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Toddler Approved Pea & Spirulina Fritters

Toddler Approved Pea & Spirulina Fritters

Megan Garner | July 13, 2019

This toddler approved recipe is stacked full of goodness from gorgeous sweet peas (use baby peas for more sweetness!), a great blend of veggies, protein rich flour for binding

 

Ingredients
1 cup frozen peas
1 carrot, grated
½ cup gluten free flour (oat, rice, chickpea etc)
½ cup plant milk
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp aluminium free baking powder
1 tsp spirulina powder
1 Tbsp ground nut and seed mix (optional)

Method

1. Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl – flour/s, nutritional yeast, cumin, turmeric, salt, spirulina, baking powder, nut & seed mix – and use a fork to mix until all ingredients are evenly combined.

2. Make a well in the centre and add all remaining ingredients, along with 1 tbsp water. Gently combine with a fork until there are no large lumps of flour remaining.

3. Heat a non-stick fry pan – cast iron is best.

4. Using a dinner spoon, place one spoon of mixture per fritter into pan. Avoid overcrowding the pan.

5. Cook for 2-3 mins each side or until golden brown.

6. Turn and cook on other side until golden.

7. Pop cooked fritters onto a tray and place in a warm oven as you continue to fry the rest of the batter.

 

Enjoy with tahini sauce or tomato chutney and a fresh salad.

 

Visit Megan’s website to learn more about plant-based nutrition and naturopathy, book a consult or purchase her e-book.

Share your delicious dinner creations with us on Instagram with #myTWC

How To Prevent Your Child From Getting Sick This Season

How To Prevent Your Child From Getting Sick This Season

Megan Garner | June 2, 2019

If your little ones are prone to getting sick a lot, you’re probably desperate for ways to help them to fight back. Not least because they’ll often spread it around the rest of the family too!

Kids tend to fall ill pretty often, as their immune systems haven’t been exposed to all of the nasty germs that they’ll come into contact with. That doesn’t mean that you can’t improve their immunity and make them a bit less likely to get sick so often. Here are some tips to boost your family’s immunity.

Serve Up Immunity-Boosting Foods

Lots of fruits and vegetables are great for boosting immunity, especially ones that contain vitamin C. This is one of the nutrients that isn’t stored in the body so you need to be consuming it every day for the best benefits.

citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are a great choice so make sure that your family are eating plenty of oranges, tangerines and grapefruit. Capsicums are also a good source of vitamin C (especially the red variety) and actually contain more than citrus fruits! Kiwi and papaya also contain vitamin C.

Iron is another nutrient to pay close attention to. Stock up on spinach, legumes, quinoa, dates, dried apricots and pumpkin seeds to keep your family’s iron intake up. Combining iron with vitamin C helps it to be absorbed more easily.  Have a glass of orange juice or lemon water or squeeze some lemon or lime on your meal.

Zinc is also an underrated mineral for immunity. You can find zinc in pumpkin seeds, cashews, chickpeas, oats. and tofu.

Avoid sugars, additives and preservatives that can weaken a child’s immune system.

Breastfeed for as long as possible as breastmilk contains antibodies, anti-viruses, anti-parasites and anti-allergies, along with all its other nutrients and benefits.  You can also offer expressed milk to older children or add to their meals when they are ill.

Other foods and drinks that can improve your family’s immunity include:

Garlic
Garlic has been used to treat infections for thousands of years.

Ginger
Ginger is anti-inflammatory and can help to fight a sore throat and ease nausea.

Spinach
Spinach and broccoli, which both contain lots of antioxidants.

Coconut Yoghurt
“Live” coconut yogurt may be able to protect against illness by improving gut health and making your immune system stronger.

Almonds
Almonds contain vitamin E, which is a hugely underrated nutrient for keeping the immune system healthy. It’s recommended to avoid whole nuts until at least 3, you can grind them up and add to their meals or smoothies for under 3s.

Green Tea
Green tea is packed with EGCG, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to better immunity.

Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi can increase your gut microbiome, a healthy gut = a healthy mind and body

Maintain Your Vitamin D Levels

Sufficient levels of vitamin D is important to ensure our bodies function properly as well as enhancing our immune function.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a great plant based source of vitamin D and many studies have found regular consumption to increase immunity. Medicinal mushroom elixirs like reishi and cacao are an easy way to include these in your child’s daily diet, Airlie loves mushroom teas.

Did you know you can use the power of the sun to increase mushrooms’ natural Vitamin D levels? Just pop your mushrooms in the sun to soak up Vitamins! =

Adequate intake of vitamin D is unlikely to be achieved through dietary means, adequate sunlight exposure is important and in some cases a supplement may be required.  Infants need to be exposed for 2 hours a week if just their face is exposed or 30 minutes a week with just a nappy on (Specker et al 1985). It’s important for them to have sunlight exposure without sunscreen, avoiding the hottest times of the day. In winter 2-3 hrs a week is needed.

Hand Washing is Vital

Hand Washing

A lot of the time, sickness happens because germs on the hands have been transferred to the eyes, mouth or nose. This is why it’s so important to wash your hands regularly and make sure that your family do too, especially before eating. I also wash our hands after being at the park, being outside and getting home after being out. Hand hygiene is one of the best things you can do for reducing illness, especially if it’s done in the right way.

If your little ones are at daycare, you’ll want to know that this also extends to the staff too as they can inadvertently pass on germs too, especially when they’re changing diapers and dealing with runny noses!

For those times when it’s just not practical or possible to keep hands clean, carrying hand sanitiser is a must! It’s super convenient for killing germs while you’re out and about and you can get alcohol free types if you’re worried that it will lead to dry hands. Being exposed to different bacteria is also important to increase our resistance to harmful bugs so it’s also important not to go overboard on the hand sanitiser.

Practice Good Hygiene in General

tissues

It’s also helpful to teach children how to demonstrate good hygiene in general. This includes not sharing food, drinks, utensils and other items that can make it easier for germs to be passed around.

Another tip involves making sure that your little ones know the importance of using tissues to wipe runny eyes or noses, rather than their hands. And teach them to cough and sneeze into their upper sleeve. This makes it a lot less likely that they’ll transfer germs from their hands to these areas. Just make sure it’s always a clean tissue!

Wipe Down Surfaces Regularly

Healthy Cleaning Products

Surfaces can be a breeding ground for germs so it makes sense to wipe them down regularly with a natural antibacterial cleaner. The same goes for anything that your child is likely to come into contact with such as toys, television remotes, light switches and door handles.

When one of the family is sick, you’re probably going to want to wipe down everything they touch to reduce the chance that anyone else will get ill from touching the same things.

When choosing an antibacterial cleaner I recommend avoiding those supermarket brand cleaners that contain all those weird names you can’t pronounce. Most are toxic and bad for our health and the environment. You can easily make up a household cleaner with white vinegar and essential oils, I also add a touch of castile soap or natural hand wash.

Wash Bedding and Blankets When Someone is Sick

Next time any member of the family gets sick, make sure that you wash their bedding as soon as they’re better so they don’t get reinfected. Don’t forget about comfort blankets and towels too. These can harbor germs long after the original sickness has been and gone and they can make other members of the family sick too.

Summary

Sick Kids

I hope these simple tips help you and your family stay healthy and well this winter.

Here is a summary of my tips to stop your child getting sick:

  • Serve up immunity-boosting foods with vitamin C, iron and zinc. Include garlic, ginger, green tea, live coconut yoghurt, almonds and fermented foods. Avoid sugars, additives and preservatives.
  • Maintain Vitamin D levels with adequate sunshine and mushrooms.
  • Practice regular hand washing, especially before eating.
  • Practice good hygiene by not sharing food and drinks, using tissues and teaching kids to cough and sneeze into their upper sleeve.
  • Wipe down surfaces regularly using natural antibacterial spray.
  • Wash bedding and blankets when someone is sick.

Do you have any top tips for ensuring your family is healthy during the colder seasons? Share them with us in the comments!

Visit Megan’s website to learn more about plant-based nutrition and naturopathy, book a consult or purchase her e-book.


