Becoming a Good Food Nation – Scottish Government

The Scottish Food Commission states that making Scotland a Good Food Nation is a challenging task, however, if we all strive to achieve this common goal, the result will follow shortly.

2015 was the Year of Scotland Food and Drink and Scotland presents the world with undeniable high quality produce due to our clear waters, fresh air and rich soil.

The main question is; why when Scotland’s local products are so fresh and delicious is the nation’s health suffering?

Consequently, health is one of the core values outlined by Good Food Nation in addition to prosperity and sustainability. The main idea of the campaign is to significantly improve our food culture by 2025.

We summarised several steps set by Scottish Food Commission:

1. Educating consumers: making them interested in fresh and local food that is really good for them.

2. Motivating the public sector to be an example, as it has a huge influence. For instance, schools providing tasty and balanced meals for kids. It goes without saying that educational institutes are one of the most important targets as it might take a generation to alter the perception of healthy food and transfer ignorance to knowledge.

3. Making sure that people have easy access to good food.  We can start this for ourselves and our families by focusing on eating a balanced diet. However, as more families eat outside of the home, the key would to make healthy food available in places like leisure centres, stadiums, and other family venues at an affordable price.

5. Supporting local food and drink businesses to make Scottish products even better!

6. Making food companies an appealing place to work by offering more work experience and apprenticeships.

7. Making the most of the campaign: promoting  Scottish food and drink internationally, let it be one of the reasons to visit our beautiful country.

Let us know your thoughts and suggestions, we are always open for conversation @eatbalanced or get in touch with us!

Seaweed may improve your memory

Guest Blog from Dr Craig Rose at Seaweed and Co.

The right nutrition for memory, brain function and development is critical for children, from birth and all the way throughout their education.

What is it about seaweed that may improve our memory?

A healthy, balanced diet can achieve this, and specifically the inclusion of, believe it or not, seaweed can have some profoundly positive effects!

When we talk about seaweed and memory, it may seem a little bit of an odd combination. However, seaweed has many benefits as it is hugely nutrient dense, and particularly rich in natural iodine.

Iodine is well known to be good for cognitive development specifically, as well as overall normal development in children. In fact, these two statements are Approved Health Claims in the European Union in relation to getting a sufficient level of iodine in your diet.

I don’t know much about Iodine, what research supports these claims?

There is research from various countries which show that not eating enough iodine during pregnancy, as well as deficiency in early childhood is associated with cognitive impairment. Studies have shown, however, that improved iodine intake in school-aged children improves cognitive performance, and that maternal iodine supplementation may improve the cognitive performance of their babies.

Despite the clear importance of iodine, as a nation we have a diet insufficient in iodine that is worse than South Sudan! Shockingly, in the UK the majority of school-aged girls have a diet insufficient in iodine. This is primarily due to a reduction in eating of fish, milk and other dairy products (and of course not enough seaweed!).

So how can we increase our uptake of seaweed?

We understand of course that a slab of seaweed on your plate isn’t something for everyone just yet, and so the development of Scottish Seaweeds in a dried and milled format that is included in foods like Pizza Power Kids, can be an ideal way to get your children eating healthy, balanced foods. Each pizza has more than your daily requirement of iodine present, and so is an excellent, safe and natural source of iodine for children.

Got a question?

Doctor Seaweed writes, researches and educates on the benefits of seaweed. All seaweed supplied by and approved by Doctor Seaweed is safe to eat, and appropriate for its uses and markets.

For more information on seaweed and its benefits visit and tweet any questions about #seaweed to @doctorseaweed

Pizza Power Kids and Food for Life Award

Food for life

We’re often asked how Pizza Power Kids fit with the Soil Association’s Food for Life Award?  In terms of what we are actually trying to achieve, we have quite a lot in common with the Food for Life Award.

What are Eat Balanced trying to achieve with Pizza Power Kids?

