3/21/2011 Little Cabbage Patch “Kids”

Posted On March 21, 2011

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So, when I was growing up, I loved those little Cabbage Patch dolls. I remember thinking how cute the picture was of them “growing” from a field of little mini cabbages!

Brussel Sprouts ARE little cabbages, and they are oh so cute!!

Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species that includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi; they are cruciferous. They contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber.

So, roast up these little cabbages! Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook on a pan for 30 min. in a 375 degree oven.
Roasting brings out a unique flavor with any vegetable, try roasting your vegetables for a kid-friendly approach to vegetables!

In all honesty, because that is what I want for my readers…. I was not a huge fan of the roasted flavor. Hubby really liked them. Kids tried them, and said they were not bad, but prefered their raw carrots instead. We will keep trying, as with all vegetables!

3/11/11 Rainbow of Nutrition

Posted On March 11, 2011

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March is National Nutrition Month. So, lets take this time to focus on our nutritional status. How are you doing? How are your kids doing? Do you eat the rainbow every week?

What I am mean is: are you eating a variety of fruits and vegetables that vary in color? When you focus on eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, you are insured a variety of vitamins and minerals. Colors play a huge part in these foods’ nutritional make-up.

The Reds
Colored by natural plant pigments called “lycopene” or “anthocyanins.” Lycopene in tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon and pink grapefruit, for example, may help reduce risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Lycopene in foods containing cooked tomatoes, such as spaghetti sauce, and a small amount of fat are absorbed better than lycopene from raw tomatoes.

Anthocyanins in strawberries, raspberries, red grapes act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Antioxidants are linked with keeping our hearts healthy, too.

Orange/yellow
Colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, is healthy for our eyes. Scientists have also reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function.

Citrus fruits like oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

Green
Colored by natural plant pigment called “chlorophyll.” Some members of the green group, including spinach and other dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber and celery, contain lutein. Lutein works with another chemical, zeaxanthin, found in corn, red peppers, oranges, grapes and egg yolks to help keep eyes healthy. Together, these chemicals may help reduce risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness if untreated.

The “indoles” in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect against some types of cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

Blue/purple
Colored by natural plant pigments called “anthocyanins.” Anthocyanins in blueberries, grapes and raisins act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. They may help reduce risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Other studies have shown that eating more blueberries is linked with improved memory function and healthy aging.

White
Colored by pigments called “anthoxanthins.” They may contain health-promoting chemicals such as allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are good sources of the mineral potassium, too.

Just in time for Spring, think about the colorful RAINBOW of fruits and vegetables! Go shopping at the grocery store, or your local farmers market and let your child pick a new color out today.

2/21/11 Our Very 1st Giveaway. Enter now!

Posted On February 21, 2011

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A baking lover’s dream necklace!

This mini cupcake/muffin tin with measuring spoons charms are on an adjustable length silver chain and come in the little silver box. Anyone who loves to bake will surely love this necklace!

We want more readers, so please pass this on to all your loved ones!

To enter:
Tell us what you love to bake the most and why.

1. Leave a comment here on the blog.
2. Like us on Facebook and leave a comment.
3. Refer a friend

or do all, and increase your chances! Good Luck.
Winner will be announced March 1st, 2011.

2/13/11 “Sweet” Heart Pancakes

Posted On February 13, 2011

Filed under Breakfast Recipes, Uncategorized

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For all my sweet-hearts out there, I am re-visiting a post from last year’s Valentines. I made sweet potato pancakes last year for my kids and they loved them! I decided to do a recipe do-over, so check this one out! They are yummy and better for you that regular pancakes. (Packed with whole wheat flour and sweet potatoes.)

Recipe adapted from the Food Network.
Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar, I used granulated
1 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
2 cups milk, I used skim milk
1 tbsp canola oil
2 whole eggs
1 sweet potato, cooked until tender, peeled and pureed
OR
1 1/2 cup canned sweet potato, no added sugar.

Whisk together all ingredients until blended. Cook in a skillet over med-high heat. Spray non-stick cooking spray or put a tiny dab of oil in the pan. These pancakes take a little longer to cook all the way through. To make a heart-shaped pancake, all you need is a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Spray the cookie cutter with oil and put batter inside the cutter on the skillet. Flip when it is time and loosen the edges with a knife. Make round pancakes at the same time to speed up the process.

I highly reccomend making these ahead of time, and then pulling what you need from the refrigerator or freezer, and re-heating in a toaster oven.

Drizzle with honey or maple syrup. Serve fruit on the side!

2/11/11 Some berry good chocolate cupcakes!

Posted On February 11, 2011

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Once again, the Meal Makeover Mom’s, have done it again! They came up with a chocolate cupcake recipe that has less saturated fat and less sugar than most cupcakes. As an added bonus, they have a boost of nutrition from whole wheat flour and blueberries.

So, for this Valentine’s Day, try this cupcake for you loved ones, and know that you are serving up a healthier treat for them, but with all the rich goodness of chocolate!

No one will ever guess there are blueberries in these cupcakes! The mini size for this cupcake are good for school parties, or a small snack for kids and adults. Want a bigger cupcake or even a cake, that works as well, just adjust the cooking time.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

2/6/11 Reduce sodium of prepared foods Post #6 of 6

Posted On February 7, 2011

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2010 Dietary Guidelines #6 Tip for Consumers.
Compare sodium of prepared foods like soup, bread, and frozen foods and choose ones with less.

If you are going to use prepared/pre-packaged foods, read the food labels of several different options and choose the one with the least amount of sodium. The newest reccomendation is 35% less than in 2005.

from http://www.businessweek.com
‘African Americans, people aged 50 and older, and those with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should reduce their daily sodium intake to less than 1,500 milligrams, or about two-thirds of a teaspoon, according to the report. That applies to most U.S. adults and about half the general population, the study found.

Other Americans should limit daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams, or one teaspoon.

A link to a video on tips for reducing sodium in your diet:

http://www.eatright.org/kids/video.aspx?id=6442459740

How?
*Prepare & Cook foods at home, you control the salt.
*When eating out, avoid foods with sauces and heavy seasonings.
*When grocery shopping, read the food labels on the prepared foods you buy and choose the option with less sodium.
*Overall, eat more fresh foods, and dishes from scratch.

So, start reading food labels, and become aware of the sodium content in the foods that you buy.

2/5/11 Avoid Sugary Drinks Post #5 of 6

Posted On February 5, 2011

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Avoid sugary drinks, drink water. Simply put.

AVOID soft drinks, sweet tea, fruit juices, Kool-Aid, Capri Sun, Sunny D, etc.
DRINK more water. Drinking more water keeps your body hydrated, provides a feeling of fullness, provides essential electrolytes like minerals, elimination of body wastes and toxins, keeps skin healthy, and much more!

Water has zero calories. Sometimes, if you think you are hungry, you may just be thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water instead!

Sugary drinks like soft drinks provide us with “empty calories” – sugar calories with no beneficial nutritional content.

With my focus of practice being child nutrition, below is a common guideline for kids’ drinks:

~ Each day ~
16 oz. of low-fat milk
4-6 oz. of 100% juice, or none
water for the rest of the day

If children start there early years following the above guideline, it will be customary for them, and a greater chance for them to make these better choices as an older child and then adult.

So, next time your child asks you for a soft drink, offer juice. Next time your child wants juice, try diluting it, or make sure it is 100% fruit juice with no added sugar.

2/4/11 Choose 1% or Skim Milk Post #4 of 6

Posted On February 5, 2011

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According to the new dietary guidelines, we should choose 1% or skim milk. This news is no new news.

It is still something that many Americans do not practice.

Just so that we are all aware… did you know that skim and lowfat milk has the same amount of benificial nutrient content but less fat and calories?

A quick comparison chart of milk:
•Whole Milk – 150 Calories – 8g Fat
•2% Milk – 120 Calories – 4.5g Fat
•1% Milk – 100 Calories – 2.5g Fat
•Skim Milk – 80 Calories – 0g Fat

So if you switch from Whole Milk to 1% Milk and typically drink 3 cups of milk a day, you would save 150 calories a day. Although that doesn’t sound like much, those extra 150 calories might cost you an extra pound in body weight every 3 weeks or so.

2/3/11 Make half of your plate fill up with vegetables and fruit. Post #3 of 6

Posted On February 3, 2011

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What a good statement this one is! According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should fill up half of your plate (at each meal) with vegetables and fruits.

This is an easy go-to guideline to practice at home. I have been telling clients this for years! I am not a fan of calorie counting on a continuous basis but if you practice this at each meal…your calories will work themselves out on their own.

A picture of your plate:
1/2 vegetables and fruit
1/4 lean protein
1/4 whole grain

Some examples:
Breakfast: 1 piece of fruit, small portion (1-2) of eggs, 1 piece of whole wheat toast or 1 tortilla
Lunch: Sandwich with vegetables. Side salad or fresh veggies instead of chips.
Some personal favorites: carrots, cherry tomatoes, avocado, or simple salad
Dinner: Chicken breast, small portion of rice or pasta, cooked vegetable and a salad.

2/2/11 Avoid oversized portions. Post #2 of 6

Posted On February 2, 2011

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A second key message from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines to consumers: Avoid oversized portions.

Oversized portions? Avoid eating out, expecially at buffets or ordering all you can eat items off the menu. If you do go out to eat, try subbing typical sides that come with your meal (baked potatoe/french fries) for a vegetable or fruit. Ordering a hamburger, have some steamed broccoli, a salad, or fruit cup on the instead of those fries.

SHARE foods while at home and out. We, as a family, often share 1-2 adult meals for the four of us. Kids don’t typically get the kids meal while out to eat.

SPLIT foods. Eat 1/2 banana and give the rest to someone else. Have 1/2 of a sandwich and get a side salad.

COOK at home. Your oversized portions will be harder to do at home.

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