Get Lunchbox Ready With This Zucchini, Carrot and Kale Slice

Get Lunchbox Ready With This Zucchini, Carrot and Kale Slice

Megan Garner | May 2, 2019

 

This recipe from vegan Nutritionist and Naturopath, Megan Garner, is a great option for lunch boxes, weekend brunch, a picnic, or even a savoury breakfast! Whip up a batch this weekend, cut into portions and store in the freezer for easy lunches to enjoy with salad and hummus. Yum!

 

Ingredients

1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 zucchinis, grated
2 carrots, grated
1 cup kale, chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
350g extra firm tofu
200ml soy milk
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. In a frying pan on medium to high heat, add a splash of water and onion and saute until transparent.

3. Wrap the grated zucchini in a cloth and squeeze hard to discard the excess liquid.

4. Add in the garlic, kale and grated zucchini and carrot, saute until the zucchini has softened.

5. Remove from the heat and set aside.

6. In a food processor, add the curry powder, salt, pepper, tofu, soy milk, nutritional yeast, flour and mustard and blend until smooth.

7. Combine the creamy mixture from the processor and the zucchini mixture and pour into a tin lined with baking paper.

8. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until lightly browned on top and a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool and put in the fridge until needed.

 

 

Visit Megan’s website to learn more about plant-based nutrition and naturopathy, book a consult or purchase her e-book.

Share your healthy wholefoods lunchbox recipes with us on Instagram with #myTWC.

 

Bringing Up Baby, the Plant-Based Way

Bringing Up Baby, the Plant-Based Way

Megan Garner | April 4, 2019

When my daughter, Airlie, turned 6 months old and it was time to introduce solid foods I found myself overwhelmed by how much conflicting nutrition information was out there and that there was nothing specifically available for vegan/plant-based diets.

I wanted to know what foods to feed her and how much, I was worried that she may not have been getting enough of what she needed to thrive.

Fortunately, I was studying nutritional medicine at the time, I spent hours researching. Trawling through books, textbooks and online resources to find the information I needed. It was also extemely important to me that the information was evidence-based.

All these countless hours spent developing a comprehensive understanding of how to nourish my bub got me to thinking that there must be countless other mums out there doing the same, but without the nutritional education that I was fortunate enough to have. It was this that led to the idea to write my book Babies and Toddlers Plant Based Nutrition’ so that other parents can build the confidence to raise a plant based child who can thrive. This eBook is the only nutrition guide you will need for your child, I’ve done all the hard work for you.

Babies and Toddlers includes evidence based information that is supported by research and includes 25 references.

In Babies and Toddlers you will learn:

  • When to introduce solids to your child and which foods are safe.
  • Introduction to Baby Led Weaning (BLW).
  • Key nutrients for babies and toddlers, including Australian RDI’s and plant based sources. 
  • Plant based food guide for 1-3 year olds.
  • Essential vitamins and minerals for babies and toddlers to avoid deficiencies and implications throughout life.
  • Over 20 of my daughters favourite plant based recipes. 
  • Plus much, much more!

Excerpt from Babies and Toddlers

Food for Babies

Iron and zinc are two minerals needed from solids from about 6 months onwards but this varies between babies. Because we don’t know which babies are in most need, we usually aim to start giving all babies solids containing these minerals from this age (“Breastfeeding”, 2018).

Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and ARA are particularly important for infants and young children. They are critical for neurological and visual development.

Protein is required for growth, development, illness and repair.

A breastfed baby can obtain B12 and Iodine from breastmilk, it is important that the mother is obtaining enough of these nutrients (Davis & Melina, 2014).

References:

Breastfeeding. (2018). World Health Organization. Retrieved 23 April 2018, from http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

Davis, B., & Melina, V. (2014). Becoming vegan. Summertown, Tenn.: Book Publishing.

Purchase ‘Babies and Toddlers Plant-Based Nutrition’ online now!

