Superhero Dough Balls

This summer, we’ve teamed up with some bloggers and their children to let their imaginations run wild! We’ve helped them invent some superheroes based on our famous dough balls, and created a comic for each one. You can read each of these below:

PE-SHDB-John

John – created by Ladyofthelane

PE-SHDB-Super-Magic-Man

SuperMagicMan – created by Ladyofthelane

PE-SHDB-Bombsa

Bombsa – created by www.sidestreetstyle.com

PE-SHDB-GreenTree

Green Tree – created by www.goingonanadventure.co.uk

And remember, you can visit our website to view our full kids menu or to book a table.

Top tips for a healthier lunch

Superfood Salad (lunch)

A new survey by PizzaExpress reveals workers in the UK are juggling a busy work life with the briefest of breaks, pausing for lunch at 12.41pm and returning to their desks just 33 minutes later at 1.14pm*.

The survey into the lunch habits of full-time workers in the UK comes as we trial a new Express Lunch menu in selected restaurants, with a specially created menu that makes it quick and affordable to take a break**.

Dietitian, Juliette Kellow, has created a series for top tips to make sure workers are getting the most out of lunch and says, “It’s really important to stop for lunch. It doesn’t have to be a full hour but eating the right things at the right time of day makes us much more able to cope with the stresses and strains of work.  Even if you nip out for 15 minutes and grab a salad and some Dough Balls to eat back at base, then you’re on the right track.

JULIETTE’S TOP TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR AFTERNOON

* DON’T SKIP LUNCH: Even if you can’t take a full hour it’s really important to make time for lunch.  By investing just a tiny fraction of our day into eating a proper lunch, you’ll be more productive in the afternoon.  Plus it means you won’t be starving by the end of the day and ready to raid the fridge or biscuit tin the minute you get home from work. It also means you’re less likely to overeat at dinner because you’re so hungry.

* DO THE LUNCHTIME MATHS: Most nutritionists recommend lunch provides around 30 per cent of our daily calories. This means if you want to keep your weight steady, lunch should contain around 600 calories1; and if you want to lose weight, it should provide around 450 calories2. This may sound a lot but many pre-packed sandwiches and salads can easily have more than this – and that’s before even adding that chocolate brownie, packet of crisps or drink!

* HEAD OUT FOR LUNCH: Leaving the workplace at lunchtime is an easy win for boosting activity levels and getting closer to the recommended 10,000 steps we should take each day.3 Plus a change of surroundings gives our brains a break from work so that we feel refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon’s tasks.  While time and money are perceived barriers for some people, if you pick carefully, eating out at lunchtime can be quick, inexpensive and, what’s more, nutritionally balanced.  PizzaExpress has a speedy new lunch menu which starts at £3.45 and boasts 17 dishes with fewer than 500 calories.

* EAT MINDFULLY AND FOCUS ON YOUR FOOD: Even if you go out to buy lunch then eat it back at the office, get together with colleagues and enjoy lunch away from your desk. Eating in front of your computer means you’re more likely to be focused on the screen rather than your food – and that’s not good for your waistline – so be sociable!

* MUNCH ON LUNCH TO BOOST YOUR 5-A-DAY: Nutrition experts recommend having five portions of fruit and veg each day and lunchtime provides the perfect opportunity to have a couple of these. Salads are a great choice for boosting your intake and if you’re going to have a sandwich, make sure it contains plenty of salad – then finish your meal with a piece of fruit.

* DON’T SKIP CARBS: Rather than skimping on them, most nutritionists recommend starchy foods should make up about a third of the food we eat.4

* DRINK TO THINK: Being even mildly dehydrated can cause tiredness, making it harder to get through a hectic afternoon of work so make sure you include a drink at lunchtime.

Tell @PizzaExpress what you think of our new lunch menu with #escapeforlunch.

