Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
shopping, cooking & kitchen essentials The nutrition information table Most nutrition information tables have a ‘per serve’ and ‘per 100g’ column. In most instances the ‘per 100g’ column is most useful in comparing products to assess their sugar, protein, sodium and fat content. This may slow your shopping down initially, but over time it will become familiar and it will be far easier to identify healthy options for your family. I advise using the ‘per serve’ column only if a product contains individually wrapped portion sizes such as ice-creams, popcorn, tetra pack of juice or cheese slices, for example. In those cases it’s easy to look at the per serve column to work out how much sugar, protein or sodium your child will get in one serve. But for foods such as breakfast cereal, biscuits or yoghurt, the ‘per serve’ column is not very helpful as in many instances children will eat more or less than the advised portion size. Most people fill their bowls with cereal and don’t stop at the suggested 30g serving. So let’s take a look at the two most important columns on a nutrition label (nutrition labels vary from country to country but these three columns are most likely to appear): Nutrition information Energy Protein Fat, Total -Saturated Carbohydrates of which sugars Fibre Sodium Typical values per 70g 190 (kilojoules) / 44 calories 0.5g <1g <1g 10.0g 9.8g 0.1g 11mg Typical values per 100g 260 (kilojoules) / 62 calories 0.7g <1g <1g 14.0g 13.7g 0.1g 16mg From this nutrition label, we can see that there are 62 calories per 100g. There is very little protein at 0.7g per 100g, and 14g of carbohydrates. The important thing to note is how much sugar the product contains. In this product there is 13.7g of sugar per 100g, which means that most of the carbohydrate content comes from sugar. When it comes to sugar, anything above 5g per 100g is considered too much. This product contains hardly any fat and very little fibre. Fibre helps to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream and helps to regulate bowels, look for products containing 3g-6g of fibre. Finally there is very little sodium. As a general rule, ideal foods for children should contain less than 120mg of sodium per 100g. For more information on reading sugar labels, see page 72 and for more information on salt, see page 269. nuts, grains and legumes Throughout this book we use a combination of grains, nuts and 27 Average soaking times Soaking time (hours) 12-14 8-12 2-4 Type of nut/seed Almonds Brazil nuts Cashews Hazelnuts (skinless) Macadamia nuts Peanuts Pecans Pine nuts Pistachios Pumpkin seeds Sunflower seeds Walnuts 7-12 7-12 7-12 4-6 7-10 4-6 7-10 2 4-8 (Continued on page 30) legumes in our recipes. To boost their nutritional composition it’s always best to soak them in water with a small amount of either salt or an acidic substance such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, whey or kefir, for a period of time. Why do we do this? Nuts and seeds, along with whole grains and legumes, contain small amounts of phytates, which can inhibit the digestion of minerals such as iron and influence enzymes, as well as reducing the digestibility of starches, proteins and fats. The process of soaking and rinsing increases their nutritional value and makes them more beneficial to the body. This is especially important for young children who are still developing the enzymes to break down these plant foods. If you or your children prefer nuts and seeds to be crunchy then, once activated, drain and dehydrate them at a very low temperature in the oven or preferably a dehydrator (a safer option) if you have one. This will give them a lovely crunchy texture and flavour. How to activate your nuts and seeds • Dissolve 1-2 tsp of sea salt in enough filtered warm water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating. It is better to soak one variety at a time. • Place your nuts or seeds of choice in a bowl and cover with salted water. • Soak for the required number of hours (see below). • Rinse under running water and strain. • Spread onto a large baking tray and slowly dry out nuts and seeds in a dehydrator (if you have one) or on the lowest temperature in your oven (50-70°C) for around 6-24 hours. • They are ready when they feel and taste dry and crunchy. It is important that nuts and seeds are really dry and crispy otherwise they can get mouldy. • Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to three months.