Posts Tagged ‘feeding kids’

Most everyone loves mozzarella sticks. Why not make them healthier by making them yourself and sneaking in a vegetable?  Whole-wheat breadcrumbs and flaxseed meal add fiber and using part-skim mozzarella and sautéing them with a little olive oil also makes them lower in fat than the restaurant fried version. This is a good way to get a little calcium in your kid’s diet!


Mozzarella sticks

Makes 8 sticks


1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (optional)

1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

½ cup cauliflower puree*

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Nonstick cooking spray

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt


In a bowl, toss the breadcrumbs with the flaxseed meal and sesame seeds.

In a second large bowl, stir together the mozzarella, cauliflower puree, and cornstarch until well combined.  Shape into eight 2×1/2 inch logs.  Gently roll each log in breadcrumbs, then wrap in aluminum foil or waxed paper and freeze for 20 minutes.  Make sure they are frozen before you cook!

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the oil.  Arrange the mozzarella sticks in the pan in a single layer, being careful not to crowd them.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until the crumb coating begins to brown.  Sprinkle with salt and serve with ketchup or marinara sauce. 


*Cauliflower puree

Cut off florets and discard core from 1 head of cauliflower.  Steam for 8 to 10 minutes.  Puree in food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, with a few teaspoons of water if needed for a smooth, creamy texture.

Deceptively Delicious; Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food; Jessica Seinfeld


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Ranch-Snack-MixTry this recipe for a snack mix with the tangy twist of ranch dressing.  By adding nuts, you are getting protein along with the complex carbohydrates found in the pretzels, fish crackers and cereal.  Eating a protein and carbohydrate together will make you feel full longer.   Nuts offer a dose of heart healthy fat and by choosing whole grain fish crackers and wheat cereal, you are boosting the fiber content a little which will help you feel fuller faster.  This is a great snack for kids to prepare by themselves or with just a little help from an adult.


Ranch Snack Mix

 Servings: 8


1 cup whole grain fish crackers

1 cup pretzels, any shape

1 cup Wheat Chex cereal

1 cup peanuts, plain

¼ cup dry buttermilk salad dressing mix, do not prepare

1 tablespoon canola oil


Combine crackers, pretzels, cereal and peanuts in a large bowl or bag.  Drizzle oil over dry ingredients and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle ranch dressing mix over the mix. Toss or shake well.  Store in an airtight container.

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As summer draws near we feel it’s important to re-post this information on the National Summer Food Service Program to make sure no child goes hungry this summer.

During the school year, your child has access to nutritious meals through the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. But when school is out for the summer, access to these programs comes to an end. Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, you can make sure your child has healthy meals in the summer.

The Summer Food Service Program reimburses sponsor sites for healthy meals and snacks they serve in their area throughout the summer months. The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Education and site sponsors vary but may include schools, community centers, public or private nonprofit agencies, and public or private nonprofit colleges or universities with National Youth Sports Program activities. Sites must meet one of the following criteria: 1) Location is in an area served by a school where 50% or more of the students are enrolled in free or reduced-price meals, 2) Location is in an area where 50% or more of the population earns less than 185% of the federal poverty level, 3) Income eligibility information gathered from all children verifies that participants live in households that earn less than 185% of the federal poverty level.

To sign-up for summer meals, call 1-800-481-6885.

To sponsor a Summer Food Service Site, call 1-800-481-6885.

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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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Eating an OrangeBusy morning schedules are often to blame for skipping breakfast. Try one of these quick breakfast options that are packed with nutrients:


  • Ready-to-eat cereal topped with sliced banana and yogurt.
  • Bran muffin and yogurt topped with berries.
  • Peanut butter or hummus on whole-wheat toast and milk.
  • Cheese pizza and a glass of orange juice.
  • Toasted whole-wheat waffle topped with fruit and yogurt.
  • Lean ham on a toasted English muffin with vegetable juice.
  • Breakfast wrap with cut-up fresh or canned fruit and low-fat cream cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla with chocolate milk.


Breakfast can be any food you like, even a slice of pizza! Start the day with good nutrition and you’re off to a great start!


Taken from www.eatright.org     

Produced by ADA’s Public Relations Team

February 9, 2006


Try this recipe found in the May 2008 issue of Everyday Food Magazine for a quick breakfast taco!


Tex-Mex Breakfast Tacos

Serves 2        Ready in 10 minutes


4 large egg whites

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 corn tortillas (6-inch)

¼ cup store-bought salsa

¼ avocado, diced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


In a bowl, whisk together egg whites and 2 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium.  Add egg mixture; cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, just until set, 2 to 3 minutes.


Wrap stacked tortillas in a damp paper towel; microwave on high for 10 seconds.  Dividing evenly, top one half of each tortilla with eggs, salsa, avocado, and scallions.  Sprinkle with lime juice, and if desired, top with cilantro; fold and serve.

