Archive for Food & Drink

Vitamin D For Starters and Sunshine For Main Course?

Vitamin D-inerA pop-up diner has just launched to help parents top-up their children’s vitamin D intake! A retro American-style dining experience for under-fives, with a serious message at its core, has opened for a limited 3 day period at a London shopping centre (23rd – 25th April).

Designed with children in mind, the Vitamin D-iner (Ha ha!) offers a range of tasty meals rich in the D-licious ‘sunshine vitamin’ to make sure little ones are getting all the ‘sunshine vitamin’ they need.

Summertime may have started, but even when the sun does come out to play it can be difficult to ensure our children are getting enough vitamin D. Therefore, it’s important children get a dietary source all year through.

The Vitamin D Mission

The event follows recent research by the Vitamin D Mission, which highlighted Vitamin D-iner 2UK parents remain unaware of the importance of the vitamin and its sources and as a result, the average toddler is only getting 27% of the vitamin D intake they need[1] to support their healthy growth and development.

Brought to you by the Vitamin D Mission, which aims to eradicate vitamin D deficiency in under-5s; the pop-up restaurant offers a range of delectable dishes including egg-rich ham and cheese quiche, wild salmon fish cakes and strawberries coated in Rice Krispies and chocolate for dessert. As children top-up their diets, parents are served up a smorgasbord of information to help educate them on the importance of dietary vitamin D.

Inspired by a 1950s-style diner, the diner is hosted from a classic Airstream trailer and is kitted out with chequered floors and a vintage jukebox, providing a truly retro feel. Little guests will be kept entertained with colouring-in pages while waiting for their complementary meals.

Vitamin D-iner 3Dr Ellie Cannon, family GP says:

“Vitamin D plays a crucial role, particularly in the early years, to ensure healthy growth and development of children’s bones and teeth. Living in the UK, it can be difficult to get all your vitamin D needs from the sun, and worryingly,  lots of parents are unaware of the other ways to provide their child with this essential vitamin.

“Few natural foods contain vitamin D, so parents need to be educated on the types of foods rich in the vitamin. It’s also worthwhile knowing that everyday foods, like some breakfast cereals, growing up milks and yoghurts are fortified. As a mum myself, I understand children can be fussy, which is why knowing ways to prepare vitamin D rich foods in a tasty way for their little one can be helpful. Parents should also offer daily supplementation from six months to five years, as recommended by the Department of Health.”

Whether you’re after brunch, lunch or dinner, the Vitamin D-iner offers six Vitamin-D-iner-3sittings a day from 23rd – 25th April!

For more information and to take the online test to estimate how much vitamin D your child is getting visit

The Vitamin D Mission is a public health awareness campaign, which aims to eradicate vitamin D deficiency in the UK’s under-5s.

Reasons Under-5s are at Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency

1) The Sun In the UK, our skin isn’t able to make vitamin D from winter sunlight  (November to March) as the sunlight hasn’t got enough UVB (ultraviolet B) radiation.Modern internal lifestyles mean children spend a lot of time indoors during the summer months and when they are playing outdoors many parents are concerned about sun safety, therefore putting lots of sunscreen on them, which makes it even harder to synthesise vitamin D. Just ten to fifteen minutes without sunscreen from 11am to 3pm during the summer months (April to October) can help provide a child with the vitamin D they need.
2) Food Not all children receive a varied diet and foods rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish.Many parents are unaware of the foods that are rich in vitamin D. Natural sources of vitamin D include oily fish, eggs and liver. There are also foods that are fortified in vitamin D, including some breakfast cereals and yoghurts and growing up milks.
3) Supplementation Low uptake of vitamin D supplementation is also a factor. In fact, a report from the Vitamin D Mission reveals fewer than one in five (16%) parents provide their child with a daily vitamin D supplement.A range of supplements are available for children, including easy to use oral sprays and droppers. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin; use an oil-based form where possible.


