Recipes

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Hello Summer and (almost) Hello Christmas!

 

Who else is ready for the Christmas break?! Here at Bloom Nutrition Studio we most definitely are! So we’ve put together a little selection of our favourite tips and tricks for coming out on top during our hot Aussie Christmas season. Click here to read!

 

We hope you enjoy it, and most of all, we hope you have a safe, happy and healthy festive season!

x Angela @ Bloom


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Preparing school lunch boxes can feel a little like ground hog day.

And no wonder, as kids go to school for around 200 days per year! But fear not… if you’re in need of a little school lunch inspo, you’ve come to the right place!

Bloom’s winter newsletter for 2019 is all about lunches and lunch boxes. Get ready for the low down on the boxes we love, and how to fill them with nutritious, tasty food your kids actually want to eat! Favourite sandwich fillings, great non-sandwich lunch ideas, dietitian approved packaged snacks, and more.

We hope our tips and tricks help hit the spot. Click here to start reading!

 

X Angela @ Bloom


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It’s that time again… With the change of seasons comes a new Bloom Nutrition Studio seasonal nutrition newsletter. Hurrah!

 

This Autumn we’re sharing our top tips to start the day right, with our gorgeous new Breakfast Issue.

 

Planning better breakfasts, breakfast in a hurry, long and lazy weekend breakfasts, and some awesome new recipes await inside.

 

Sit back, relax, and have a read. We hope it brings lots of delicious, nutritious inspiration to your family breakfast table.

 

x Angela @ Bloom  🌿


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Smoothies can be a great way to get a few extra nutrients into your kids (especially if they’re fussy). In my house they’re my go to choice after school. Filling, but not too filling that they won’t eat dinner.

Recently the kids asked me if I could make them choc mint smoothies. Challenge accepted kids! This smoothie is a great source of potassium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc and has a hit of heart healthy poly and mono unsaturated fats thanks to the cashew nuts.I get 4 small smoothies out of this recipe and each smoothie contains around 2g of fibre which helps maintain a healthy gut. You can boost the fibre (and protein) content further by adding some chia seeds if you’re worried your child’s fibre intake is low.

Choc Mint Smoothie:

1 banana

2 medjool dates

1 handful of raw cashews

1 Tbs coco podwer

1.5 Tbs maple syrup

1/2 Tsp peppermint essence

lots of ice

Milk of choice (i use reduced fat cows milk) to the 700ml mark on your NutriBullet or similar high speed blender.

 

Blend and enjoy!


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Feel that sunshine on your skin!

 

Spring has arrived. The sun is in the sky and the trees are in bloom. Sit back and enjoy our Spring Nutrition Newsletter, with lots of great nutrition news, recipes and family eating tips for the season.

 

We break down getting kids into the kitchen, the new American Academy of Paediatrics statement on additives and child health and what it means for food storage, vegan diets for children, and a host of nutrition tips and recipes.

 

Take a look inside!

 

Cheers,

Click here!

x Bloom 🌿


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When my children wanted to cook cornflake cookies recently, I realised that I had an opportunity to improve on an age old favourite and turn into something that could go into their lunch boxes.
My lunchbox baking criteria is that it must include a wholemeal or wholegrain base for fibre, B vitamins and longer lasting energy. I also like to include fruit, veggies and/or seeds.
With most Australian schools being nut free, I frequently try to include seeds in my cooking as they are an equivalent source of important nutrients such mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, fibre, protein and minerals like phosphorus and magnesium amongst others. Chia seeds are slightly unique in that they are a very good plant source of Omega 3 (ALA) fatty acids. Most seeds contain Omega 6 (although linseed is also a notable source of Omega 3). Our bodies can’t make ALA and so we must source it from our diets. Nuts and seeds along with olive oil and leafy green vegetables are all good sources. Chia seeds are also particularly high in fibre, so including them in your families diet can really help your child hit their daily fibre requirement.

They may be expensive but a small amount goes a long way! I hope you have fun making these cookies with your kids!

Cornflake Chia Cookies

Ingredients

125g butter softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
pinch of salt
2 cups of crushed cornflakes

Method:

Heat Oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Using an electric mixer beat butter and sugar together and light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until mixed. Fold in the flour, baking powder, chia seeds, crushed cornflakes and salt.
Shape into small balls and place about 5cm apart on a baking tray. Cook for around 15 mins or until lightly golden.
Store in an airtight container in your freezer for 3 months.

Note: this recipe was inspired by a classic cornflake recipe found on taste.com

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Pesto is a firm favourite in our house, and over the years we’ve made many different versions. On current rotation is this delicious nut free recipe.

