Soft Drinks linked to Diabetes: Surprise, surprise…

Yesterday an article was published by the BBC which stated:Fizzy drinks | Soft drinks | Health | Obesity | Diabetes

“Drinking one or more cans of sugary soft drinks a day is linked to an increased risk of diabetes in later life, a study suggests.” 

For those of us who have been campaigning against the Soft Drink Industry and encouraging the public to quit drinking sugary drinks, this comes as no surprise!

We have written a number of blogs on the topic of soft drinks and health, not least posting the video “The Real Bears“, which effectively and expressively demonstrates the impact of sugary beverages on the public’s health.

However, everywhere I go I see people drinking fizzy and soft drinks like water and without giving a seconds thought. It’s not that people shouldn’t drink these drinks EVER…simply that the amount we are consuming is affecting our health and leading to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, amongst other things.

Marion Nestle today posted a blog about “Coca Cola’s Responsibility Deal” which is saying more or less (as Nestle puts it):

“Hey, it’s not our sugar-water that’s making you put on weight.  It’s up to you to choose what you drink and work it off with physical activity.” 

The answer, really, is –  Think Before You Drink (see our leaflet here). One can a day (or more) IS going to impact your health. Sorry.

More on this:

Soft Drink Tax: Will it really work?

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

 

Operation Hospital Food: Do hospitals need a good shake up..?

Hospital Food | Patients Nutrition | Food RegulationsLike aeroplane food, hospital food has a somewhat awful reputation. The subject is increasingly highlighted by the Media, who like to jump on the bandwagon of painting it as both disgusting and inedible.

However the statistics do speak for themselves; a survey for the Soil Association in the UK found that over a third of people thought that hospital food was ‘unacceptable’ and more than half said they would not be happy offering it to a child.

Even more importantly is research from Age UK in 2010, showing that around 180, 000 patients were leaving hospital malnourished each year. The National ‘Hungry to be Heard’ campaign suggests that these numbers are still increasing.

The Soil Association recently published a report ‘First Aid for Hospital Food’ which, encouragingly, highlights how, despite a number of barriers, hospitals CAN provide good, nutritious food on a tight budget.

On Monday 10th December SR Nutrition was invited to attend an event hosted by Chef James Martin in preparation for the next series of his documentary ‘Operation Hospital Food’ on BBC One.

Charlotte attended as a representative and was really pleased to see a campaign in place with a champion who really was passionate about making a difference to the standard of hospital food.

The campaign is now in its second BBC series and involves James Martin and a number of award winning chefs who have set out to improve the standard of food served in hospitals across the UK.

Series One of ‘Operation Hospital Food’ saw James making huge improvements to the food served in the hospitals by simplifying and improving menus, reducing wastage, getting fresh and local produce on the menus and generating income for the hospitals from onsite restaurants. Series Two is set to spread this work throughout a number of other hospitals in England and Wales.

During the event a range of foods (mainly soups) were served, many of which have now been introduced to the menus of the hospitals this campaign has been supporting. The soups were delicious – my favourite being the parsnip and rosemary soup. However as someone who does not add salt to foods, I could quite easily taste the salt in the recipes. Nevertheless, James assured me that all recipes had been checked and approved by local hospital dietitians to ensure that they were meeting the correct standards for all patients.

This campaign, along with the Soil Association’s report, was able to demonstrate that a number of hospitals have made beneficial changes to the food served and all without increasing their budget, which is inevitably tight for most (around £2.00-£3.00 per day per person). This suggests that with the right approach, attitude and support all hospitals could be serving nutritious and, crucially, edible foods to all patients.

Personally I believe that hospitals should be leading the way in terms of demonstrating what ‘Healthy Eating’ really is. If a hospital is where people go to ‘get better’, then good food really needs to be an important part of the hospital environment. Ensuring patients receive adequate nutrients needed for health and repair is vital for recovery, but even more critical is demonstrating that which patients should be eating to maintain good health. This is in the hope that, once patients return home they may have the tools and understanding to ‘eat well’ for themselves and reduce the need to return to hospital.