Fussy Eaters

80% Of UK Parents Say Their Children Are Fussy Eaters!

feeding baby fruitNew research shows that fussy eating habits affect more than 8 in 10 families in the UK! A survey of over 1000 parents illustrates the scale of fussy eating in the UK.
• 90% of parents of fussy eaters say their child’s eating behaviour has a negative impact on their life.
• 69% of parents worry their child is not getting the nutrition they need
• 60% said fussy eating frustrated them
• 27% said that the fussy eating situation led to feelings of anxiety and feeling powerless
• 15% admitted they felt guilty
• 40% of parents with fussy eaters said that their child’s behaviour had turned mealtimes into a time of conflict and created tension with their partner
• Nearly 10% of parents said they can spend between 40 minutes and an hour every mealtime encouraging their child to eat

Tackling the Fussy Eating Problem

baby eatingMums and dads of fussy eaters will bribe children with dessert or sweets, hide vegetables in other foods and threaten to take away treats or fun activities. Netali Levi, a Clinical Psychologist who works with children who are fussy eaters and their parents, says: “Managing mealtimes to make them enjoyable, reducing stress (both yours and the child’s) and understanding your child’s hunger signals are all key to success….You need to find what works for you and your child but generally speaking, by involving them in the process of shopping, cooking and preparing food, gradually introducing new flavours and textures, and rewarding progress, it should be possible for you to navigate this tricky phase and get them back to healthy eating habits.

Abbott Nutrition, who commissioned the study, has developed a new website called, offering practical guidance to parentfussy eaterss to help them get their children back on track with healthy eating. The plan helps parents to:
• Identify and understand their child’s individual habits and hunger signals
• Follow a set meal and snack routine
• Introduce new foods and textures gradually and regularly
• Make mealtimes a positive experience for everyone
• Let their child take some of the control

This is a sponsored post.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb by Hello Fresh

Patrick Drake ChefWe’re all aware of the reports out in the past few days which highlight the fact that children who eat the same food as their parents rather than just ‘kids’ meals’ are far more likely to have healthy diets.

Below is a recipe by chef, Patrick Drake of HelloFresh.

Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Sweet Vegetable Stew

Moroccan Spiced LambReady in 45 Minutes

250g Lamb Mince
100g Cous Cous
? Cup Red Onion, Finely Diced
? Cup Carrot, Finely Diced
? Cup Celery, Finely Diced
Half Cup Swede Roughly Chopped
Half Cup Parsnip Roughly Chopped
1 Tin Tomatoes
3 Dry Apricots
? Cup Fresh Coriander
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Spring Onion
¼ Tsp All Spice
¼ Tsp Cumin
¼ Tsp Turmeric
? Tsp Ginger
½ Chicken Stock Pot

1. Chop the carrot, celery, garlic and onion as finely as possible. Tip: Whizz in a food processor if you have one. Peel and roughly chop (2cm cubes) the parsnip and the swede. Finely chop the spring onion and roughly chop the apricots
2. Heat a tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan on medium/low heat. Cook the finely diced carrot, celery, garlic and onion for about 8 minutes. Tip: You want to cook the mixture until it is soft and be sure not to let it brown off
3. Now add the swede and parsnip. Sprinkle on a ¼ tsp of salt with the turmeric and ginger. Add the chopped apricots, put a lid on a stew for 5 minutes more. When the veg has softened add the tomatoes, half the stock and a cup of water
4. For the meatballs, thoroughly mix the spring onions into the lamb. Mix in ½ teaspoon of salt, the all spice and the cumin. If your stew is drying out a little, turn the heat to low and add a dash of water
5. Take a tsp of the lamb mixture at a time and roll it into a little ball. Tip: Keep a cup of water to clean your fingers while you make the meatballs also you want to keep the meatballs small, so give your helpers a guide for the first one
6. Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium/high heat. Cook the meatballs for a couple of minutes on each side until they are just browned off. When the meatballs are cooked drain the oil and rest them on kitchen towel if you have some
7. Boil 150ml of water with a quarter teaspoon of salt. Add in your cous cous and cover the pot tightly. Take the pot off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Tip: Be exact with the amount of water to prevent soggy cous cous!
8. Roughly chop the coriander. Fluff up your cous cous with a fork. Stir the meatballs gently into the stew. Serve the stew on top of the cous cous with a sprinkle of coriander

Christmas Pudding – Stir Up Sunday 25th November 2012


2012-12-04 16.17.29Stir-up Sunday is traditionally the day for families to make their Christmas pudding, giving it plenty of time for the flavours to develop before Christmas & the last Sunday before Advent.

