Category Archives: Food and Nutrition
Remember alphabet soups? Remember spelling swear words in your soup as a kid … well it’s about time you pass on the fun to your kids. If you’re looking for fun options to cook and eat, alphabet soups are the perfect meal. Quick and easy to prepare, lots of fun to eat.
Here’s what you do:
- get your hands on a packet of alphabet / letter pasta
- make a soup – easiest are Minestrone (Google Minestrone if you’re not familiar with it) or just a vegetable soup using a stock cube and some of your kids’ favorite vegetables
- add a good handful of the letter pasta and boil for another 5 minutes (or until pasta is soft to eat)
Done – couldn’t be easier! Give it a go and allow your kids to spell their name on a spoon (or some other word) … I mean that’s part of the fun … otherwise it would just be soup, right?
I have just watched a must see for all expecting and new fathers.
“Seven Steps to Baby Bliss” from www.dadstheword.com is not only very practical for expectant and new fathers it is also pretty funny too.
I felt it was totally aimed at fathers as the target audience, but I also believe it would have great benefit watching this DVD with your partner.
The role of the dad is highlighted says the back cover, and I completely agree.
In 28 minutes the “Seven Steps to Baby Bliss” DVD shows you how to:
- Settle a crying baby
- Bathing a baby
- Step by step guide and tips on nappy changing for both baby girls and baby boys
- Feeding a baby
- Baby massage
- Dressing your baby
- And SIDS prevention
- Relationship after baby
Description from dadstheword:
In this humorous guide for New Dads and Moms – a male midwife guides a new Dad through the seven steps of caring for his newborn baby – making it fun and easy – so that those first weeks home are as stress free as possible !! “As a Midwife, I have always been passionate about newborn babies, knowing that what happens to them as babies, influences how they turn out later. I dedicated my life to them, hoping to make a difference in their lives, but I could only nurse so many … and mostly, I only had them for such a short time. So … I became passionate about Mothers and babies, because the Mom was going to be the one doing most of the caring, so I needed to help the Mom, so that the baby would have the best possible outcome. And for years, I wanted to make a fun educational video for new parents, so that parents could start out right, and if you get a good start and good foundation, the baby has a better chance. It took me 4 years to make the video, and I decided to focus on the Dad. The research was overwhelming about how the father will affect the long term outcome of his child……so I became passionate about the Dad … and the Mom … and the baby!!”
- Ros Vroom
This DVD really is like having a mid-wife around when you need them most. Thank you to Ros for producing a such a great tool to empower men to become competent fathers.
Do you know the correlation between what you eat and how you sleep? This is must-know information for new parents. Yes, we all put on a brave face when it comes to sleep deprivation but actually really crave a good night’s sleep. We buy T-shirts that say “sleep is overrated” and secretely wish we could just get back to our pre-baby sleep routines with uninterrupted nights and late sunday monring sleeps ins. Fear not – here’s some advice on foods to eat and avoid for getting some decent zzz’s.
Foods to eat:
All foods that contain tryptophan, B3 and B6 – tryptophan is an amino acid which converts to serotonin a neurotransmitter which induces sleep. B6 is an essential nutrient required for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.
B6 rich foods: Yeast, eggs, milk, wholegrain, brown rice, lean meat, chicken, peas, sunflower seeds, soya beans, lentils, trout and spinach.
B3 rich foods: Tuna, chicken, halibut, mushrooms, pulses, wholemeal wheat and peanuts.
Tryptophan rich foods: Turkey, chicken, bananas, eggs, fish, walnuts, cashew nuts, tuna, oats and wheatgerm.
Magnesium and calcium rich foods: Both these minerals have a tranquilizing effect. Eat plenty of foods containing these minerals.
Magnesium rich foods: Spinach, kale, broccoli, peas, brown rice, quinoa, oats, figs, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, lentils and wheat.
Calcium rich foods: Spring greens, kale, broccoli, sardines, tofu, yoghurt, milk, almonds, seeds and peas.
When you wake up at night and can’t get back to sleep within 20 minutes or so – eat one of the following:
- Banana with handful of nuts
- A cup of warm milk with an oatcake
- A small bowl of plain yoghurt with some nuts and seeds
- A slice of wholemeal bread with nut butter
Foods to avoid:
Saturated fatty foods such as dairy products, red meat, hard cheeses take a longer time to digest. Avoid stimulants 4 – 6 hours before bedtime including: tea, coffee, chocolate, sugary foods and sweet drinks. Alcohol may have an immediate sleep inducing effect however a few hours later you are more likely to wake up.
Eating habits to avoid:
Eating late at night, having heavy meals at night (lots and lots of stuff) and eating foods which are hard to digest such as the ones listed above.
Check out the flightradar24 website and app to track flights in real time! Do you get slightly nervous when members of your family are travelling (especially long haul)? I do and so I had a look around for ways to track flights in real time. Turns out flightradar24.com does that and they even have an app (iPhone and Android) to track on your smartphone. The service offered by flightradar24 lets you track aircraft movements in real time, check flight status and set up alerts for delays etc. The app is very polished and offers a few extra features (like and augmented reality view to display flight information when pointing the app at a plane in the sky). Of course this app is probably also quite useful for all the plane spotting dads!
NB: DIYFather or any of its authors have not received any gifts or payments as part of this review.
Want to impress your (young) kids? Here’s an idea for you. Show them how you can turn ordinary cream into butter! It’s magic and it’s real simple (but kids up to a certain age don’t know that yet so you still get the WOW effect). Try it out at home and join the league of blokes who make butter!
Here’s what you do:
- buy some cream (ideally double cream as it speeds up the process)
- pour it in a bowl and start whipping (using a whisk or egg beater). NOTE: use an electric whisk or mixer if you are not on a biceps training programme
- keep whisking until the cream gets stiff and turns into whipped cream
- here comes the magic touch: KEEP whisking when you got to the whipped cream stage. After a while the whipped cream will turn funny and you’ll see it separating into solids and water.
- keep whisking until the solids turn yellow and start sticking together
- eventually you will end up with several large pieces of butter and water
- drain the water (e.g. using a colandar) and put the butter piece in a fresh and very clean kitchen towell (cloth)
- wring out the water from your freshly made butter
Done – now savour the moment as your kids look at you in sheer admiration! You are Super Dad … you can do anything … you can even turn cream into butter!
OK we all used to have our fitness routines and (hopefully) managed a fairly balanced life style … then the baby arrived and it all went out the window because suddenly there was just no time to do anything. Is it possible to get back into a healthy weight management routine and still be an involved dad (mom)? YES absolutely.
The key to managing your weight as a parent is to make a conscious decision to set and pursue weight goals. You also need to focus on the positive feelings that you associate with achieving your weight goal – in other words, a bit of positive feeling is key to keeping up the motivitation to pursue your weight goals. Here are some practical tips that you can incorporate into your busy life as a parent to make losing weight an enjoyable process.
According to Runner’s World magazine, there are some easy foods that you can begin consuming to lose weight. Imagine that simply substituting one or two of your ordinary foods for one of these foods can easily speed up the progress toward your weight-loss goals. When you substitute two foods every day and cut over 100 calories from your diet that amounts to over 3,000 calories a month! If you do the math, you can see that it is actually easy to lose weight.
One way to easily achieve your weight goals is to incorporate a tasty shake or smoothie into your diet. You can substitute your daily lunch for a shake or smoothie. Try making a smoothie that combines the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 banana
- 8 ounces of green tea
- 1 dash of sugar
This healthy smoothie has less than 150 calories and tastes great. You will actually feel refreshed when you decide to substitute a fatty sandwich for one of these healthy smoothies every day. In fact just drinking a cup of green tea every day has been associated with significant weight loss – try replacing one of your other drinks (such as coffee) with a cup of green tea.
Another way to easily aid your progression toward weight loss is to try out the Sensa diet. Sensa is a diet program that involves sprinkling small crystals on the foods that you normally consume. If you have a difficult time in substituting just one or two foods in your diet, then you may prefer the Sensa diet option for assisting you in losing weight. You may find that Sensa provides you with the most weight loss help over other dieting options.
This diet option works due to the signals that the crystals send to your brain. The crystals work to trigger positive emotions in your mind. You have constant feelings of being full and do not feel deprived of certain foods. As a result, you are much less likely to overeat and will not splurge on fatty junk foods.
When you combine a revised eating plan or use Sensa, you should also remember to create a simple workout plan. The key to managing your weight is to make the required steps fit into your busy life style with kids. If you are engaging in a diet and exercise plan that is very complicated and requires a lot of “upkeep,” then you will be less likely to adhere to these changes – especially when the little ones demand your full attention every minute they’re awake. So the trick with exercising is to integrate into activities with your children – e.g. stroller walks (jogs) with a new baby, bouncing around on an old sofa with your toddler and kicking/throwing a ball around with your older kids. Just use your kids as an exercise activity center … they also provide lots of motivation and stimulation so play with your kids to exercise and lose weight automagically!