How to Get Your Picky Eater to Be Less Fussy

How to Get Your Picky Eater to Be Less Fussy

Megan Garner | March 12, 2019

 

Hi,
I’m Megan Garner and I’m a Plant-Based Nutritionist, Naturopath and Herbalist. I’m also a mum to my energetic daughter, Airlie. I’m raising Airlie on a plant-based diet.
Initially, I had a lot of introspective questions about this choice, as I wanted to make sure she was getting enough nutrients from her diet. Over time, I realised that other parents would have these very same questions too. So, I wrote my eBook ‘Babies and Toddlers Plant-Based Nutrition’ to empower parents to create a diet their children can thrive on too.
I also offer one-on-one consultations and Nutritional Checkups, which include Hair Mineral Analysis Testing to identify and prevent deficiencies and provide your child with a nutrient-rich diet so you can have a thriving plant-based kid.

Problematic Picky Eating

Have you got a child that is very fussy about what they eat? Picky eating can take a few different forms and some kids will only take a couple of bites before putting their fork down, while others won’t try anything other than one or two of their favourite foods. Or they’ll change their mind a lot about what they actually want to eat.

Whichever forms they may take, picky eaters can make mealtimes a big source of frustration for everyone involved. It can also be worrying from a health and nutrition point of view. You might think that there’s nothing you can do to tip the balance back in your favour. Wrong! Here are a few tips to start winning power battles with a fussy eater.

 

Go for Small Portions

Small Portions for Fussy ToddlersIt might seem like common sense to only offer small portions, but it’s easy to dish up more than your child will realistically eat and this can put them off certain foods altogether. It’s often better to underestimate how much your child will eat on a first serving and have them asking for a second helping.

Small portions can also work well for introducing new foods. If you’re struggling to get a picky eater to put some foods anywhere near their mouth, try giving them a really tiny piece, to begin with.

If you can tempt them to try it, half the battle is won already! In the early days, you might need to try a little bribery by following it up with something they do like eating or making it more fun by turning it into a game.

If it works, you can gradually increase the amount of food you give them and at the same time, reduce how much of the reward food they’re getting afterwards.

 

Take it slowly

Fussy Toddler Portion SizeDon’t feel discouraged if you don’t get anywhere on the first attempt or even the first few tries. It will often be the case that kids need to try something over 10 times before they cave in and allow themselves to give it a go. Keep at it and you might well get some success!

It won’t necessarily be like this for every food that you try though. Experts suggest that getting them to try a new food for the first time is a major breakthrough and, in theory, it should get easier to persuade them to have a go with new foods after this.

 

Don’t Force the issue

Tempting as it may be to tell your child that they have to clear their plate regardless of what’s on it, it’s likely to build a negative association with mealtimes that can make them even less likely to broaden their food tastes.

If you’ve been begging your child to eat different foods, they’re more likely to resist your pleas.

 

Team up new foods with old favourites

Mac and cheese sauceWhenever you try to introduce new foods to your family’s diet, it can be more successful to do this alongside foods that they already enjoy eating.

For vegetables, this might involve making sure that there is a delicious and kid-friendly sauce to disguise the true taste. Cheese sauces made from cauliflower or cashews go really well with broccoli, for example. If your kid will happily eat mac ‘n’ cheese or pizza, look for ways to include more veggies in them. If you know that just the sight of veggies will mean an instant refusal, try blending them and then hiding them in sauces so that your child is oblivious to their presence. (Try this yummy mac & cheese sauce! Some healthy pizza scrolls or this paleo pizza base!).

 

Go easy on the snacks

Snacks for Fussy ToddlersIf your child snacks a lot during the day, they’re not likely to be all that hungry when it comes to mealtimes. And if they’re not really hungry, they’re a lot less likely to want to try anything new. A lot of parents don’t realise that their child’s appetite may not be as big as they think so snacks can make a bit difference.

Sitting them down for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be enough to stop them from getting hungry and with just one snack in the middle to keep them going. They’re a lot more likely to feel hungry for these meals and they may be more inclined to improve their eating habits.

Drinks might seem like a safe option but it’s also been shown that drinking a lot can also fill them up and make mealtimes more of a battle. Ideally, you want to strike a good balance between keeping them hydrated without affecting their appetite for meals.

 

 

Visit Megan’s website to learn more about plant-based nutrition and naturopathy, book a consult or purchase her e-book.

 

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