, apricots, melon. Watermelon, apples, pears. We could go on like this, but let’s get to the heart of the matter: fruit is refreshing, tasty and affordable. It’s really pretty darn good for you too, and can help you step up your weight loss efforts – a big time. To that end, we tapped nutritionists to share all of the amazing ways fruit can keep you full and slim. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthily, don’t miss out on 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

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“Fruits are low in calories but high in nutrients, including fiber, which helps you feel full not just for a short time but for hours between meals. This often results in lower caloric intake, so it can help manage your weight, “comments Joanna Foley, RD, CLT.

Speaking of topping up, not all fruits are created equal. What’s one of your best ways to refuel between or during meals to curb overeating? The darling of all millennials: avocados. “Avocados are one of the most fiber dense fruits and they also have the benefit of providing healthy fats that will also help keep you full,” she says, noting that there are many ways to charge avocados, from soaking them in smoothies to add sandwiches to them as healthy, filling toppings.

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mixed berriesShutterstock

“Eating fruits that are high in flavonoid content can help control weight and limit weight gain. Several classes of flavonoids have been shown to decrease energy intake, which can help with weight loss, ”says Tara Tomaino, RD, Registered Nutritionist with The Park, a New Jersey-based work-life campus providing wellness and concierge services from The Connell Company. Just check out this research. “Strawberries and blueberries are two high-flavonoid fruits that should be included in a healthy diet. Add these brightly colored berries to your day by topping oatmeal, granola, or yogurt with sliced ​​strawberries. Frozen berries are great for one.” Bowl of Greek yogurtyo or a whole grain muffin mix, “she adds.

mixed berriesShutterstock

“The fiber in fruit ensures that your blood sugar doesn’t rise too much [compared to meals that don’t contain fiber after eating] and makes your body more responsive to insulin. Improved insulin sensitivity helps manage your weight, ”says Foley. “Berries are particularly good at balancing blood sugar levels and fat burning, and can be easily added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or eaten alone for a delicious and nutritious treat.” A berry lover? These are the best states for berry picking.

READ MORE: 8 Low Carbohydrate Fruits For Weight Loss

Fruit saladShutterstock

Begin a cycle of habits that are beneficial to you by making an effort to eat fruit every day. “Making healthy choices (like eating fruit) can often increase the motivation to make other healthy lifestyle changes that can add up and promote weight loss over time,” commented Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, Nutritionist for Next Luxury. For some of the best fruits useful for weight loss, check out the nine best fruits for weight loss approved by a nutritionist.

Frozen grapesShutterstock

Instead of reaching for that pint of sorbet after dinner, a handful of frozen grapes may do very well – with no added sugar and high in antioxidants and other polyphenols, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award-winning nutritionist and partner of Grapes from California. “Instead of lemonade, which is the number one addition to sugar in the US, replace it with a fruit smoothie,” she also suggests.

Following Amidor, Gariglio-Clelland shares: “Fruit is naturally rich in sugar, which makes it a sweet alternative to added sugar in traditional desserts. Replacing ice cream for berries with a dash of cream is a decadent but healthier treat, as is fresh fruit smoothie with no added sugar. ” Berries and cream are coming soon, you don’t have to tell us twice.

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Mmmh, bring along the gut bacteria that are good for you. “Eating fruit can improve the diversity of your gut bacteria, which research has shown plays an important role in weight management,” comments Foley. “Apples contain a type of prebiotic fiber that helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut,” she adds, noting that some excellent ways to enjoy apples, if you’re not just eating a whole fruit, are through them cut into salads or oatmeal.

READ MORE: 9 Ways Bananas Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians

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Lots of fruits are good for your waistline, but let’s hear it for these summer favorites. “Watermelon, when consumed as part of an overall anti-inflammatory diet, can aid weight loss. Participants in one study who consumed a more anti-inflammatory diet including watermelon experienced a reduction in body fat,” says Tomaino, referring to the study. “The high water content of watermelons promotes a feeling of satiety, which can prevent overeating. Whip up a salad with watermelon, feta cheese and mint leaves or mix watermelon with ice cream and lime juice for a refreshing slushie, ”she suggests.

For more information, see The # 1 Best Fruits To Eat, According to a Nutritionist.

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