Campaigns such as Jamie Oliver’s School Meals Initiative and now ‘Operation Hospital Food’ with chef James Martin are often pivotal in helping to highlight a need for change.  So here’s to Operation Hospital Food and here’s hoping it makes a difference.

Workout Nutrition: The ultimate guide…

People often ask me about nutrition before, during and after a work out. I’m not currently a
Sports Nutritionist although I do know a fair amount about the subject.
However, I recently came across this GEM of a pictorial guide and, really, this says is all!
So for those of you who are looking for a good nutrition workout plan have a good read of
the information below because, this really outlines everything you need to know.
Enjoy!! 🙂

Source: greatist.com via SR on Pinterest

Soft Drink Tax: Will it really work..?

Recent press has been focusing on the prospect of the Government putting a tax on fizzy and soft drinks.  As always in the field of nutrition this is a topic which will provoke controversy!

Tax on fizzy and soft drinks

 The recent press interest is in response to a number of campaigns working to help reduce obesity in the UK, as well as a response to a number of studies linking soft drink intake with unhealthy lifestyles, overweight and obesity and even diabetes.

A recent report was published by the AoMRC (The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges), the body representing the medical profession including surgeons, GPs and paediatricians. This report – entitled “Measuring Up” – included the following recommendations:

  • A ban on advertising foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt before 9 p.m.
  • Further taxes on sugary drinks – to increase prices by at least 20%
  • A reduction in fast food outlets near schools and leisure centres
  • A £100m budget for interventions such as weight-loss surgery
  • No junk food or vending machines in hospitals, where all food must meet the same nutritional standards as in schools
  • Food labels to include calorie information for children

For more information see the full report on the AoMRC website: http://www.aomrc.org.uk

So what do you think?

We “asked the audience” on our Facebook page what they thought of the recommendations from the AoMRC and the idea of a “soft drink tax”. Here are some of the responses:

Heather Dunford – Design Assistant

“I agree. Sometimes making unhealthy options harder for people is the only way to change people’s habits. I just wonder if the target audience for this proposal will view it as a way to make more money from them rather than with their health in mind. This is always the difficulty when you hear the word ‘tax’. People easily adopt a ‘you can’t tell me what to do’ attitude in these situations as a way of avoiding the facts. Education from Registered Nutritionists like you has to be the most effective way of changing people’s views on food and therefore hopefully their bad eating habits.”

Cherly Ryder – Founder of “Dribble Delights

“I would very much welcome a tax like that…Unfortunately I see too many primary school kids drinking it! As a parent you just want the best start in life for your kids and I wish the norm was water! It is in schools, which is great, but we’re sending mixed messages to young people. It’s no longer enough to simply offer a piece of fruit in a meal deal, it needs to looked upon as a whole package of food, drink, and snacks.”

Soraya Janmohamed – OptiBac Probiotics

People need to be more aware of the dangers of sugar, and if we need tax to make this happen, then so be it. We’re always trying to cut down on/heavily reduce sugar intake.”

Kristina Helbig – From Germany

“I never drink soft drinks and the tax sounds good to start with, but then on the other side I don’t think it is fair towards people who like to have a can of coke as a treat from time to time. Also will the tax really stop people from buying these drinks or will people just start to save on other foods like fruit and veg to afford these things? I think the problem is much deeper and won’t be solved simply with that. The Government needs to go deeper and get the food companies involved in regulating how much sugar can go into foods, as well as regulating the availability of food in the supermarkets. The amount and they type of food available in the UK is just insane!”

Also have a look at the opposing opinions in this video. It’s a really interesting contrast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28L-Z82kEQA

So what do we think?

Well here at SR Nutrition we certainly agree with the recommendations made by the AoMRC. We cannot hide from the fact that, ultimately, what we eat and drink is a decision made by each individual. However we truly believe that society NEEDS to help make eating healthily “the norm” and the easiest option for everyone.

Currently unhealthy eating is actually the easiest option, with the wide array of “junk foods” and fizzy drinks available 24 hours a day. A fizzy drink tax (as well as all other suggestions made by the AoMRC) is not an ultimate solution, but certainly could go some way to improving the eating behaviour of the UK public.

