Food & Drink, News, Recipes

FLORA’s Back-To-School Budgeting Tips For Healthy Meals

With the summer holidays in full swing, sticking to your child’s usual eating routine can be tricky. Whether it’s keeping up with their demand for snacks, going out for more meals on holiday, or affording all of the extra meals when children are at home all day, making sure they maintain a balanced and healthy diet on a budget can be difficult – and that’s before you factor in working and juggling childcare, too.

FLORA has teamed up with nutritionist Rob Hobson to share cost-conscious health hacks ensuring your little ones enjoy healthy alternatives throughout the school holidays.

The spread which is made with plant-based oils and includes Omegas 3 and 6, which are essential good fats for your body. These essential fats are needed for the normal growth and development of children, and they also contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.

Switching from dairy butter to FLORA is an easy way to save money and add extra flavour into a variety of everyday meals, with FLORA 100% Natural Ingredients suitable for cooking, baking, and spreading too. The family brand has been loved by generations and has been a trusted product for more than 50 years.

In addition to healthy food hacks, Consultant Nutritionist for Flora, Rob Hobson explains why Omegas 3 and 6 are essential for children growing up.

“This summer, FLORA wants to ensure that kids and their parents have an enjoyable time while staying healthy.

“Fatty acids are considered essential because they can’t be made in the body. There are several Omega 3 fatty acids which include EPA, and DHA, found in oily fish, and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), found predominantly in plant-based oils. The essential Omega 6 fatty acid is called linolenic acid (LA), which can be found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and plant-based spreads. FLORA is an excellent way for children to get more Omega 3 and 6.

“Essential fatty acids are needed for children’s proper growth and development, and Omega 6 supports the normal cholesterol levels in the body. Fats help with the uptake of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. FLORA also contains vitamin A which contributes to normal vision.

“Instilling healthy eating behaviours in children early on in life can help to encourage good eating habits across their lifespan. Positive social modelling is an effective way of promoting healthier diets in children, including observing the eating behaviours of adults and peers. Research shows that children’s intake of fruit and vegetables increased after watching adults and their peers consume such foods (please see references 1 and 2).

“There are many health hacks for adults to do with children or for children to do with their friends that can help them to explore the fun side of healthy eating this summer, without spending a fortune.”

(Which can be used all year round too!)

Breaking the fast

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day and sets children up for a day of activities and learning. Instead of boxed breakfast cereals, which can be expensive and full of sugar, make a refreshing and nutritious batch of overnight oats with only four ingredients.

Mix oats, apple juice, dairy-free milk, and lime juice together and soak overnight, not only is it rich in fibre, but these ingredients also have key nutrients to support children’s growth and development, such as iron. And it will typically cost a little over £1 for five portions. It’s a great way for children to explore interesting and cost-effective toppings like grated apple or tinned fruits.

Another way to keep costs down is with scrambled egg and toast, switching to dairy-alternative FLORA which is tasty and ensures your children get Omegas 3 and 6 – to support normal growth and development. Top tip, switching from white bread to brown bread is also an easy way to increase fibre.

Homemade lemon, lime, or orangeade

This is a refreshing (and cost-effective) drink to make with your children in the sunshine. Not only is it a good source of vitamin C but you can also limit the amount of sugar that’s used. As well as being tasty, keep the peel and place it in jars to catch pesky flies in the house, proving a great way to educate children about the usefulness of food waste and nature.

If you’re not feeling thirsty, slicing up a whole orange as a refreshing snack for your children helps them get more vitamin C from fruit.

Feeling fruity

Try jazzing up water with fun ice cubes made with berries, cucumber, fruit chunks and mint leaves. Choose seasonal fruits like peaches, apples and pears or use canned or frozen fruits to help keep costs down. Adults can make the most of these by using chopped cucumber ice cubes and fresh herbs to make a summer gin and tonic or cocktail!

You can even have a go at growing your own herbs with the kids such as mint and basil before adding these to your fun ice cubes to make a refreshing and different flavoured drink.

Banana and yogurt fruit pops

This is a tasty treat to enjoy with children in the summer heat. Peel and cut large bananas in half and skewer them on a wooden lolly stick. Dip them in your favourite value flavoured yoghurt then place on greaseproof paper and freeze. You can make them in batches to save time and it’s cheaper and healthier than packaged ice creams.

Edible jewellery

To get children to explore and eat more fruit and vegetables, lay out bowls of vegetables and choose seasonal vegetable to keep the costs down, such as, courgette, carrots, and tomatoes, to create necklaces, rings, and bracelets they can eat throughout the day. Use what’s left over to make tasty and healthy veggie fritters to remove waste. You can even ditch the oil and use FLORA as a way to add extra flavour.

Don’t get in a flap about snacks

Batch cooking healthy snacks with store cupboard essentials is a great and cost-effective way of keeping children full during the school holidays. Making your own low sugar flapjack recipe utilising bulk bags of rolled oats and dairy-alternatives such as FLORA will help your children get some Omega 3 and 6 in their diet, and baking is also a fun activity for the whole family which keeps everyone entertained with a tasty reward at the end.

Load up on plant-based protein

Switch animal protein for canned beans, pulses and chickpeas when cooking lunch and dinner recipes such as curries and salads. Not only are these foods a good source of plant protein and provide key nutrients and minerals including fibre, zinc, iron, and magnesium they help keep costs down in the kitchen.

Try batch preparing a delicious Moroccan couscous salad, packed full of vegetables and chickpeas. It’s a minimal effort meal with maximum flavour thanks to the addition of dairy-alternative FLORA. This recipe can also be replicated with most vegetables to avoid food waste.

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