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Fun & Smart Snacks for Kids

14 Sep

 

As parents of 5 year-old and 21 month-old girls, we periodically run into a rut when it comes to snacks of quick and simple meals.  At the same time, my wife and I are softees and are okay with making food fun and interesting for our daughters.  So, I love coming across articles like the one attached below that provide great fun and nutritional ideas/recipes for kid friendly food

In our home, the Breadstick Snails, Strawberry PB Crepes, Blueberry Banana Stacks and Polka Dot Waffle Sticks are a big hit!  Another things I love about these types of recipes and ideas are that they are totally flexible:

  • On the Breadstick Snails, we have used a good squirt of organic tomato sauce and a couple of slices of cheese to make them “pizza” flavored. (Note – when using crescent rolls, you really have to use a good amount of “stuff” to get the taste in the roll!) 
  • For the Strawberry PB Crepes, we’ve also used sliced bananas or apples with the peanut butter, or switched it up with whipped cream cheese and sliced mangos!
  • Likewise, on the Blueberry Banana Stacks we have switched the fruits to what is in season and in the kitchen.  OR for a savory version, we use hummus and top with thin sliced cucumber or zucchini and black olives or grape tomato!
  •  Lastly, on the Polka Dot Waffle Sticks, we’ve used peanut butter rather than cream cheese at times, and have topped them with fresh berries, diced bananas and sometimes chocolate chips!

So bottom line, use some creativity & incorporate ingredients your kid(s) like, have fun and enjoy the process and the snack/meal with your kids!

Smart Snacks for Kids

Breadstick Snails

This super snack planner — with six recipes to prepare ahead and six you can whip up in minutes — will stack the chips in favor of your kid’s health.

Breadstick Snails
Made with refrigerated breadsticks and pesto, these cute creatures can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Per Piece: 96 calories; 3g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Biscotti Gone Bananas

Biscotti Gone Bananas
If your kids like banana bread, they’ll love these crispy biscotti strips. Keep them in a tightly sealed container and they’ll stay fresh for up to a week.
Nutrition Per Piece: 101 calories; 3g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Rainbow Chips & Dip

Rainbow Chips & Dip
It’s a snap to make your own chips using colorful whole-grain tortillas. This fresh pineapple salsa beats bottled dip any day. Both the chips and salsa can be made ahead for anytime snacking.
Nutrition Per Serving: 112 calories; 2g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Confetti Yogurt Pops

Confetti Yogurt Pops
Packed with antioxidants, protein, and calcium, these portable yogurt pops are a perfect on-the-go snack.
Nutrition Per Pop: 99 calories; 1g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Cranberry-Apricot Granola Bars

Cranberry-Apricot Granola Bars
Dried apricots, cranberries, and cinnamon sweeten up these fiber-rich granola bars.
Nutrition Per Bar: 157 calories; 5g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Fruit & Cheese Kabobs

Fruit & Cheese Kabobs
Create these fun shapes using your child’s favorite cookie cutters. You can also mix things up by substituting different kinds of fruit.
Nutrition Per Serving: 99 calories; 6g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Starry Chocolate Fruit

Starry Chocolate Fruit
Kids can help with this five-minute snack. Just set out the melted chocolate and let them dip in the fruit.
Nutrition Per Serving: 134 calories; 8g fat

Get the recipe here

 
No-Bake Peach Crisp

No-Bake Peach Crisp
Ready in no time, this cinnamon-peach crisp is topped with low-fat vanilla yogurt.
Nutrition Per Serving: 101 calories; 1g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Strawberry PB Crepes

Strawberry PB Crepes
Filled with peanut butter and chopped strawberries, these bite-size crepes are an excellent source of protein.
Nutrition Per Serving: 125 calories; 9g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Blueberry-Banana Stacks

Blueberry-Banana Stacks
Mini popcorn cakes are the perfect base for these tiny towers of strawberry cream cheese, bananas, and blueberries.
Nutrition Per Serving: 114 calories; 6g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Monarch Munchies

Monarch Munchies
Loaded with iron, these little munchies are almost as fun to make as they are to eat.
Nutrition Per Serving: 104 calories; 4g fat

Get the recipe here

 
Polka-Dot Waffle Sticks

Polka-Dot Waffle Sticks
These sweet treats can be made on the fly. Just cover whole-grain waffles with reduced-fat cream cheese and top with jelly.
Nutrition Per Serving: 134 calories; 6g fat

Originally published in the April 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

Get the recipe here

 

shim


parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.
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Better than Bread & Butter: New Sandwich Ideas Kids Will LOVE!

13 Jul

Change is good, try new things, be creative, shake things up, variety is the spice of life!  Here’s some great (easy & simple) sandwich ideas from Parents.Com that kids will love.

My daughters’ favorite “new” sandwiches are cream cheese or hummus with thinly sliced cucumber (I use a vegetable peeler and press hard to make a thick fine slice) and peanut butter with thinly sliced apple!  So, get creative and use some of your kid’s favorite things to make new healthy sandwiches!  Bon appetite!

Let’s Do Lunch

Veggie cream cheese and cucumber sandwich
Bread and Better

Kids love PB&Js…but there are tons of other fun sandwich combos.