Public health laws have been saving lives and improving health for years, as is pointed out in the above video. For example, seatbelts, smoking bans and speed-limits have been introduced to force the public to make the right decisions. This may be seen as “nanny-state” intervention, but having all of the above in place has made an impact by saving lives.

Additionally the statistics on obesity have been well known for a long time and are not drastically changing, no matter how much we try to “nudge” people in the right direction (the way the Government previously wanted to tackle the Obesity Crisis). As always, education is of extreme importance but I also think that a large percentage of the population know the basic healthy eating messages – eat less, exercise more – but that doesn’t mean they are doing it. Why not? Possibly because it is too easy to stay as we are and perhaps a “fat tax” will change that. Perhaps not…but I think we need to try.

For now we will leave you with comments from our hero, Marion Nestle to add to our thoughts above:

“By now, health officials are well aware that asking individuals to take responsibility for making their own healthy food choices hasn’t got a prayer of success in the face of a marketing environment that encourages people to eat everywhere, all day long, in very large portions and at relatively low cost.

This is the default food environment, where it’s useless to tell people they need to eat less and expect them to do it. They can’t. Instead, it makes sense to try to change the food environment to make healthy choices the easy choices.

Healthy by design?

Suppose, for example, that all kids’ meals at fast-food restaurants were healthy by design and automatically provided milk or water.

You could still order a soda for your kid, but you would have to ask for it – and pay extra. If you are like most people, you won’t bother. That’s why the default matters”.

See more from Marion Nestle here.

Smart Shopping: Eat healthily without spending more…

Healthy eating inevitably costs more money – FALSE!!

When doing your weekly shop it is all too easy to pack your trolley to the brim and end up with an enormous bill (with tons more products than you actually had on your original shopping list!) Of course the supermarkets’ main aim is to make as much money as possible and that means encouraging you to spend, so it is important to try and become a bit more ‘savvy’ when it comes to doing your weekly food shop.

SR Nutrition’s Smart Shopping Tips:

1.) Plan your trip

Write a list- it may seem a boring task but have a go at planning your meals in advance. Have a good think about the foods you will need for the following week, make a list and, most importantly, stick to it!

Shop around- is it all too easy to go to the local supermarket where you know they just have EVERYTHING, but often local markets and smaller shops can have some great bargains and cheaper prices for everyday produce.

Shop later- if you are visiting the supermarkets, try and shop at the end of the day when often many products are reduced, ready to be thrown out if not sold!

Most importantly- NEVER shop when hungry.  When we are hungry we often impulse buy and end up with foods we wouldn’t normally have bought, as well as many more high fat, high sugar junk foods – which will really increase your food bill!

2.) Be aware when buying

Look up and down- strange but true, the premium products are often found in the middle shelf at eye level to encourage us to buy the foods that make shops and supermarkets their money. Spend a bit of time looking around as well as comparing products and prices on similar items.

Buy in bulk- if products such as pasta, rice and couscous are on offer try and buy them in bulk, as you know they will last a long time and you will be saving those pennies in the long run.

Buy tinned, frozen and dried- people are often wary of purchasing these foods, but tinned fruit and vegetables (in water or natural juice) still count towards our 5 a day and can be a much cheaper option. Beans, lentils and pulses are also great to buy tinned (in water) and can be added to plenty of different meals to bulk them out and add iron and fibre; they also count towards your fruit and vegetable intake. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also great and can be used really easily in dinners, soups and puddings. These are often cheaper than fresh fruit and vegetables, yet still contain a lot of beneficial nutrients.

Avoid pre-prepared foods- these often cost a lot more than just buying the ingredients and making them yourself; they often contain less beneficial nutrients and more fat, sugar and salt than if you were to make them yourself.

Use your label reading card- checking the labels can help you to go for foods which are low in fat, sugar and salt and higher in the beneficial nutrients we need, can help to avoid you filling up on “empty calories”. Always carry your SR Nutrition label reading card in your wallet (contact us here to order one)

Decide if ‘BOGOF’ offers are needed?- ‘buy one get one free’ offers can be oh so tempting,  but can often lead to you spending additional cash on products you wouldn’t usually buy or don’t need.

