Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best Whole Wheat Pasta

I have started doing "couponing" so I signed up on all sorts of websites for free samples. My first free sample was of this Barilla Plus Pasta (I got one free and 5 buy one get one free coupons). I have tried whole wheat pasta for years, but I have never liked it very much . . . this one is GOOD! I don't even notice that I am eating whole wheat pasta. It has not just grains, but it is made with lentils, chickpeas, flaxseed, barley, spelt, and oats! It has 4 grams of fiber per serving and omega-3 fatty acids (I am guessing that is from the flax seed). If you need a refresher of why Omega- 3 fatty-acids are good for you, go here, or here for more information.

Keep in mind that eating white pasta is just like eating white bread . . . low fiber, quickly digests and peaks your insulin, AND they have to add back some nutrients because it is only part of the whole grain.

Here is to a healthy and happy 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


My kids don't usually eat fresh tomatoes, but I don't know of too many kids that don't love spaghetti sauce! One very easy way to increase vegetable intake among the whole family is by using twice the amount of spaghetti sauce that you usually do. I do this by using one jar store bought sauce and adding to it. I will saute whatever veggies I have in the house in a little olive oil (zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic, onions, matchstick carrots . . .) and then add the jar of sauce, and then add a big can of tomatoes, but I usually put it in the blender first. I will add leftover chicken stock, fresh basil, fresh parsley . . . I do not each meat with our spaghetti, but if I have salami, or ham of some kind, I will add that too.
Not eating meat with your spaghetti is a great way to stay clear of red meat (I eat red meat, but only about once a week). If you want to start small, then just use half the amount of meat that your family used to eat with it. It also helps if you throw some kidney beans in with your green salad, or add some cheese onto your garlic toast (leave the butter off if you do this).
I really like Ragu cuz my family likes the taste, and it doesn't have any "bad" ingredients. You can often find it on sale for as low as $1.00 too.

My kids also LOVE tomato soup. Our favorite is Pacific Natural Foods Organic roasted red pepper and tomato soup.
My six year old ate 2 full bowls for lunch yesterday! We can find it at Costco in the winter and Smith's all year long. I think that Campbell's tomato soup has HFCS in it, but I have not checked on this in about a year, so if you have some in your cupboard, leave a comment with the answer.

The other thing that my 2 oldest kids like is salsa. Salsa is so good for you, and very low calorie (10 calories per serving). Encourage your kids to have a little bit on their eggs, breakfast burrito, and Mexican food.

Here are some fun facts about tomatoes

  • They help prevent prostate cancer
  • They are good for your eyes
  • Eating tomato sauce is really good for you too. All the nutrients are condensed since the water is usually boiled out. (you do lose the vit. C)
  • They are low calorie and high in fiber, Vit A and Vit C
A special Thanks to Henry for being my picture helper!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I was talking to a mom at a wedding reception, and she was telling me about how she doesn't know how to cook vegetables (except corn, carrots and celery). This was enough motivation to get me off my butt and blog again!

Cauliflower is often on sale during the winter. My kids love cauliflower because, 1. it isn't green 2. it takes on any flavor you give it 3. it has a soft texture when cooked.
Moms love it because it is really good for you! 1. It only has 14 calories per 1/2 cup 2. it has 1.5 grams of fiber 3. It has lots of anti-cancer properties (like broccoli).

Here are 2 of my kids favorite way to eat broccoli (the 3rd way I don't really have a recipe for, but it is Indian Style with lots of curry!)

Cauliflower Soup

For those of you that don't know, I don't really like to follow recipes. I don't do the bouquet garni. Just add ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon and a bay leaf and then puree it all up. :)

Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

Cook cauliflower (boil or steam bite size pieces)

To make cheese sauce

Put about 1 Tablespoon butter in a sauce pan on med high heat. Melt. Add about 2 Tablespoons flour and cook for a minute with the butter. Add about 1 cup milk and whisk. Bring to a boil. Add about 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (and salt and pepper).

Once when Dallin was about 4, I convinced him that it was mac and cheese and he loved it! He Hee!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Food for Thought . . . Calories

My husband found me another cool blog on calories. The thing that stuck out to me the most is how many more calories we eat now compared with just 30 years ago! (and think of all the TV and computer time we have compared to 30 years ago too!)Posts coming soon on: Sleep, Flour, French. A few of the things that make you go hmmmmmm . . . .

Monday, August 30, 2010

McDonald's Anyone? Never Again!

My husband is always coming up with interesting stories on the internet. He emailed me this one, and I just knew I had to blog about it.

Someone took a picture of a McDonald's hamburger and fries each day for over 100 days to see what would happen. Guess what happened? Pretty much nothing! You can click here to see the article, and you can click here to see all 137 photos!

This is my favorite quote from the article, "Far be it from me to tell you what to eat, but I am pretty sure your stomach can't break that down any better than the mold and microbes in the air."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Computer Fun for Kids

I get a lot of great ideas from my Family Fun magazine. This month, they named their top 10 kids websites. One of them was Fizzy's Lunch Lab on I went and checked it out and it is really the perfect healthy kids website!

Here is what Family Fun had to say about it, "Way more fun than the food pyramid, this PBS site promotes good nutrition and physical activity through education games, yummy recipes, dance-along videos, printable place mats, and funny talk show parodies. A spoonful of humor helps the information go down as do the hip graphics."

I know from experience that kids can be a great example to the whole family. Right now, my one year old twins are folding their arms and bowing their heads at each mealtime. I am sure we will never forget mealtime prayer again! When you teach your children what food are healthy and why, they will remind us over and over again.

Some things that I liked about the website when I went and played around:

  • They have lots of recipes and when you click on a recipe it has pictures of the food and the measurements, so it is great for little ones that can't read yet. They also have a lot of recipes and they specify if it is a snack, easy, or hard etc. This way you can have your child pick out a recipe with your guidelines.
  • They really seem to emphasize fruits and vegetables.
  • They have a "food" tip at the bottom of the screen that has fun food facts (my older son is all about fun facts!)
  • It is done by PBS, so you won't have to worry about ads, or commercials!
Hope you get a chance to check out the website with your kids!

Pictured is an example of how they have the recipes to print out. They have the nutrition facts and all!

Monday, July 12, 2010


I was changing the Christmas background on my blog yesterday when I noticed that I had about 50 comments waiting for me to "moderate". I had forgotten that a few months back I got some Chinese character comments/links, so I changed it so that I would have to approve the comments. I guess I didn't have it email me when someone left a comment, so I didn't know. So sorry for not responding to the many comments! I really do love them. I think it is great that we can learn from each other.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Favorite Summer Snacks

The kids are home for the summer which means that I will be feeding at least 6 people 3 plus times a day. To make it easier on myself, I like snacks that involve very little of "me".

  • Z-Bars- These are a kids version of Clif Bars. My favorite flavor is the chocolate one. It tastes like a brownie. My kids love the Honey Flavored one. I buy these at Costco. They are about 40 cents a piece, but well worth it. If I remember right, they have 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber . . . . . all for only 120 calories. This is the granola bar of my house.
  • Creamies- These may just be a Utah thing, but Creamies are a low-fat frozen popsicle made out of milk. They sell these at my Costco. They also only have 120 calories and 10% of your daily calcium. Creamies would fit under the catagory of "semi-healthy" in my house. That means that it doesn't have a ton of sugar, no food coloring, no HFCS, and no TRANS FATS, but it also doesn't grow in the ground.
  • String Cheese- Only 80 calories, 20% of your calcium, and 8 grams of protein, this is a snack that will help fill your kids up.
  • Fresh Fruit- It is so easy to find fruit that tastes great this time of year. Some of my kids favorites are strawberries, peaches, and grapes. Just to give you an idea of how absolutely superior fruit is over any other snack in your house, take a look at the nutrition in 1 Cup of halved strawberries . . . . . . 49 calories, 150% of vitamin C, 3 grams of fiber, and NO fat.
  • Danonino Yogurts. My kids like to put a spoon through the top and freeze it for a healthy popsicle. (They got the idea from TV!) I did a post earlier on these yogurts. Click here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't Blame School Lunch Lady

I read an interesting article in the newspaper today about childhood obesity. Did you know that 27% of all Americans ages 17-24 are too heavy to join the armed services, according to a new report by the retired officers.

Now that I have your attention, our kids spend about 180 days in school. Most kids have school lunch, and some eat breakfast there as well. If our kids eat 3 meals a day, for 365 days in the year, that is a total of 1,095 meals. If all our kids are eating is hot lunch all 180 days of school, then that leaves us with 915 that they eat at home. That means that the majority of our children's food is being fed to them at home. That leaves us as parents with a huge responsibility to feed our children healthy foods.

"The EarlyBird Diabetes Study looked at 226 British families and found that :

  • Obese mothers are 10 times more likely to have obese daughters
  • Obese fathers are 6 times more likely to have obese sons
  • There is no association between obese mothers and obese sons, obese fathers and obese daughters"

"A Greek study conducted by Harokopio University in Athens has confirmed the belief amongst health professionals that child obesity risk is much higher when parents themselves are overweight.

Over 2300 pre-school children, attending 105 nurseries around Greece, were recruited into the study during 2004. Researchers collected data on weight and height and used this to calculate body mass index (BMI). Children were then classified as ‘normal’, ‘at risk of overweight’ or ‘overweight’ depending upon their BMI. At the same time, parents were asked to complete questionnaires about their age, educational level and weight and height. Parental BMI was then estimated.

The results showed that 32% of the children were overweight, which is much higher than the 21% expected using international predictions.
Children with 1 obese parent were almost twice as likely to be overweight than children whose parents were of normal weight. Children with two obese parents were 2.4 times more likely to be overweight.

The authors concluded that parental BMI strongly influenced whether or not a child was overweight."

Our children typically eat what is given to them, and over time they will like the food that is most often fed to them. If you are making and eating healthy foods yourself, and you do not provide the junk food in your home, your children will learn to like the foods that are given to them. This is just my opinion as to why parents who are overweight tend to have children who are overweight. I do understand that genetics also has a role in being overweight, but considering that childhood obesity is on the rise, that tells us that we are doing something with our environment, not genetics.
So lets all start right now.

Let's get started today. I made a list of my TOP 5 worst foods. Look down the list and pick one thing that is currently in your house, and change it! One simple step.

  1. White Bread. We all need more fiber! - Do 100% whole wheat flour bread.
  2. Fruit Snacks. They are not fruit! - Try dried fruit or fresh fruit.
  3. Hot Dogs. They might as well be made of dogs! - try nitrate/nitrite free deli meats
  4. Trans Fats. Any thing that has the word "partially-hydrogenated . . . .". - most organic crackers/snacks are trans fat free
  5. High Fructose Corn Syrup. - If you cut out the amount of processed foods your family eats, this will go away on its own.
Good luck! Feel free to leave a comment on what your goal is, or what you have already done. We will help keep you motivated.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Motherhood is Rewarding

I wanted to start off this post with a little oxymoron. Motherhood is Rewarding. I think it is rewarding in the long run, but for now it is not so much. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got an "award". A blog I follow called Being LDS- We talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ nominated me with an award of one of her favorite blogs. I was very surprised because I didn't even know she knew about my blog. It was nice to be recognized for something different. Don't get me wrong, I am the one who chose to have kids and stay at home with them, and I do love them dearly, but as with any job, their are parts that I like better than others.

As part of this award, I am supposed to list 10 things that make me happy, and then pass the award onto someone else.

Dark Chocolate
Doing Fun things with my Kids
My Husband
Sisters/Sister-in-Laws/Friends that you wish you were related to
Family Vacations
Eating Good Food
Flowers (cut, fresh, garden . . .)

Now I am supposed to pass the award on to others.

Jouneyings by Diane

Yummy Fun by Jen


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Home of Bulk Shopping

I shop at Costco at least twice a month. I think most people with kids shop at Costco, or a place like it. When you think of Costco, you think bulk, and you also think about snacks, candy, soda and so on. My favorite part of Costco is the fresh fruits and vegetables. When I saw my friend Claudia at Costco a couple of months ago, she suggested that I post about all the healthy things you can buy at Costco.

