Wednesday, 2 April 2014

7 a day challenge: Carrot cake Bircher Muesli

The things I learned the most in my first day of trying to have 7 fruits and vegetables in my diet were:
  • It takes organisation
  • I need to buy more fruit and veg urgently (so much so after only buying some on Monday I went out for more today)
  • A 'portion' is bigger than I thought so it's not just about variety but about quantity
  • It's a bit confusing what a portion size is for a child so for my 3 year old I aimed for variety and didn't get too hung up on how much he ate
  • I'm going to get very bored weighing ingredients very, very quickly...
Today was a day at home with my son.


My first day of 7 fruit and vegetables in 7 days started with a Bircher Muesli.  It might look like a bowl of mush (ok it is kind of a bowl of mush) but it's also a great way to get raw fruit and vegetables into your breakfast.

As I said yesterday, I think the key to getting to 7 in a day is to include fruit and vegetables into every meal.

I didn't add any sugar or honey and you could if you like but both my son and I liked it as it was  ("it delicious!")

Carrot Cake Bircher Muesli - Makes 1 adult portion


1/2 apple grated (include the skin)
30g, 1oz Carrot finely grated
30g, 1oz Porridge oats
30g, 1oz Sultanas (Golden Raisins)
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon


Mix everything together then add milk or yogurt to taste (I like milk).  If preferred you can make this the night before and store in the fridge but I like the oats to still have a little bite so I make just before serving.

After eating it I felt really nicely full without feeling like I'd eaten something awful.  It felt like a nice fresh addition to my day actually.

An alternative recipe for Bircher muesli is here.

The interesting thing about this recipe though with it's three different fruits and vegetables (carrot, apple and dried fruit) is there aren't three portions.  A 'portion' is about 80g so this breakfast only actually contains 1.  This is going to be harder than I thought...


I don't normally have a snack but I felt in the mood to so I had 80g of a Galia Melon and the wee man had an apple.  I was up to 2 out of 7 and my son was on 1 only having had a taste of my breakfast earlier.  The other thing I did was prepare more melon for lunch tomorrow.  That way there would be no "I'm running late" excuses in the morning.

I'm not denying I would have preferred to go to the local cafe but I probably would have had a hot chocolate had I gone there, expensive and full of sugar and fat.  So in some ways this was better for me and made me wonder if this 7 a day business is more about what you miss out rather than what you include.  The sheer volume of fruit and vegetables doesn't leave a lot of space for anything else.

So at 10am I'd managed two.  I was going to have to squeeze another 5 into lunch, tea and any snacks and my son would need 6.  Thinking cap on...


I went for my bacon and broccoli frittata for lunch.  I upped the broccoli a bit to 120g per frittata so it was more likely I'd get the full 80g for me and served with cabbage and sweetcorn on the side, I hit three for the main course.  Again I was more worried about portion size for me and to get the 160g of vegetables on the side was a much larger amount than I was expecting.  I felt very full after my meal but I'm not totally sure I could be happy eating 80g of cabbage in one sitting every day; and I like cabbage.

After lunch I was up to 5 portions and my son on 4.


A handful of black skinned grapes each.


My son had a version of this fried rice dish with added sugarsnap peas, petit pois (ok still peas but kind of different) as well as the mushrooms.  So with his snack he was on 8 different fruits and vegetables.

For me later, I had some pan fried fresh tuna with rice and a salad made from cucumber, radishes and peppers (capsicums), three vegetables but in terms of quantity only 2 portions.

For me, 7 a day achieved in terms of quantity and here are the fruits and vegetables I ate:  Apple, carrot, sultana, melon, broccoli, cabbage, sweetcorn, grapes, radishes, cucumber, pepper and I'm feeling pretty full!

Day 1 - Success so far...  But can I keep this going on a work day?

I would be absolutely honoured if you would consider nominating me in the Britmums BIB awards, especially the food category.



  1. oooh what a good challenge! I'm going to have to start counting mine!

    What would you notmally take for lunch to work? A flask of soup &/or a box of salad would seem an easy way to get a good veggie hit - with apple/banana/dried fruit for snack? Sneak in a smoothie for breakfast & you must be well on your way to 7?

    Look forward to hearing how you get on! x

    1. Take a look at my post from today! I went for gazpacho so kind of soup meets salad...


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