Veggie cream cheese and cucumber

Tuna salad and sliced tomato sandwich

Tuna salad and a sliced tomato

Almond butter with slivered almonds and dried cranberries

Almond butter with slivered almonds and dried cranberries

Hummus and chopped pepper sandwich

Hummus and chopped peppers

Apple butter and fresh apple slices

Apple butter and fresh apple slices

Whipped cream cheese and fresh blueberries

Whipped cream cheese and fresh blueberries

The Laughing Cow light spreadable cheese with ham and grated carrot

The Laughing Cow light spreadable cheese with ham and grated carrot

Blueberry cream cheese and strawberry slices

Blueberry cream cheese and strawberry slices

Reduced-sugar jam and cream cheese

Reduced-sugar jam and cream cheese

Originally published in the September 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

shim

parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

How to Make Your Kid’s Food More Nutritious!

11 Jul

Do you struggle at times to add more nutrition to your kid’s diet?  My wife and I do.    Here’s a few tricks that work well for us with some of our daughters’ favorite dishes:

  • Macaroni & Cheese, add a jar/container of baby food to the sauce – either pureed carrots or squash work great.  Also, add some nutritional yeast, a powder or flake commonly used by vegetarians, it’s a source of vitamins & protein and has a nutty/buttery/cheesy taste.
  • Spaghetti – break out the food processor and puree frozen spinach, broccoli and/or carrots then add it to the sauce.  Aside from tomato sauce, this adds more vegetables to the meal.
  • Fried rice – we typically use frozen green peas, corn and diced carrots to our fried rice, as well as diced scrambled eggs, and sometimes my wife will also chop up broccoli (frozen or fresh) and add it to dish.  Another nutritional enhancement to this simple dish is to add quinoa to your rice and cook it together, this grain has essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
  • With nutritional yeast, you can also add it to other savory dishes and use it as a seasoning for popcorn, vegetables, etc!

I also found this great article at Parents.Com with easy tips to make some of the most popular kid foods more nutritious!  Check it out & try it out!

Make Kid Foods More Nutritious

juice
Juice
  • Save juice boxes and pouches for road trips, and limit fruit juice at home to 4 to 6 ounces day — it’s full of sugar and calories, and kids can get vitamin C from healthier whole fruit (and vegetables too).
  • Make a small serving go farther by diluting juice with water. Or pop a couple of frozen juice cubes — each cube holds an ounce — into flavored seltzer for a fizzy, low-sugar treat.
  • When you do give juice, opt for OJ: It boasts folate and potassium, and the kids’ versions are fortified with calcium and vitamins A and E.
pizza
Pizza

* When ordering, ask for a pizza “easy on the cheese” or with “half the usual amount of cheese.” Also, pick thin crust over thick to slash about 80 calories per slice.

* Vitamin-rich veggies are the most nutritious topping, but if your family wants meat, your best options are chicken or ham (pepperoni, though still high in fat, is slightly leaner than sausage).

* Pass up high-damage extras like cheese-stuffed crusts or breadsticks, and serve a bagged salad on the side instead.

* Our favorite healthy idea: Make your own pizza with a packaged whole wheat crust (4 grams of fiber per serving) topped with spaghetti sauce and part-skim mozzarella, or give your kids whole wheat pitas and let them choose their own veggie topping.

french fries

* At the drive-thru, order the smallest size — and share them.

* You’ll do better with frozen fries from the store: They have about half the fat of restaurant taters, though ones labeled “battered” and “extra crispy” tend to be higher in fat. Scan labels for trans fats, since many brands have up to 3.5 grams per serving (McCain is one brand that’s trans fat free).

* To really trim the fat, cut potatoes into wedges or sticks, toss with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, and bake on a sheet at 400 degrees F. for about 20 minutes. Sweet potatoes are a fun twist, and you’ll more than meet your child’s daily vitamin A needs.

ice cream

* Stick to basics when you take the kids out for ice cream: The more bells and whistles inside and on top of their ice cream — chocolate coating, candy-bar pieces, caramel swirls — the higher the calories and fat.

* Go for light ice cream, which has about half the fat of regular. Better yet, get a scoop of frozen yogurt — it delivers even fewer calories, has little if any fat, and is actually a good source of calcium. (A half-cup scoop equals a serving.)

* For desserts at home, buy light ice cream sandwiches, fudge pops, or ice pops, all of which are low in calories and fat.

macaroni and cheese

* Making the boxed kind? Use skim milk and reduce the margarine from 4 tablespoons to 1 to save about 100 calories and 10 grams of fat per cup.

* Mix up your own with a sauce of skim milk, margarine, and flour — then melt in shredded or sliced cheese (let your kids pick their favorites). Boil up whole wheat noodles for 6 grams of filling fiber per cup. For a real nutrition boost, stir in some broccoli florets and diced carrots.

cookies
Cookies

* Watching portion size is the key with cookies. Most contain roughly the same amount of sugar, but serving sizes vary widely: 10 animal crackers, eight vanilla wafers, four gingersnaps, three chocolate sandwich cookies, or two sheets of graham crackers all equal about 150 calories.

* Does your child want a bigger portion? Choose Teddy Grahams: They’re lower in sugar and fortified with calcium, with only about five calories per bear.

* For no-brainer portion control, give your kids one of the new 100-calorie snack packs. And look for whole-grain versions of Fig Newtons and Chips Ahoy! — each serving has 2 grams of fiber.

chicken nuggets

* Nuggets pack a lot of fat, whether they’re from the drive-thru or the freezer section. (About five nuggets can have almost half of your child’s daily fat allowance!) You can save a couple of grams by choosing ones made with only breast meat — and chicken patties have a bit less too.

* Faux chicken nuggets (made with vegetable protein) taste like the real deal but save loads of fat per serving.

* Make your own nearly-fat-free chicken fingers by dipping skinless tenderloins in egg whites, rolling them in bread crumbs and “frying” them on the stove in a nonstick skillet (add a bit of canola oil or cooking spray). Give your kids barbecue sauce or low-fat ranch dressing for dipping.

Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the November 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

shim


parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Make Lunch like a Celebrity Chef!

16 Jun

Do you and/or your kids have “fancy” taste buds?  In the mood for something new, different and yummy?  Check out the lunch recipes from celebrity chefs in the following Parents.Com article!  Give it a whirl and treat yourself/your family to a celebrity lunch box!

The Kale Chips are a tasty healthy alternative to store-bought chips – a great switch for a crunchy and savory snack!  My kids LOVE the pineapple dip – works great as a spread on sandwiches as well as a dip for fish sticks, chicken tenders, etc.  Also, my kids love cheese, so the baked mozzarella sticks are such a nice healthier option to traditional fried ones!!!

 

Pack Lunch Like a Celebrity Chef

Chef Cat Cora

Her kids: sons Zoran, 7, Caje, 3, Thatcher, 1-1/2, and Nash, 1
Claim to fame: only female Iron Chef on Iron Chef America; the owner of Kouzzina by Cat Cora restaurant at Walt Disney World BoardWalk Resort

Click “next” to see what Cat Cora packs her kids for lunch!

Even more recipes from Cat Cora.

Whole Grain Hummus Sandwich With Veggies
Cat Cora’s Whole Grain Hummus Sandwich with Veggies

Menu note: Hummus is a tasty protein alternative to lunch meat, and olives add an antioxidant boost.

Get the Whole Grain Hummus Sandwich with Veggies recipe here.

Trail-Mix Popcorn
Cat Cora’s Trail Mix Popcorn

Menu note: Only serve popcorn to kids over 4.

Get the Trail Mix Popcorn recipe here.

Chef Richard Blais

His kid: daughter Riley, 2
Claim to fame: concept Chef at FLIP Burger Boutique in Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama; veteran of Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Iron Chef America, and Food Detectives

Click “next” to see Richard Blais’ original lunch recipe!

Visit Richard Blais’ website.

Tropical Turkey Spring Rolls
Richard Blais’ Tropical Turkey Spring Rolls

Menu note: When your kid is bored with sandwiches, a crunchy wrap is a game changer. These also can be sliced into pinwheels.

Get the Tropical Turkey Spring Rolls recipe here.

Chef Candace Nelson

Her kid: a 3-year-old son
Claim to fame: founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, The Original Cupcake Bakery; judge on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars

Click “next” to see Candace Nelson’s creative lunch recipes!

Learn more about Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Aloha Chicken With Pineapple Dip
Candace Nelson’s Aloha Chicken with Pineapple Dip

Menu note: Kids will love being able to pull out a lunch that they can dip into.

Get the Aloha Chicken with Pineapple Dip recipe here.

Crunchy Baked Mozzarella Sticks
Candace Nelson’s Crunchy Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Menu note: Mozzarella is a great source of calcium.

Get the Crunchy Baked Mozzarella Sticks recipe here.

Chef Sam Kass
Sam Kass

Claim to fame: assistant White House chef; Mrs. Obama’s food initiative coordinator

Menu note: Kass used these recipes to feed local kids at an event on the South Lawn of the White House to kick off First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign.

Click “next” to see what Kass served for lunch on the White House lawn!

Learn more about Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign.

Grilled Chicken Salad With Herb Sherry Vinaigrette
Sam Kass’ Grilled Chicken Salad with Herb Sherry Vinaigrette

Menu note: If you don’t have chicken, sub in tofu.

Get the Grilled Chicken Salad with Herb Sherry Vinaigrette recipe here.

A Presidential Veggie Dip
Sam Kass’ A Presidential Veggie Dip

Menu note: Try adding a spice such as cumin or paprika.

Get the recipe for A Presidential Veggie Dip here.

Chef Hugo Matheson
Hugo Matheson

His kids: twin boys Oliver and Rory, 7
Claim to fame: executive chef and co-owner of The Kitchen, an eco-friendly restaurant in Boulder

Click “next” to see what Hugo Matheson packs his boys for lunch!

Click here to learn more about Matheson’s restaurant The Kitchen.

Ham and Cucumber Sarnie
Hugo Matheson’s Ham & Cucumber Sarnie

Menu note: This sandwich’s name is English and it’s loaded with protein and healthy whole grains.

Get the Ham and Cucumber Sarnie recipe here.

Chef Elana Amsterdam
Elana Amsterdam

Her kids: sons Jacob, 11, and Ethan, 10
Claim to fame: creator of Elana’s Pantry, devoted to gluten-free resources including family-friendly recipes, ingredient-selection ideas, and preparation tips; author of The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

Click “next” the see what Elana Amsterdam serves her sons for lunch!

Visit Elana’s Pantry.

