Sending kids off to school for another year brings simultaneous anxiety and excitement. As a mom, you make sure your kids wake up on the first day of school with bags packed full of all the right supplies, new white sneakers laced up tight, and their favorite outfit washed and ready to go. With so much to think about that first morning, and each consecutive school morning on the way, let these healthy bake-ahead snacks fill their lunchboxes without consuming the last free moments of your morning routine.
Kid friendly snacks
Pieces of crisped oats, smooth milk chocolate, and a burst of vanilla combine to define kid-friendly finger food. As a kid, my pantry was stocked with chocolate chip bars on the bottom shelf for easy access. Whether they served as a quick breakfast on the bus, a snack before soccer practice, or an after dinner nibble, granola bars satisfied my taste buds and my moms desire to provide healthy options in our house.
The Oscars are coming up and that means another Sunday night that I have an excuse to throw a party. Of course, what would a party be without some awesome hors d’oeuvres to snack on while watching your favorite stars walk the red carpet?
While the Super Bowl snackage was great a few Sundays ago, my stomach can’t stand another Sunday night of greasy dips and wings. For the Oscars, I want dishes that are classier to fit the event and a bit less heartburn inducing.
For fancier munchies, dip your regular pretzels half in dark chocolate and half in white chocolate to get the tuxedo effect (look out, George Clooney!) The same can be done with strawberries, and if you want to add extra glam, sprinkle on edible gold flakes for some sparkle.
Now, you want something salty but you’re looking for something different from the typical shrimp cocktail? Try Cilantro Lime Shrimp. The recipe is so simple, but yet it looks like you spent some time in the kitchen. (In reality, it takes 15 minutes max!)
Last night, after I watched my beloved Patriots clomp around the field like a bunch of inebriated farm animals and subsequently lose to the hated New York Jets, I softly wept. Not because of what I had just witnessed, but because of what I will miss out on now that my team did not make it to the big game – snacks.
I refuse to watch any other teams battle it out for the NFL crown, and I also renounce any desire for food stuffs that may be served on Super Bowl Sunday. With that said, for those of you very much looking forward to February 6, I wanted to share some of my favorite Super Bowl snacks (via cooksrecipes.com) so you can serve them to friends and family during the championship game.
Kraft Food sent me a loaner iPad to try out their new recipe app. You can read my review of Big Fork Little Fork here.
I made a tuna melt wrap for my kids, Nathan and Lucie, from a recipe on the app. I had to make some substitutions like using a shredded Mexican cheese blend instead of cheddar, and omitting the celery since I didn’t have any. I also used a large 12” tortilla instead of two 6” ones, Kraft Mayonnaise with Olive Oil, and Gedney Organic Sweet Relish that I had in the fridge.
After zapping it in the microwave, I cut it so each child could have half. The kids gave it a thumbs up.
Getting my children to eat healthy whole foods as often as possible is definitely a top priority for me. What I don't pay as much attention to though is my own eating habits.
Sure I definitely try to eat healthy foods and portions. Lunch for me will most often be cheese, apples and a little peanut butter and celery, or maybe a salad.
My oldest has been skipping breakfast a lot and when I talked to him about the importance of breakfast he actually looked me straight in the eye and said, “but mom you don't eat breakfast.” I'm sure that my eyes got as big as saucers as the truth of that statement totally sunk in.
I am guilty of showing my kids less than great eating habits. It's all fine and good that the food I do consume is healthy, but there's definitely more to it than that. I'm not saying that we need to count every calorie and be precise in our timing of meals, but to be aware of what and how often we are eating.
Today I just want to offer a little reminder that food is yet another area where what we do, not what we say is still most often what our children pick up on. So here are some suggestions for moms:
My family loves smoothies, but even though I have the greatest kitchen gadget in the world for making them, I don't have a variety of smoothie recipes sitting around, so sometimes I go browsing for a little inspiration. As I searched online, I was drawn to one particular blog simply because of the name....Meal Makeover Moms.
See, just the name sounds like something I can definitely go for! Making over meals to be healthier and still kid friendly is definitely up my alley (as I think you may have guessed by now).
So, after getting the recipe I was after, I continued browsing around and definitely encourage you to do the same. I think you'll find some great ideas and recipes there to try with your family.
The thing I love most about a recipe like this (in addition to the excellent nutritional value) is that I know that most children love food & drinks that are very colorful and this one definitely is!
When I'm looking for something homemade and yummy but not exactly dessert-ish, I love finding recipes for sweet breads. One of the faves around here is Orange Sour Cream Bread, but if we're looking for something a little different this is a fun one to make. It’s a recipe I’ve had in my files for a long time, and I’m not sure where I got it from.
Lemon & Yogurt Bread
Makes 2 loaves
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup poppy seeds
3 eggs (preferably organic), lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups lemon yogurt
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Did you know that April was National Garlic Month and it just passed me by? What a travesty!
Fortunately for me, I don't need any particular month to use garlic as it is one of my favorite spices/herbs/thing to cook with. Garlic is flavorful, aromatic, and simply delicious. Personally, fresh garlic is the only way to go and I almost *always* have fresh garlic on hand.
I use garlic in my homemade salsa, salad dressing, casseroles, chicken dishes, side dishes, and practically anything that I think it will add flavor to, which would be about everything (except desserts).
Taste of Home shared with us some recipes they have highlighted that use garlic and I chose one to share with you.
Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic
(recipe here) Ingredients:
Learning about ICBINB marketing and nutrition
After the cooking demo, we went into a meeting room and saw some of the older commercials with Fabio and the new “Turn the Tub Around” commercial with Megan Mullally. (See them for yourself at the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter YouTube video channel.) The new commercial is pretty silly, but entertaining in a Glee sort of way. However, it does get across the point that there are no transfats and no hydrogenated oils with their new formulation.
However, the commercials left out that ICBINB is perfect for healthy cooking and that their website has a great collection of healthy and yummy recipes. (I guess that’s where my fellow bloggers and I come in to share the news.)
Afterwards, ICBINB’s nutritionist told us about heart health and how their soft spread can help people lower the amount of saturated fat they consume. She showed a comparison between ICBINB, butter and Smart Balance: