Esteem, FOOD, HEALTHY EATING, The U URSELF Routine

Watercress -The Super Salad

What’s so super about watercress then?

Well I call it super because it’s a natural, yet, highly nutritious food. Its good for boosting the immune system, fighting free radicals, increasing those feel good hormones known as serotonin, giving us energy, stamina and reducing inflammation and bloating.

It’s so versatile it’s an easy way to add nutrients to your child’s diet.

Stick to the watercress and forget the eggs please!!!

Following last week’s blog post I received messages from parents who said they tried the egg and cress sandwich and their children didn’t like it. Some children don’t like sandwiches or egg, but if it was the watercress putting them off, its more likely the healthy green look of it than the taste.

We can get around this fear of the healthy green stuff by letting them grow their own.

Kids love to feel connected to what they eat, and are more likely to eat watercress if they’ve nurtured it from seed. Children are just in awe of growing watercress; the main reason is it takes only days to grow where’s, most other fruit and vegetables take months from seed and children lose interest and forget.

Seeing before their eyes a mop of cress growing from a simple egg shell is mesmerizing for little ones and the really great thing is, very small toddlers can do this too, it’s so simple. No need again for allotments or even a garden or window box, just an empty eggshell. As an added bonus it can be grown inside the home all year round, making it cheap, quick, convenient, educational and fun.

Something as simple as growing some seeds can also help develop their caring nature, the plant is after all a living thing.

Seeing their efforts transpire into something they can pick and eat is a wonderful self confidence boost, giving them an – ‘I did that’ sense of achievement. It also offers them the chance to get creative too.

HOW TO GROW YOUR OWN

Take the tops off the eggs and remove the egg from inside, put this in the fridge in a sealed container for later to cook with. Wash the inside and outside of the shells and wipe dry. Let your little one’s paint or use felt tip pens to decorate their shells with funny faces and leave them to dry for a few hours. If you don’t have any eggs or don’t fancy all the fuss then simply wash out a used yoghurt pot and follow the same procedure. You could turn this activity into a recycling education by looking for containers such as margarine tubs you’d normally bin, to plant in, showing children the real value, that so-called rubbish can have.

Such focus and concentration!

Dip some cotton wool balls in some water and squeeze any excess water out so they are damp, not soaking, and put a ball into each shell and add on top one tsp of cress seeds to each egg shell (you can also use chia seeds the same way they are genetically related to the cress seed family) and place the shells into an empty egg carton or holder, you usually find these plastic ones in your fridge or use egg cups if you prefer. 

Leave in a light place such as the window sill but be careful not to expose it to too much direct sunlight, that can dry them out. Allow your child to sprinkle them with a little water each day if dry and needed, and show your child how the cress grows towards the light, then watch the miracle unfold and cress hair sprout from the shells in a matter of days! Don’t forget to show your child the furry root hairs of the cress seeds growing on the cotton wool, they’ll be amazed.

Then when the cress has grown usually within a week, snip the sprouting cress hair and get sneaky with hiding it in their meals, add to sandwiches, salads, pasta, soups and stews- whatever you choose! Try adding it to cheese spread on wholemeal bread or even peanut butter sarnies?

Or give this super summertime soup a go;

Watercress Super Summertime Soup (super, simple and speedy to make!)

Even a child could make this soup with guidance its super simple!

You’ll need

A knob of butter

A stick blender

1 x large peeled and diced potato

1 x large leek finely chopped

A bunch of watercress

600 ml of vegetable or chicken stock (maybe more depending how thick you like your soup?)

Half a teaspoon of ground cumin (if your child prefers bland food you can leave this out)

A generous grinding of black pepper

A dollop of double cream

Then let the cooking alchemy begin

Sauté the leek in the butter on a low heat.

Add the stock and diced potato bring to the boil then simmer for half hour. Make sure to keep stirring throughout as it can stick to the pan.

Get your child involved in the preparation too its good for their self esteem, confidence and teaches them valuable life skills.
LOOKS LIKE A LOT OF WATER CRESS BUT IT SOON SHRINKS

Add the watercress with the pepper, stir with love for a couple of minutes.

(I don’t add salt when I’m cooking for children and personally I use chicken stock so I get enough flavour from that, along with the cumin and black pepper but if you’re cooking a batch for yourself or other grown ups then feel free to season with salt and pepper to suit your preferred taste.)

Puree in a blender, I find using a stick blender quick and easy for soups. I love that thick gloopy, velvety consistency but if you or your child don’t you can add more stock initially or do what I do and add hot water from the kettle while blending to get it just right. Its surprising how thick this soup gets.

Add the dollop of cream stir and serve immediately. If you are going to store some in the fridge or freezer for later then don’t add cream to soup now, add to the soup when serving. Personally, I like it with or without the cream but when I’m trying to lose a few pounds I usually omit the cream but kids will likely prefer it with the cream.

This is a powerful detox soup for us grown ups too so grab yourself a bowl.

So, here’s some facts per 100 grams of watercress.