Here is what I buy the most often at Costco

  • Lettuce (6 heads of romaine for $4)
  • Carrots (individual snack baby carrots-even organic)
  • Hummus- see my previous post
  • Eggs
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas- Don't talk to my oldest sister about bananas at Costco
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Asparagus
  • Dark chocolate (the kids don't like it, but Mom does!)
  • Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Olive oil
  • Bread- most of the bread at Costco now does NOT have HFCS in it
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Cheese
  • Organic Pop Tarts (kids love them, Mom thinks they are gross)
  • Quakers instant Oatmeal
  • Canned Beans
  • Frozen Strawberries, Blueberries, and other frozen fruit for smoothies
  • Frozen Green Beans, Peas, and corn
  • Fresh already cut up Broccoli
  • Baby spinach
  • 100% Real Maple Syrup
Words of advice when shopping in any grocery store

  1. Go with a list- this makes you plan out healthy meals for your family and keeps you from buying as much junk
  2. Shop in the fruit and Veggie section first- This does make it harder to fit things when you get to the canned food, but it fills your cart up with fresh and healthy things and makes it less tempting to buy junk.
  3. Shop the perimeter of the store. That is where they keep all the fresh non-processed foods. Shop the perimeter after the fruits and veggies
  4. Next shop the frozen food section- Frozen fruits and veggies are great for you and don't go bad as quickly. There are also a lot of things like frozen burritos that have ok ingredients for a quick snack for your kids.
  5. Shop the inside of the store last. This has all the processed food in it. You will end up in the middle for bread, cereal and canned beans, and canned tomatoes, but most of your cart should be full by the time you get to the middle.
  6. Think before you put it in your cart. DO NOT buy bulk of any kind of treat or junk food. Feel free to get yourself or your child a single item junk food item like A candy bar, but if you don't buy the junk, you will not have a chance to eat it at home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Healthy Muffins

It is spring break for us, so I have more time in the mornings to make breakfast. I used to love making breakfast, and then I got pregnant with twins. It has been down hill from there. Just to show you how much I dislike making breakfast now, I just had our microwave lowered so that my kids could microwave their own oatmeal (and anything else that needs to be heated up :).

My favorite breakfast muffin is one that my mother-in-law found . . . . Sunshine muffins! Doesn't the name just put a smile on your face? They only take 15 minutes to bake and about 10 minutes to make (don't quote me on the prep time . . . I have twins at my feet and I ground my own wheat this morning, so I am not totally sure). I make them with white whole wheat (see this blog post for more on that). They only have 1/4 cup of fat, and they have an entire orange in them.

Sunshine Muffins

orange (including the peal)
1/2 c orange juice
1 egg
1/4 c oil
1.5 c flour (whole wheat is best of course, but
white will do)
3/4 c sugar (you can use less if you’d like)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 c raisins (optional
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 c chocolate chips (optional)

Quarter Orange. Put orange and orange juice in blender and blend up until smooth. Add egg and oil and blend until just mixed. Put the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix. Add wet to dry ingriendients. Add chocolate chips and mix. (I never do the raisins or the nuts, but my husband has done the chocolate chips and the nuts and that was good). Put in muffin tins filling muffin liners almost to the top. bake at375 for 12-17 minutes Makes about 12 muffins.

I like to double the recipe.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pass the SALT Please

In my house growing up, if you asked someone to "pass" you something at the dinner table, you often ended up "catching" what you asked for. I wasn't going to do a post on salt until I was shocked one day in my own kitchen. Here is the story. I was cooking some spanish rice which calls for seasoned salt. I had just picked up some more season salt at the grocery store the week before. Before I put it in, I looked at the back of the bottle at the ingredients list. I was just curious what was in seasoned salt.

99 cent Kroger Brand Seasoned Salt Ingredients:
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Corn starch
  • Yellow 5 and 6
  • Red 40
  • Blue 2
  • Natural Flavors
  • Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking agent)
Gross right?

Maybe that is what I get for buying the store brand.

I do want to tell you about a healthy alternative. Costco sells a No-Salt Seasoning that I like. I often use it when I think a recipe calls for too much salt. I only use it in savory dishes (not muffins, or cookies). It is organic and has worked out great. Here is the description on the front. "A blend of 21 organic spices and ingredients from around the world go into this sensational No-Salt Seasoning." Here are the first 10 ingredients (they are all organic, so I won't write that 10 times).

