There's more to ensuring your kids and family get enough calcium than stocking up on milk! We show you how to grocery shop in a calcium conscious way within and beyond the dairy aisle - all in the buzzing metropolis that is Hong Kong.
My top recommendations when it comes to calcium conscious grocery shopping:
1) Get creative in the dairy aisle. Think beyond milk to probiotics-rich yoghurt and kefir and some cheese. Remember, dairy is not only a highly concentrated source of absorbable calcium, especially for kids, but also packed with vitamin D and protein.
2) Embrace the dark green leafy veggies like collards, kale, bok choy and lettuce. These come packed with vitamin K which enhances the absorption of calcium, not to mention other amazing nutrients like antioxidants, folate and iron. In one major study, women who ate one serving of dark green lettuce a day had a 50% reduction in the risk of hip fractures!
3) Load up on beans like black-eyed peas and Cannellini beans which are calcium-rich, full of fiber, potassium and other nutrients like zinc and iron. Next week, we will share our toddler's favorite Indian black-eyed peas curry recipe. Cannellini bean hummus is another great option to incorporate beans into kids' meal plans.
4) Incorporate some canned salmon / sardines with bones into kid's meal plans for a ridiculously high calcium boost as well as omega-3 fats, protein and vitamin D! This week, we share toddler's absolute favorite canned salmon fish cakes recipe. Not at all 'fishy' we promise.
5) Don't ignore non-obvious non-dairy sources of calcium like oranges, rhubarb (strawberry rhubarb crumble in the test kitchen at the moment!), tofu, chia seeds and tahini. Our spiced coconut chia seed pudding packs a calcium punch and is the perfect 'dessert for breakfast' treat.
Next week, we'll share a calcium conscious meal plan with more recipes. Until then, happy eating!
With Love & Spice
NON-FISHY FISH CAKES
Toddler, Kid, Adult
Get creative with dairy
Embrace green veggies
salmon with bones
Don't forget oranges,
rhubarb, tofu, chia,
Canned salmon with bones is the only food that can compete with dairy when it comes to absorbable calcium per serving size. (You can use non-canned cooked salmon too but you won't enjoy the calcium boost which really comes from the bones). 100 g contains about 250 mg of calcium, almost the same amount as a cup of milk. Salmon is also brimming with other nutrients like brain and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fantastic complete protein and vitamin D! I was a tad skeptical about giving my son fish bones but in the can, they are incredibly soft and just require a bit of mashing with a fork to be fully incorporated into the fish meat. I hate strong fishy fish so I worked hard to make these canned salmon cakes as fragrant, flavorful and non-fishy as possible. I can assure you these have been toddler tested and approved.
4-5 fish cakes
1 russet potato chopped
1 shallot minced
1 clove garlic crushed
180g canned salmon with bones, black skin discarded and bones mashed into meat with a fork
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro / coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander / cilantro powder
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt to taste
Flour for shaping
Bread crumbs for coating
4 tablespoons canola oil
Bring the potato to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
While the potato is boiling, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a small saucepan until shimmering. Sauté the shallot and garlic until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, add the canned salmon (skin removed and bones mashed), cooked potato, shallot, garlic, ginger, chopped coriander / cilantro, spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander), salt to taste and lime juice. Mix well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Add flour, 1 egg beaten and bread crumbs to 3 bowls in an assembly line. Shape the mixture into cakes in the flour. Coat well in the egg and cover completely in bread crumbs. Chill the patties in the freezer for 30 minutes. Heat the remaining oil in a sauté pan until hot. Fry the patties for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Drizzle the fish cakes with lemon juice and serve with your favorite veggies on the side. Add a dollop of greek yoghurt with olive oil and salt as a dipping sauce if you like.