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Archive for May, 2009

Help your child avoid the many unhealthy summer eating options with these helpful tips:

Splash Girl1. Keep only healthy food in the house. Every person in the household should have the same food choices available.

2. Offer and feed a wide variety of foods; vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit. Let your children decide on what they like to eat.

3. Don’t attempt to manage your child’s calorie intake. They can do that on their own.

4. Be a positive role model for your children by eating healthy and exercising.

5. Educate your child about the importance of eating healthfully. Start when they are young and keep talking about it as they get older and begin to make more choices for themselves.

Adapted from the book:  Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right
  by Joel Fuhrman

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Saving money at the grocery store is much easier if you have a plan. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your money on your next shopping trip:

• Plan the weekly menu before you shop and from this write a shopping list and keep to it – that way you will only buy what you need and there is less chance of wastage at the end of the week. Impulse buying can blow the budget.

• Check to see what is in your pantry and what is left over in the fridge – use these items in the early part of the weekly menu to avoid waste.

• Check the newspaper for weekly specials and try to use these in your menu. You need to be flexible here, for example when a recipe calls for beef, but lamb is on special then modify the recipe to use lamb instead.

• Look around for the cheapest supermarket.

• Do not buy something you don’t really need just because it is on special – it will probably be wasted money, unless you can put it to good use.

• Do not shop on an empty stomach – it can make you buy more.

 Source:  www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/healthy

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Cooking and baking from scratch can offer savings on everything from dessert to salad dressing. Below are some ways to make your money go further in the kitchen:

• Homemade muffins and cakes are healthier, cheaper alternatives. They are usually half to one third the cost of the bought ones. Children usually enjoy cooking so involve them in the preparation and baking.

• Use skim milk powder for cooking.

• Make your own low fat salad dressings. Homemade dressings are cheaper than bought ones. They offer the opportunity to produce a wide variety of flavors with only a few basic ingredients such as olive oil, vinegar, garlic and fresh homegrown herbs.

• Buy bread on special and freeze for later use. If a loaf of bread cannot be used within a day or two, slice and freeze half the loaf for later use.

• Choose a high fiber, low sugar breakfast cereal. Generally, the less refined and cheaper the product – the more nutritious. Some cereals advertised for children can be up to four times the cost of healthy choices. They also contain a lot of sugar and if toasted, a lot of fat.

 Source:  www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/healthy

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Tips for getting more value for your money from the meat and beans group:

• Dried peas, beans and lentils are inexpensive, low in fat and high in fiber. They can be the basis of a meal or used to extend a meat meal. Try adding cooked, mashed lentils to make healthy hamburgers.

• Meat that requires long, slow cooking is often cheap, nutritious and flavorful.

• Buying lean meat without bones may be more economical than buying a large amount of cheaper meat with fat and bones – it is pointless paying for something you won’t eat. If you do have meat bones, use them to make stock.

 Source:  www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/healthy

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Tips for getting more for your money on fruits and vegetables:

 • Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables as they are usually better quality, more tasty and less expensive.

• Find a local fruit and vegetable market, such as a Farmer’s Market as the produce is a lot more varied and usually cheaper.

• Use any leftover vegetables to make vegetable soups which are inexpensive and nourishing. Offer soups to children as a winter snack.

• Stew ripe fruit and freeze. Over-ripe bananas can be mashed and frozen for later use in cakes, muffins and smoothies.

• Offer children fruit smoothies for snacks. Try bananas and honey, pineapple and mint, and apricots and cinnamon. Use ripe fruit on special.

• Some canned fruit may be cheaper than fresh fruits. Buy those without added sugar.

 Source:  www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/healthy

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Value for money means buying food at the best possible price without sacrificing nutritional value or wasting food. Throughout the week we will be sharing some great tips for purchasing healthy food while still getting a good value for your money.

 • Spend most of your food budget on foods you should eat most of to provide energy, vitamins, minerals and fiber. This includes foods such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, vegetables, beans and fruit.

• Spend moderately on foods that you need in moderate amounts for health, such as meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheese, milk and yogurt.

• Spend least on foods that do not provide many nutrients – even though you may like them! These include ‘extra’ foods such as chocolate, cookies, candy and soft drinks.

 Source:  www.education.qld.gov.au/schools/healthy

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Out of the Frying Pan–Into the Oven  

It’s not only possible to lighten your favorite fried foods–it’s deliciously simple.

The popularity of fried food has much to do with its texture. The crisp exterior, contrasted with the moist, tender interior, is a large part of the appeal. But how can we reconcile what we want with what we ought to have? Is there a way to duplicate what we love about fried food without its hefty nutritional price tag?

After much experimentation, I’ve found that creating crisp, crunchy faux-fried food in the oven is possible.

Three Simple Techniques For Crisp, Crunchy Faux-Fried Food:

Breading, breading, breading. With the exception of french fries, most foods are well served by a double dip—sometimes even a triple dip—in flour or some other breading to create a substantial crunchy coating. For instance, our Oven-Fried Chicken is dipped in buttermilk, then dusted with flour, then sprayed with cooking spray, then dusted with flour again.  Coconut Shrimp can be dipped in cornstarch, then egg white, then rolled in flaked coconut.

Oil up. Give the food a shot of cooking spray after breading it, just before it goes in the oven. This helps brown and crisp the surface.

Heat it up. The higher the heat, the browner and crispier the coating will get. Bake in at least 400-degree oven.

Now you can have the crisp, the crunch, the chewy satisfaction of fried food—and guilt-free pleasure as well.

Oven-Fried vs. Oil Fried Fat Comparisons

Coconut Shrimp 11.4 g
Fried shrimp 25 g

Oven-Fried Chicken 4.4 g
Fast food fried chicken breast 24 g

Garlic Fries 7.7 g
Fast food large fries 22 g

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms 4.2 g
Fried mushrooms 9 g

Jalapeño Chile Poppers 4.5 g
Fried jalapeño poppers 7.3 g

By Elaine Magee

Copyright 2006 Cooking Light magazine.

For kid-friendly recipe options, take a look at our October post: https://betterbites.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/healthy-recipe-options/

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