It’s simple, we want to make it easier for kids to enjoy a balanced diet.  How we do this is by reinventing kid’s favourite foods with innovative, high quality ingredients into tasty, nutritionally balanced meals.

What are the Soil Association trying to achieve with the Food for Life Award?

Making healthy, tasty and sustainable meals the norm for all to enjoy, reconnecting people with where their food comes from, teaching them how it’s grown and cooked, and championing the importance of well-sourced ingredients.

Pizza Power Kids and Food for Life

Despite being a prepared product, Pizza Power Kids carries a lot of benefits compared to making from scratch and other prepared pizzas, such as:

  • Eat Balanced are a Scottish start-up based in Glasgow
  • Our products are manufactured in Glasgow
  • We work with a Professor of the University of Glasgow – Professor Mike Lean – to verify our recipes (which are lab tested to prove they are nutritionally balanced)
  • Salt is replaced with a special powdered seaweed from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland
  • They are low in sugar
  • Psyllium husk is used for added fibre which means the base is lighter in colour and texture to wholewheat bases
  • Roasted red pepper puree is blended into the sauce for added vitamin C and vitamin A

Our pizzas are suitable for the Bronze Food for Life Award being free from the undesirable additives, trans fats and GM ingredients.

For Silver and Gold, as they are points based standards, our pizzas also carry points under the making healthy eating easier category.  This includes:

  • Reducing salt
  • Having meat free days
  • Cutting plate waste
  • Supporting eating well
  • Monitoring against food and nutrient based standards
  • 50% of bread on offer is wholegrain

We agree that the Food for Life programme achieves amazing results for schools, nurseries and hospitals and we’re delighted to be supporting the healthy eating message.

Supporting Healthy Choices Framework in Scotland

We’re delighted to be the first start-up to have partnered with the Scottish Government and Food Standards Agency in Scotland on Supporting Healthy Choices (SHC),  a framework whereby Partner organisations to commitments that aim to improve Scotland’s diet and reduce health inequalities.

We believe that the food and drink industry (manufacturers, retailers, food service and brands) should play their part, not just a token effort! At Eat Balanced,  here’s what we’re dedicated to doing:

Commitment 3
Provide and incentivise healthier meal deals, especially where customers include school-age children purchasing lunch.

Our Promise: To make it easier for children to enjoy a balanced meal at school lunch times.  That’s why we’ve launched our Pizza Power Kids multi-serve pizza as a nutritious, tasty and cost effective option for schools.

Commitment 4
Rebalance their food and drink offering and promotions, both in-store and online, to positively support consumers to make healthier choices.

Our Promise: To support caterers to positively promote Pizza Power Kids, that are lower in fat, salt and sugar without negatively affecting their profits.

Commitment 6
Encourage healthier components in meal promotions.

Our Promise:  to provide information to help caterers choose healthy toppings, side portions and drinks, to go alongside our Pizza Power Kids main meal, to promote a healthy balanced diet in line with the Eatwell plate and the Scottish Dietary goals.

Commitment 8
Work with Scottish Government to consider how we can build upon existing practice on the responsible marketing of food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar in order to reduce children’s exposure to messaging.

Our promise: To educate and engage children on the importance of eating a balanced diet.  We’re committed to hosting talks to kids about the important of a healthy diet.  If you’re hosting a Healthy Eating day or event, please contact us.

Commitment 10
Roll-out energy and, where possible, nutritional information on menus and displays (in print and online) across Scotland on an ongoing basis.

Our promise: to provide full nutritional information breakdown on all products in our Pizza Power Kids range to caterers.

Commitment 12
Work towards reducing calories, fats, salt and added sugars.

Our promise: to work with the Scottish Government and other influential partners in the food industry, to work towards reducing, calories, fats, salt and sugars.

Commitment 13
Work towards the HealthyLiving Award on an ongoing basis.

Our Promise: to continue to make our products compliant with the HealthyLiving Award.