  • Onion
  • garlic
  • carrot
  • black pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • tomato granules
  • orange peel
  • parsley
  • bay leaves
  • thyme
It is one of those things where you don't feel like you could add too much.

The big question that I have gotten from more than one person is, "Is salt really that bad for you?" I used to say, not unless you have high blood pressure. I said this because in one of my health classes they said that only about 10% of the population were salt sensitive. Meaning that if they ate too much salt, it made their blood pressure go up. A recent study that came out in March showed that up to 69% of Americans are in the group for people that should watch their salt intake (older than 40 years, or black, or people with high blood pressure). The reason you have to cut down on salt after age 40 is because your kidney's become less efficient at getting rid of extra salt at this age.

When you step back and look at the whole picture, as a nation we are eating more processed foods and eating out more often as well. Those are the 2 places that we get the most of our salt in our diet. Let me make it clear what "processed food" is. Processed food is food that has been prepared by someone else. Some things that are in that category are: frozen pizza, frozen burritos, anything that you get from a restaurant.
Things that are NOT processed foods are: homemade soups, lettuce, fresh fruits and vegetables, from scratch cupcakes, and so on.
The bottom line is that when someone else makes the food, you don't have control of the amount of salt in the food.

So be careful of eating too much processed foods, and try a no-salt seasoning.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Have you seen this show yet? It is funny to me that I am blogging about a TV show for a blog that is about healthy eating for kids. It is on ABC on Friday's at 9/8 Central. Click here to see a trailer. It is an amazing show to me because it says what is on my mind. It has been a life long dream of mine to change school lunch.

Two things that got me thinking

1. Did you know that 8 oz of chocolate milk (the pre-made stuff that they serve at your child school) has more sugar in it than 8 oz of Coke?

2. They are so worried about the kids eating the school lunch. I say that if the kids don't like the healthy food, their parents can always send them to school with a cold lunch full of junk.

If you have watched it, leave me a comment with something that stuck out in your mind.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The perfect sized yOgUrTs

I found these at my Smith's store here in Utah. They reminded me of the ones we bought on a family vacation to Toronto, Canada.

My favorite things about them?

  • They are really small and the perfect size for kids!
  • They taste really good. Kinda like the custard style yoplait yogurts
  • They are only $1.88 for 6 of them. That is .32 cents for one.
I even have a hard time eating a whole regular sized yogurt. These are the perfect size for me. All of my kids love them.

Some other things I like about these yogurts

  1. No artificial colors
  2. No HFCS
  3. 20% of your daily calcium
  4. Since it is custard style, it doesn't fall off the spoon easily when little ones are eating it.
  5. It only has 60 calories. As a society, we eat too many calories and have too big of portions. This is just the right size for everyone in the family.
Tell me what you think and if you find it at a store near you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Hummus is a pureed bean dip.

My new favorite thing is this box of 16 individually packed containers of delicious smooth hummus. I found it at Costco after being tipped off by Corrine and Erika, 2 ladies at my husbands work, and my friends :). I packed them in my kids lunch with a few crackers, and I love to eat them with a handful of carrots. Bonus for the adults who are watching their calories .. . . each pack has 100 calories! Bonus for everyone . . . there are 2 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein in there too.

If you can't find these handy packs at your Costco, or if they just don't fit into the family budget, try this recipe. It will cost you less than $2!

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/4 C. tahini (I leave this out)
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. water
3 T lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
Cayenne pepper.

Mix it all up in your blender, or food processor. Yummy!

(Tastes best after you refrigerate it for a bit)

Also click here to see my fiber post. There is a link to a black bean hummus recipe and some info on other ways to get your kids to eat beans.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Artwork on a Plate

My twins got new plates for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa. They are these cute ones with adjustable little bowls that hang on the sides of the plates. I didn't think much about it, but after using the plates a few times (and after they stopped dumping the food on their plates onto the floor), I noticed how much more they ate when I fed them from those plates. I think it was just so much more interesting to them to have 3-4 foods/textures/colors separated out into these interesting shapes. When they get bored with one food, their eyes are drawn to another food that is on their "art pallet". These plates are by a company called Boon. Click here to see a description of the plate. Remember the studies they did with how they had people start eating food under light that made the food look good, and then they changed the lighting and the food looked blue and green and kinda old, even though it was just fine? And then people starting to get sick to their stomaches. This is how powerful our eyes can be with what we eat. So next time you are feeding your children, take a little bit of time to make the food look like artwork . . . it may tempt them to eat the healthy foods you give them.

