Archive for April, 2011

I know what you were expecting. You thought I was going to tell you to go out and buy a dehydrator and make your own fruit roll ups. That is an excellent idea, but not what this is about.

Sometimes fruit on the go just isn’t an option. Maybe you need to keep clothes neat….or your car. I am not even going to research what exactly is in fruit roll ups. I’m always looking for healthy alternatives for foods that your kids will love. There’s no need to deprive your kids of such things like Fruit by the Foot, but you can get a serving of fruit into your kids and eliminate some of the dyes that these foods have in them.

Stretch Island Fruit Co. has fruit strips that offer 1/2 a serving of fruit in each strip. There are seven different flavors, all made with real fruit puree and no artificial additives. FruitaBu, another product offered by Stretch Island Fruit offers a portable fruit roll that contains a full serving of fruit from real fruit puree. There is no added sugar in either of these products.  Even their packaging is BPA free. These products are a easy and portable, without the extra hassle of making and packaging it yourself. These snacks are not just for kids either. I love them and it is a great way to get in some servings of fruit into my on the go diet. If they are not in your local grocery store or Natural Food Store, you can buy them right online from  http://www.stretchislandfruit.com. Enjoy.

I haven’t been on the computer much this weekend. There has been beautiful weather, so I spent the majority of my weekend outside with my kids.  We got home a little later then we had planned last night, so I had to quickly whip up some turkey burgers. Since there was not much thought involved with this meal, I looked in my freezer and pulled out some frozen edamame. My kids love it and this finger food is packed in protein and other nutrients,  such as; dietary fiber, Omega 3 Fatty acids, folic acid, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, calcium and potassium.

Edamame are green soy beans. I purchased a frozen bag of edamame from my local grocery store for 1.39 a package. You steam the pods  for 4-5 minutes (in salt water or salt pods after.) Let them cool before serving. My oldest can handle taking the beans out of the pods herself, but I shell them for my youngest still. Edamame is addicting!

There are plenty of great recipes that use these soybeans. After I get some more at the grocery store, I will make some of them and post them for you with pictures.  Remember, these tasty little beans are SOYbeans, so those with soy allergies should not eat edamame.

There are so many different reasons why you should involve your kids in the kitchen. My number 1 reason is because I like to spend time with my kids while I am cooking and they enjoy helping. It does make more of a mess and typically takes longer, but in the end we have something we are all proud of and can’t wait to sink our teeth into.

  • Cooking helps create healthy habits that last a lifetime
  • Create memories. Some of my best memories of my Grandmother were of us cooking at her house
  • Teach kids math skills. Even young kids can learn what a cup of milk or flour looks like
  • Kids learn to follow directions
  • Cultivate organization/planning skills
  • Increase self esteem: Kids are proud of what they make

These are just a few of the many reasons why it is important to teach your children this important skill. By cooking things together, you are also cutting out some of the processed foods out of their diet. Just remember, start small. One of my daughter’s favorite thing to make with me is Jello pudding. All you have to do is add two cups of milk to the mix and stir it.  She loves that she made it and it gives us a chance to clean up while it is setting. Instant gratification.

Enjoy. You will be amazed all the different things you can teach your kids while you are cooking together. Texture, color, taste, etc. Make learning fun!

I would never steal someone’s recipe and not give credit to the person who gave me the recipe.  Awhile ago my cousin gave me this recipe and I AM HOOKED. This banana bread is so easy to make and is a perfect recipe for the kid’s to help with. Basically you put everything in the bowl/mixer, mix it up and bake it.

2/3 cups of sugar

1/3 cup of softened butter

2 eggs

1 cup mashed bananas

1-1/3 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup finely diced walnuts (optional)

*Kim also suggested using Craisins

 

1. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl

2. Mix until smooth

3. Pour batter into a greased 9X5 inch pan

4. Cook at 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes

5. Cool then enjoy!