By Alex Summers
There are many types of rice, and cooking the healthiest types of rice grains can be tricky at first. Understanding your food is the first step to preparing healthy meals for the kids. Rice, noodles and sushi are amongst the healthiest foods you and your kids can eat. Here’s a quick rundown of your options – get your kids used to eating these foods often and you’ll probably set them up for a life of healthy nutrition.
There are hundreds of types of rice out there. They are most commonly broken down to being either white or brown. White rice gets a bad name, but the nutritional difference is small. Brown rice is whole and has not had the bran removed.
There are tons more rice types to try beyond those two types. You may want to try wild rice. It’s a mixture of colorful-rice grains. It has a rich and nutty flavor, and it is native to North America. You can also try black rice. It’s actually dark purple, but it looks more black. It’s full of antioxidants. It is better for you than blackberries, and it tastes rich.
Exotic rice doesn’t always mean it is better though. Compare nutrition online to see if that expensive bag of rice is really worth it. It may just be a gimmick.
Noodles get a bad rap in the diet world. They may be high in carbohydrates, but they do provide nutritional benefits. You should opt for the brown varieties whenever possible. Soba noodles are usually wheat based and relatively healthy. Brown-rice noodles are also a new thing. They are great for people that can’t have gluten, and they taste delicious. You may also want to try quinoa noodles. They are made with a grain known as quinoa – very high in protein and nutrients. When it comes to ramen-type noodles, you should go with air dried. This means they were not deep fried before drying out. Air-dried noodles are healthier (and more delicious I think).
Sushi is incredibly flavorful and addictive. If you have ever been in a food coma from sushi, then you understand how unhealthy it really can be. Luckily there are ways to eat healthy sushi without busting your gut. Opt for veggie rolls whenever possible. They are full of fiber and flavor. Avocado rolls are surprisingly delicious when prepared properly. More sushi places are offering a huge variety of vegetarian rolls, and they will always be a healthier choice. If you must choose fish, then go for the smaller rolls. Rainbow rolls are high in calories and fat. Avoid those at all costs. When it is possible to do so, make your own sushi. You can even use brown-sushi rice to make it even healthier.
Rice, noodles and sushi can be a diet bomb if prepared incorrectly. Choose whole-grain options and vegetables as often as possible. You will be healthier for your choices.
By Alex Summers
A common pain for many parents is getting the little ones to eat a particular type of food – or any food that. Commonly referred to as “fussy eaters” many kids just flat out refuse to eat certain foods. This situation can get pretty extreme in some cases with kids choosing to starve rather than eat a particular food. This type of behaviour is not restricted to the traditionally hated foods by kids such as spinach, vegetables or salad but can be experienced for food liked by most children (such as pizza or sausages). So rather than fight with the kids every time, sometimes you just have to get creative – inspire them by arranging food in an interesting way … or just hide some of the food you want them to eat in something they like.
Have just spotted the “Airfork One” for kids in a shop in LA and thought it was quite funny. Check it out – might be useful for fuzzy eaters who are really into planes! It’s available from pretty much all online stores for about ten bucks.
In many countries Christmas is a traditional time for cooking and baking. Cooking and baking with kids is of course a top activity and so here’s some inspirations to liven up the cookie cutting (see below for a super simple recipe that you can use to make cookie cutter cookies).
(if you want to buy any of these just google “cookie cutter” and the shape name (e.g. “shark”) and you’ll find lots of places to purchase them from)
3 1/4 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
150 grams butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
1. Mix flour and baking powder
2. In a separate mixing bowl cream butter, sugar and vanilla (use an electric mixer / whisk)
3. Add eggs one at a time, making sure that each egg is completely beaten in until adding next one
4. Add milk
5. Add flour (slowly while mixing)
6. Mix with mixer until you’ve got a smooth dough
After that you can make the dough into a ball, roll with a rolling pin and follow the usual cookie cutting procedure. Place the cut cookies on a baking tray and put the tray in the fridge for an hour or so. Preheat oven to 180 deg C (350 F, gas mark 4) and bake for about 8 minutes until golden brown.