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    Farmer's Daughter Blog

    How high quality lean red meat helps kids perform at school

    Every parent wants to ensure their family is eating well and staying happy. The impact of a poor diet can be seen at many levels in young children: in poor behaviour, slow growth or an inability to meet developmental milestones.

    My family life is busy - yours is too, right? - and great nutrition fuels that and keeps us well.

     

    Christmas holidays down on the farm

     

    To do their job of going to school and learning, children need the right balance of vitamins and minerals too. They need the energy to concentrate in the classroom, to be able to participate in sports and enjoy all the extracurricular activities they’re involved in.

    The amount of protein children need varies according to many factors, including activity and age.

    We know that health experts say children actually need more protein than adults as their bodies are still growing.

    Australia’s respected National Health and Medical Research Council tells us lean red meat plays a major role in our diets and that three to four serves each week is recommended.

    So how does red meat help children perform better at school?

    Iron – this mineral helps carry oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. A lack of iron might cause tiredness, reduced ability to concentrate and reduce our resistance to infection.
    Zinc – assists our immune function and plays a role in maintaining good vision. A lack of zinc can result in an increase in susceptibility to some viruses.

    Vitamin B12 – aids memory function and helps make your DNA and red blood cells. This important vitamin can’t be sourced through plant foods.  

    There's some food for thought.

    Katie

    So how much protein does my child need?

    We’re taught at a very young age that protein is an essential part of any diet to build muscle and repair our bodies, Children however need to consume more protein than adults.

    Part of the reason comes down to amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body, creating cells and repairing tissue, as well as forming antibodies to fight bacteria and viruses. Amino acids carry oxygen throughout the body and help the development of muscles, nails and hair. Protein from meat is crucial to access many amino acids, including the essential amino acids that must come our diets.

    How much protein does my child need?

    Here’s what we understand about the links between red meat, protein and your child’s diet.

    Medical research has shown that children have very precise needs depending on age and gender when it comes to the amount of protein they should eat.

    Kids grow fast and so need more protein in proportion to their body weight than grown adults.

    • The United States Institute of Medicine lists lean meat as a high-protein food. According to the independent research carried out by the institute, babies need 10 grams of protein a day and children aged one to three years need 13 grams of protein daily.

    • When children hit the next developmental stage, between four and eight years, they become more sophisticated in what they will eat. At this age the recommendation is to serve 19 grams a day.

    • Once children reach the age of nine, consider serving about 34 grams of protein daily.

    • Girls aged 14 or above need about 46 grams of protein daily and boys aged 14 to 18 need 52 grams.

    There’s more reading about children and protein here.

    Great. That’s the numbers taken care of, but what does it mean in terms of portions? Try these on for size.

    • A SINGLE mince-meat beef burger that can be made in bulk, frozen and defrosted when you need a meal in a hurry

     That's food for thought.

     Katie

    Farmer's Kitchen is a healthy Hong Kong choice

    Grocery shopping in Hong Kong, particularly when it comes to meat, can be completely overwhelming. Supermarkets here source their product from around the globe. There are dozens of different suppliers, each with their own definition of quality, with products being handled by countless agents, buyers and wholesalers before it gets to your supermarket shelves.

    Without being alarmist, it’s a food safety nightmare, and we keep seeing these horrible stories in the media about meat being mislabelled or, worse, being sold horse meat. Remember that from a couple of years back?

    I worry about what goes onto my family’s plates. My overriding concern is ensuring the products are safe to eat and have the highest possible nutritional value. That's why our cattle get water, sun and grass. This is a picture from the property.

     

    Down on the Campbell family farm, Black Angus get sun, grass and water to make healthy food

     

    SAFE AND SOUND

    So, what makes Aussie meat safe to eat?

    Australian farmers – and that includes my Dad, who runs the farm where we source all of our products – have to meet (no pun intended!) some of the strictest food safety laws in the world.

    • The country is free from all major epidemic diseases, including Foot and Mouth Disease and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy – the infamous Mad Cow disease.
    • Australia is one of the world’s largest red meat exporters, so the industry is committed to safe food production to protect that reputation.
    • The government and farmers work together closely to control what Australians eat, which means you get the best quality.
    • The guidelines include the hygiene of farms, which ensures livestock does not come into contact with nasty chemicals that create long-lasting chemical residues.
    • The safety measures include how animals are treated. For example, there are strict rules about transporting livestock, which ensures their humane treatment.
    • Packing and distribution of meat is monitored by Australia’s renowned Quarantine and Inspection Service.

    So there’s a few reasons why Australian meat is a better buy and healthier for your family. I've taken these points from Safe Meat, which is responsible for health and safety, and Meat and Livestock Australia that determines what farmer can and cannot do.

    Of course, Farmer’s Kitchen only sells beef and lamb that has been raised by my family, is grass-fed and hormone-free. I know the meat we offer is as tasty, nutritious and healthy as it possibly can be.

    Speak soon, 

    Katie

    You little mince-minx

    Mice beef burger, Aussie style, made with with chilled grass-fed beef

     

    Mince meat has long been a favourite in households around the world because you can make so many sorts of dish with it, so easily. Mince is particularly good value as the main ingredient of midweek meals for the kids. Tacos, anyone?

    Mince meat appeals not only to families, but also to busy, career-driven single guys or gals, who can spare only a few minutes to prepare a healthy meal. If you’re used to cooking for one, but tempted by a recipe for a mince dish for someone special, consider how to handle the meat safely once it gets to you.

    So, here's the basics of food safety.

    • Do not store fresh mince any longer than necessary; unpackaged mince is best consumed within two days
    • Freeze mince you don't intend to use; it can be stored frozen for up to three months
    • Thaw your frozen mince on the lowest shelf of your fridge
    • Thaw frozen mince in the microwave only if you intend on eating it at once
    • Never re-freeze thawed mince – or any sort of meat – unless it's already been cooked

    Now that you know how to store and thaw your mince, it’s time to scurry into the kitchen and become a little mince-minx, conjuring up the tastiest way of serving Farmer's Kitchen natural grass fed mince.

    Be sure to share your recipes with Farmer's Kitchen HK on our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram.

    Beef prices creeping up

    Reared on grass, Black Angus in the paddock

     

    You may have noticed that the prices of your favourite cuts of beef are now slightly higher than they were not so long ago. It’s because the cost of cattle has risen everywhere around the world. The cost of Australian beef has climbed appreciably over the past couple of months, and I’ll tell you why.

    Growing demand in the United States, Japan and China for beef of the quality that Australia is renowned for has put the beef industry under great stress. The growth in demand means buyers are ready to pay higher prices to satisfy it. Higher beef prices mean higher cattle prices – which are now at their highest for 30 years, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

    The upward pressure on prices began building a while ago, but only now are we meat lovers in Hong Kong feeling the effects on our pockets. What is thankfully unchanged is the quality of Farmer's Kitchen Australian beef and lamb products. We'll do all we can to keep prices affordable so as many families as possible can enjoy high-quality, healthy food.