Advice For Mums
1. Make sure to have carbohydrates at all meals, i.e. bread, rice, potatoes or pasta.
2. A good option for breakfast or a light meal is a sandwich with brown bread or whole meal breakfast cereals.
3. When you buy bread for the family choose whole meal or whole meal with seeds so that your children will love them from a young age.
1. Vegetables lose their vitamins when they boil in the water. It’s better to eat our vegetables raw, stirfried for 2-3 minutes, cooked in steam or boiled in very little water (so they remain crunchy and not heavily cooked).
2. Frozen vegetables retain their vitamins and they can be a very easy and practical solution for all of us that work and have only a little time for food preparation.
3. Avoid using canned vegetables often as they are high in sodium.
4. Dried fruits can also be a very good source of vitamins and fiber. They are sweet and they are a tasty and nutritious snack for the whole family.
5. Juices are an easy way to get the vitamins of fruit however they lack fiber, so prefer to eat the whole fruit rather than juices.
6. If you buy canned fruit choose those that are in juice and not in syrup.
1. Make milkshakes using fresh milk and fresh fruit such as one banana or 6-7strawberries, together with a tea spoon of honey. Another great idea is making a fruit smoothie.
2. Try adding fruit in your salads such as pomegranate, figs, strawberries, apples etc. The children will love them!
3. In your homemade burgers or stuffed vegetables (i.e. koupepia) add some grated vegetables such as carrot, courgette, onion, chopped mushrooms or peppers.
4. Use vegetable sauces for accompanying your rice or pasta for example tomato sauces with coloured peppers, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, courgette etc.
5. Cook broccoli or cauliflower in the oven adding a little béchamel sauce on top (it can be prepared with semi-skimmed milk, flour and one egg).
6. Cook on omelet using various vegetables such as spinach, onion, courgette, muchrooms and /or peppers.
7. Cook vegetable soups with a variety of vegetables. You can make them smooth and creamy using a blender so that youcan hide the bege tables that some children are not very keen on. Then you can add pieces of boiled chicken or fish.
1. Always serve children a cup of milk for breakfast.
2. If you want to control your children's weight, you can give them semi-skimmed milk and dairy products from 2 years old. From 5 years on it is safe for children to switch to dairy products that are 0% fat, how ever the semi-skimmed version is fine for the majority of the children.
3. No food is good or bad by itself. A healthy balanced diet is based on variety! If your children follow the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, they meet their fruit and vegetable requirements etc, they can have a treat 1-2 times a week. Treats like ice-cream etc should not be excluded from a healthy balanced diet but can be incorporated in your diet in special occasions. Try to choose treats that are of high nutritional quality i.e. from the dairy group which provide essential protein and calcium!
1. Combine children's burgers or nuggets with a salad rather than French fries.
2. When buying meat choose lean cuts of meat and remove all visible fat before cooking.
3. Encourage children to eat pulses 2-3 times a week, as they help blood cholesterol and glucose levels stay within normal limits. Also pulses are served with vegetables and olive oil, rich sources of antioxidants and mono-unsaturated oils that protect the heart.
4. Encourage children to eat nuts and seeds in their meals or snacks, as they are good sources of protein. They are also rich in vitamin Ε and mono-unsaturated fats, which have heart protecting properties. Nuts might be dangerous for children younger than 5 years old due to the risk of choking, so at younger children you can give peanut butter instead.
5. Serve your children fish 2 times a week. Choose oily fish such as salmon, herring, trout, sardines often as they are rich in the w-3 fatty acids that help children's brain development and also protect the circulatory system as they prevent the clotting of the blood.
6. The w-3 fats in fatty fish also have anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have proved a beneficial role of the w-3 fatty acids in reducing the severity of allergic symptoms i.e. in eczema etc.
7. Avoid sausages, bacon and salami in children's sandwiches as they are high in animal fats. Instead serve turkey or lountza (lean pork) slices.
8. Avoid mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is high in saturated fat and calories and can increase the caloric value of children's meals. At McDonald's you can ask to include or exclude any item from your order according to your personal preferences.
9. Instead serve children's burgers with McDonald's Ketchup. Our Ketchup has a high concentration of fresh, ripe tomatoes, and is an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant which gives tomatoes their red colour. A large number of research studies have shown that lycopene protects our heart and also protects us from cancer.
1. Start giving a variety of fruit and vegetables from early in life so that children become familiar with the flavors. Research has shown that if the pregnant and breastfeeding mother has a diet rich in fruit and vegetables then the child is more likely to have a diet rich in fruit and vegetables too!
2. During the weaning period offer fruit and vegetables many times before you decide your child doesn't like them. Children may refuse to eat some foods not because they don't like them but for other reasons; they might be teething, they might be upset about something else, they might not be hungry at that time etc. Research has shown that when parents offer fruit and vegetables again and again then the children end up eating a more varied and healthy diet.
3. Always be a good example by eating vegetables at your meals and fruit as snacks.
4. Children of bigger ages can help in the process of shopping, cleaning and preparation of fruit and vegetables, so they will be proud and more interested in eating them eventually.
5. Ask kids which vegetables they prefer to have in their salad. Some kids may not eat salad because it contains vinegar, onion or another ingredient, so asking them what they do or don't like is very important.
6. Usually most kids like carrot, colored sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes etc, so try using those frequently in salads or as snacks.
7. When you are shopping encourage children to choose new fruit and vegetables to try.
8. Encourage them to pick something that even you might not like. It is important that they try in order to make their own choices. Many children prefer to eat each food separately, so instead of mixing vegetables, serve them separately.