Why have you gotten so complicated lately? Things used to be so easy; meat and three veg, fish fingers once a week, toasties for lunch in the weekend, roast on Sunday, fish ‘n’ chips on Friday. All good. Right?
I think we’ve all gotten a little more clued up over the past couple of years and though I’m really (really) not into any exclusion diets there are certain changes we’ve made to our family diet that seem to be sticking around.
- The inclusion of WAY more fresh fruit and vegetables, we do this with smoothies in the morning – yummy fruit and lots of leafy, green veges.
- Cutting down on processed grains by replacing white rice with quinoa, white bread for multigrain or just skipping processed carbs all together.
- Increasing healthy fats, ramping up our consumption of nuts, seeds, avocado as well as a weekly meal of oily fish such as salmon.
- Cutting out all drink options except for………..water (and wine!)
I’m lucky in that my boys are so ravenous all the time they will eat pretty much anything, but I’m super conscious of feeding them fairly nutritious meals that will keep them fuller (and out of the pantry!) for longer.
That means protein.
I’m no nutritionist, but high school biology set me in good stead and I’ve always remembered how essential protein is for muscle growth, energy and repair. My pre-teen Ethan (almost 11) is a full-on sports fiend and carries a lot of muscle for a kid so young. When you’re using those muscles constantly playing rugby, touch, swim training, riding bikes around the neighborhood and skateboarding with Dad, calories are pretty much just evaporating – I mean not literally but using protein for caloric intake seems to keep him going for longer.
I don’t send him out for the day with a rotisserie chicken or a champagne ham in his lunchbox so we start the day with eggs and add protein where we can. Dinner is easy, it’s the school day lunch and daytime snacks that lend themselves to processed carbs and sugar.
TASTI’s new range of Protein Bars contain 10 grams of protein per bar which is awesome as the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation recommends Ethan needs at least 40 grams per day. We can knock out a quarter of his daily protein requirement by taking a muffin out of his lunchbox and adding a TASTI Protein Bar! Too easy. I’m also going to be snacking on these as the flavours are amazing – Dark Choc Mocha, dark Choc Orange, Roasted Peanut and my favourite (Ethan doesn’t get these ones!) Salted Caramel.