Monthly Archives: December 2013

Mash Potato Snowman in a Creamy Winter Wonderland!

24 December 2013




What you will need:

6 florets of Broccoli

6 Florets of Cauliflower,

One large boiling potato (such as Maris Piper)

30g free from margarine (such as Pure/Vitalite)

One green bean/shaved carrot section

One carrot tip

2 peppercorns

3 peas

2 sprigs of parsley

150ml rice milk (or other suitable free from milk)

30g free from cheese (such as Cheezly)

15g cornflour

5g nutritional yeast

Add seasoning to taste (try and avoid salt)


For the Grass

Steam approximately 6 florets of broccoli.

Finely chop Broccoli

(this will be the grass so cover the plate in this first layer)


Mash Potato Snowmen

(We add approximately 30g of margarine to our mash potato)

Scoop mashed potato onto place

Make another slightly smaller scoop and place on top of other scoop

Add one steamed green bean/ shaved carrot section as a scarf

Add two sprigs of parsley for arms

Add three peppercorns or peas for buttons, and add two peppercorns for eyes

Add a carrot tip for the nose.

(Keep aside some mash to make ‘snowballs’ to decorate around the plate later)



Steam 6 florets of cauliflower and place upright along rim of the plate (trees).


Snow (Creamy Sauce)

Heat 150ml rice milk (or other suitable free from milk) in a saucepan,

Add 30g free from cheese to saucepan,

Add 15g cornflour to slightly thicken mixture

Add 5g nutritional yeast.

Add seasoning to taste.


What is so good about this recipe?

Cauliflower, Potato and Nutritional Yeast are great sources of B vitamins!

Peas, Green, Beans, Broccoli and Parsley are rich in Vitamin C, K, Calcium and Iron to name a few.

Many free from margarines and milks contain added nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin B12 and Calcium.

Naughty or Nice Christmas Treats!

23 December 2013



Nutritionist Kimmy has put together a fab blog about naughty Christmas treats and some healthier alternatives! It’s all about getting the balance right over the festive season as everyone deserves some treats!

Christmas is just round the corner and let’s face it, we all indulge. I am a nutritionist and try to set an example but of course I treat myself to some of the ‘not so healthy’ things tempting me at Christmas time.


What is important is that annoying word again…‘moderation’. You can have foods that are a bit naughty but make the next few treats a little healthier. We can make similar foods very easily and by making your own snacks, the Christmassy smell coming from the kitchen will definitely give you that Christmassy feeling. By making little substitutes we can have our cake and eat it too (literally).

These are delicious party nibbles and snacks to help you make small healthier changes this festive period. Plus they are really quick to make!


Naughty List Nice List
Crisps and Dip

  • Especially fried crisps and creamy dips
  • Why? Contains lots of saturated fat.
Vegetables and Hummus

  • Create into fun shapes such as Christmas trees using broccoli, carrots, celery, red pepper, etc.
  • Why? Variety of vegetables gives a variety of nutrients and hummus is a great source of folate and the fat helps absorb some nutrients.
Shop Bought Sweet/Toffee Popcorn.

  • Some are not so naughty so make sure you have a look at the ingredients and nutritional information.
  • Why? Many are full of sugar and it is very easy to over indulge.
Kimmy’s Seasonings Greetings Popcorn

  • Orange, Ginger and Cinnamon flavoured popcorn.
  • Use fine orange rind, ginger and cinnamon powders and a dash of rapeseed oil.
  • Make Popcorn Necklaces!
  • Why? Rapeseed oil is lower in saturated fat and higher in ‘healthier fats’ compared to butter and many other oils. The smell is delicious!
Chocolate Orange

  • My two favourite combinations but sadly it is not very nutritious.
  • Why? High in sugar and saturated fat.
Orange/Satsuma Segments Dipped in Chocolate.

  • I know chocolate is still in there but it is a little better than a chocolate orange.
  • If you want to be very good this year, a Satsuma is a delicious healthy snack.
  • Why? Very nutrient dense, a great source of vitamin C.
Apple Pie

  • It is hard to avoid this temptation on a cold night but…
  • Why? It is full of sugar and saturated fat.
Baked Apples Sprinkled with Cinnamon

  • Many add sugar to this recipe but there is no need if you choose a naturally sweet apple such as Fuji or Gala.
  • Why? Apples are a great source of fibre and is low in fat. It also smells and tastes like Christmas!
Mince Pie

  • The ultimate Christmas treat.
  • Why? Like apple pie, this mince it is very dense in sugar and saturated fat.
Trail Mix (Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Dried Cranberries)

  • You can substitute any dried fruit or seeds (or nuts but make sure your guests do not have any allergens).
  • When looking for dried fruit, many add sugar and sulphites so try and find one with a low sugar content.
  • Why? Dried fruit contains lots of vitamins and minerals.  Seeds contain ‘healthy fats’, fibre and lots of micronutrients. This slows digestion in the gut, makes you feel fuller for longer, prevents a peak in blood sugar levels. Also, many vitamins need fat to be absorbed into the body and the seeds aid this.





Join our Twitter chat: #AskKimmy Thursdays 11am!

18 December 2013

Here’s a catch up of what was discussed at last Thursday’s chat!

Is ‘gluten free’ and ‘very low gluten’ the same thing and is it safe to give a child with a gluten intolerance?

Gluten free products must have a gluten level of less than 20 parts per million (ppm) and products labeled as ‘very low gluten’ must have a gluten level of 100ppm.

If you are wanting to introduce a food into a diet but fear they may be a risk of allergy/intolerance please seek medical advice.

I am breastfeeding, do you have any dietary advice for me?