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[1 Based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet; 2 Based on a 1,500 calorie a day diet; 3 NHS Choices. The 10,000 steps challenge. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/10000stepschallenge.aspx; 4 NHS Choices. The Eatwell Plate. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eatwell-plate.aspx]

[*All stats, unless otherwise stated, taken from research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of PizzaExpress between 07.03.14 and 11.03.14 among 1,000 UK adults in full-time employment, working regular office hours  **Available in selected PizzaExpress restaurants in:

Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Dudley, Shrewsbury, Solihull, Stafford, Stourbridge, Bath, Bristol, Chippenham, Devizes, Marlborough, Swindon, Carlisle, Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Gosforth, Jesmond, Kendal, Morpeth, Newcastle, Northallerton, Teeside Park, Beverley, Harrogate, Hull, Ilkley, Leeds, Skipton, Edinburgh, Livingston, St Andrews, Stirling, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, Barnstaple, Exeter, Falmouth, Newquay, Plymouth, St Ives, Taunton, Torquay, Truro, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Hereford, Monmouth, Newport, Swansea, Worcester, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Coventry, Gloucester Quays, Harborne, Leamington Spa, Rugby, Stratford Upon Avon, Sutton Coldfield, Warwick, Castleford, Halifax, Sheffield, Skipton and Wakefield.]

Why Get Kids Cooking? – Emma Button

Today we have a guest post from Emma Button. Emma’s blog Mellow Mummy features insightful information for parents about teaching their children the fun aspects of cooking.

 

My daughters have been helping me out in the kitchen since they were old enough to sit upright and grasp a spoon between their tiny fingers. For me and my children, cookery is more than a daily grind to make sure there are meals on the table – cooking is a social, educational and most importantly FUN activity in which the whole family can get involved.

The educational value of getting kids cooking hasn’t gone unnoticed. Pizza Express school visits have long been an opportunity for groups of school children to learn the basics about health and safety in the kitchen and to begin to understand the value of fresh ingredients and the origins of the food that might appear on their plate in a restaurant.
Cooking at home with my children is also a great place to explore basic science, maths and creative skills. When I am cooking with my girls, they enjoy it so much that they don’t even realise they are learning along the way.

Take this weekend… my 3 year old daughter helped me bake her baby sister’s first birthday cake. She weighed and measured all the ingredients which is a great opportunity for learning first numbers, comparing weights and measures and developing accuracy. Next she mixed them together which is not only fun AND messy but also teaches her about the transformations that take place when you add different ingredients together. Finally we created a cake masterpiece with icing and sprinkles which encourages her crafty and creative side. When the candles were blown out on I could see my daughter oozing with pride – it was very tasty too.

This year Pizza Express aim to inspire a generation of children to get into the kitchen through their partnership with The Children’s Food Trust. The #GettingKidsCooking campaign features a series of online activities such as cookery competitions to encourage you and your children to start cooking at home.

Introducing our guest blogger: Mellow Mummy

At PizzaExpress, we believe that is extremely important to talk to people from all backgrounds and experiences about their food influences. We love to  hear how people eat at home, how they interact in the kitchen and also what they look for in a balanced diet.

Over the next month, we will be inviting some guest bloggers to share their food influences.

Today we would like to introduce you to Emma Button of the Mellow Mummy blog. We really enjoy reading Emma’s blog – especially the ‘cooking with kids’ section. ‘Cooking with kids’ contains recipes for kids to cook with parents. It is truly inspirational to read about techniques that help children get interested in food and get families cooking together.

Here are some words from Emma:
I’m Emma, I live and work in Berkshire.  I am a mum of two girls, age 1 and 4.  Motherhood had a fascinating effect on me; instead of making me stressed and worried, motherhood has calmed me down and made me take life at a much more relaxed pace.  By day I write banking software for a large US company and in the evenings, after the girls are safely tucked into bed, I blog about my mellow approach to parenthood. 

For me, teaching my two girls to cook from such an early age helps them to understand where the food they eat comes from. During the summer we can source a few choice vegetables, herbs and soft fruits from the garden – gardening with toddlers is so much fun – and turn them into meals right there and then. From garden to plate in a matter of minutes.

Understanding the science and the nature behind their food is a learning journey for children. Even before her first birthday, my daughter is exploring textures of flour, sugar, water and the resulting dough while her older sister is fascinated by the transformations that her raw ingredients make as we cook them. As we cook we chat about the origins of the meat, the starches and the vegetables we use. Learning every step of the way.

 

We will have some more posts from Emma in the coming weeks.

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