FIBRE 2.1

CALORIES 29

PROTEIN 2.6

CARBS 2.5

TOTAL SUGARS 0.2

FAT 0.5

VITAMINS A, C, K

Watercress is packed full of calcium and manganese for healthy eyes, skin and healthy blood clotting.

If you want to learn more about this underestimated but amazing super food and you like the facts and science behind food, then this is an interesting read,  find out more here https://www.thewatercresscompany.com/snapshot-of-researched-benefits

As always, the priority is on our children eating a well-balanced, overall diet and enjoying the mealtime experience. Not making them sit at the table trying to force them to eat their vegetables or clear their plate. That’s why The U URSELF Routine (click here or the button to find out more)

includes food and the mealtime experience. My book The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child has a whole chapter dedicated to this, for a sneak-peek take a look below

Let me know how you and your little ones get on with watercress this week and feel free to send me your own sneak it in recipes so I can try with my little and big ones and share with other readers, if you have any pics feel free to send me those too 🙂

Until next time Stay Present, Stay Healthy,

Em x

Photo by Milada Vigerova silviarita Alexas_Fotos Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

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LOVED UP OR LONELY THIS VALENTINES DAY?

LOVED UP OR LONELY THIS VALENTINES DAY?

BOO HOO!!!

It’s that time of year again that loved up hopeless romantic’s love, and lonely singletons loathe – Valentine’s Day!

But whether you’re single, in the honeymoon period of a new relationship, or have been married for years, there’s one person that deserves your love more than anyone else – YOU!

‘You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.’ Buddha


You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.’ Buddha

IF YOU HAVEN’T GOT ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, SAY IT ANYWAY!

Over the years as we grow up, we start listening to other people’s opinions about us, and any criticism received we tend to remember.

Then when things go wrong or we make mistakes, we tell ourselves that others peoples negative views were right. We then add to them by mentally berating ourselves, turning other people’s false opinions of us, into self -fulfilling prophecies i.e. a reality.

But we can all be more loving towards ourselves. By remembering that any criticism from another person is just their opinion. And as long as we don’t believe it and join in with the hate campaign, then it’s not true.

This means not ruminating over or joining in with that negative mental chatter that goes on in our own minds, that never seems to shut up!

Instead practice talking to yourself lovingly. Affirmations are a great way to practice loving yourself more, they are simply positive statements said in the present tense.

For example, whenever you make a mistake, instead of calling yourself ‘Stupid!’

Reassure yourself that you are always doing your best and say;

‘I am doing the best that I can at this time, and my best is always good enough’

And repeat this affirmation often.

You can say it quietly in your mind or you can proclaim it out loud, whatever makes you feel the most comfortable?

But never underestimate the power of your words on your subconscious mind, affirmations work!

PHYSICAL ATTRACTION

It’s a good idea to take loving care of our physical bodies too.

After all, its the only body that we will ever own?

If we can start to notice the good parts of our body, more than the bits we don’t like, then we can learn to love the skin we are in.

Take a look at your body each morning in the mirror and focus on the bits you love.

You might have nice legs or a nice smile?

Whatever you like focus on that. The more you can love and accept yourself exactly as you are today, the more likely you are to attract someone who also loves you as you are.

And the more inclined you will be to take care of your physically body. That means if there’s bits you dislike now, then in the future with time and loving care, they will soon change for the better.

Focusing on our negative aspects only makes us feel worse about ourselves. And when we don’t feel good, we are more inclined to poison ourselves with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and junk food.

LOVE FOOD & FOOD WILL LOVE YOU

If we can form a healthy, loving, relationship with food too.

Such as choosing to eat healthy, nutritious, natural foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, and drinking plenty of water.

Then food will love us back.

If we eat well then food will give us energy and nutrients to keep us slim and trim. If we constantly eat junk food however, we will gain excess weight through empty calories and will feel tired, sluggish, and irritable.

WORK YOUR BODY

When we act and feel this way as well as looking and feeling unfit, we can lack health and vitality, and may find it hard to really love ourselves.

To burn calories, increase our energy levels and release feel good chemicals in our bodies, then we need to keep as active as we can, on a daily basis.

Our bodies are designed to move about, so move whenever you can.

You don’t need to go to the gym to keep fit, just move.

Doing house work, walking the dog, dancing, playing with the children, all burn calories. So, we have no excuse not to get up and get going now!

Your body will love you for it!

MAKE A DATE WITH YOURSELF

No Valentine to take you to the cinema?

Then go it alone, or make time for yourself to do those things you love that simply make ‘YOU’ happy.

A soak in a bubble bath with a magazine, a cuppa and a good book, painting, fishing, football, knitting, whatever you choose to do, schedule time in your diary to prioritise YOU Time!

TREAT YOURSELF

A treat once in a while can make us feel good!

You may not have a partner to spoil you this Valentine’s Day?

But you are still worth treating, so spoil yourself.

A treat once in a while can make us feel good.

So, go and buy yourself some chocolate, perfume, aftershave, flowers, beer or bubbly and a take- away, and curl up on the sofa with yourself.

This way at least someone loves you. And you’ll never leave you if you love yourself right.

And once you truly love yourself, others will love you too!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE!