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Q&A with Innocent Company Nutritionist and Dietitian, Vanessa Hattersley - ANSWERS BACK

(43 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Sep-11 13:10:58

Continuing our work with Innocent, we've got Innocent's Company Nutritionist, Vanessa Hattersley on hand this week to answer all your nutrition questions - it can be your nutrition, your kids nutrition or even questions on the food industry. Vanessa has a first class degree in dietetics and is a registered dietitian as well as nutritionist. She worked in the NHS before starting her career as a nutritionist in the food industry, firstly with a leading supermarket, as their Head Nutritionist where she spearheaded several industry-leading policy initiatives, including the removal of all industrially-produced trans fats, artificial colours and flavours from 9,000 products in the company's private label portfolio. She also ensured all products met the Food Food Standards Agency's 2010 salt reduction targets two years ahead of schedule and launched on-pack nutritional signposts that combined traffic lights, Guideline Daily Amounts and text to indicate 'high', 'medium' or 'low'. Vanessa joined Innocent in March 2010 as their Company Nutritionist, where her remit involves working cross-functionally with technical teams, product development and marketing, to ensure that nutrition is positioned at the heart of the business. Vanessa is happy to answer your questions on the food industry and all aspects of nutrition for both children and adults. Send your questions to her before midday on Monday 19th September and we'll be linking to her answers on 29th September.

ComradeJing Tue 13-Sep-11 13:21:55

Should we post questions here?

Mine is: what constitutes portion sizes for different food groups for babies and children? I mean an apple is 1 portion for an adult. Is it also 1 portion for a child or is half an apple one portion?

Thank you!

mrsskefton Tue 13-Sep-11 13:38:45

Why aren't there more dairy free children's products available (esp in supermarkets)? My daughter is 1 of 2 in her class of 30 with a known dairy allergy but there is still such little knowledge or food available to the general public. Are their any plans afoot to change that?

gazzalw Tue 13-Sep-11 14:29:15

Friend has a 10 year old DD who isn't at all keen on diary products (without having any allergy per se). Just very conscious that it is important for girls, as they enter puberty, to ensure that they have a calcium-rich diet a. Do you have any good dietary tips to get around this?

CountessDracula Tue 13-Sep-11 14:45:46

How do you feel about innocent being 58% owned by Coca Cola?
Would you recommend, as a nutritionist, that children (or anyone) drink Coke?

insertcleverusernamehere Tue 13-Sep-11 15:13:51

I emailed innocent and let them now that the inclusion of grapes in the smoothies render them 'wine' according to Jewish law, and explained that they are therefore not kosher. This is a huge shame. Jojo at Innocent didn't want to know.

HattiFattner Tue 13-Sep-11 16:28:20

Our infant school follows government guidelines for healthy eating. We have been getting mixed messages about fruit juices - on the one hand, we are encouraging kids to eat fruit at break time (and the school is supplied with fruit from the local authority for this purpose). We also supply a drink of fruit juice first thing (about 50ml only) as well as water.

However, we live in an area where many children have very poor dental health, and have been advised that they should not be eating high acid fruits and fruit juices due to acid erosion of teeth and dental decay caused by sugars in fruits.

So...As a nutritionist, what would your recommendation be - fruit and juices for health vs dental decay?

BoSho Tue 13-Sep-11 20:18:02

I am weaning my 1 year old on a vegetarian diet (and he's still having 2 or 3 breast feeds a day) and would like to know whether meat substitutes and tofu are really important. We have great, balanced diet, and cook everything from scratch, but we don't eat tofu or meat substitutes at all (except for the odd Thai take-away, which our son obviously doesn't eat). I read that there is a lot of oestrogen in tofu which can have adverse affects on young children, and Quorn just seems a bit synthetic. Should I get over this and introduce it into our diet or forget about it?

Also, is this combining protein business a load of rubbish, or is there something to it? If so can you please explain how do I do it because I can't for the life of me work it out.

Thanks so much.

champagnesupernova Tue 13-Sep-11 21:33:57

Help me. I am knackered.

