Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
145 144 to meet their protein requirements. Foods in the legume family offer the highest source of protein after animal protein. Soybeans are a complete protein, and when cooked, offer approximately 28g per cup (edamame have approximately 22g of protein per cup). There is a lot of controversy where soy is concerned. It is a high-pesticide crop and is most often a GM crop too (GM soybeans have been found to contain even more pesticides than conventional or organic soybeans). However, research has also shown that it has beneficial properties. Further investigation is needed to determine the true status of soy and its place in a child’s diet. For those reasons, I always recommend choosing organic soybeans wherever possible and also choosing fermented soy products which are easier to digest, such as: TEMPEH, a soybean ‘cake’ with a firm texture and nutty flavour, has about 15g of protein per half cup. MISO, a soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture is commonly used in miso soup. N AT TO has a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavour. SOY SAUCE is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes. Make sure to buy a high-quality, wheat-free soy sauce because many varieties are made artificially. Because it is high in sodium it’s important to dilute soy sauce for children, as the low-sodium options contain more chemicals. TAMARI is a version of soy sauce made with little-to-no wheat. Because of the lower wheat level, tamari is made with a greater step 4: boost protein Did you know? Unlike larger fish that are more likely to contain harmful contaminants, wild-caught sardines are free of mercury and PCBs, which means you can serve them frequently. They’re also among the best sources of brain-building omega-3s – in fact, one can of sardines boasts roughly 1.9g, even more than a similar portion of salmon. Tip Remind older children that the vitamins found in fish are essential for shiny hair, clear skin and will improve their concentration levels at school too. Salmon & Millet Rissoles (see recipe on page 167) more ideas to make one meal that everyone will eat If you’re tired of serving different meals to all family members, here are some tips to ensure that one meal serves all, including your fussier eaters. 1. To ensure a child is open to the idea of trying new meals you may need to separate components of the recipe before adding flavour, sauce, onion or garlic. 2. Put aside plain fish, chicken or meat before adding sauce. 3. Offer sauces as a dipping sauce on the side so your child feels in control. 4. Work with your child’s ability and acknowledge their textural preferences. 5. If meat, fish or chicken cannot be separated beforehand, scrape off sauce as best as possible before serving to your child. 6. If your child is used to eating chicken nuggets, try crumbing fish or beef and cutting into similar shapes and sizes as your child’s preferred nugget. 7. The consistency of fish, chicken and meat varies considerably with cooking style, time, and flavours added. Take your fussiest child’s preferences into consideration. This may mean cooking their portion for longer or putting sauces like bolognaise through the blender to make them thinner. Top tips for preparing meat and fish for children 1. Create crisp and crunchy textures (eg homemade chicken or fish nuggets, sausage rolls or fish pies.) 2. Focus on juicy, moist texture by using slow cooking, focusing on casseroles or using homemade marinades. 3. Offer small bites that are easier to chew. Focus on what is eaten and not on what is left over. 4. Crumb your meat or fish with healthy options such as almond meal or rice breadcrumbs (see recipe for Salmon & Millet Rissoles on page 167). 5. Offer meat or fish with delicious dips – such as homemade tomato sauce, tzatziki or even pumpkin puree. These work well in masking the smell and flavour. 6. Describe their food with fun, exciting names. Call chicken nuggets ‘golden nuggets’. 7. Try offering meat on skewers. Kids love foods on a stick and it also makes it easier for kids who do not like to touch meat/fish or get the smell on their fingers. 8. If you are worried about bones, choose ‘boneless’ fillets of pre-packed fish or ask the fishmonger to remove the bones for you. 9. Keep a stock of canned fish such as salmon, pilchards, sardines and skipjack tuna in your cupboard – these make great sandwich fillings and toppings for jacket potatoes and are a good choice when you don’t have much time to prepare meals or packed lunches. To reduce salt consumption opt for those in water or extra virgin olive oil rather than brine. 10. Steam, poach, grill or barbecue chicken or fish rather than frying it to help keep the fat content down. 11. Get children involved in helping you to prepare fish dishes such as sandwich fillings, fishcakes or homemade fish fingers – they’ll be more likely to eat it if they’ve had a hand in making it.