Survival guide for families in self-isolation

As a parent, I know how difficult this time is for families with kids. We’re not only worrying about being isolated; we also have to worry about our child’s future in this world, our child’s education and a million and one other things. Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve put together a survival guide for families during the isolation period.

Here are my top tips for surviving lockdown:



With the whole family in one space, you need to create some structure in the day. It doesn’t have to be inflexible, but a rough guide as to what gets done, when. Treat your days like any other days. Get up early to shower, make beds, eat breakfast and complete your usual list of morning chores. Set mini-goals for each day so that your kids understand what needs to be completed before they can head outside to play. Schedule mini-breaks too, for snacks, fresh air and perhaps some baking.

Make sure that everyone in the family is doing their bit to help out. Delegate chores and put up a chore chart. The very necessary cleaning frenzy means that everything from door handles, to the kettle handle, needs to be sanitised. Give each family member their own sanitiser spray and wipes for areas to sanitise.


Allow some time to chat with your children about the virus, how it spreads and how they can play a role in “flattening the curve”. Arm them with information, not fear. Some of them will have little contact with their friends, so give them the opportunity to call their friends for chats. Verbal communication always trumps texting. Listen to your children’s concerns and try to reassure them – encourage them to express their feelings.


It’s not often that families get to spend quality time together – no sports schedules, no school schedules, no work schedules – make the most of it. Get out into nature as a family, have evening firepits, roll pizza bases, do online family yoga, play board games and maybe even head out for some garden camping. Try and enjoy the time you have.


Get some lavender oil, a diffuser or light some candles and spend 10min together listening to relaxing music or guided meditation. We don’t always know how much our children may internalise their stress. By doing this, we bring peace into our homes and keep anxiety at bay.


There’s nothing like a workout to dissolve stress and anxiety. Build an obstacle course in your garden or house using chairs, tables, blankets, and the couch – the kids will have endless fun and you may be tempted to join in the action (keep it safe though – the hospitals don’t need more patients). Or get your kids to design workouts for the family to do together. Write out the numbers 1-10 on paper and several bodyweight movements – cut them out and place them in 2 different jars. Draw a number and a movement and write this down. This is a fun way to create home workouts.

Of course, we cannot forget “The toilet paper challenge”

Start teaching your kids how to use 2 squares of toilet paper at a time instead of fistfuls of toilet paper. The stuff is like gold, use it wisely!



I am one of these, so I know you are reading this post and rolling your eyes thinking “how on earth do I get through all of this?”

  • Find a few good documentaries (my kids love Planet Earth) and let the kids watch them while you work.
  • There are great educational apps and games – download them and lift the technology restrictions temporarily – DON’T FEEL GUILTY!
  • Download a few audiobooks that they can listen to.
  • Schedule your work into 2hr blocks. You work for 2 hrs, then you do something with the kids for 30min. If you start early, you should easily manage to complete your work tasks.

Stay safe out there!



Our top ten tips on hosting the ultimate vegan braai

This National Braai Day, let’s squash the perception that eating off the braai means eating meat. In fact, it’s perfectly possible to host a Heritage Day meal leaving meat off the table – without comprising on taste or even texture!

From vibrant veggies, to sizzling skewers, make your flavourful, plant-based braai one to remember! All you need is a touch of imagination, a sprinkle of good company and a few delicious recipes to knock up tasty, meat-free meals.

Uniting around a fire each year for Braai Day symbolises our shared heritage. Heritage Day is a fun and interactive holiday that aims to strengthen nation building and social cohesion. While the ingredients may differ, the one thing that never changes is that when we have something to celebrate we light fires and prepare ultimate feasts.

Hosting a meat-free braai, or reducing the amount of meat on the grill, means you are turning your fork into a powerful tool for peace by withdrawing support from industries that harm animals. Indeed, celebrating Heritage Day doesn’t have to start and end with humans; we can still create a cohesive society that works towards the well-being of all its members, animals included.

So choose to gather around a braai of plants on fire and see how easy, versatile and delicious vegan food can be! And if you’re worried that you’ll end up only eating red pepper and onion skewers, a grilled corn or a baked potato, you can be rest assured that there are many more plant-based braai-approved options. From dairy-free potato salads, to chargrilled cauliflowers, and to our Chicken-Style Burgers, Traditional Burgers and Braai Style Sausages, there is something for everyone!