Smart snacking- buying junk food for the kids may seem like a necessary option, but it would save you money and be much more beneficial for their health if you kept the junk foods to a minimum.

3.) Efficient Food Preparation

Cook in bulk- when making meals think about making more than is needed and freezing things like sauces, lasagnes and soups and eating at a later date. This can save time on cooking, as well as helping you to use up foods before they go off.

Freeze your foods- often many foods which we will not use immediately can be frozen, which saves waste. Freeze breads, milk, meat and fish and use them at a later date instead of letting them go rancid in the fridge. Freezing will help to save us from having to buy more. Remember to freeze food as close to the day of purchase as possible, thaw thoroughly and if it needs to be cooked, make sure it is piping hot all the way through.

Use up leftovers- In the UK we waste around 8.3 million tonnes of food every year (Defra, 2010) and this can be significantly reduced by turning fruit into pies, cakes and smoothies or vegetables into soups and pasta sauces. You could also try having left over meals for lunch the next day which saves on the price of another meal and helps to do your bit to avoid food waste!

Bulk out dishes- fill meat dishes with more nutritious beans, lentils, pulses or any leftover vegetables; these will help to fill you up for longer, whilst adding a lot of beneficial nutrients to your meals.

4.) Takeaways and Packed Lunches

Although buying food is considered to be easier  than making your own, it can often end up costing you more than you think. Have a go at adding up what you have spent over the week on your lunches at your canteen or local shop and think about how much money you could save using our tips:

Use leftovers from the night before- taking foods from the night before can help to stop waste and also be an easy way to prepare a nice healthy lunch during work.

Make foods in bulk- making lunch food in bulk such as healthy, homemade pizzas, pasta sauces, fruit salads or soups can be a great way to make sure you are getting a cheap and healthy lunch everyday.

Have a variety- make sure you are not having the same types of meals every day for lunch, so you do not get bored and this will ensure you have variety in your diet. See our blog post on Healthy Lunches for ideas.

Check the labels- make sure you use SR Nutrition’s label reading card to help you choose the healthier options. It is important to make sure you are getting more beneficial nutrients for your money and resisting those “empty calories”. Contact us here to order one.

Choose fruit and veg- if you are eating out, choose more fruit and vegetable based meals and foods which will help fill you up. This will ensure you have fewer calories but – with lots of beneficial nutrients!

Think Before You Drink Leaflet…

Just digging through some old leaflets of mine and I came across this excellent one which demonstrates the amount of sugar in a lot of the UK’s commonly consumed beverages. Data were from 2011 but most drinks will have similar, if not the same, sugar contents in their beverages.

I wanted to share it with you so that you can see what a huge effect beverages can have on sugar and calorie consumption.

Learn to enjoy water – it’s free, it’s healthy, it hydrates, it quenches thirst, it doesn’t contain sugar or calories, it is readily available and it doesn’t rot your teeth. 

Healthy drinking | Avoid fizzy sugary drinks

So take a look at our leaflet below and let us know what you think…

Think Before You Drink

For more information on the effect of some drinks on health have a look at our blog post The Real Bears.

Breakfast Cereals: Why all the bad press..?

The media is constantly full of articles and comments criticizing the breakfast cereals we have on offer today. But do these products really deserve the bad reputation they have gained? I set out to explain…

Food Industry and Breakfast Cereals | Sugar and Salt in Breakfast Cereals

Supermarkets today are a rather overwhelming experience. With such a huge wealth of foods on offer, it can sometimes be hard to even know where to start with your weekly food shop. The breakfast cereal aisle is no different. On recently visiting a large chain supermarket (not a regular occurrence), I was flabbergasted by the sheer number of cereals on offer. It seemed that both sides of a whole aisle were dedicated to people’s daily fast-breaking foods.

It is no wonder people are confused by what is and isn’t healthy when looking at the varying labels; some cereals state the nutritional content per 45g, some per 40g with added milk, some per 30g and so on.