What (apart from innocent smoothies obviously hmmgrin) can I eat to
(a) stop me getting every cold that's going and
(b) stop me feeling completely shattered.

skybluepearl Tue 13-Sep-11 23:25:05

Does food influence acne? Can food help balance hormones? Does milk cause acne and is goats milk or soya milk a good alternative? Is there anything i can eat to help me have clear skin? Does water really flush toxins out of the system? Can specific foods delay age lines? Which foods are feel good foods?


skybluepearl Tue 13-Sep-11 23:28:20

are there vitamins/minerals or foods that can help me sleep better?

twipple2 Wed 14-Sep-11 07:48:20

I am 'under the weather'.. have lots of stress at the moment. What supplements should i be taking? I'm prone to cold sores and these tend to come out at times of stress.

twipple2 Wed 14-Sep-11 07:49:24

my friend's daughter has been diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Can she take any vitamins or supplemts to help this? It's not painful and is confined to one joint.

HipHopOpotomus Wed 14-Sep-11 09:07:37

What effect does pasteurisation have on the nutritional value/content of shop bought juices and smoothies?

Thanks for the new banana free smoothies innocent are making. - I find banana tends to be such a dominant flavour ( not always a good thing) - I'll buy banana free from now on if I can find it!!!

Gemd81 Wed 14-Sep-11 11:46:56

What foods do you recommend eating regularly to avoid and prevent:
Eczema, asthma, thrush and colds.
I have been taking an acidophilis forte tablets for a couple of months and have not noticed any difference.

AandK Wed 14-Sep-11 11:49:12

Hi my son has severe allergy to strawberries and pineapple but I've noticed a lot of your smoothies usually have a combination with either of these two in them can you possibly start doing a berry one that doesn't contain strawberry and a tropical one that doesn't contain pineapple

BoSho Wed 14-Sep-11 13:52:30

Oh, I have another question. Does my (11.5 month old) vegetarian son need to take any supplements? We take plant based omega 3 capsules, which he's getting via the breastmilk at the moment (and that'll stop soon) and he takes Vitamin D drops (we live in Holland and all kids take them here until they're 4 years old), but that's it. All the vegetarian books I read say that I should also be giving him Vitamin A and C supplements and letting him drink juice to help him absorb iron rich foods, but the health visitor and GP told me that extra vitamins aren't necessary, and I don't want to give my son a sweet tooth by giving him juice so I just give him water. Am I doing the right thing?

littlegit Thu 15-Sep-11 18:36:32

can you please tell me, if you are going to start put pressure on the food industry to actively start removing aspartame from childrens food and drinks. It's even in drinks which have sugar in it!! Sainsbury's seems to be at least removing it from their products

Baltic1 Thu 15-Sep-11 18:38:04

For BoSho - I´ve 3 boys all vegetarian - occasional I give them vitamin supplements if there are multiple illnesses running around their respective schools - usually beginning of term! However, whether this actually boosts their immune systems haven´t a clue. My 20 year old is 194cm, 14 year old 192 and 7 year old 142 cms - none of them are overweight, they´re keen sports players, and "touch wood" are healthy. So don´t worry about supplements - if you´re a vegetarian with a sensible diet then your son will be receiving enough Vitamin A and C.

BoSho Thu 15-Sep-11 23:19:42

Thanks Baltic1 - that's very reassuring, and a sensible idea re the illnesses. Will have to remember that one smile

moondog Sat 17-Sep-11 09:33:26

What's the purpose of asking people to knit all those little knitted hats for drinks?

snigger Sat 17-Sep-11 22:01:51

Is it true that due to intensive farming methods and general devil-may-care food production standards that five-a-day nowadays is not worth five-a-day in years gone by? Should we technically be on seven-a-day? <<Bangs head on slightly past-it cauliflower>>

Bonsoir Sun 18-Sep-11 09:05:01

moondog - so that my DD pesters me to buy little hats Innocent Drinks grin

Bonsoir Sun 18-Sep-11 09:07:14

snigger - a few years back, there was a campaign for 10-a-day in France. I tried very hard to eat 10-a-day for quite a while... then one day I was at the GP with vague complaints, and she felt my stomach, and told me I was completely inflamed and to stop eating so many fruits and vegetables, or at the very least to eat them cooked.

There are side effects to too many fruits and vegetables (as there are side effects to too much of anything).

Anyway, official French advice is 5-a-day now.

mousymouse Sun 18-Sep-11 09:25:44

my question is about vit d.
in many other (northern) countries it is recommended to give children high dose (500 i.u.) vit d in the winter months (oct to march).
what is your view on that?

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