Vanilla Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich
Elana Amsterdam’s Vanilla Almond Butter & Banana Sandwich

Menu note: Almonds are a great source of vitamin E.

Get the Vanilla Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich recipe here.

Krispy Kale Chips
Elana Amsterdam’s Krispy Kale Chips

Menu note: They’re as yummy as regular potato chips, but they pack an incomparable nutritional punch.

Get the recipe for Krispy Kale Chips recipe here.

Chef Ellie Krieger
Ellie Krieger

Her kid: 8-year-old daughter, Bella
Claim to fame: registered dietitian; best-selling author of So Easy; host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite

Click “next” to see Ellie Krieger’s lunch recipe!

Visit Ellie Krieger’s website.

Black-Bean Salsa and Tortilla
Ellie Krieger’s Black Bean Salsa & Tortillas

Menu note: Kids will love the idea of eating chips and salsa for lunch.

Get the recipe for Black Bean Salsa and Tortillas here.

Shannon Seip & Kelly Parthen
Shannon Seip & Kelly Parthen

Shannon Seip’s kids: sons Issac, 6-1/2, and Bini, 4-1/2
Kelly Parthen’s kids: son Kale, 5, and daughter Makena, 3
Claim to fame: co-owners of Bean Sprouts, a healthy cafe for kids and parents; authors of Bean Appetit: Hip & Healthy Ways to Have Fun with Food, a family cookbook

Click “next” for Seip and Parthen’s lunch ideas!

Learn more about Bean Sprouts here.Buy a copy of Bean Appetit here.

Fla-Mango Soup
Shannon Seip & Kelly Parthen’s Fla-Mango Soup

Menu note: Mango is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Excerpted from Bean Appetit: Hip & Healthy Ways to Have Fun with Food by Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen, © 2009 reprinted with permission from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Get the Fla-Mango Soup recipe here.

Chef Aviva Goldfarb
Aviva Goldfarb

Her kids: ages 13 and 11
Claim to fame: author and cofounder of The Six O’clock Scramble an online weekly menu planner and cookbook; author of the cookbook, SOS! The Six O’clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Meals for Busy Families

Click “next” to see Aviva Goldfarb’s lunch idea!

Learn more about The Six O’clock Scramble.

Ravioli Soup With Grated Zucchini
Aviva Goldfarb’s Ravioli Soup with Grated Zucchini

Menu note: Serve with celery filled with Boursin light herbed cheese or cream cheese.

Get the Ravioli Soup with Grated Zucchini recipe here.

Chef Amy Scherber
Amy Scherber

Her Kid: Son Harry, 5
Claim to Fame: Owner and founder of Amy’s Bread, a nationally-recognized bakery/café; co-author of cookbooks The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread and Amy’s Bread

Click “next” to see what Amy makes her son for lunch!

Learn more about Amy’s Bread here.

Brown Rice With Broccoli and Tofu
Amy Scherber’s Brown Rice With Broccoli and Tofu

Menu note: Not a fan of tofu? Use chicken instead.

Get the Brown Rice With Broccoli and Tofu recipe here.

Chef Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Her kid: son Willem, 4
Claim to fame: author of best-selling cookbooks One Smart Cookie, Starting Out, and Grazing; food and nutrition columnist on The Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One; cohost of It’s Just Food on the Viva television network; a contributor to the new online food show Good Bite; and blogger for her blog Dinner with Julie

Click “next” to see what Julie makes her son for lunch!

Check out Julie’s food blog.

Chicken Hummus Wrap
Chicken Hummus Wrap

Menu note: Packed with protein, this wrap will keep your student full and focused during the school day.

Get the Chicken Hummus Wrap recipe here.

Chef Ana Sortun
Ana Sortun

Her kid: daughter Siena, 4
Claim to fame: owner and head chef at Oleana and Sofra; opened restaurants Moncef Medeb’s Aigo Bistro, 8 Holyoke, and Casablanca in Massachusetts; author of SPICE: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean; named Best Chef: Northeast honor in 2005 from the James Beard foundation

Click “next” to see Ana Sortun’s lunch ideas!

Check out Ana Sortun’s restaurant Oleana.

Carrot Salad With GInger
Ana Sortun’s Carrot Salad with Ginger

Menu note: Serve with whole wheat pita bread.

Get the Carrot Salad with Ginger recipe here.

Chef Cathal Armstrong
Cathal Armstrong

His kids: daughter Eve, 11, and Son Eamonn, 9
Claim to Fame: co-owner of Restaurant Eve, Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper (named after his children), and PX; award-winning chef

Click “next” to see what Cathal Armstrong packs his kids for lunch!

Learn more about Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia.

Eamonn?s R.L.T.
Cathal Armstrong’s Eamonn’s R.L.T. (Rasher, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich)

Menu note: Rasher is a thin slice of fried or broiled bacon.

Get the Eamonn’s R.L.T. recipe here.

Chef Francisco Migoya
Francisco Migoya

His Kid: daughter Isabel, 5
Claim to Fame: associate Professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York; author of cookbooks Frozen Desserts and The Modern Cafe

Click “next” to see Francisco Migoya’s lunch ideas!

Visit Francisco Migoya’s blog.

Whole Wheat Mini Pita Pockets
Francisco Migoya’s Whole Wheat Mini Pita Pockets

Menu note: Can’t find mini pitas in your local grocery store? No problem! Just stuff a regular pita with these yummy ingredients.

