Back to Basics

Last week I started writing about returning to "the basics". I shared a few posts about the principles which I used when I started weaning my daughter. I made a batch of Homemade Vegetable Stock, a great way of boosting the nutritional content of purees and soups. Homemade stock freezes really well, I freeze it in ice cube trays, so I can add it to my cooking as and when I need to.  By making your own stock you know there is no salt, or additives.

This week I'll be sharing my Homemade Chicken Stock recipe too. Chicken bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system. The collagen in bone broth soothes the gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation. I have made it for my daughter so often: she has eaten it since she was 6 months +. If you would like to try it too, the recipe is on the website. This week I use this stock as the basis for a family-friendly Root Vegetable Soup and a First Vegetable Puree; to show you how versatile it is and how you can use it in cooking for all the family. 

One of the key lessons I learnt when I attended Leiths Cookery School, and completed their accredited course Nutrition in Practise was to try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. So, this week I'm also talking a little bit about eating a rainbow of foods and introducing as much colour as possible to our children's diets. This is the easiest way to boost nutritional intake and ensure variety when we plan what food we are going to buy and eat. (Although please note I am not a trained nutritionist, nor am I in a position to advise medically). I have a fun idea recipe this week inspired by this principle and it's a great one to involve your kids with too, now that schools out for Summer. 

Finally, as a parent, it can be very difficult to navigate a lot of the nutritional advice we are bombarded with daily, so I am also posting a little bit about portion sizes: and what 1 of 5 a day portions of fruit and vegetables should look like for your toddler, or child. I want to stop this goal feeling impossible, as I know it does for most parents, particularly when faced with fussy eaters. You'll be surprised at how easy it really is.

Miriam Cooper