Sitting at my computer with the rain pummeling down, it feels like a distant memory that I was actually away for 3 days only a week ago. And what a 3 days it was. Firstly, it was lovely to go away independently of family (!) and secondly to a beautiful place (the spelling of Thyme in the title is not a typo). I was accompanied by fantastic group of other bloggers from around the world to learn about Nutrition, Food Styling & Photography with Nestle Breakfast Cereals.
Our time started with a talk on Nutrition by Constanza on the importance of breakfast – especially for growing children.
It was a wonderful insight to things I didn’t know and facts that I had ‘forgotten’.
- Nutrients missed at breakfast, such as calcium, fibre and certain vitamins and minerals, cannot be made up later in the day.
- A balanced breakfast should represent around 20%-25% of total daily calorie intake (although can vary with different National dietary requirements)
A well balanced breakfast should consist of –
- Some dairy
- A piece of fruit
- A glass of water for hydration (tea or coffee is ok!)
- A wholegrain based food
- An source of protein (or if that is too much at breakfast, a bit of protein mid morning)
What does 1 serving of wholegrain look like?
- a 30g bowl of wholegrain breakfast cereal
- 1 medium slice of wholemeal bread
- 2 whole wheat crackers
- 2-3 cups of plain pop corn
We each had to describe our breakfast routine – let me tell you, mine was the least glamorous!
The other perception that I had of breakfast cereal was that it is full of sugar. Not so! There is no more than 9 grams od sugar per serving which is a lot less than I thought there was.
The other great thing to note is that there is more wholegrain than any other ingredient in their cereals (you know the boxes with the green banner across the to?)
DECONSTRUCTED RECIPE MAKING
Next up, we cloaked ourselves in an apron and set to work making a breakfast recipe with the same ingredients that make up Nestle Breakfast Cereals.
I chose Smiley Oat Cookies which are the basis for Cheerios.
Straight from the oven.
I even took them home and they got the massive thumbs up! Next we learnt how to style them for a photo for a recipe book for example.
I didn’t really have a clue and the first thing I did was pack it all onto a tray with a few raspberries and it looked like I was whacking it down for kids tea.
So under the careful guidance of Lou I was given a few tips. This goes for products & flat lays as well.
- Natural light. Move your product into the light.
- If there are shadows, bounce them off with a piece of silver card.
- Reflect the recipe with the accessories. (I.e there no raspberries and blueberries in the Oat Biscuit recipe so why include them in the photo!)
- Brush oil on the biscuits to make them shine.
- You don’t have to include everything in the photo. You can zoom in.
Lou & the photographer Ellis at work.
After a bit of tinkering, this is what we came up with – my first ever food photo!
On the last day, we had to make a Nestle Cereal. From scratch. Ouch. It was between these three.
Then the winner would be picked from who took the best photo.
Guess which one I chose – Cheerios! (I was told it was the simplest to make but it wasn’t easy – the piping was a killer).
Once the Cheerios had been double baked with a coating of honey glaze, I left them to cool and got started on sourcing the props I wanted.
Here is a little video of me in action.
There is no way to share this without sounding boastful, but for purposes of recounting my story it would be weird not to tell you – I actually won!
Collecting my prize – a Polaroid camera. (Can you see my genuine look of delight – I haven’t one anything for years!)
Here was my shot. I am sure it was the lime matching the Nestle logo…
Here are some of the other photos. Hearts from bananas – cute!
The lovely team. From Mexico, Poland, Romania, Indonesia and the UK!
Relaying my few days to the cameras. Need to turn the enthusiasm…
All these wonderful events and classes were interlaced with delicious meals cooked on site at Thyme.
I whole heartedly recommend it away for a weekend away. They also host a cooking school and cookery lessons!