Get the Whole Wheat Mini Pita Pocket recipe here.

Chef Chris Peitersen
Chris Peitersen

His kid: daughter Veronica, 5
Claim to Fame: executive chef for Carino’s Italian Restaurants

Click “next” to see Chris Peitersen’s lunch ideas!

Check out Chris Peitersen’s blog.

Deli-Style Turkey and Provolone Sliders
Chris Peitersen’s Deli-Style Turkey and Provolone Sliders

Menu note: This recipe is great for using up leftover turkey breast.

Get the Deli-Style Turkey and Provolone Slider recipe here.

Pizza Pasta Salad
Chris Peitersen’s Pizza Pasta Salad

Menu note: Kids love this twist on two of their favorite foods.

Get the Pizza Pasta Salad recipe here.

shim


parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Make Breakfast like a Celebrity Chef!

7 Jun

Fancy this – check out these breakfast recipes from celebrity chefs in the following Parents.Com article.  Fun, fancy and delicious!

My 5-year-old loves simple toaster waffles with PB or PB&J on it – a simple switch from the traditional sandwich and waffles with butter and syrup!

The home-made chewy granola balls (or make bars or cookie cutters for cute shapes) is simple and you put in whatever healthy & yummy stuff your kids like – i.e. yogurt covered raisins, ground flax seed, etc.

And who doesn’t like a fruit kabob – sweet seasonal fruit on a stick – make it fun and the kids will eat it – they can even make their own kabob after mom or dad has cleaned and cut the fruit up!

So change things up and be your child(ren)’s Celebrity Chef!

Breakfast Recipes from Celebrity Chefs

 

Chef Catherine McCord
Catherine McCord

Her kids: Son Kenya, 3, and daughter Chloe, 1
Claim to Fame: Founder of Weelicious.com, a healthy cooking Website; model; former MTV co-host

Click on to see Catherine McCord’s lunch ideas!

Check out Weelicious

 
Pumpkin Waffles
Catherine McCord’s Pumpkin Waffles

Recipe note: Drizzle with blueberry jam for even more flavor.

Get the recipe for Pumpkin Waffles here

 
Chewy Granola Balls
Catherine McCord’s Chewy Granola Balls

Recipe note: These homemade chewy granola balls are healthier and more cost efficient than the leading store brand granola snacks.

Get the Chewy Granola Balls recipe here

 
Chef Ana Sortun
Ana Sortun

Her kid: Daughter Siena, 4
Claim to fame: Owner and head chef at Oleana and Sofra; opened restaurants Moncef Medeb’s Aigo Bistro, 8 Holyoke, and Casablanca in Massachusetts; author of SPICE: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean; named Best Chef: Northeast honor in 2005 from the James Beard foundation

Click on to see Ana Sortun’s lunch ideas!

Check out Ana Sortun’s restaurant Oleana

 
Yogurt Parfait With Grains and Fruit Puree
Ana Sortun’s Yogurt Parfait With Grains and Fruit Puree

Recipe note: Greek-style yogurt provides more protein than traditional yogurts.

Get the Yogurt Parfait With Grains and Fruit Puree recipe here

 
Chef Cathal Armstrong
Cathal Armstrong

His kids: Daughter Eve, 11 and Son Eamonn, 9
Claim to Fame: Co-owner of Restaurant Eve, Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper (named after his children), and PX; award-winning chef

Click on to see what Cathal Armstrong packs his kids for lunch!

Learn more about Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Va.

 
Easy-Peasy Fruit Kabobs
Cathal Armstrong’s Easy-Peasy Fruit Kabobs

Recipe note: Change up the fruit on the kabobs according to the season!

Get the Easy-Peasy Fruit Kabobs recipe here

 
Chef Chris Peitersen
Chris Peitersen

His kid: Daughter Veronica, 5
Claim to Fame: Executive chef for Carino’s Italian Restaurants

Click on to see Chris Peitersen’s lunch ideas!

Check out Chris Peitersen’s blog

 
Creamy Fruit Medley
Chris Peitersen’s Creamy Fruit Medley

Recipe note: Personalize it! Mix and match fruits, yogurt flavors, and nuts to tailor to your kids’ likes.

Get the Creamy Fruit Medley recipe here

 
Chef Kelsey Banfield
Kelsey Banfield

Her kid: Daughter Daphne, 2
Claim to Fame: Creator, The Naptime Chef, a Website with recipes, webisodes and other cooking tips

Click on the see Kelsey Banfield’s lunch ideas!

Visit The Naptime Chef

 
Zucchini-Applesauce Bread
Kelsey Banfield’s Zucchini-ApplesauceBread

Recipe note: Try a slice with a smear of low-fat cream cheese.

Get the recipe for Zucchini-Applesauce Bread here

 
Chef Connie Correia Fisher
Connie Correia Fisher

Her kids: Sons Holden, 9 and Dashiell, 4
Claim to Fame: Co-Owner of The Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ; author of seven cookbooks

Click on to see what Connie Correia Fisher packs her boys for lunch!

Check out The Pop Shop

 
Banana Split Thermos Sundae
Connie Correia Fisher’s Banana Split Thermos Sundae

Recipe note: Regular yogurt, although it has less protein, also works in this recipe.

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

Get the Banana Spilt Thermos Sundae recipe here

 

shim


parents
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Ways to Save Money on Groceries!

1 Jun
Example of an American grocery store aisle.

Image via Wikipedia

 
Let’s face it – EVERYTHING is more expensive these days – gas, food, utilities, entertainment, travel, etc.  So read the following article on ways to save money at the grocery store. 
 
One of the things we do in our house is plan meals – so with the groceries we just bought, my wife will write a list of the meals/entrees she will make and stick that list to the fridge and cross it off the list as she’s cooked it…this way we help ensure the food is used and not rotting in the veggies crisper.  Also, when we buy fruit, snacks, etc for our daughters we make sure it’s something we won’t mind eating as well, so if they get sick of it, we can have it for our snacks.  It always pains me to see food go bad, so we really try to just buy what we need/will eat.  Regardless of the super sale price…bananas or whatever that go bad and uneaten is a big waste of money!  So, be wise, shop smart and strive to save!
 

10 Ways to Save Money on Food Shopping

How to eat cheap – but healthfully – despite rising grocery costs.
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

We’re paying more these days not only at the gas pump but also at the grocery store. Blame it on rising oil prices, disappointing crop yields, global warming, and/or the weak dollar. Robert Earl, director of nutrition policy for the Grocery Manufacturer Association, says there are many factors affecting food prices.

What it all means is that shoppers are looking for ways to save money when they’re food shopping without sacrificing nutrition. WebMD asked some experts for tips and strategies on saving money on your grocery bill while still eating healthfully. 

Planning Can Help You Save Money on Food

Planning ahead is the most important step to getting more bang for your buck at the grocery store, says Katherine Tallmadge, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

“Take inventory of what you have on hand so you don’t overbuy, create a detailed shopping list based on your needs and weekly menu plan, and take into account how you plan on using leftovers,” she says.

Have a light snack before you go shopping, and stick to your grocery list to help avoid impulse purchases or costly mistakes like falling for the displays at the end of the aisles.

Before you plan your weekly menu, check the ads to see what’s on sale and use coupons to take advantage of sales and money-saving coupons. You can even sign up online to receive coupons and email alerts from your favorite grocers.

Healthy Food Is Cheaper Food

Eating healthier foods can actually save you money, according to a 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The researchers found that when families went on weight loss diets, they not only lost weight but reduced their food budgets.

The savings came from reducing portion sizes and from buying fewer of the high-calorie foods that tend to increase the amount spent at the grocery store, according to authors of the yearlong study. People tend to spend a lot on those “extras” — foods that add calories but little nutritional value, like sodas, bakery items, and chips.

You can get more for your money if you consider the nutritional value of food for the price.  For example, sodas and flavored drinks deliver mostly empty calories and could easily be replaced with less expensive sparkling water with a splash of a 100% fruit juice like cranberry.

“When my clients start eating more healthfully, their grocery bills plummet,” says Tallmadge, author of the book Diet Simple.

 She recommends comparing food prices based on the number of servings you’ll get, along with the food’s nutritional contribution. For example, a pound of peaches yields three to four servings. So when you divide the cost per pound, the cost is usually quite reasonable.

“The ideal food is nutrient-dense, not calorie-dense, and the least expensive may be fresh, frozen or canned,” Tallmadge says.

And if you’re craving something sweet?

“Save money by passing on calorie-dense cakes and cookies; instead, opt for seasonal fruit,” says American Dietetic Association president Connie Diekman, RD. “Fruit is fat-free, high in nutrients and fiber, and a natural energizer.”

Look for sales or coupons for light ice cream or nonfat frozen yogurt to enjoy with your fruit, and you have a delicious, fat-free, low-calorie dessert.

Here are 10 simple strategies to beat the rising cost of food and help your grocery dollars go further:

1. Buy produce in season. Check the food section in your newspaper to find the best buys for the week, based on fresh produce in season. Food in season is usually priced to sell. During the summer months, corn on the cob can cost as little as 10 cents an ear; at other times of the year, it may cost 10 times as much. Also, shop your local farmers’ market for great deals on local produce; the prices won’t include shipping costs.

2. Use sales and coupons. Planning meals around what’s on sale can lower your grocery bills, especially if you also use coupons (make sure they’re for item you would buy anyway). Sunday newspapers are full of coupons and sales circulars to get you started. It’s also a good idea to stock up on staples when they’re on sale. “Buy one, get one free” is basically a technique to get you to buy twice as much as you need at half the price. At some markets, though, the product rings up half-price — so you don’t have to buy more than one to get the savings. Use your freezer to store sale items that can be used at a later date.

3. Brown-bag it.  Making lunch and taking it with you is a great money-saver and an excellent use of leftovers for meals at work, school, or wherever your destination. “Packing your lunch not only saves you money, but you can control all the ingredients so they are healthy and low in calories,” says Diekman, who is nutrition director at Washington University. Pack a simple sandwich, salad, soup, wrap, and/or a hearty snack of cheese. Use freezer packs and containers to keep food at the proper temperature unless you have access to a refrigerator.