When breastfeeding it is important to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Also do not ‘diet to lose weight’. Also when breastfeeding try to eat around two portions of fish a week (make one oily but try not to eat more than two portions of oily fish per week). Avoid deep sea fish such shark and swordfish and limit tuna restrict alcohol and caffeine intake.

I am going to start to wean my baby but unsure about how much food I should introduce them too.

When introducing solids, milk (breast, formula, prescription)  is still the main source of energy. Start with small amounts of smooth food around 1-2 times a day.

Then introduce 2-3 small meals a day of a greater variety of foods. Milk should still be the main source of energy.

During weaning progress to introduce 2-3 meals a day which are thicker and lumpier. By the time the child is around 1-2 years they should share a normal family diet and eat approximately three main meals and two snacks per day.

Is it true that you can not improve bone health no matter how much calcium you take.

We reach our peak bone mass at around 30 years old so it important to store adequate reserves earlier in life. It has been found that adequate vitamin D and calcium intake in later life can slow the rate of bone loss but cannot stop the process.

Should I be concerened about the arsenic level in rice? My dietician has told me not to worry but I am. What does Kimmy think?

Aresnic is naturally occurring so it is not something that can easily be removed from food. The FSA recommends that tollders and young children do not consume rice milk (as a drink) as a substitute for breast milk/formula/prescription milk due to arsenic and other nutritional factors. You did the right think by discussing it with your dietician. I do think that if your dietician was worried about the levels your child was consuming then it would have been highlighted.


16 December 2013

Christmas Activities

With the Christmas holidays looming, parents are always looking for ways to keep their little ones entertained! We’ve scoured the net and would love to share the best ideas we’ve found!

Christmas Angels



Use an old toilet roll tube.

Paint it white.

Cut up some paper plates and attach these to the toilet roll tube so they look like wings

Now let your little one’s go wild drawing on faces, sticking on glitter/buttons and anything they can find!

Find out more here:



Handprint Christmas Wreath

wreath                                                                                                                          paint

This is a lovely idea using natural ingredients you’ll find in your cupboard as paint.

Get everyone in the family involved! Mummy, Daddy, Granny, Aunty…to make a lovely Christmas keepsake!

Get everyone to dip their hands in some paint, cut the prints out and then stick them to a circular piece of card with a hole in the middle.

Check out: for more tips!



Homemade Play Dough

Your children will love the wonderful scent of this festive play dough! Check out: for the recipe.

After that great creative with decorating! How about making a play dough snowman or Santa claus?

Or little Christmas presents decorated with ribbons, bows, buttons and sequins to sit under the Christmas tree.





Catch up on our Twitter chat! Thursdays at 11am!

8 December 2013

Fruits & Vegetables


I am very concerned about mercury levels in fish? Is it is safe to give to my family?

Fish is a great source of protein and omega 3. Omega 3 has been shown to have beneficial effects on health including brain, eye and coronary health.

There is recent concern that a high consumption of mercury can have negative effects on neurological health. However, as omega 3 is essential for neurological health and development, the evidence suggests that the proven effects of omega 3 on health outweigh the potential risks of mercury.

Try and consume 1-2 portions of fish a week (including one oily fish). If you are pregnant or are cooking for a young child avoid deep sea fishes such as swordfish, marlin and shark which contain high mercury levels.


Is folate and folic acid the same thing? Is one better than the other and why do I need it in my diet?

Folate is one of the B vitamins (B9) and is found naturally in foods. When consumed folate is converted into folic acid in order for it to be absorbed and used in the body. Folic acid is usually added to foods (such as flour) and supplements. Folic acid is more easily absorbed in the body as it does not need to go through the conversion step. Folic acid is essential for neurological development and works with vitamin K to form healthy blood cells.


What is the difference between milk allergy and lactose intolerance.

Lactose is a sugar and is found in dairy. Lactose intolerance is caused by a lactase deficiency (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) into its digestible components.

A milk allergy is a reaction to the proteins (not the sugar) in milk and triggers an immune response.


How safe is it to consume tree nut oil if you have an allergy to peanuts?

Around 30-40% of people with a peanut allergy will also have an allergy to tree nuts. The incidence of cross contamination between tree nuts and peanuts during manufacturing is very high.

Tree nut oils are usually less refined than tree nuts but do contain traces of tree nut protein and are therefore not considered safe for those with tree nut allergies.

Please visit a medical professional if you are concerned if a product is safe.


Nutritional Insights: The BIG problem with Superfoods…

3 December 2013


Fruits & Vegetables



Today I am going to talk (and try not to rant) about ‘superfoods’. Many nutritionists (including myself) do not like the term ‘superfoods’ as it may portray that a certain food had super nutritional value and super benefits to health without sufficient evidence. Obviously foods are higher in different nutrients and lower in others but it is important to get lots of variety to get all the nutrients we need.


The term ‘superfoods’ is often misused and is strongly used in marketing. In 2007 the EU banned the use of the word for products unless backed up with strong scientific evidence and proof that it provides a benefit to health.


Just look at probiotic yogurts. These used to have lots of health claims to reduce a, b and c which will help 1, 2, and 3. And now? ‘Bacteria that is scientifically proven to reach the gut alive’. This was changed as the evidence is not strong enough at this moment to create health claims. I am not for one moment saying that probiotics are not beneficial to health, what I am saying is that the evidence is not strong enough at the moment.


What we can say is that a specific food contains high amounts of a certain nutrient, and studies have shown that this nutrient helps with this health condition but what we cannot say (unless there is very strong evidence) that the food helps with the health condition. For example, I can say that broccoli is rich in calcium, we can also say that calcium is important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis but I can not say broccoli prevents osteoporosis.


There is no one size fits all with food. Eat a variety of food to obtain a balanced nutritional diet.