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Bia Kid Tips and Ideas for feeding our children “5 a Day”

Sponsored by Bia Kid

How do you maximise your child’s ability to concentrate and have a good flow of energy both mentally and physically, throughout the schoolday? Give them foods that allow for a slow release of energy. These include low glycemic (GL) foods such as wholegrains, quality protein (lean, unprocessed meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans & pulses), fruit and vegetables.

Here is a list of the lowest to the highest GL fruits…………..blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, pears, melon, watermelon, peaches, plums, apples, kiwis, pineapple, grapes, mango, banana and dried fruits (being the highest!)

Some countries recommend up to 13 portions of fruit or vegetables per day. Advice given by Irish Health Authorities is 5 a day. A portion of fruit is approximately 80grams, for example ½ an apple.

Soups are a nutritionally dense way to get a host of vegetable into kids in one go! Once the soup is cooked, puree in a liquidizer or food processor as children do not generally like “lumps”. Bring soup in a flask to school or a mug of soup is perfect for children just in the door from school. It will also help to boost concentration for their homework! Please see my children’s favourite soup recipe below. Sweet potato is a low GL vegetable, therefore less disruption to blood sugar levels, therefore better concentration!

Never skip the healthy snacks!–keep your child hydrated or they can get very sluggish. Thirst is a poor indicator so if they are really thirsty they are already dehydrated.

Water is the best drink that could go in the lunch box. Try a twist of fresh lemon and orange to create a refreshing change. Freeze this in its plastic bottle the night before and it will be perfectly chilled by lunchtime!

So look at it this way, if your child had grated apple and chopped banana on top of their breakfast cereal, a piece of watermelon or a few berries for mid morning snack, a lunch of wholemeal pittas or wrap with some chicken, salmon, egg or ham in it. Add a few cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks too. Mid afternoon a mug of soup and some oatcakes and for dinner some green and brightly coloured vegetables with their main meal, you will have hit the target!

Other ideas include

  • Puree fruits to make compotes and add to yogurt or ice-cream. Make frozen ice pops with the puree too!
  • Freshly squeezed fruit & vegetable juices ( like carrot and apple)
  • Instead of serving plain mashed potato, add vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes & parsnips.
  • Make soups & sauces from pureed vegetables.
  • Why not do a reward chart and at the end of the school week if they have done well on getting 5 a day into their diet there is a ‘non food’ reward such as a trip to the cinema
  • Some children feel quite upset if there are no treats ever allowed so try to go for healthier choices such as plain popcorn, oat biscuits, or some pretzels.

    It is worth noting that for busy parents, Irish food company Bia Kid, which provides healthy nutritious and convenient meals for children, will be launching a new range of soups shortly, which have all been tried, tested and approved by the children themselves. The soups were developed in direct response to children’s dietary needs and contain no added sugar, salt, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. All Bia Kid home-cooked meals contain 1 or 2 portions of vegetables and because they are completely fresh, they can only be found in the chilled section of all major retail outlets.


    2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
    4 Sweet Potatoes (Peeled & Cubed)
    2 Carrots (Peeled & Chopped)
    1 Large Onion (Chopped)
    1 Clove of Garlic (Chopped)
    1 litre of Vegetable Stock (Home Made or “Marigold” Organic Swiss Vegetable Boullion)

    Heat the oil. Sauté onion and garlic for one minute.
    Add the rest of vegetables and fry gently for 10 mins.
    Add the stock and bring to the boil.
    Then reduce and simmer for 15 mins.
    Blend in a processor or with a hand held blender until very smooth.
    (This soup will keep for 3 days in a fridge)

    Margaret Joyce
    Nutritional Therapist