4. Think frozen, canned, or dried. Next time you’re gathering ingredients for a recipe, try using frozen, canned, or dried foods. They may be less expensive than fresh, yet are equally nutritious. Produce is typically frozen, canned, or dried at the peak of ripeness, when nutrients are plentiful. Fish and poultry are often flash-frozen to minimize freezer damage and retain freshness. With frozen foods, you can use only the amount you need, reseal the package, and return it to the freezer. If it’s properly stored, there’s no waste. Canned foods are often sitting in a bath of juice, syrup, or salty water, and usually require rinsing. Dried fruits are concentrated in flavor and a great substitute for fresh fruit. Also consider using powdered or evaporated versions of milk in soups, casseroles, mashed potatoes, or desserts. Buy the form that gives you the best price for your needs. 

5. Save on protein foods. When possible, substitute inexpensive, vegetarian sources such as beans, eggs, tofu, and legumes for more expensive meat, fish, or poultry. Eat vegetarian once a week or more to increase your consumption of healthy plant foods while saving money.  Eggs are an excellent, inexpensive source of protein that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You could also try using a smaller portion of meat, fish, or poultry and extending the dish with whole grains, beans, eggs, and/or vegetables. 

When you do buy meat, choose smaller portions of lean cuts. For example, lean cuts of beef are those that include the terms “loin” or “round.” (You can tenderize lean cuts of meat mechanically or by marinating it.) You can also buy a whole chicken and cut it up instead of paying the butcher to do it for you, or buy the cheaper “family pack” and portion it into airtight freezer bags.

6. Waste not, want not. Before you toss perishable food into your grocery cart, think about exactly how you’ll use it. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate roughly 30 million tons of food waste each year. Using leftover vegetables, poultry, or meat in soups, stews, salads, and casseroles minimizes cost and demonstrates your creativity in the kitchen. For example, have a roasted chicken for dinner one night, and use the leftovers for dinner the next night. Try topping a bed of fresh greens with vegetables, fruits, and slices of leftover chicken. Add a loaf of whole-grain bread, and presto! You’ve got a nutritious meal in minutes. You can also eat leftovers for breakfast or take them with you for lunch. 

7. Go generic. Consider buying store brands instead of pricier national brands. “All food manufacturers follow standards to provide safe food and beverage products of high quality,” says Earl. Many grocery companies buy national-brand products made to their specifications and simply put their own label on the products. Read the ingredient list on the label to be sure you’re getting the most for your money. Ingredients are listed in order by weight. So when you’re buying canned tomatoes, look for a product that lists tomatoes, not water, as the first ingredient. Also look for simpler versions of your favorite foods. For example, buy oatmeal or simple flaked or puffed cereals that contain fewer additives and are less expensive (and often healthier) than fancier cereals.

8. Buy prepackaged only if you need it. Unless you have a coupon or the item is on sale, buying prepackaged, sliced, or washed products comes with a higher price tag. Still, people living alone may find that smaller sizes of perishable products or bags of prepared produce eliminate waste and fit their needs best, despite the extra cost.  You can also save money (and boost nutrition) by passing up the aisles with processed foods, cookies, snack foods and soda.

9. Buy and cook in bulk. Joining a bulk shopping club, like Sam’s, Costco, or BJ’s, can be cost-effective if you frequent the club regularly. Bulk purchases can be a great way to save money — as long as they get used. You might also look in your community for shopping cooperatives that sell food in bulk at a substantial savings. Cooking in bulk can save both money and time, says Tallmadge. “Prepare food in bulk and freeze into family-sized portions, which saves time in the kitchen,” she suggests. For example, making a big batch of tomato sauce will less expensive (and probably tastier) than buying some.

10. Plant a garden. For benefits that go beyond cost savings, plant your own produce. There’s nothing better than a summer-fresh tomato from the garden. Tomatoes even grow well in containers if you don’t have space for a garden, and some neighborhoods offer community gardening spaces. Start small, and see how easy it is to grow fresh herbs or a few simple vegetables. And if you invest a little time in freezing or canning your harvest, you can enjoy summer’s bounty all year long.

20 Kid Friendly Veggies!

25 May

Want to switch things up from corn on the cob and steamed broccoli for the kids?  Check out the following article from Parents.Com!  My 5 year-old daughter likes to eat things that are “fancy” at times – to get the full effect we have fun and dim the chandelier in the dining room for “fancy” mood lighting!  Have fun with it – your kids can surprise you and really like a change!

20 Kid-Friendly Veggies

Cucumber Ribbon Salad
Week One: Make Familiar Veggies More Fun

Cucumber Ribbon Salad
Trim the ends off a medium cucumber, then cut it in half crosswise and peel into strips. Whisk 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon honey, salt, and pepper. Toss the dressing with the cucumber and some toasted sesame seeds.

Tip: Ready in 15 minutes.

*All recipes make 4 to 6 servings.

Find the printable recipe here

Sunny Broccoli
Sunny Broccoli

Steam 3 cups broccoli florets for 5 minutes. Toss with 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1 clove minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Spoon the broccoli mixture onto clementine slices arranged in the shape of a flower.

Tip: Ready in 15 minutes.

Find the printable recipe here

Minty Peas
Minty Peas

Saute 2 cups frozen peas in 2 teaspoons olive oil on medium for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add 2 tablespoons fresh mint, 1 teaspoon lemon peel, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Tip: Ready in 15 minutes.