Not only do these plant-based meat alternatives have the same taste and texture as meat, they are ready within minutes on the braai and are low in saturated fat and naturally cholesterol-free, unlike animal products. Indeed, as stated by the American Dietetic Association, an appropriately planned plant-based diet may aid in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, including: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and Alzheimer’s. Leaving meat off your grill is not only good for your health, but with well-prepared veggies and convenient meat replacements, you don’t have to worry about missing out on taste!

Keen to give a vegan braai a go but perhaps a bit unsure of where to begin, how to braai veggies or how to keep guests happy, here are a few tips you may want to follow:

  1. Consider hosting. Sure, hosting your own vegan barbecue is more work, but it guarantees you’ll have plenty to eat! It’s also the perfect opportunity to show friends and family that you don’t need to eat animals to have a yummy braai!
  2. Marinate marinate marinate! Often it’s the herbs and spices that people love rather than what is actually being marinated. Dress up your veggies in your basting sauce overnight and throw it over the grill the next day. Our go-to? Our Traditional Burger marinating in a BBQ sauce.
  3. Give your braai a good scrub. Ideally you want to scrape off any visible meat chunks and keep the vegetables on a different part of the grill to the meat.
  4. Serve lots of appetizers! Your friends are going to be drinking and talking so they will probably eat more than you think they will. Plan accordingly but don’t overextend yourself. These Chicken-Style Skewers with a Peanut Satay or this Veggie Platter with Prawn-Style Pieces and Tzatziki are definite winners! Chargrilled to perfection with a hint of smokiness, mushrooms are also one of our go-to veg on the braai. Served with our Polony, these Mini Mushroom Pizzas make for a great starter.
  5. Keep it fresh. Prepare a fresh salad, like this Raw Superfood Broccoli Salad with our Nuggets. If you haven’t tried the Nuggets on the braai, you’re in for a good surprise!
  6. Think about veganising side dishes. Use vegan mayonnaise in your faithful side of potato salad. B-Well is a great alternative.
  7. We know bread is crucial for burger staking and hot dog rolling. Some vegan options include rye bread, ciabatta rolls, baguettes, tortillas or wraps, sourdough, burger buns and hot dog rolls (without the egg wash glaze) and sandwich breads. Always read the ingredients list first though just to be safe.
  8. Dessert anyone? Since you’ve already got the grill going why not grill some fruit?
  9. Leave paper out of it. Pay a visit to a thrift or secondhand store and buy a few mismatched reusable dinner and dessert plates. The crazier the patterns, the better! They’re more fun, a great conversation piece, sturdier than paper, and you’re not contributing to the landfill.
  10. Have fun! Set a good example by having fun! Friends and family are much more likely to take veganism seriously when they see that leaving meat off the grill still means you can have a great time and eat to your heart’s content!

We encourage you to leave the meat off your braai grill this Heritage Day for your own health and for the nation. It’s perfectly possible to have a memorable and flavourful Braai Day that everyone will enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Gather some friends, light the coals, concoct a punchy marinade, baste, sizzle, and unite!


Sneaking in the goodness every day


by Cath Jenkin, Freelance Writer and Journalist 

Overcoming fussy eaters in your family

I’m one of those annoyingly lucky parents – my daughter loves eating her vegetables but simultaneously enjoys chocolate too. This didn’t just happen though – it was an actively aware approach to healthy eating that started from the day I first spooned cereal towards her mouth.


Choice makes it a personal investment
From the moment she was toddling around and scaring me with her vocabulary, dinner became a matter of choice. By actively enabling her to choose between two or three meals I’d be happy to put on the dinner table, she felt like her dinner was the result of her decisions. Kids love making decisions and being given a sense of responsibility for their lives, and yes, this is a little thing – but it’s not that difficult to implement. While I’ve never had to hide vegetables in her dinner, I have done that more recently since our family expanded (this is why my fiancé loves my lasagne so much, but don’t tell him!).

Colourful food is your friend
Ask a kid what their favourite food is and why, and they may just tell you it’s all about the colour of it. Strips of yellow and red peppers make for great finger food, while cubes of Fry’s Slicing Sausage on a kebab stick with chunks of fruit or vegetables makes for a great dinnertime treat (that’s not actually a treat!) Offering a varied plate that’s big on colour and on crunch as often as you can, does help to eliminate the “Oh, no, I don’t eat that” phrase.


