in association with Uncle Ben's
Top teatime tips
Uncle Ben's want to make family teatimes as simple, nutritious and stress-free as possible - they've created their own Make Teatime with Uncle Ben’s guide, with help from TV Cook James Tanner, Nutritionist Juliette Kellow and Mum Coach Allison Mitchell. Learn about the experts and read their top ten teatime tips below.
Juliette Kellow, Nutritionist
Juliette is a registered dietitian and has a passion for food, diet, nutrition and health. She has worked in the NHS, The Dairy Council and has held the title of Editor formagazines Slimming and Top Santé. Juliette now works as a nutrition consultant and currently writes for many different magazines and newspapers. She is co-author of The I Diet with Gino D'Acampo and regularly appears on radio and TV as a nutrition expert, advising the nation on diet and weight loss.
Juliette's top ten teatime tips
Stock your kitchen with healthier convenience foods
Cans of beans and fish, frozen vegetables, jars of ready-made sauces and packets of microwaveable rice mean you'll always be able to create healthy, balanced meals in minutes. In particular, look for products that are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Uncle Ben's sauces and rice products are all free from these ingredients - and many are low in fat and/or saturated fat, too.
Eat fewer fatty foods
For a healthy heart it's important to eat less fat... especially less saturated fat. Start by cutting down on fatty foods like crisps, biscuits, cake, chips and fried foods - these foods don't contain many vitamins and minerals either. Eat fewer takeaways, too, as they can be loaded with fat. With the help of Uncle Ben's sauces and rice it's easy to create an Indian, Chinese and Mexican meal that's lower in fat and calories than one from your local restaurant - and in much less time than it takes to wait for a takeaway to be delivered.
Check out the GDA
Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) indicate how much a typical serving of a product contributes to guideline daily intakes for calories and certain nutrients. All Uncle Ben's products include nutrition information on the front of the pack and clearly show the percentage GDA provided for a typical serving for calories, fat, saturates, sugar and salt. Looking at this information and understanding how it fits into your daily intake can help you create healthy, balanced meals that all the family will love and control portion sizes for both adults and children.
Ditch the salt pot
Nutrition experts recommend that we reduce the amount of salt in our diet to stay healthy. Teenagers and
adults should have no more than 6g a day, whilst younger children need even less. Don't add salt to meals and get into the habit of looking at the label to find out how much salt a product contains. Where possible, choose products that contain the lower amount of salt.
Get the balance right
Putting together a healthy balanced meal couldn't be easier. Fill a third of your plate with rice, potatoes or pasta, another third with vegetables and the remainder with protein-rich foods such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs or beans. Then finish off with a pot of low-fat yogurt and some fruit.
On your way to five a day
One of the easiest ways to give your health a boost is to eat five different servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables all count (but potatoes don't as they belong with other starchy foods like rice and pasta). For children who don't like eating vegetables on their own, try adding peas, peppers, sweet corn and onions to readymade sauces or packets of Express rice.
For good health, experts recommend we eat two servings of fish every week, one of which should be an oil-rich fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or fresh tuna. If you don't eat much, start experimenting. Prawns work well in a curry, salmon is great in a sweet and sour sauce and canned tuna is a tasty addition to savoury rice. Uncle Ben's has lots of different sauces and rice products to help you on your way.
If you fancy a change from your usual family meals, start experimenting with a few new ingredients. It doesn't mean you'll have to spend hours in the kitchen. Simply add a few different varieties of vegetables to your supermarket trolley; try turkey instead of chicken and swap canned tuna for canned salmon. Uncle Ben's has a wide range of different cooking sauces and varieties of rice that you can mix and match, too, helping you create literally hundreds of different nutritious meals in minutes.
Help your family to eat more healthily by providing nutritious snacks. Good choices include fresh and dried fruit, low-fat yogurts and fromage frais, oatcakes with low-fat cheese, wholegrain cereal with semi-skimmed milk, wholemeal toast with peanut butter, vegetable sticks with low-fat dips such as salsa and wholemeal pitta bread filled with egg and salad. Don't forget drinks, either - water, milk, fruit juice and smoothies are the most nutritious drinks to choose.
Enjoy family mealtimes together
Young children love to copy older kids and their parents so if you want them to eat well, switch off the TV, sit around the table and enjoy family meals together. Children will be far more likely to dip into the salad bowl if they see everyone else doing it. Plus, it gives everyone in the family time to catch up on what's happened during the day.