Oats are low in calories and fat but high in energy density which means that they will keep you fuller for longer.
Oats (porridge/oatmeal) are a superfood. They are low in calories and fat but high in energy density which means that they will keep you fuller for longer.
This is ideal when it comes to busy family life. There are also a huge amount of health benefits that come with including oats in your diet.
provide a huge amount of dietary fibre which can benefit your bowel and general body functioning. Having a high level of fibre in your diet can lead to less bloating, tummy pain and constipation which can really affect the quality of life of adults and children alike.
Oats also have a natural ability to rid the body of bad cholesterol which can be very dangerous for overall health. For this reason, oats are considered a heart-smart food.
Including more oats
in your family’s diet has so many benefits. All family members will feel more energised and can avail of the acute health benefits mentioned above. If you are breastfeeding, oats will also help increase and strengthen your milk supply naturally.
Here are five simple ways to include more oats in your family’s diet
1. Jazz up your porridge. If the kids (or adults) are turning their nose up at a plain bowl of porridge (which is actually delicious all by itself) jazz it up with different toppings daily. Favourites in our house include cinnamon, raisins and honey and then a teaspoon of Nutella and some chopped nuts as a Friday treat. Maple syrup, fresh/frozen fruit and peanut butter are also great additions and really make it feel like you’re having dessert for breakfast.
2. Thicken your sauces and soups with oats. I’ve recently started to do this and it really works well. Instead of adding cornflour or a thickening agent I add about half a cup of oats during the simmering phase. It doesn’t change the flavour but when blitzed it adds a lovely thick consistency to the dish.
3. Make a batch of porridge and serve with toppings of your choice. Simply combine one large tub of yoghurt, one beaten egg, 360g Porridge oats, a dash of salt, two teaspoons of bread soda and a tablespoon of milk to a mixing bowl. When combined add to a greased bread dish and oven bake for 50 minutes in a medium oven. This is a brilliant after school snack with some butter and jam or cheese for example.
4. Oats work really well in a smoothie. These smoothies can be enjoyed for breakfast or snacks throughout the day. Add a cup of oats, some orange juice, a banana, dash of honey and fruit of choice to a blender or smoothie maker and blitz until smooth. You can add ice and seeds/nuts of choice and it’s a filling healthy drink that the whole family can enjoy.
5. Have breakfast for dessert. Oats are a brilliant base for cookies, flapjacks and cakes. When combined with naturally sweet ingredients they are a total treat and the kids will have no idea. Whip up a batch of oaty cookies to enjoy with a glass of milk after school (and make sure to keep one for yourself).
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.