Lekker Lunches
There’s a lot to be said about lunchboxes. Many parents will tell you that it seems like they plop an apple into their children’s lunchbox, just to give it a trip out of the house for the day, only for the process to be repeated throughout the week. My go to lunchbox meal again are made up by variety and colour. My daughter often ditches the sandwich and enjoys more snacks, so a healthy lunch is made up of raisins, celery or carrot sticks, rice cakes and – of course – a treat.

Treats are part of the plan
You can berate me for saying this and that’s okay – I believe that treats should be a part of your family’s eating plan. If you demonize treats or make them a forbidden item, the attraction of them becomes all that more real, and could lead to binging when your children have more power over what they choose to eat. Instead, we treat treats (haha!) as part of the plan when it comes to family eating. Maybe we’ll have ice cream today, but tomorrow, we’ll double up on the salad and that’s totally okay.

What’s the secret to avoiding fussy eaters? A solid plan and an awareness that, if you fail today, there’s always tomorrow to try again. Good luck parents!

Cath Jenkin is a Durban-proud freelance writer and journalist who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, but it only works out sometimes. Don’t ever ask her to cook rice. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter or check out her blog.



Top 10 healthy lunch box ideas


“Don’t forget to take your lunch!”

Mornings are generally chaotic.  Dad trying to do his tie while drinking coffee and brushing his teeth, kids eating cereal and playing candy crush on your tablet, you trying to fight for a spot in the bathroom queue to get ready for work and pack lunch for the kids somehow simultaneously.  We are sure this scene is quite familiar!

To keep the lunch boxes brimming with delicious healthy snacks and treats, we at Fry’s have put together 10 easy and healthy recipes which will keep your children tucking in for more instead of the junk at the tuck shop!

1. Vegan Twister Wrap


Meat free and taste full!  This easy wrap recipe goes well in any lunchbox.

– Get the Recipe!


2. Rainbow Sandwiches


This simple vegan recipe is perfect for school lunch boxes or for those who are on the go.

– Get the Recipe!


3. Chicken Strips Pizza


Pizza isn’t the question… it’s the answer. Especially when you use dairy-free cheese!

– Get the Recipe!


4. Hot Dog Sandwich


This is a twist on the conventional hot dog on a bun… a must try!

– Get the Recipe!


5. Mango Chicken Wrap


Your kids will get their fruit ‘n veggies in one go with this healthy wrap.

– Get the Recipe!


6. Nugget Quesadillas


This Mexican recipe is given a vegetarian flair with our nuggets.

– Get the Recipe!


7. Grilled Polony and Hummus Sandwich


So quick and easy that your kids could do it!

– Get the Recipe!


8. Roti Wrap


Looking for a traditional Indian lunchbox recipe?  Here you go!


9. Schnitzel, Cucumber and Lettuce Roll


Vegan and quick with all the taste to fill the lunchbox.


10. Sweet Chilli Tortilla Wrap


Packed full of the good stuff to keep your kids focused in school.


That’s our top 10 list!  What are your lunchbox favourites?  Please share them with us on Facebook or Twitter now!



Three new year’s resolutions you can stick to


Each year people make a commitment to be a better person with an array of New Year’s Resolutions. That commitment usually lasts until the 10th of January when the couch is a better place to be than running on the beach. This is also about the time when junk food is “easier” to eat than veggies and charity really does start at home. In 2016, why not make your goals attainable and start small then grow them! Instead of saying “I am going to loose 15kg’s” rather say “I am going to eat healthier”.

Drastic change is not always sustainable so this year why not keep it simple and try these New Year’s Resolutions?

1. Eat Healthier


Choose plant proteins over protein that comes from animals. Eat more fruit and vegetables each day while drinking plenty of water. These are simple tips that our parents told us from day one… so why don’t we listen? Don’t be hard on yourself when you have a cheat meal but don’t make them the norm. By making a concious decision to eat mostly whole foods and swapping meat out for Fry’s, you are doing good on yourself. There is a body of research that suggests following a plant-based diet is the best way to manage your weight, improve your health and well-being.

2. Be More Active


Simply saying “I am going to get fit this year” is not going to get you off the couch but saying “I am going to win Comrades” may not be helpful either. Small steps (like take the steps and not the elevator) are ways to get yourself in the mindset you need to become more active. You don’t have to go out and buy expensive Lycra and join a running club, just start with doing Parkrun each week! Then make the most of your mornings with a quick few sit ups and squats to start the day (check out these morning routines) and join that yoga class you were meaning to go to. Need more tips? Check out these 15 from former couch potatoes.

3. Give Some of Your Time


“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.” ~ Malcom Bane 

We all want to do good. We want to change the world and “be the change” we want to see around us. Often, this global view may be to your detriment because you can feel powerless in the face of the great challenges that are facing animals, people, and our planet. Instead think small and help out in your immediate community. Help out at the local animal shelter once-a-week, donate blood or do a beach clean up with some friends. These may seem small but it has been said that a butterfly can start a storm! So why not go from a lazy caterpillar to someone who is out there making a small but meaningful difference?

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you agree with our list?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!


Diabetes update from Fry’s

A teaspoon of sugar. . . A drop in the ocean or a dangerous liaison?


Sugar, once the only supposed causative culprit of high blood sugar, is actually now accepted as a lesser evil than various other sweetened and even unsweetened foods.

Caryn Davies, registered dietician shares some perspective on the sugar saga. Diabetes management is no longer solely focused on restricting all dietary items that contain sugar, but is rather centered on an understanding and avoidance of the foods which can dramatically raise blood sugar. Surprisingly, ‘sweetness’ is not necessarily an accurate predictor.

Of course, a teaspoon of sugar will increase one’s blood sugar, but more dramatic effects are interestingly noted after the consumption of highly refined carbohydrate foods, such as a slice of white or brown bread, a cup of certain breakfast cereals or fruit juice and even one rice cake. The ability of foods to affect our blood sugar after eating has been qualified and quantified in the context of the Glycemic Index (GI) and the Glycemic Load (GL), which give us insight into the type and amount of carbohydrates that should be consumed for optimal blood sugar control.

The best food choices for diabetics include carbohydrates that have been minimally processed (low GI carbohydrates), as these will result in a more gradual rise in blood sugar after eating, than the highly processed, more refined alternatives (high GI carbohydrates). Unlike carbohydrates, protein and fat do not exert an immediate rise in blood sugar and the effect of eating carbohydrates in conjunction with a small amount of healthy fat or lean protein is beneficial to overall glycemic control, as is the presence of fibre.

Many foods do contain a combination of carbohydrate, protein and fat, but some contain disproportionate amounts of fat, which is especially unhealthy for diabetics, as a high fat intake has the ability to reduce the efficiency of insulin, (the hormone which controls rising blood sugar). Thus, the key to effective diabetes management is to eat mixed and carefully balanced meals and to choose combination foods which are high in fibre and low in total and saturated fat.

Food shopping can get decidedly overwhelming as the topic of health can be interpreted and marketed in many different ways. Furthermore, food labeling is not always easy to decipher or even available.

The road to becoming consumer savvy starts with familiarizing oneself with common low GI foods and the concept of portion control. Well renowned low GI foods include unrefined starches, such as brown rice and oat bran; high protein grains such as quinoa, most legumes (beans, chickpeas & lentils), raw nuts and fruit & vegetable varieties that are eaten with the skin on. Whole foods, eaten as close to their natural form as possible, are the ultimate benchmark. Second to this, is portion control, because even a low GI carbohydrate consumed in large quantities could send blood sugar sky rocketing! (Potentially more than some high GI foods consumed in very small quantities.)

This brings us back to sugar –the currently considered vice of the modern diet! Perspective from the Glycemic Index, yields it somewhat acceptable in moderation. However, issues arise when portion control (the Glycemic Load) is ignored. Although a teaspoon of sugar in an afternoon cup of tea, may be relatively slight in effect, 4 cups of heavily sugared caffeine in a day paints another picture altogether. This coupled with the added sugar that is found in most cereals, convenience snack foods, sweetened dairy products and the diversity of drinks stocking the supermarket shelves these days, suddenly collaborate as a lifestyle risk factor for sugar addiction, insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity! (All of which can be exacerbated by an excess of sugar in the diet.)

These statistically increasing conditions of lifestyle, despite being manageable, are to a large extent preventable! All it takes is a little bit of consumer savvy! Choose high fibre carbohydrates (> 6g fibre per 100g,) products that are low in fat (<3 g per 100g,) and practice portion control! (Add extra salad for satiety!) These simple principles, although used as the base of diabetes management, are not only useful for diabetics, but for anyone seeking good health, weight control and sustained energy!