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Eating well at home

Life isn’t easy at the moment. Having to come up with meal and snack ideas day-in day-out may be wearing you out! And having kids at home more can lead to ‘I’m hungry’ becoming a common phrase. But there are ways to help deal with this. So here are some tips for keeping everyone fed.

Tips for feeding hungry tummies

Getting the kids involved

Hands up if your wee one will only eat 3 things? This is trying enough at the best of times, but if you don’t have those 3 things, you’ll need to rethink! So why not get the kids involved in preparing meals? This means they’re more likely to try new foods.

You can find more tips on our pages about fussy eating.

Tips for getting the kids involved

Some simple meal ideas

At the moment you may not always have all the foods you would usually have in the house. But you could use this as an opportunity to experiment! Use our recipe finder to look for recipes that use the ingredients you have in your kitchen. The Greener Scotland website also has a useful recipe finder.

Here are some of our favourite Parent Club recipes:

Top ‘fakeaway’ recipes

If the kids are crying out for a takeaway, why not try one of these healthier alternatives? And even better, these are often cheaper than getting a takeaway!

Feeding your baby

If your little one is under 12 months old, the best nutrition you can give them is breastmilk. If you’re formula feeding, first stage formula should be used for babies up to 6 months old. After 6 months, they can have follow-on milk and after 12 months full fat milk can also be introduced into the diet.

You can find advice on feeding your baby during the coronavirus outbreak here:

For more information about weaning and first foods visit our first foods articles

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has a number of important functions and is needed to support bone and muscle health. Vitamin D is made by our skin from sunlight. It is also found in small amounts in some foods, but it is difficult to meet recommended intakes of vitamin D from diet alone. In Scotland, we only get enough of the right kind of sunlight for our bodies to make vitamin D during the summer months.

Normally, 10–15 minutes of unprotected Scottish sun exposure is safe for all. Once sunscreen is correctly applied, vitamin D synthesis is blocked.  Staying in the sun for prolonged periods without the protection of sunscreen increases the risk of skin cancer. 

Since it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone, everyone (including children) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D. You can usually find this in your local supermarket or chemist. 

If you’re at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, it’s particularly important to take a daily supplement. Higher risk groups include:

  • all pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • children under 5 years old
  • people who have low or no exposure to the sun, for example, people who cover their skin for cultural reasons, are housebound, confined indoors for long periods or live in an institution such as a care home
  • people from minority ethnic groups with dark skin such as those of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin, who require more sun exposure to make as much vitamin D.

If you’re pregnant, you can get Healthy Start vitamins, which contain Vitamin D, for free. Ask your midwife for further information. Women and children up to 12 months old can also get free Vitamin D supplements. Please contact your health visitor for more information. 

Children under 5, including breastfed babies, should be given a daily supplement of 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D all year round, to make sure they get enough. If your baby drinks around a pint of formula milk per day, you don’t need to give them a supplement, as formula already has added vitamin D.

You can find out more about Vitamin D here.