Mother's Day is celebrated worldwide, from China and India to Italy and America and is a day dedicated to honouring Mothers. In the UK, this day falls on a Sunday with the most traditional British dish being a roast dinner, which can sometimes be seen as an unhealthy choice loaded with fat, salt and calories. However, a roast is a balanced meal, containing lots of important nutrients needed for health. Why not try following our top tips for cooking a healthy roast dinner on Mother’s Day:

  • Meat is the fundamental part of the great British roast. It is a good source of protein and contains essential nutrients such as zinc, iron and vitamin A. In order to help reduce the fat content try placing the meat on a rack so that  the fat can drip away, and try not to use any additional fat (such as oil or lard) on the meat. Instead of basting the meat to keep it moist, place a tray of water in the bottom of the oven whilst cooking.
  • A great alternative to meat is a lentil or bean roast which contains protein, fibre and can count towards one portion your 5 a day!
  • Gravy is another essential aspect of a roast, but it can be high in fat and salt. To make a healthier gravy try using a low salt stock, the juices from the meat can also contain a lot fat so a top tip for removing this is to put ice cubes into the gravy (as the fat clings to the ice). You can then use a spoon to remove the ice cubes along with the fat.
  • Potatoes provide an important source of starchy carbohydrates which helps give us energy throughout the day. They also contain potassium, some B vitamins and vitamin C. You could try using a few squirts of a spray oil before roasting the potatoes, as this provides an even covering without using much fat. Instead of seasoning with salt try using dried herbs and black pepper for a healthy alternative.
  • Vegetables are an essential part of any meal and a roast dinner is a great opportunity to provide at least 2 of your 5 a day! For more information on what counts towards your 5 A DAY click here. Vegetables contain fibre vitamins and minerals along with natural plant compounds that may have health benefits. Try not to add any butter or oil to your vegetables and steam or boil them for a short time until they are just cooked. If you do boil your vegetables, then use the water for making gravy as it will contain the goodness from the vegetables.

Last reviewed March 2011. Next review due March 2014


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