Day 5: Sugar Swaps

Excess sugar can mean excess energy which in turn can lead to stored fat in the body and diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. To prevent this, swapping food and drink with added sugar for stuff that’s lower in sugar or sugar free.

Make porridge for breakfast instead of offering sugary cereals. It’ll keep them feeling full for longer too.

Today’s recipe suggestion

Turkey meatballs and rice

Kids will love these turkey meatballs in tomato sauce with rice. Serve them with steamed green beans, peas or sweetcorn.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Ingredients 25 g (1oz) white or wholemeal bread, crusts removed
2tbsp semi-skimmed milk
225g (8oz) minced turkey
1 small carrot, about 50g (2oz), peeled and finely grated
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
400g (14oz) tin plum tomatoes
2tsp sun-dried tomato paste
350ml (1½ cups) chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
100g (½ cup) easy-cook white rice, rinsed
1tbsp fresh or frozen chopped parsley

Method 1. Cut the bread into small cubes and put in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the milk and leave to soak for 5 mins. Add the turkey, carrot and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Shape the mixture into 20 small balls and set aside.

2. Tip the plum tomatoes into a blender or food processor, add the tomato paste and purée until smooth. Pour into a large, heavy-based saucepan then add the stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil.

3. Stir in the rice and cook briskly for 5 mins, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Carefully drop in the meatballs, cover the pan and simmer for a further 8-10 mins, or until both the meatballs and rice are cooked.

4. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the parsley, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon onto warmed plates and serve straight away with freshly cooked vegetables and slices of Italian-style bread such as focaccia or ciabatta.

Cook’s tip: The meatballs may be made up to 24 hours before cooking. Shape and place on baking parchment (otherwise they’ll stick) on a plate, then cover and keep refrigerated. You could also make double quantity and freeze half. Open-freeze the raw meatballs on a non-stick baking tray, then transfer to a freezer container. Separate and defrost overnight in the refrigerator or for 2 hours at room temperature.