Find the printable recipe here

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Puree a 12-ounce jar of roasted red sweet peppers packed in water (drain it first) with a garlic clove. Heat puree, 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, and 3 tablespoons tomato paste on medium until warm, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon fresh basil, a smidge of honey, salt, and pepper.

Tip: Double the recipe and freeze leftovers.

Find the printable recipe here

Crinkly Carrot Fries
Crinkly Carrot Fries

Slice 1 pound of carrots into 1/2-inch-wide sticks using a crinkle cutter. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft, on a parchment paper-lined pan.

Tip: Great for toddlers 12 months and up.

Find the printable recipe here

Mini Vegetable Cakes
Week Two: Mix a Veggie Your Kid Likes with Something Different

Mini Vegetable Cakes
Combine half an 8-1/2-ounce package corn-muffin mix with 1 egg white and 3 tablespoons water. Stir in 3/4 cup shredded zucchini and 1/2 cup chopped canned beets. Drop batter by the tablespoon into 2 tablespoons hot canola oil. Cook 2 minutes; turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until browned.

Tips: Double the recipe and freeze leftovers. Great for toddlers 12 months and up.

Find the printable recipe here

Roasted Veggie Medley
Roasted Veggie Medley

Mix 1/2 pound of tiny potatoes, quartered, and 1 cup small butternut squash pieces. Toss with 2 tablespoons each balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil; roast, uncovered, at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Add red bell pepper pieces and roast 10 minutes more, or until tender. Garnish with 1 tablespoon fresh thyme.

Find the printable recipe here

Sweet Potato-Parsnip Mash
Sweet Potato-Parsnip Mash

Peel and cut 12 ounces of sweet potato and 2 parsnips into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Boil in lightly salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return to pot with 1/3 cup apple cider, salt, and pepper. Mash until nearly smooth.

Find the printable recipe here

Fiesta Corn
Fiesta Corn

Saute 3/4 cup each chopped red and green bell peppers in 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups frozen corn and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro.

Tip: Ready in 15 minutes.

Find the printable recipe here

Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup
Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Soup

Cook 1/2 cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil on medium for 4 minutes, or until tender. Stir in a 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 teaspoon curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; heat through. Swirl plain yogurt on top of each bowl.

Find the printable recipe here

Breaded Asparagus
Week Three: Serve Up a Tasty Sauce or Dip

Breaded Asparagus
Dip 8 ounces trimmed asparagus spears first in all-purpose flour, then in beaten egg, and then in panko bread crumbs. Drizzle asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake in a single layer at 450 degrees F. for 10 minutes, or until golden. Serve with honey-mustard dip.

Find the printable recipe here

Teriyaki Green Beans
Teriyaki Green Beans

Cook 3 cups (24 ounces) frozen whole green beans according to package directions. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons minced shallots, 2 tablespoons light teriyaki sauce, and 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds.

Tip: Ready in 15 minutes.

Find the printable recipe here

Butterfly Salad
Butterfly Salad

Use a small cookie cutter or scissors to cut a butterfly shape from firm whole wheat bread. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil; toast for 2 minutes, or until crisp. Divide 4 cups torn lettuce, 1 cup halved seedless grapes, and butterfly croutons among plates. Offer dressing on the side.

Find the printable recipe here

Honey Glazed Carrots
Honey-Glazed Carrots

Boil 1/2 pound of peeled baby carrots in lightly salted water for 5 minutes; drain. In same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium; stir in 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Boil 1 minute while stirring. Fold in carrots and 1 tablespoon Italian parsley.

Tip: Ready in 15 minutes.

Find the printable recipe here

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

Place half of a 2-1/2-pound de-seeded spaghetti squash, cut side down, in a baking dish with 2 tablespoons water; cover with wax paper. Microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly, then scrape strands from squash. Toss with 1 cup pasta sauce and 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese.

Find the printable recipe here

Cauliflower
Week Four: Try Something Totally New

Cauliflower “Popcorn”
Toss 3 cups small cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast at 450 degrees F., uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring once or twice. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

Find the printable recipe here

Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Boil 12 ounces of brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, in lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, saute 2 slices turkey bacon in 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium-high heat. Remove the bacon and crumble. Add cooked brussels sprouts to the skillet; cook 2 minutes. Stir in bacon, salt, and pepper until heated. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar before serving.

Find the printable recipe here

Curried Acorn Squash
Curried Acorn Squash

Place 1 pound of acorn squash wedges in a covered dish with 1 tablespoon water. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup reduced-sugar apricot preserves, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spoon apricot mixture over squash and bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more, or until tender.

Tip: Double the recipe and freeze leftovers.

Find the printable recipe here

Citrusy Edamame
Citrusy Edamame

Cook 2 cups fresh or frozen shelled edamame according to the package directions; drain. Toss with 1 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel, 1/4 teaspoon dried dillweed, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Tip: Ready in 15 minutes.

Find the printable recipe here

Greek Stuffed Mushrooms
Greek Stuffed Mushrooms

Bake 12 mushroom caps, with the smooth side up, at 425 degrees F. for 5 minutes. Saute 1/2 cup chopped mushroom stems along with minced garlic in hot olive oil on medium heat until tender. Remove from stove; stir in 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, 1 chopped fresh Roma tomato, and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese. Fill caps with mixture and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more.

Originally published in the January 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

Find the printable recipe here

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