Most Australian schools are nut free zones to help safely manage nut allergies. This means traditional pestos are off the menu, as they usually include cashews, almonds or pine nuts. While not technically a nut, pine nuts are the kernels or seeds of the pine tree harvested from inside the cones, and are grouped in with the tree nut family. Sunflower seeds, however, are not grouped in the tree nut family and can be substituted easily into a home made pesto, making this a perfect lunchbox filler.

 

Ingredients:
50g sunflower seeds
50ml extra virgin olive oil
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 clove fresh garlic, finely grated
2 bunches or basil, leaves picked (equal to about 2 heaped cups of basil leaves)
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice & a pinch of salt

Method: Simply whizz ingredients together in a food processor. Transfer into a clean glass jar, and pour a little extra olive oil over the top to keep it fresh. Store in the fridge and use within a few days, or store in the freezer, in ice cube drays and defrost as needed.

Serve: We love this pesto spread on sourdough bread or wholemeal crackers, stirred through cooked green veggies, mixed through pasta or on top of a pizza base. YUM!



We all have those days when we arrive home late. It’s dinner time, nothing is prepared, and everyone is hungry. So what’s for dinner?

As dietitians and parents we know every single meal we eat does not need to be perfect; that it’s our overall, long term dietary habits that keep us healthy. But when life is at its busiest and most chaotic, it is great to use as many opportunities as we can to eat well, and nourish our families.

What are your last minute meals based around pantry and freezer staples, with a little inspiration from the fridge for good measure?

Pasta is a great quick meal. It sometimes gets a bad rap, but choose a protein boosted, wholemeal or high fibre variety, keep your portion size in check, and boost with added protein foods and vegetables, and you have a great last minute meal on your hands.  So with just a few minutes extra, you can easily branch out from plain pasta with red sauce and cheese… here are three of our favourites to try.

Dried cheese tortellini (e.g. Barilla) + bought basil & almond pesto + 5 portions of chopped frozen spinach + pecorino. Boil pasta. Heat spinach until cooked through. Stir pesto through spinach, then toss through cooked drained pasta, top with grated pecorino. We serve with: steamed broccoli or green beans…  or whatever veg you have on hand!

Pulse pasta (like San Remo or Eat Banza) + tinned chickpeas + your favourite spice mix + left over roast veggies (we like pumpkin, garlic, broccoli) + chorizo + basil flavoured olive oil. Boil pulse pasta. Pan fry drained tinned chickpeas in a mild spice mix until just dried out. Pan fry diced chorizo. Heat left over roast veggies. Stir through together with a little basil oil to combine.

Your favourite pasta + passata + tinned tuna + frozen broadbeans + garlic + olive oil + parmesan. Boil pasta. Saute garlic in olive oil. Add passata, shelled broadbeans, tuna and 1/2 c grated parmesan and simmer. Toss through cooked pasta ( and add chilli and lemon zest for the grown ups!)

x Angela


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As the cold weather starts to hit hard in this part of the world hot chocolates start to become the drink of choice. In fact in my house I often offer up a hot chocolate for “dessert”.

Another Mum recently asked me whether there was a better choice between a hot chocolate, Milo or Ovaltine. Good question! 

I guess the first thing to be aware of when adding flavours to your milk, is that you are adding sugar (note there are some sugar free versions available). I’m personally happy to add some sugar into my child’s diet when I know it’s packaged up in a food that also delivers them beneficial nutrients (you can read more about my thoughts on sugar here). Milk is a great source of calcium, protein, B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus. Ideally kids should aim for 3 serves of dairy a day to meet their calcium requirements.  If your child’s diet is otherwise balanced, a small amount of sugar added to milk is not harmful.

Products such as drinking chocolates, Nesquik (Australian version) or alike, are simply coco powder, sugar and/or added flavours. Milo and Ovaltine differ in that they also include a small amount of aditional nutrients, namely iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, extra calcium, phosphorus and a range of B vitamins. On average these products (when made according to instructions, roughly a tablespoon per glass of milk depending on the product) add between 2 – 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar to your child’s diet and around 60 – 80 additional calories. If you want to know more about how much sugar you should be allowing in your child’s diet click here. 

The additional nutrients offered in products such as Milo can be beneficial for some children. For example a standard serve of Milo provides about 35% of a 4yr olds requirement for iron, which can be handy if your child doesn’t eat red meat. As always, it’s preferable to use real foods to meet your child’s nutrient requirements, and I wouldn’t recommend using these products on a daily basis.

You can avoid the commercial products all together and flavour your child’s milk another way. Recently I’ve been making my children a nourishing cinnamon and vanilla hot frothy milk which they just love. For the everyday version I omit the sugar and cream, but if I’m dressing it up as something special, I go all out and add a little wow. I hope your kids enjoy this as much as mine!

Vanilla Cinnamon Hot Frothy Milk (enough for 4 children)

600ml milk 

2 cinnamon quills (or 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, but be aware this will leave a strong cinnamon residue at the bottom of the cup)

2 teaspoons vanilla essence 

2 tablespoons of castor sugar (you can omit this if you want to and the drink still tastes great, albeit less sweet)

Optional: whipped cream to serve  

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat gently over low heat. Once hot use a hand whisk to vigorously whisk until the milk becomes frothy. If you have a coffee machine with a frothing function you might like to use this to create a denser froth for the top. Top with whipped cream if using and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Enjoy!


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Pizza is a perennial family favourite, and for good reason – it’s delicious! Home made varieties can be so much more wholesome, and more affordable, meaning that it can feature regularly on a healthy family meal rotation.

With fussy eaters in the household, it can seem difficult to branch out of the plain cheese, or hawaiian pizza rut. But if you can give it a go, it’s worth it! Pizza night is a great way to encourage extra fruit and veg making their way into kids meals.

Here are some bloom family eating tips to help you break free and broaden your little ones pizza horizons, while improving their nutrition. Add to that we’ve shared a few Bloom family favourite pizza toppings to get you started.

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Give making your own bases a go, based on grain flours, or one of the many new vegetable based recipes online.
Or try healthier premade varieties – like thinner crusts, wholemeal bases, or even pita breads.

Terrific toppings
Sharing a family favourite topping on a large pizza can be so much fun, but if you’ve got fussier members of the family, using individually portioned pizza bases allows each family member to experiment with different toppings.
Base sauces can include traditional tomato, herb pestos, olive oil, or other family favourite sauces.
Try to have lots of fruit, herb and vegetable options available, as well as lean proteins and cheese. Get kids to make their own – choosing a base sauce, an item or more of fruit or vegetable, plus one protein and some cheese.

Offer a few extra options of fruit and vegetables – salad, fruit salad, cooked veggies – on the side to help get the meal balance right. Aim for a third to half of  your meal to come from fruit and vegetables.

Bloom loves
Wholemeal pizza bases topped with basil and almond pesto, jamon, figs, bocconcini, baked then topped with rocket and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice,
or
Homemade pizza dough topped with olive oil, thinly sliced potato, kale leaves, red onion and chill flakes

or

Premade Naan used as a pizza base and topped with olives, baby spinach and cheese

YUM!

 

x Angela


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It can be tricky to find a recipe for a lunchbox cookie that meets the brief; a good source of nutrients, enough protein and fibre to keep the kids full, not too much sugar, no nuts, and tasty enough that they actually eat them!

 

I’ve tried many a cookie recipe, and played around with a few favourites to come up with one that all 6 members of our family really enjoy. After posting some pics on instagram, we were asked by people to share the recipe… so here it is.

 

It’s definitely not your traditional choc chip cookie, and may not be sweet enough for some, so check out the notes at the bottom of the recipe for modification tips if needed.

 

Chia sunflower double choc cookies (Dairy free)

Ingredients

100g Nuttelex olive oil light, melted and cooled

1/4 c maple syrup or honey

1 egg

2 tsp natural vanilla essence

 

1/2 c ground sunflower seeds

1/2 c wholemeal self raising flour

1 1/2 c quick oats

1/4 c cocoa powder or cacao

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

2 tsp mixed chia seeds

 

1/3 c dark choc chips ( I use Callebaut Belgian Callets from Costco, and they are dairy free)

 

Method

Mix all wet ingredients together (cooled melted nuttelex, maple syrup, egg and vanilla essence) until combined.

Stir together all the remaining dry ingredients, except for the choc chips) removing any lumps.

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined. The final consistency shouldn’t be too wet. (If it is, scatter through some more oats)  Then fold through choc chips.

Roll into balls, and place on tray with 5 cm space between, and press lightly to form a cookie shape.

Bake at 180 deg for 15-18 mins, or until cooked to your liking.
(15 min is perfect for my oven which runs quite hot)

Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

 

NOTES

They may soften and become more like a whoopee pie consistency if not all eaten on the first day, but my kids really like them either way.

These cookies are on the more savory side of a sweet cookie! If your kids prefer a sweeter cookie you may need to start with more maple syrup, or add a little brown sugar, and gradually decrease the amount of sweetness. Or use a few extra choc chips 😉 .

You can also make them egg free if you need to for allergies or vegan diets, by simply omitting the egg, but decrease the oats to about 1 cup, otherwise the mixture will be too dry.
My best advice is to have a play around and see how they work best for your tribe… the cookies you get to taste test along the way are all in the name of science 🙂
x Angela @ Bloom 🌿