Haven Magazine - - WELLBEING - Words: Ge­or­gia Hard­ing

My motto when work­ing to im­prove the health of kids is to make ‘ev­ery mouth­ful count’ nu­tri­tion­ally. Here’s how.

No mat­ter what I’m cook­ing, I’m al­ways think­ing in terms of how I can in­ject more nour­ish­ment, es­pe­cially when feed­ing my kids. Be­cause chil­dren are grow­ing so rapidly, they have a much greater nu­tri­tional re­quire­ments, yet a smaller ca­pac­ity to be nour­ished (smaller stom­achs). Now I know a lot of kids like smooth­ies and adding fruit is great, but I’d en­cour­age you to also con­sider the ad­di­tion of some veg­eta­bles for a real nu­tri­ent boost. When adding veg­eta­bles, start with a small amount and in­crease the quan­tity over time. Whilst I am a huge fan of boost­ing nutri­tion, I’m not a fan of al­ways hav­ing to ‘hide’ veg­eta­bles for fussy eaters (in the long term, at least). Kids have to learn to love veg­gies in their whole form at some stage and I have lots of tips for rais­ing whole food lov­ing kids over at www.well­nour­ished.com.au. Hav­ing said that, I do gen­er­ally choose to boost my kids’ smooth­ies with veg­gies they gen­er­ally don’t en­joy eat­ing in their whole form, just to in­crease their nu­tri­tional va­ri­ety. I fig­ure if they can’t taste it, why not add it?

5 ve­g­ies that Dis­ap­pear in a Smoothie

1. AV­O­CADO: Okay, tech­ni­cally a fruit, but see­ing as it doesn’t add any sweet­ness, I’m adding it to my list of nu­tri­ent boost­ers. WHY? Av­o­cado is a rich source of mono-un­sat­u­rated fatty acids and one ex­tremely nu­tri­ent dense fruit con­tain­ing a wide va­ri­ety of vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants. Its potas­sium con­tent makes is great to add to a smoothie be­fore kids’ sport. HOW? Av­o­cado adds a lovely creamy, mousse-like tex­ture to smooth­ies so add it to your favourite combo. It sits well in a ca­cao (choco­late) based smoothie or with frozen berries and bananas. 2. CAU­LI­FLOWER: Raw cau­li­flower is pretty much un­de­tectable in a smoothie. You will just need a good, high-pow­ered blender to process it smooth. WHY? Cau­li­flower con­tains a rich sup­ply of health­pro­mot­ing phy­to­chem­i­cals, es­pe­cially pro­tec­tive an­tiox­i­dants and anti-in­flam­ma­tory com­pounds. It sup­ports di­ges­tion and liver detox­i­fi­ca­tion and is a rich source of vi­ta­min C. HOW? Break it up into flo­rets, wash and keep in a con­tainer to add to your morn­ing smoothie. Be­cause it is white it won’t ef­fect the colour of the smoothie. 3. ZUC­CHINI: Zuc­chini is one of my kids’ least favourite veg­eta­bles. But adding it raw into their smoothie, they are none the wiser. WHY? Zuc­chini is ex­tremely low in calo­ries and loaded with fi­bre. It is also a great source of potas­sium and vi­ta­min C. HOW? Zuc­chini is very taste­less and also doesn’t ef­fect the colour of a smoothie much so is per­fect to add a fi­bre and nu­tri­ent boost to your favourite smoothie. 4. BABY SPINACH: Baby spinach is also rather taste­less but it does turn smooth­ies green. So for kids that aren’t keen on ‘green’ – it’s best to blend it with a choco­late smoothie so the colour is dis­guised. WHY? Spinach is host to a huge va­ri­ety of vi­ta­mins, min­er­als, fi­bre and pro­tec­tive plant com­pounds. It’s just good! HOW? I love to blend it with pineap­ple, co­conut wa­ter, lime juice and fresh mint. 5. SWEET PO­TATO: Sweet po­tato can be added to smooth­ies ei­ther raw or cooked. For raw sweet po­tato you’ll need a pow­er­ful blender to en­sure it is able to be pro­cessed smooth. WHY? Sweet po­tato is a fi­bre and beta carotene-rich veg­gie. It is host to good amounts of vi­ta­min C, B vi­ta­mins and es­sen­tial min­er­als. HOW? I love raw sweet po­tato com­bined with orange and gin­ger.


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