All the family take a turn to stir the pudding and make a secret wish whilst they stirred. The pudding was always stirred from East to West to represent the journey that the three wise men who visited baby Jesus made. There would also be a sixpence added to the mixture and this custom was believed to bring health and wealth to the lucky finder.

This was all new news to me and my children as I’d never baked a Christmas Pudding until this year. It was all made easier when I bought Emma’s Make a Wish Christmas Pudding by Riverside Lifestyle.

I followed the simple instructions and only needed to add the wet ingredients to the supplied dried mixture. My children and I had officially started a little pre-festive fun. We each took in turns to stir and make a wish and it was so funny to watch my children. One was whispering with the other two warning them that the wish wouldn’t come true if the wish was heard, another closing their eyes and the third just looked at me and smiled. After stirring mine I dropped the sixpence into the mixture. This was also supplied and a lovely touch.

xmaspud91-350x350The pudding was steamed on the hob for 3 hours so make sure you give yourself plenty of time. This pudding is ready to eat or be eaten within two weeks (if covered and refrigerated). As this will be eaten on Christmas Day when my parents join us for lunch I have frozen mine and look forward to tasting and sharing it with my Special Family.

I think this maybe a start of a new tradition in my house now.

Bart’s Jubilee Sponge

TheBabyWebsite offices get emails & press releases every day from companies telling us about their products but we very rarely get anytBart's Jubilee Spongehing which tastes and looks as good as this yummy sponge!

It’s kind of a modern twist on the classic Victoria Sponge & has been created by Bart especially for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. As you can see from the recipe below, there’s a real mix of unusual ingredients including mint (!), cinammon and Bart Bristol Blend Five Peppercorns! Weird you’d think but believe it or not, the taste combinations work perfectly and it’s really scrummy.


Serves 10 (or fewer if you have big pieces like us!)


½ tsp Bart Bristol Blend Five Peppercorns

½ tsp Bart Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Bart Ground Ginger

¼ tsp Bart Ground Nutmeg

2 tsp Bart Mint (Freeze Dried)Bart Sponge Cake

250g self-raising flour

¼ tsp salt

250g margarine or butter

250g Bart Vanilla Sugar

4 eggs, beaten

For the filling and topping

250g cream cheese

150ml double cream

100g icing sugar

250g strawberries, quartered

200g blueberries


  1. Grease and line 2 20 cm round sandwich tins. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  2. Cream together the margarine and vanilla sugar until light and creamy.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients together and slowly add to the mixture, along with the eggs.
  4. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and smooth the tops. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until well-risen and golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  6. When completely cool, cut each cake in half horizontally so you have four thin cakes.
  7. To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese, cream and icing sugar until thick and smooth. Spread the cream on top of one cake layer and scatter over one quarter of the strawberries and blueberries. Top with another cake and repeat.

Take a look at some More Recipes!

Turkey, Bacon and Lentil Soup Recipe

Turkey SoupSomething nice & easy to make with leftover turkey after Christmas….

This lovely, tasty soup serves a family of 4 (ish), only takes minutes really to cook and is delicious served with some nice, crusty bread!

Using canned lentils means there’s no soaking involved and they have a long shelf-life too.  Can’t be bad!


400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can green lentils, drained
125g cooked turkey, shredded into bite size pieces
1 very small onion, finely chopped
4 rashers bacon, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 Tbsp oil
750ml vegetable stock
1 bay leaf

•    Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion and fry tilll soft.
•    Add the bacon and continue frying for 3 minutes.
•    Next add the garlic, carrot and celery, then fry for another minute.
•    Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaf and lentils, simmer for 10 minutes.
•    When the vegetables are cooked, discard the bay leaf, remove half the soup and liquidise to a smooth consistency.
•    Return the liquidised soup to the pan.
•    Stir in the cooked turkey and heat through, adjusting the consistency of the soup with more stock if necessary.

And for those who are interested, all the nutritional info is below.

Nutrition Information (per serving)
Calories:     258
Protein:     21.7g
Carbs:         19.4g
Sugars:     6.0g
Fat:         10.5g
Sat Fat:     2.9g

Something new for Boxing Day Supper or lunchYummy!