At the beginning of this challenge I explored strawberry pancakes on a whim. My off the cuff breakfast worked really well with the flavours working so well together. Now that I am only 9 days from the end I felt it was time to finally try a Change4life recipe and a yummy sounding pancake recipe seemed perfect.

Now I don’t like the Change4life website – it doesn’t explain things, uses crappy flash embedded things that are constantly broken and is difficult to navigate. In their “portion sizes” section there is nothing really helpful at all – this is all that is there…

Change for life portion sizes information

With this being a key place that you are sent to by the NHS for healthy eating and exercise information you can imagine how frustrating I was when at the bottom of this there was a link to similar information on a non child friendly page. When you compare this to BBC’s version of what counts as a portion size (and they are the TV service not health care service unlike the NHS run Change4Life) it is laughably bad! The BBC one was so good and I am gutted that I was only sent it today by BF after searching Change4Life and NHS websites so much.

So while it has all of these things against it (as well as an equally broken app for my HTC) I finally decided it was time to try one of their recipes and thought their tomato and mushroom pancakes would be a good place to start as it would be fool proof.

While I like the send to e-mail feature for ingredients I hate that I would then have to copy it somewhere and what not to add all of the other things that I need so I just grabbed a sticky note and made my shopping list. The addition of yogurt as an ingredient for the pancakes should have been a warning as I have never ever made pancakes using yogurt – for me it is just salt, egg, flour and milk.

I really love pancakes – normally choosing the sweet variety though so one with two foods that counted as portions in a pancake was great. It was just about chopping up mushrooms and tomatoes and frying them up in a little bit of olive oil – easy! Having been taught how to get the correct amount, pan temperature and flipping pancakes since I was about 7 I thought that this slightly different mixture would work but the colour and cooking pattern looked so different from any that I have ever made before with an almost tiny bubble pattern on the bottom. Huge air bubbles also formed after it flipped it that would not settle with my normal tricks – I really should have realised that something was wrong…


On high speed I turned out pancakes and topped and folded with the fried tomatoes and mushroom brimming with pride. At first I thought that I must have cooked the mushrooms or tomatoes wrong as it just didn’t work – that was until I nabbed a mushroom and tomato that had escaped and they tasted amazing.

Change4Life apparently have a very crappy pancake recipe to go with their website. It is just a shame that the UK has such a strong brand that is so highly recognised yet keeps failing at so many aspects.

I am now so worried to trust Change4Life recipes – this has been the final nail in the coffin for me to be a useful tool when it comes to general people having a healthy lifestyle. Their focus is clearly towards families with young children – it is such a shame nothing exists for everyone else really at all.

The rest of the day has been quite normal – strawberries here, clemintine there, so that I managed to on 4 portions even before this disappointing pancake dish; I have fallen in love with BBC Good Food though! This is a much better system with so much more useful information. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them feature tomorrow…

Now if you read the post for yesterday – I managed to get round Waitrose and not grab any but succumbed 9 at night when BF asked if I wanted him to grab anything on the way home. Oh well it just means I have managed 7 portions today.

Have you tried a change4life recipe? Did you like it? Are you a fan of BBC Good Food? Are there any other food sites that you would recommend? Leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you.

strawberry pancakes with "a month of 5 a day" surrounded by cartoon fruit and veg


Annabelle has lived in Exeter, Bournemouth and London but now live in Brighton as a freelancer. With a love of baking, sewing and social media, she is now starting her own blog.


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