I’m a firm believer that a balanced diet means just that; a balance of all the food groups (even the naughty ones!) There are so many fad diets and confusing information that it’s easy to get mystified as to what we should and shouldn’t be feeding ourselves and our kids.
It’s so easy to be duped by food packaging and labelling into thinking it’s good for us. That’s a big part of the reason that I make a point of creating our balanced weekly menu with home cooked meals. For the most part, I steer well clear of jars, pre-made sauces, and packaged food.
Red meat is an important part of our diet but it’s had a lot of bad press recently. As far as I’m concerned, the saying ‘Everything in moderation’ applies here. Red meat is a great source of Iron and lost of other vitamins like zinc, potassium, B3, B6 and B12.
As with all foods, there is a guideline as to how much is too much. When it comes to red meat, the official line is 70g per day or 500g per week. That’s a bit confusing, though, as cooked meat weighs less than raw, so before it’s cooked you’re actually looking at about 90g or 700g per week. It’s much easier to weigh food before we cook it, and meat usually has the weight printed on the packaging, so I think that’s a better guideline.
The biggest things for me are fat content, added fat (like during cooking) and iron content. The leaner the meat the better, and when buying minced meat I always go for 5% fat or less. Iron became really important to me when I was severely anaemic throughout my first pregnancy and after I gave birth. It was then that I realised how important iron is to our bodies, and how much more energy I have when I get enough. Iron also contributes to normal brain development in children and helps the immune system work properly.
Seriously, as mums we need as much energy as we can get! The last thing I want to be doing is denying myself valuable energy from a healthy source. Dr Emma Derbyshire, a public health nutritionist, says:
“Including a small portion of red meat in the diet a few times a week after weaning can help to bridge nutrient gaps and so help to maintain good health through childhood and beyond.”
This week we tried a new red meat recipe, which went down an absolute storm. We very rarely have anything resembling pie on our diner table, because I’m not really fan of pastry. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating pastry I just think it’s a treat. It’s high in all the things we don’t want it to be high in, and low in all the things we do, like vitamins and protein. So this recipe was amazing, because it kind of satiated a pastry thirst, but remained healthy and well balanced.
The kids both loved the “not quite” pie, as did Mr C who declared that I better add it to the regular rotation. I must admit, I really enjoyed it, and I’ll definitely be making it again! You can grab your free printable recipe for the pie below, and if you try it I’d love to hear what you (and the kids) think. x