Cooking up good habits for our kids

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Diabetes UK has launched a new recipe competition that is all about getting families cooking together.

This comes after latest figures show that 1 in 4 Birmingham children are obese by the time they leave primary school.

Peter Shorrick, Regional Manager in the Midlands, said: “We’re looking for quick, simple and healthy recipes from families across the country. We’ll shortlist four of the best and the public can vote online for the winner, who will receive a fantastic Red Letter Days experience for all the family to enjoy.

“Cooking with children is great fun and helps kids learn a whole new set of skills like teamwork, science and maths, and the basics of nutrition, helping to form healthier eating habits for life. And who doesn’t have fond childhood memories of the treat of being able to lick the cake mix from the bowl?

“We hope that our competition will inspire families to get creative in the kitchen and cook up some great healthy family suppers to inspire others around the country.”

For those who need some help in the kitchen, Diabetes UK’s ‘Enjoy Food’ recipe finder provides delicious and healthy recipes. People can choose from really easy-to-follow recipes or attempt others which are a bit more complex.

Each recipe lists the all-important carbohydrate content to make ‘carb counting’ easy for people with diabetes who need to match their insulin dose to the amount of carbohydrate they are eating. Each recipe also includes protein, fat, saturates, sugars and salt content per portion, as well as calorie information.

Mr Shorrick added: “This resource aims to be helpful to the 3.9 million people living with diabetes, for whom physical activity and a healthy balanced diet is key to helping them manage their condition. However, it is really important for everyone, regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with diabetes, to embrace a healthy diet and these recipes can help everyone do just that.”

The competition is open from 1 – 22 July. Find out more at www.diabetes.org.uk/recipe-competition/

So here a few recipes to get you going…

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FRUIT AND NUT BARS

These chewy bars are ideal as a snack before exercise or as a healthier alternative to normal biscuits and bars.

MAKES 16 PREP TIME 20 Mins COOK TIME 40 Mins
107 calories per serving

VEGAN DAIRY FREE LOW FAT

Ingredients

  • 450g eating apples, stewed
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice
  • 225g mixed dried fruit (eg apricots, dates, cranberries, etc), roughly chopped
  • 100g mixed nuts (eg almonds, hazelnuts, etc), chopped
  • 75g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp oil
  1. Method Preheat the oven to 180ºC /  gas mark 4.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
  3. Spoon into a lightly greased and lined 20cm square baking tin.
  4. Smooth out and press down slightly, then bake for 35–40 minutes, until golden and firm.
  5. Mark into 16 pieces. Leave in the tin to cool.

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CHERRY AND CHOCOLATE DESSERT POT

Shiny, red and perfectly formed, cherries are low in fat and have a low glycaemic index (GI), as well as being a good source of fibre, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, copper and iron.

SERVES 4 PREP TIME 20 Mins COOK TIME 15 Mins
116 calories per serving

  • Ingredients
  • 225g fresh cherries
  • 2 tbsp artificial sweetener
  • 1 tsptsp(level) cornflour, blended with 1 tbsp cold water
  • 100 g Quark or low fat soft cheese
  • 2tbsp skimmed milk
  • Half level tsp vanilla extract
  • 25g dark chocolate, dark, broken into pieces

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 1 heaped tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Half a level tsp cornflour, blended with half tbsp cold water
  • 1 level tbspgolden syrup
  1. Method Halve and pit 225g fresh cherries, reserving 4 whole for decoration.
  2. Put in a small pan with 50ml water and 1tbsp artificial sweetener. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  3. Blend 1 level tsp cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and stir into cherries until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and cool, stirring to prevent skin forming.
  5. In a bowl, beat 100g low-fat soft cheese, 2 tbsp skimmed milk, half tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp sweetener until smooth.
  6. For the chocolate sauce, put 25g dark chocolate pieces into a pan and add 1 heaped tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, half level tsp cornflour, blended with half tbsp cold water, and 1 tbsp golden syrup. Heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Cool, stirring to prevent skin forming.
  7. Spoon everything into small serving glasses. Finish each one with a cherry.
  8. Chill and serve.