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What do I cook tonight?


So its 5pm, you’ve just arrived home from work, a day out or the school pick-up – happy hour is starting and the kids are crazy and hungry!  The last thing you feel like doing is cooking a healthy balanced meal for your kids, right?  This week, I will share with you a couple of easy, healthy, quick meals you can prepare for your family that are tasty and sure to impress!

Healthy Chicken Curry


  • 750 gms chicken breast diced
  • 1 TBS coconut oil plus extra (can use extra virgin cold pressed olive)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 4 yellow onions - thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 TBS raw grated ginger
  • 1 TBS whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper



  1. 1.In a large saucepan, heat coconut oil on medium heat
  2. 2.Add garlic, ginger and onions and sauté until browned
  3. 3.In the same pan, slide onion, garlic and ginger to one side and add more coconut oil if necessary to toast the cumin and coriander until they are browned
  4. 4.Mix all ingredients together in the pan and add chicken, turmeric, lemon juice, tomatoes, coconut milk, sea salt, and a few twists of freshly cracked pepper, stirring well
  5. 5.Cover and reduce heat to low, simmering for about 30 minutes
  6. 6.Serve with brown rice
  7. 7.Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and toasted almond flakes




  • Chicken breast is low in fat & high in essential amino acids for growing bodies also low GI for lasting energy
  • Cumin, coriander and turmeric are great herbs,  Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory
  • Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene (antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress in the body caused by stress, pollution, poor diet etc)
  • Ginger is a great warming spice, great for weight loss, nausea & digestion
  • Coconut oil is full of health benefits, it is also stable to cook at a high heat, it won’t oxidate or go rancid like some other oils

Or.... How about something easy and healthy to throw in the lunch box as a nutritious snack?  These are a favourite in our house, especially now that the price of bananas is (slowly) on the decrease!

Oat & Date Cookies


  • 200g (2 cups) rolled oats
  • 90g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 150g dried pitted dates
  • 250g (1 cup) ricotta cheese
  • 115g (1/3 cup) maple syrup
  • 3 free-range or organic eggs
  • 6oml (1//4 cup cold-pressed oil of your choice)
  • 2 large ripe banana’s



  1. 1.Pre-heat oven to 180c & line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. 2.Combine oats, coconut & datesa large bowl
  3. 3.In a separate bowl, beat eggs, ricotta, syrup, oil & mashed bananas until wellAdd this to the dry ingredients, stir well till the mix holds together
  4. 4.Drop 1 tablespoon of mixture at a time onto the tray, use a fork to flatten
  5. 5.Bake for 20 mins or until cooked through
  6. 6.Allow to cool for 10 mins before enjoying!

Source: Livwise Cookbook


  • These cookies are a great alternative to one’s you can buy in a packet (full or additives and preservatives) or to one’s you buy from a cafe (usually packed with sugar)
  • The oats and dates provide loads of fibre essential for digestive health
  • Ricotta is a great low fat cheese option (better than butter or margarine in this instance) and is a great calcium source for growing bodies

Enjoy the cooking!  Please let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to chat!

Kim Holmes

How do I read nutritional labels?

nutrition-labelReading the nutritional panels on labels of certain food products can be a confusing task.  It is worth familiarising yourself with the terminology used to help understand how to make sense of these labels. Although you should try to make most of your and your kid’s diet full of fresh foods, some packaged foods can’t be avoided.  By law, all packaged foods need to be labelled with a list of ingredients and a nutritional panel detailing the amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates, sodium and other important nutrients such as those that can cause allergies.  These components are listed by weight and shown in grams per serve and per hundred grams.  For example if you read the list of ingredients on any packaged food item, the item that is present in the largest amount (by weight) is always written first.  So if you pick up a cake mix and the first listed ingredient is sugar, you can guarantee that there is plenty of sugar in that mix!  But you are baking healthy fresh goods anyway right!   Another interesting trick manufacturers put on labels are the words ‘light’ or ‘lite’ – this doesn’t necessarily mean low in fat it could just mean light in taste.  Again, read the nutritional panel carefully.

Understanding nutritional panels –

The amounts of any nutrients are listed by weight in grams and are shown per serve and per 100 grams.  A quick easy way to have a look of how much of a nutrient is present is to scan over the amount per 100 grams – this will give you a percentage of that nutrient.  For example, if a product has 46 grams of sugar per 100 grams, this means that almost 50% of that food is made up of sugar!  This is another reason to choose fresh foods for your kids whenever possible.

