I am probably no different from every parent, I worry about what my children are eating. I don’t obsess and I do believe a little of everything in moderation but I try and get them to make the right choices and ask themselves, ‘are they really hungry”or I suggest, ‘how about having this instead of that”. However I am aware I am far from perfect, I do have a sweet tooth but I am battling my own sugar demons and I don’t want my children to go through the same.
Last year I did a 21 day challenge where women are encouraged to eat a handful of almonds when they start feeling hungry. For me this is usually mid-late afternoon when I tend to be on some sort of after school activity run. When I took the challenge last year I really noticed a difference to my mid afternoon slump. The almonds perked me up and got me through to dinner easily. However, I slowly slipped back to bad habits so was pleased to get a reminder of how beneficial almonds are for a number of reasons including;
- they are a natural source of protein and fibre*
- they contain 15 essential nutrients including vitamin and calcium*
- research suggests that the calories ingested from almonds causes people to naturally compensate for the energy provided*
- they are a great low carb snack
I have a fifteen year old daughter and an eleven year old one and I would far rather they eat a handful of almonds before their dance classes than a cereal bar or even a piece of fruit. They have both noticed the benefits in relation to their energy levels before supper time.
I was lucky to attend an event with California Almonds where I got to try out many almond based recipes including an almond cocktail, triple almond brownies, mini almond tarts and more ( I will write about some of these separately) plus got to meet Denise van Outen and dietician Lucy Jones. Denise gave a very interesting talk on she extols the virtues of almonds to anyone and everyone she can, having been a fan of them for years she carries them with her all the time.
There was an almond pic n’ mix with flavours from chilli, to wasabi & soy, to chocolate, to cinnamon coated…the combinations were amazing. I had intended taking a good photo of the nuts when I got home but when I went to, the jar was half empty! Hmmm… so you will have to make do with this picture.
I would highly recommend everyone to take this challenge, I can think of far worse things people can snack on and as long as you really stick to just a handful you really should find the almonds beneficial and a great healthy way to curb hunger. Be Snack Happy!
*Information from the Almond Board of California and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Disclosure: My expenses were reimbursed but all opinions are my own.