After spending some time in this aisle, I was able to find three cereals which would be categorised by Government standards as low in salt and sugar. I was able to do this by checking the amount of sugar and fat per 100grams of the product (for more information see our Label Reading blog).

The rest of the cereal products available – a number of which were brandishing slogans claiming to be “a source of wholegrain”, “a source of fibre” and “now with added vitamins and minerals” – were moderate to high in salt, sugar or both.

Notably those cereals high in salt and sugar were, more often than not, the ones advertised as children’s cereals.

Different brands and different types of cereal all varied in their content – with some having as much as 40g of sugar per 100 grams of the product (that is 40% sugar!)

The problem is that many parents are unaware that they are offering their children cereals that are not too dissimilar in their sugar content to a bar of chocolate (around 50% sugar) in the morning. During workshops with parents I have often been asked – “How and why are they allowed to advertise these to my children?” Good question.

For the cereal manufacturers the defence is always the same – all the information is provided clearly on the nutrition panel for consumers to make their own decisions. No matter that, for the average person, the labels are too confusing to understand.

Another issue is that for mothers who have made a decision to offer more appropriate, healthier cereals to their children, there is sometimes the problem of food refusal. The reason for this is simple. We are born with an innate preference for sweet foods. The more sweet food we are exposed to, the more accustomed our palate becomes to sugar and therefore in comparison, less sweet foods taste bland and “disgusting” to children who have grown to love the sweet taste of sugar coated cereals.

So what is the answer and how can we get our children off these sugar-crammed cereals?

Charlotte's Overnight Oats Recipe
  • First and foremost, try not to offer these as everyday breakfast foods initially. Instead, offer them as a treat after dinner or on a weekend.
  • Gradually offer less and less of the sugary cereals over time and instead offer some healthier alternatives with a few handfuls of dried or frozen fruits to add in some sweetness.
  • Check the labels on all cereals and try a variety of healthier options until you find one your little one likes.
  • As a rule of thumb, avoid cereals with fun characters on the front of the packet; these are obviously advertised to young children. Try not to get sucked in to health claims on the front of the pack.
  • Practise role modelling and allow your child to see you and the rest of your family eating and enjoying healthier cereals and alternative breakfasts (see below).
  • Be persistent and consistent. As soon as you give in and go back to the original cereal every morning, your child will know they have control.
  • Try and offer a variety of breakfasts each morning including scrambled egg, omelettes, wholemeal toast, yoghurt and fruit, homemade oaty smoothies, porridge and even a grilled full English. For more ideas see our blog post on Healthy Breakfasts.

For now the Supermarkets “Responsibility Deal” means that many supermarkets and some manufacturers will be working to decrease the levels of sugar in cereals, but this will be a slow and very gradual process which certainly won’t happen overnight. Therefore for now, we have to take some responsibility and try and make beneficial changes to our dietary intake and to that of our children.

5 Top Tips to Looking After Children’s Teeth

Looking after children’s teeth is important to make sure that they grow up with confidence, a healthy mouth and a big smile.

To ensure this happens it is a good idea to register your baby at a local dentist as soon as you notice their first tooth appearing. Dentistry is free to children in the UK and so you should try and make the most of this and get into a routine of going for regular checkups.

Additionally, children’s teeth need to be brushed as soon as the first tooth appears. This can be done with a cloth and some baby toothpaste (or with a toothbrush designed for baby) to ensure effective cleaning and minimize any damage to baby’s teeth.

A report looking into children’s dental health in the UK suggested that around 43% of 5 year olds and 57% of 8 year olds experienced obvious dental decay. Therefore here are some nutrition-based suggestions below to help ensure your child’s teeth are in tip-top condition!

Tooth Friendly Tips:

1. Restrict intake of sugary food and drinks.

Sugary foods and drinks are known to increase the risk of developing tooth decay. However, it is not necessarily the amount, but rather the frequency of sugar consumed which is directly linked with childhood tooth decay. Therefore the more often sugar is consumed throughout the day, the more your child’s teeth may be at risk. Importantly studies have also shown that the constant sipping of soft drinks will increases the risk of developing dental caries.

2. Don’t be fooled by “tooth friendly” labels.

Hundreds of drinks are on the market advertised as “diet”, “sugar-free” and even “tooth-kind”. However, these drinks are not necessarily doing what they say on the packaging. In fact many soft drinks are extremely acidic (regardless of whether they contain sugar or sweeteners), and acidity can lead to loss of tooth enamel and dental erosion. The only truly “tooth friendly” drinks are milk and water, so opt for these whenever possible and try to delay introducing your little one to juice drinks, soft drinks and fizzy drinks.

3. Avoid offering fruit juice and dried fruits in-between meals.

Although a source of vitamins, fruit juice contains sugar that is broken-down and so more readily available for contact with your child’s teeth. Read here all about fruit juice vs whole fruit. Dried fruits are also a source of many vitamins, minerals (including iron) and fibre. However, the natural stickiness of dried fruits can result in sugars lingering on the teeth for a long time and therefore increases the risk of tooth erosion. Offer these foods just once a day and always as part of a meal or snack.

4. Avoid brushing your little ones teeth straight after foods.

The acid and sugars present in sugary foods and soft drinks can cause tooth enamel to soften, and therefore brushing teeth straight away can actually do more harm than good. It is best to leave brushing for an hour or so after consumption of sugary foods or drinks.

Child dental health
A toddler using the Doidy Cup for all his drinks!

5. Ditch the bottle.

It is recommended that bottle use is stopped at around one year of age. This is due to the fact that prolonged bottle use has been linked to tooth decay in children. It is good practice to introduce a cup or beaker to your child at an early age to allow them to become familiar with drinking from these and therefore happy to move on from a bottle at around one year. Importantly, always ensure that your child only drinks milk and water from the bottle, as consuming juice and other soft drinks from a bottle can lead to poor dental health.

 

See this blog for more information and for my Top Tips for Healthy Adult Teeth

 

Food Industry Fights back….really..?

As our hero, Marion Nestle – Food Politics campaigner, puts it:

“Coca-Cola fights obesity? Oh, please.”

Due to recent bad press published by the media, scientific journals and of course our favourite “The Real Bears” video Coca-Cola have decided they need to do something to shed the bad reputation they are picking up. So here it is, their new “Coming together” campaign to help fight obesity:

….They obviously haven’t been reading recent scientific studies which also suggest that those opting for “diet” and “low-calorie” options are still gaining more weight than those who don’t drink these fizzy drinks at all…..

We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this advert. Are they doing the right thing or just trying to salvage their reputation?

Get in touch with us to let us know and for now, how about just opt for some water ;-).

Check out our Top Tips for losing weight blog and if you are interested, have a look at Marion’s post on the topic of Coca-Cola’s New Campaign.

Top Tips for New Year Weight Loss…

I was recently asked for a few top tips of mine to help people avoid getting on the “dieting” bandwagon whilst at the same time helping them learn to eat well and shed a few pounds.

I recommended that just two or three of these tips are introduced at a time with others being introduced later. This is because sometimes if too many are attempted at once, the change can be too dramatic and people may find it hard to stick too.

Remember that behaviour change and weight-loss take time. There are no quick solutions so be ready to dedicate some months towards this and to wait a while for results!

Exercise is important for weight loss maintenance but nutrition is far more important in initial weight loss.

Top Tips for reaching a Healthy Weight:

Anti-diet weight loss | Eat well in 2013
Top Tips for reaching a Healthy Weight:

1.) Have Regular Mealtimes –

Regular eating patterns are really important for stabilising hunger. Try to eat your meals at similar times each day and importantly, avoid letting yourself get hungry in between.

2.) Introduce some healthy snacks –

It may sound odd but eating MORE and more often can actually help to regulate weight. To avoid hunger and letting your blood sugar drop in-between meals try to include one or two healthy snacks each day! These snacks don’t have to consist of much. You could try – a handful of nuts and raisins, a piece of fruit, a slice of wholemeal toast, some vegetables and hummus dip. Having these will help you keep your blood sugar and appetite stable.

3.) Eat Mindfully –

Taking time over your meals is key to allow your body to register and effectively digest what you have eaten. Try, as much as possible, to sit down to eat and enjoy your breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will find you feel fuller much more easily.

4.) Make Lunch at home –

Shop bought and processed foods lack fibre, essential vitamins and minerals and are often laden with fat and sugar! It is a good idea to make something at home in the evening (see our blog on packing a healthy lunch for some examples). Additionally, you could make a little extra for your evening meal and take leftovers for lunch the next day.

5.) Slowly Reduce Portions –

Most of us eat too much and too bigger portions.

GRADUALLY reducing portion sizes is a proven way to help with weight loss. Try some of these things:

– use a smaller plate than usual for meals

– take a smaller portion initially and then go back for seconds

– sit down and eat your meal (no TV dinners as eating in front of the TV has been shown to increase the amount of food we eat)

– If you do go back for seconds opt for mainly vegetables where possible

6.) Swap White carbohydrates for wholemeal –

Gradually swapping your white carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread for wholemeal varieties will help to fill you up more and keep you fuller for longer. Wholemeal varieties also contain much more fibre and B vitamins and zinc too!

7.) Top up your meals with —>

Vegetables, lentils, pulses, beans and salads. These should be making the majority

of the dish. Then opt for some protein foods, some wholemeal carbs and a little dairy food.

8.) Drink plenty of water –

It is recommended that we should be having 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. This can include water as well as tea, coffee and other fluids but I recommend avoiding soft/fizzy drinks as these are linked to obesity and may be a major contributor to weight gain!

9.) Get your 5 A Day –

There is a reason this campaign is being pushed so much by the government so make sure you are consciously aiming for more than five portions of vegetables and fruits.

10.) Don’t over restrict yourself –

Allow yourself some treats to ensure you keep the enjoyment in the food you are eating just be mindful that you are not having too much.

For more information or any questions please contact us at SR Nutrition

For Starters – our work with DEMOS…

Demos is a think-tank which helps develop and deliver research in order to advise policymakers on best practice. Here at SR Nutrition we were lucky enough to be asked to help with some research they were conducting into Early Years Nutrition for their “For Starters” Project.

Weaning | Breastfeeding | Nutrition During Pregnancy | Toddler Nutrition

The project aimed to identify how we can implement policies in order to support nutrition in early years children. This is important for the prevention of ill health and ensuring all our children can get off to the best start.

Our part of the project involved working with DEMOS to deliver some focus groups around the UK to understand the opinions of mothers on the current support they receive when pregnant, when beginning weaning and when feeding their toddlers.

The results were disheartening to say the least, but not in any way unexpected by SR Nutrition. Mothers really do not get anywhere near enough support when pregnant, breastfeeding or weaning their children.

The report found that:

“..too many young children’s nutritional needs are not currently being met, with long-term consequences for their future health, development and attainment.

they also found that:

“..strategies for improving nutrition in the home for pre-school age children are still under-developed and the parent’s role in teaching babies and young children healthy eating behaviours has received little attention” which results in “support with healthy eating [only] for families whose children are already demonstrating nutritional problems

As we all know, prevention is always better that cure and in this instance that is true on a economic, individual and public health scale.

The report concluded that a joined up approach is needed “..to provide more consistent, evidence-based messages to parents about how they can provide their babies and young children with the nutritional foundations that they need.” This is something we, at SR Nutrition, have been saying all along…

Fingers crossed this report has an impact 🙂

To read the full report please see For Starters: Early Childhood Nutrition Study

New Year, Better Health…

A Happy New Year to you all from SR Nutrition.

As Christmas comes to a close, many of you may have made resolutions to try to become more healthy. For some inspiration here is a link to a blog we wrote last year, New Year, New You.

However, if you’re not ready to stop enjoying yourself just yet. Then take a look at our latest blog on Resturants Brighton’s website for some top tips on how to treat yourself and carry on celebrating, whilst still maintaining those all important New Year’s Resolution:

How to Dine Healthily in the New Year

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