The better Spaghetti Sauce

This idea comes from my sister-in-law Joelle. She has spaghetti once a week. Each time she makes the sauce, she starts with some canned tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs, and then she adds some extra veggies, like steamed cauliflower and broccoli, or fresh spinach and carrots. After her 5 kids are done eating their spaghetti, they get to guess what the surprised veggies were. They love guessing, and love the taste of the pureed up veggies. I am definitely trying this next week! (we had spaghetti stoup last night, another recipe I got from Joelle).

Canned Crushed tomatoes
Herbs (I am guessing basil, oregano, crushed red pepper . . .)

Blend it all up in your blender. Then add a couple of bonus veggies and blend it up too. Heat the sauce on the stove top for a few minutes, and you are done.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

For about 5 years I have been avoided buying food that is made with high-fructose corn syrup. In the beginning, this was very difficult. It was in everything! I slowly got rid of the fruit snacks (except for at church and car trips :) and I even gave up my favorite cold cereal, Frosted Mini Wheats. :( Now it is so much easier to find food without HFCS in them. If you give up a favorite food, check on it every 6 months or so. Eggo waffles used to have it in them, and now they have the whole grain ones without the HFCS. I haven't bought Yoplait yogurt for years because they have HFCS, but Dannon yogurt does not have it. I found that I really like the taste of Dannon's yogurt better. It reminds me of the yogurt in Europe.

So now the big question is, why is HFCS so bad for you? Well, I am going to quote Dr. Oz, because I really liked his explanation the best. "High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a type of sugar that has been processed and combined with corn syrup to produce a cheap, easily dissolvable sweetener. But this sugar is quickly absorbed by the liver where it is converted into fat. Since your brain doesn't recognize HFCS as regular food, it never shuts off the appetite center -- so you keep eating. Blood sugar levels rise, massive amounts of insulin is recruited to metabolize it and then you crash and feel hungry again. It is found in soft drinks, fruit juices, salad dressings and baked goods. Read the food labels of products in your pantry and refrigerator and throw out all products that contain HFCS."

Another reason that it is so common in our food supply is because we have so much corn in this country. We have genetically mastered corn to give us a lot for only a little bit, plus, the government pays corn farmers to farm corn (I am not really sure why). We can sell the corn in the US for cheaper than they can sell it in Mexico. Mexico buys it from us. This is all according to the movie Food Inc. Click here to see the trailer.

The graph below shows that HFCS may have something to do with obesity in America.

You would avoid HFCS simply by eating whole foods (fresh fruits and veggetables, milk, cheese, meat, potatoes, quinoa, rice, beans and so on). Most processed foods have HFCS in them. Just read the label to see if your foods have it in there. Be sure to check your bread, cold cereal, ketchup, and salad dressings. If it is an organic food, then it won't have it in there (at least I have never seen this).

Here are a few of my favorite foods that are free of HFCS.

Bush's Baked beans. These are high in sugar, but they are free of HFCS and are full of fiber and protein.

Pacific organic roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Check the tomato soup in your pantry right now. Does it have HFCS in it?

Kashi's TLC (Tasty Little Chewies) Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. Everyone in my family loves these granola bars. If you have Quaker granola bars in your pantry right now, check it out; there is HFCS in those too! Be warned now, I have tried many of the other Kashi granola bar flavors, and the Cherry Chocolate one is still the only one we like. Also, they can be pricey, so buy them when they are on sale. This happens quit a bit.

Hope this helps you in your quest for you and your kids to be healthier, and happier.

What are some of your favorite alternative brands to those that have HFCS?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kid and Mother approved Breakfast

Kashi Strawberry Waffles with 100% Real Maple Syrup, Thinly Sliced Bananas, Whipped Cream and Cinnamon.

I really do love the Kashi Frozen Waffles. Remember the post I did on them with the homemade strawberry syrup? This morning we had them a little different.

1 Kashi Frozen Strawberry Waffle (4 g protien, 3 g fiber , 80 calories, 2.5 g sugar, 500 mg Omega-3)

1/4 of a banana thinly sliced on top of the waffle after it is toasted. (20 Calories)

1 Tablespoon 100% Real Maple Syrup (Best price at Costco --- 50 Calories)

1 Squirt Canned Whipped Cream (20 Calories)

Sprinkle of cinnamon- to see my post on cinnamon, click here.

My kids each had 2 of these this morning (so did I).

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Other Side Of The Rainbow

Since last week I did a blog post on food coloring, I thought this week I would focus on the other side of the rainbow of colors. . . Fruits and Vegetables! The biggest part of this post is HOW to get your kids to eat fruit, and most of all VEGETABLES!

1. Your kids will not eat what is not given to them. Sounds simple, but we all need to remember that if our children are not given the opportunity to try a certain vegetable, then you are depriving them of the opportunity to know if they like it or not. Be sure that when you go to the store, you are buying fruits and vegetables. Here are some shopping tips.

  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruit is great in smoothies and muffins, and frozen vegetables are 100% better than canned!!!!!!!! Frozen fruits and vegetables are often even healthier than fresh because they are picked and frozen right away. This gives frozen f & v less time to lose nutrients, like vitamin C.
  • Buy the fresh fruits and vegetables when they are on sale. You should eat foods in season. They are less expensive and tend to have traveled less (fresher and better for the environment)
  • If you have little ones, let them help you grocery shop. If you are really motivated, you could take the time to do a "field trip" to the grocery store and take the time to look at every fruit and vegetable that they have.
  • Trouble keeping f & v fresh? You should always buy lots of bananas. If they get to brown, peel them and put them in the freezer for a smoothie, or make banana muffins. Pretty much with any fruit, you can freeze it and then stick it in a smoothie later.
2. So now that you have the variety available, you need to be an EXAMPLE and eat the different kinds of fruits and vegetables that you buy. Be sure that your kids understand that they might not like a certain f or v one way, but they still might like to eat it another way. For example, none of my kids like raw tomatoes, but all of them love spaghetti sauce. Also, remind your kids that they might not like a certain f or v right now, but that they might like it another time. Tell them about a kind of food you didn't like, but now love.
If your kids see that you don't "die" or go puke after trying a new food, they will be willing to do the same.

3. Play a Game. One game that has been recommended to me by my friend Jennifer, and my sister- in-law Karenin, is Bingo! We tried this for a week. I printed off a bingo sheet for everyone in the family and filled it in with all the vegetables we were planning on eating that week. Then I filled in any extra spots with fruits that we had on hand. Be sure to put garlic, and onions in there. My kids got really excited about eating new foods. They loved when they found out that a sauce I made had 3 different veggies in it, and all week long they waited for me to make parsnips! Be sure that you keep track too, so that they see how easy it is. I gave my kids one point each time they got a bingo, or they had a whole serving of a fruit or veggie on their bingo card (1/2 Cup). They could either turn their points in for a quarter, or for 5 minutes of extra screen time.

4. Educate them on why f and v are good for them. Kids are a lot like adults. We can have someone tell us one hundred times that something is good or bad for us, but until we understand WHY, we don't listen. Last night Emily wouldn't eat her dinner, so I briefly explain what was good for her about them (spinach has iron in it, and iron helps the oxygen get to all of your body parts, cheese has calcium that makes your bones strong, oranges have vitamin C that helps you get over colds faster, and helps cuts heal faster, avocados have fats in them that help her brain grow). My older kids found the iron fact fascinating and we talked briefly about iron at the dinner table. It shouldn't always be about WHY they are good for you. Food is a social and enjoyable thing, but fun quick facts can be helpful.

Dole has a great website that has lots of fun facts about different fruits and vegetables. Click here for the link. (Really, this is one of the best sites I have found, check it out).

I also enjoy watching Dr. Oz Show while I fold laundry during the day. He always has fun facts and healthy ideas.

5. Three other ways to get them to eat fruits and vegetable:
  • Let them help prepare the food
  • Hide it in the food; puree it up (broccoli does not work well for this, yuck!)
  • Make it look cute. For one idea on this, see my little pizza men post.