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, it is also known as Mothering Sunday and is held on the 4th Sunday of Lent.

Why not treat mum to a traditional British Roast?

A roast is sometimes seen as an unhealthy choice, laden with fat, salt and calories. However it can be a balanced meal and a good opportunity to include a wide variety of veg. Don’t forget eating plenty of fruit and veg can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Follow our top tips for cooking a healthy roast dinner on Mother’s Day.

Reduce the fat

Meat is often the centrepiece of the roast dinner. 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
  • placing a tray of water in the bottom of the oven whilst cooking, instead of basting the meat, to keep it moist
  • eating roasted poultry without the skin on, as that is where a lot of fat is found
  • a bean or lentil roast, which contains protein and fibre and even counts as 1 of your 5 A DAY

Go for lower salt gravy

  • 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.

Perfect potatoes

  • 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.
  • Cut potatoes into larger chunks before roasting them so that they absorb less fat, and use a small amount of olive or sunflower oil to roast them in rather than butter
  • You could try using just 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.
  • By adding some baked sweet potatoes to the menu you can reduce the number of roast potatoes you eat

A variety of veg

  • Vegetables are an essential part of most meals and a roast dinner is a great opportunity to provide at least 2 of your 5 A DAY if not more! 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
  • steam or boil veg 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.
  • For more information on 5 A DAY click here
  • And to look for veg in season

For more information on the sources used in this text, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last reviewed Oct 2014. Next review due Oct 2017

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