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school-steps-familyThinking about your kids in the kitchen may conjure up images of messes, kids with sharp knives, and the entire contents of your refrigerator out on the counter and tables. But you may be surprised to find that putting the entire family to work in the kitchen can be a safe and enjoyable family-bonding experience.

The kitchen is a great place to make memories. The key to success is to give kids tasks that are appropriate to their age and skill level. In addition to being fun, cooking as a family provides a perfect opportunity for you to teach your kids anything from measuring and counting to basic food preparation skills and nutrition lessons.

If you get the entire family involved in making dinner, it will be on the table a lot quicker. You’ll be able to instill healthier eating habits. Kids will also improve their self-esteem because they’ll be proud of themselves when they helped make the meal that everybody is going to eat! What’s more, getting the kids in the kitchen can help them learn to cook, love and most importantly eat healthy foods that they weren’t open to trying before.

But cooking together isn’t everything – eating together is really the key to building traditions that will keep your family healthy and happy.

It may be hard to believe, but there was a time that family dinner was a nightly ritual in the US. But with long hours at work, hectic schedules and after-school activities that conflict with dinner time, it’s become hard for families to have dinner together. Today, only 30-40% of families eat at least 5 meals a week together.

However, some recent research studies show just how important regular family dinners are:

Ø   Teens who eat with their families at least 5 times a week are 40% more likely to get A’s and B’s, 42% less likely to drink alcohol, 59% less likely to smoke cigarettes, and 66% less likely to try marijuana.


Ø   When families tell stories and have long discussions around the table, family dinners become one of the most important components in helping kids develop language skills.


Ø   Adolescent girls who frequently eat with their families in a positive atmosphere were less likely to have eating disorders in their teenage years. 


Ø   Kids who eat with their families are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, grains, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and less likely to consume fried foods, foods high in saturated fat and soda. 


So tonight, get everyone together to cook and eat a tasty and healthy dinner – you’ll all be glad you did! 


Taken from http://www.meatlessmonday.com

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We were having dinner at my mother’s house recently.  As grandmothers typically do, she had multiple dessert items to choose from and even helped my son make an additional dessert (chocolate pudding) per his request.  When we sat down to eat, my son was armed with his arsenal of sweets and an appropriate amount of dinner foods on his plate.  He ate his buttered dinner roll, tasted a fork tine of meat, declared that he was finished and asked to eat his desserts.  The dietitian in me knows and preaches that in order to maintain the division of responsibility in feeding kids, my job was done.  A variety of foods had been provided at a set dinner time at my mother’s family table.  It was his job to decide how much and if he ate anything from the offering.  All was going according to plan.  However, the mother in me stepped up to the plate and told him promptly to taste a bigger bite of meat and drink his milk first – then he could eat dessert.  His response?  He grabbed the proverbial power struggle rope and pulled me into the pit.  No, he did not want any more supper and he was planning to drink his milk with his dessert. Did I forget that he had told me this already?  We went back and forth with him on solid feeding relationship ground and me trying to climb out of the pit I jumped into by digging a deeper hole.  All of this as my mother and my husband silently ate and watched.  Of course I lost the fight (as I always do when I cross the line); my son ate his desserts and asked to be dismissed.


My mother then promptly and politely reminded me of the errors of my parenting ways.  She pointed out that the control I was trying to exert on my son’s food choices would not get him to willingly eat those foods.   She also told me that my sister still remembers when she was little, the time that my mother forced her to eat her mixed vegetables.  My sister now likes mixed vegetables.  She also has this unpleasant memory.  Had my mother just remained neutral and silent about the mixed vegetables, the outcome would be the same – that my sister eventually started to eat and enjoy mixed vegetables-except without the unpleasant memory. Had I just remained silent, it was likely that he would have had dessert and probably more dinner.  It’s not that he enjoys the struggle for power any more than I do, but he is reminding me that I am trying to do his job too.  If I trust him to do his job, he will push himself along and eventually learn to like and eat a wider variety of food.


It is a slippery slope when we try to control those things with our kids that are their jobs to control. Raising kids to be confident, competent eaters requires us parents to be vigilant in our respect of our kid’s abilities to regulate their food intake and thus their physical growth and health from the foods that we offer. 


Black Bean Brownies

browniesThis may sound unusual, but is very good – high in fiber, antioxidants and low in fat!

1 box any commercial prepared brownie mix
1 15.5-ounce can black beans

Open can of beans.  Drain, rinse, put beans back in can and fill again with water.
Place can’s contents, including liquid, in blender. Blend.
Mix thoroughly with brownie mix. (No eggs, oil or other ingredients needed.)
Place in oiled baking pan. Bake according to package directions. Cool and serve.

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