How do I interpret these labels for my kids?

Try to choose foods that are:

  • Sugar – less than 8-10grams/ 100grams
  • Sodium – less than 100mg/ 100grams

Hidden nasties – sugar & salt

  • Did you know that a serve of vegemite contains 173mg of sodium?
  • A serve of peanut butter contains 127mg of sodium?
  • Read the panels of common boxed cereals for salt & sugar contents – you’ll be surprised!
  • Remember, fresh is best!

If you do have any concerns or further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact myself at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alternatively you can go to for detailed information.

Yours in health,


Iron & Children


Why is Iron so important?

Apart from Calcium and Sodium, Iron is one of 3 important minerals we look at when discussing toddler/ childhood nutrition.  Iron plays a role not only as a component of blood and the transport of oxygen to tissues but also in immune health, energy production and bone synthesis.  Unfortunately iron deficiency is common in Australia and children require adequate amounts for growth and development.  The body stores iron very well so it is not needed in large amounts every day.  Preschool children require approximately 10mg of iron/ day. 

Foods high in Iron

Animal sources

Plant sources

Red meat – 1 cup lamb mince, 4.5mg

Chicken – ½ a chicken, 4mg


Baked beans – 1 cup, 4.5mg

Lentils/ chickpeas – ½ cup, 1.5mg

Dates – 1 cup, 2.5mg

*these are approximates


Signs of deficiency

  • Restlessness & irritability
  • Fatigue & tiredness
  • Pale skin, slow wound healing, brittle nails
  • Frequent infections, constipation, tummy upsets

Ways to improve iron absorption

Iron is present in animal (haem iron) and plant foods (non-haem iron).  Haem iron is better absorbed by the body.  But you don’t want your child consuming an excess of animal products, red meat 2-3 times a week is sufficient for children (the body stores iron very well).  Consuming foods high in vitamin C with animal and plant foods will improve absorption. Calcium inhibits the absorption of iron, so best to enjoy calcium rich foods away from iron rich foods.  If your child still has milk during the day, limit it to 600mls, maximum.  Not only is it rich in calories (can fill little tummies quickly!) but as mentioned above, too much calcium can interfere with iron absorption.

All in all, it all comes back to the basics - ensure your child is getting a balanced diet, full of nutritionally-rich, fresh produce.  Adhere to the little tricks above and if you have any concerns, feel free to contact me for more information.

Health & Happiness,

Kim Holmes

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas


This week I introduce Sarah Lutton, a Naturopath who will be working with me in delivering a holistic approach to health and nutrition for your family from a Nutritionists & Naturopaths point of view.  As many of you would of had a well-earned summer break, it’s now back into school!  We thought an appropriate topic would be to let you know of some healthy and easy lunchbox ideas for the kids.

  • Always pack 1 piece of fresh fruit –  fibre for a healthy digestive system
  • Natural yoghurt – calcium for healthy bones (add berries or other fruits if desired)
  • Celery & carrot sticks with hummus – vitamin A for eye development & protein for growing bodies
  • Wholegrain crackers with cheese pieces – whole grains will provide B vitamins & fibre/ cheese for added calcium
  • Half cob of corn 


Sandwich Ideas:

  • Use avocado or hummus as a spread instead of margarine or butter. Hummus is a serve of protein and avocados contain good fats essential for maintaining a healthy weight.
  • When using avocado, mash or dribble with lemon or lime juice to prevent the avocado from discolouring.
  • Offer a variety of whole grain breads, rolls, pita bread and flat bread. These will give the kids more energy and keep them fuller for longer.
  • Ensure you include lean meat, eggs, tuna, chicken or chickpeas with each sandwich. Kids need a serve of protein at lunch to give them that extra boost of energy and to keep them going till the end of the day.
  • Instead of using a regular lettuce use dark leafy greens such as rocket or baby spinach. Both are full of B vitamins which are necessary  for energy production and rocket, being quite bitter will help with digestion and increasing the rate of metabolism.
  • Add leftover (or cook extra) roast pumpkin or sweet potato to sandwiches, wraps and roll fillings.  Naturally sweet and loaded with beneficial antioxidants, roast vegetables team well with a range of fillings.

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Kim Holmes


Kim Holmes is Platinum Pre School's preffered Nutritionist, she writes specifically tailored articles for the Platinum Newsletter and advises our staff on questions related to childhood nutrition. 

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