Paediatric Nutrition

supporting wellbeing with nutrition education

Tag: teenage girls

Izzy’s Overnight Almond Oats

I really do get it – it’s hard to make time on a school morning to prepare a nutritious breakfast. My teenage daughter Izzy and I teamed up to produce this blog, after she developed this yummy recipe.  Izzy doing the creative part – great instagram photos and actual recipe development, and me doing the nutrient analysis with my dietetic book “The RSC Composition of Foods“.  Overnight Almond Oats are vegan, milk free, wheat free and  positively bursting with health giving nutrition.

It all started when we both decided to moooove away from cow’s milk for 2020.  We’re experimenting at the moment, trying various milk alternatives: oat, almond and soya are our favourites.  We haven’t yet tried the many different yoghurts like oat and coconut, but soya based yogurt with toasted almond tastes really great. So, look out for more delicious and nutritious recipes! If you are developing your own recipe ideas and selecting more vegan and milk/wheat free choices, don’t forget about calcium. It an absolute must!  Read the label of the milk or yoghurt you are buying, and if it doesn’t have calcium, then find one that does.  You bones will thanks you when you get to my age!  Or quite a bit before!!

Recipe for Overnight Almond Oats Calories Protein Calcium  Magnesium

1 oz

1 teaspoon

1 handful

1 spoonful


Big pinch

Almond Yoghurt

Porridge Oats

Ground almonds

Frozen raspberries

Almond Butter


Flaked toasted almonds

























Totals 368kcals 15.7g 262mg 124mg
  • Place all the ingredients into the cup, to create the layers of colour and yumminess, seal and refrigerate overnight.
  • Enjoy in the morning with no fuss, no rush and fantastic, fresh, energising nutrition for the whole morning.
Nutrition Notes
  • Dairy free, wheat free, vegan
  • Low in sugars, high in plant-based fats but moderate in overall calories
  • Keeps blood sugar levels steady with energy release from digesting complex carbohydrates in the oats and nuts, providing energy and focus throughout the morning
  • 33% daily needs for calcium, essential for bone strength and muscle function
  • 60% daily needs for magnesium, essential for energy metabolism and nervous system
  • Protein, potassium, vitamin C, and the B vitamin Folic Acid for getting your brain in gear
  • Last but not least, a good source of soluble and structural fibre @ 7.6g to keep your gut microbiome bugs happy and digestive system fighting fit



calcium and vitamin D in teens

The calcium and vitamin D combination is one of the most important vitamin and mineral duos for teenage nutrition. All teens need a good supply of calcium as their bones increase in density long after they have stopped growing in length. Vitamin D plays its part by regulating the absorption of calcium from the gut. Functioning similarly to a hormone, vitamin D receives information about how much bone is needed and determines how much calcium to deliver to the skeleton to make bone.  This happens for existing bone, making it stronger and denser with the additional calcium, and also for new bone as existing bones lengthen during pubertal growth spurts.

Dietary sources of vitamin D only contribute about 5% of overall needs; the rest being manufactured on the skin’s surface by the action of UV light from the sun.  Vitamin D is then absorbed through the skin, stored in the liver, and then converted into an active form of Vitamin D by the kidney, ready for action in the gut.  

Boys generally need more calcium than girls and are also more likely to have lower circulating levels of vitamin D. Calcium needs for girls are around 800mg and boys around 1000mg. Habitual lower intakes of calcium cause the intestine to up-regulate its absorption, provided there is enough vitamin D, and so calcium is only half the picture to promote strong bones.  In the UK , where the sunlight is low for at least half the year, the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency.  A supplement of 25ug/micrograms (or 1000 international units) of Vitamin D for 6 months of the year – during late autumn/winter/early-spring – helps to ensure bones continue to mineralise during this super-growth period. Teens who eat a poorly planned vegan diet may consider a calcium and vitamin D supplement.

Calcium needs can be met by 4 – 5 servings of dairy products each day.  For kids who don’t eat dairy, fortified soya products, nuts and seeds are good choices.  For well-rounded nutrition, a mix of different types of calcium rich foods is best.  

Good Sources of Calcium

Portion               Food                                            Calcium (mg)
200mls cow’s milk 230
200mls soya milk 240
150g natural yoghurt 300
150g fruit yoghurt 240
30g cheddar cheese 200
30g soya cheese 125
2 tinned pilchards 330
4 tinned sardines 460
120g tinned salmon 105
1 tsp tahini (sesame seeds) 135
30g almonds 65
10 apricots 75
1 dried fig 50
90g spinach 145
3 tbls baked beans 70
portion broccoli 35
portion spring greens 65
1 slice white bread 30
1 slice wholemeal bread 20

Source “The Composition of Foods” 5th Ed; McCance & Widdowson; Royal Society of Chemistry