Spring cleaning our diet


I’ll be the first to admit that the last six months there have been a few too many chocolate bars, and more nights where oven chips featured than I’d care for. I’m cutting myself some slack – for it’s been a turbulent few months, and we’ve made it through the other side, and at times, ensuring we ate our 5 a day wasn’t the most important thing, and throwing something into the oven straight from the freezer was all I could manage.

However, the time has come to spring clean our diets. I went vegan just after Christmas, and Lola went Vegetarian at the same time. I’ve been consciously sorting out our diets the last few weeks, making little changes here and there, adding in more fruit and veg, cutting out the treats {or at least cutting down on the treats}. Meal planning really helps with dinner – if I know what we’re having, I can have it sorted earlier in the day and don’t resort to pizza and chips every night.

As a new diet is trending spring cleaning your diet and that of your kids doesn’t have to be difficult, with a few simple swaps you’ll be eating healthier in no time:

Add whole fruits at breakfast ~ my kids usually opt for cereal/toast for breakfast, I’ve started adding bowls of fruit to our breakfast table – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, sometimes some chopped up banana, and encouraging them all to add a handful to their breakfast – adding in a portion of fruit first thing in the day.

Stick to water – we rarely drink pop/squash anyway, we have a jug of water on the table at meals, often popping in some berries or citrus fruits for added flavour.

Ditch the crisps – I stopped buying crisps save for a sharing pack for our Sunday night picky dinner, or if we’re out for a picnic. Often I’ll make a bowl of popcorn to go with lunch instead.

Snack Plates – My kids usually need a decent sized snack mid-afternoon, to see them through from lunch until dinner {esp as they often have gymnastics in between}. A snack plate is a great way to encourage healthy eating. I’ll cut up some crudites, add some hummus, some crackers or breadsticks, sliced apple with peanut butter and let them tuck in.

Lots of sides – side salad or veg- lunch and dinner, no matter what I make I’ll ensure there are at least three different vegetables to pick from. With a larger family, it is easier to offer a variety of foods as I know someone will eat it. By making a few veg side dishes, I know there will be something that everyone likes. For lunch, I’ll make a ‘deconstructed’ salad plate so everyone can make a side salad with the things they like – beating the fussiness!

Make it yourself – of course, it’d be no fun if we ate no cake or cookies, right? Making our own means I can control what goes in them – not only do we avoid any preservatives or artificial ingredients, I can also cut down on sugar. I find most recipes contain way more sugar than is necessary, I often cut down by a third to a half on the sugar a recipe calls for.

Healthy picks on the go – with a packed lunch to make every day for my sole school-goer, as well as numerous pack-ups to make on our days out, I try and keep some healthy options on hand for food on the go. While most often I’ll pack wraps, a salad box, some fruit, homemade cake, crackers, hummus, peanut butter – it’s also handy to have a little pre-packaged stuff on hand for last minute pack-ups, or just as extra ‘treats’ while we’re out. We’ve just discovered the Googly Fruits range and my kids have been loving them. Their Crunch Puffs and Real Fruit Made Crunchy is a tasty {&healthy} alternative to a packet of crisps – I am in love with their crunchy strawberries! Beastie still loves the smoothie pouches too – great for adding extra goodness, in a not too messy way when you’re traveling! The kids love that they’re fun and look like ‘treat’ food – I love that they’re made from 100% organic fruit and veg with no added nonsense.

Switch to plain yogurt – my kids love yogurt. A lot. We had been buying those little individual pots, but I’ve just switched to buying a huge pot of plain natural yogurt. The sugar difference is huge. We keep a jar of cooked berries in the fridge, perfect for swirling into plain yogurt, or they drizzle some honey on the top. I’ll often add a sprinkle of plain flaxseed or a ground omega seed mix on them as well.

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  1. Ness

    April 28, 2017 at 10:39

    I keep doing fridge raid to make sure we use up all our vegetables. Unfortunately there does seem to be far too much chocolate hanging around the house after Easter!

  2. Nikki Thomas

    April 28, 2017 at 20:58

    It is so easy to fall into bad habits when times are tough, I certainly know that. Some great tips there although my biggest problem is a daughter who loathes all fruit and veg! I have become very creative (and sneaky) and hiding fruit and veg in other things.

  3. Mary Louise

    April 28, 2017 at 21:17

    So many great tips here that are really easy to follow.
    LOvely blog with great reads x

  4. Anne

    April 29, 2017 at 09:56

    Great tips which prove that it’s not that difficult to make healthy changes, we’ve been doing the same. My kids will often go to the fruit bowl for a snack now and if I ever get the need for a sugar rush I have my trusted dates in the fridge

  5. Jen Walshaw

    April 30, 2017 at 16:22

    The biggest change we have made is to ditch the cereals. The boys are eating more eggs and such for breakfast

  6. JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    May 1, 2017 at 08:42

    Great tips – I love your snack plate idea. I agree that meal planning is a great way to keep control of what you are eating, but I have to confess I do find it a chore! But I still do it, because it works:-)

  7. Kate Williams

    May 1, 2017 at 20:23

    I need to get better at at this too, I often chop up some carrot and cucumber to go with dinner so I know my kids will at least attempt some vegetables.

  8. Kara

    May 2, 2017 at 08:25

    We still have loads of easter eggs to get through but we are drinking a lot more water here

  9. Laura

    May 7, 2017 at 00:10

    These are some really good healthy eating tips and very useful and realistic – water is king and I know I need to drink more as well as ditch the crisps. Life has been so busy lately that my usually healthy diet has suffered and so has my energy levels – I really need to do something about that

    Laura x

  10. Gill Crawshaw

    May 12, 2017 at 17:32

    Great tips, my diet is TERRIBLE (all carbs and sugar). I spend so much on fruit and veg for the children then never eat it myself xx

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