How To Make Healthy School Lunches

September 11, 2014 in Parenting

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healthy-school-lunch1It really can’t be said enough times – what your child eats at school directly affects his or her level of energy and the ability to learn. Getting together healthy lunch day after day can be quite a task and even though my children are way past the school years, I do remember dealing with this issue and learning as I went along. And if your child is an active participant in sports, you have even more to consider. I am going to keep adding to the school lunch topic on this website – hopefully it will give you the assistance you need and it will make your daily tasks easier!

Think Salads!


Maybe you are one of the lucky parents whose children attend a school with cafeteria that serves fresh salads daily. In that case your job is to encourage your child to try it. It may be as good idea to start packing salads regularly. And in that case, you will need to make sure that the salad includes foods your child likes. That means suggesting items that can make a salad and listening to your child’s ideas as well. Try things like cheese, cucumbers or even bacon bits – you may be surprised at what kids can come up with!

Make Clean Sandwiches


Here is what the word “clean” means: start with whole grain bread, use natural nut butter with strawberries instead of the traditional peanut butter and jelly (if you school allows peanut butter sandwiches at all – you will need to check for that as many schools now ask for parents not to send anything with nuts for their children’s lunches) Another clean lunch you can try is making wraps with chicken strips and greens and add yogurt for an after lunch snack. AS you start thinking “clean” the ideas will just keep coming!

Get Rid of the Juice


Yes – juices are definitely better than sodas, but lot of them are still very high in sugar and calories. Try skipping the juice boxes and replace them with water. If there is a problem with that, try filling a bottle with one part juice and two parts water.

Get Smart with Snacks


No chips please – you can give your child healthier snacks! Try servings of crunchy whole-grain cereals or granola with dried fruit. And if chips are demanded, make your own. It is not difficult – just get some corn or flour tortillas, bake them and season them yourself. And if chips are an absolute must, at least get the low-fat ones!

Fake a Cool Lunch


Let’s think that your child sees another eating pizza for lunch and now wants that as well. Yes, you can create a pizza for lunch – get a whole-grain bagel, spread some vegetable marina sauce on sprinkle with low-fat cheese. And think about adding a low-fat brownie as a treat – that will make the pizza eating child watch in envy!

Think Leftovers

So you go to the trouble of making healthy dinners each day – why not make a little extra and use it for next day’s lunch? For example: if you had chicken, brown rice and asparagus for dinner, pack it into a wrap – your child will love it!

Satisfy the Sweet Tooth


All kids have it so you need to address it. Instead of cookies that can be full of sugar (unless you made them yourself and know what’s in them), think about filling a little container with strawberries. You can even sprinkle a little sugar on them for the extra sweet treat. And since I mentioned making your own – there are thousands of recipes for homemade fruit squares or little muffins you can make in no time!

For more help with your children’s school lunches, check out:

Guide to Healthy School Lunches

Hope this information was helpful to you – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!


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All About Pomegranate

March 11, 2014 in Health

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pomegranate-1000This wonderful fruit is deliciously juicy and explodes with antioxidants. It may take little extra effort to use, but it is definitely worth it!

How to Choose It:

Look for large, firm fruits that feel heavy for its size. The leathery skin can also vary from deep red to reddish brown, but it should be shiny. Pass on fruit that is shrunken or has soft spots.

How to Store It:

Pomegranate will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Once taken out, the seeds can be refrigerated, covered for up to 5 days or frozen, tightly wrapped for up to 3 months.

How to Prepare It:

Slice the fruit in half horizontaly. Make a few slits in the membrane. Submerge a half, cut-side down in a large bowl of water. Pry it apart. The seeds will sink to the bottom, the membrane will float to the top. Transfer the seeds to a paper towel to drain.

How to Make It:

Try this: Toss together 1 bunch of trimmed watercress, 1 thinly sliced small fennel bulb, 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season with salt and black pepper.

Few more suggestions:

In a cocktail: Add a splash of pomegranate juice and few seeds to you mint mojito.

In a salad: Sere roasted squash or carrots on a bed of arugula, topped with crumbled goat cheese, pomegranate seeds and a mustard vinaigrette.

In a Pilaf: Fold the seeds into cooked barley along with chopped apple, parsley and roaster almonds.

In a Dessert: Sprinkle seeds over scoops of lemon sherbet and serve with ginger cookie.

 

Hope you have enjoyed this information – please send me your comments, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated.

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How to Use Kale

March 5, 2014 in Recipes

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SONY DSCKale is a very versatile leafy green that has a well-deserved reputation as a superfood. It is loaded with fibre and will aid in lowering cholesterol. It is also full of vitamin K, which is great for bone health and vitamin A that will  help strengthen bones, eyes and teeth.

Here are a few recipes that will help you in figuring out just what to do with this superfood:

Kale Smoothie:

smoothie

  • Puree together a cup of each: steamed kale and ice cubes, half of chopped and peeled apple, a banana and few generous splashes of almond milk until smooth and frosty.

Kale Chips:

chips

  • Toss together about 6 cups of torn, steamed kale, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of each salt and sweet paprika.
  • Bake in a single layer on parchment paper lined baking sheets and 350F until chips are crispy and dark green.

Marinated Kale Salad:

salad

  • Steam and chop a bunch of kale.
  • Toss it with small handful of chopped dried cherries and couple of spoonfuls each of olive oil, orange juice and honey.
  • Let stand for 1 hour, then sprinkle with toaster chopped hazelnuts.

Walnut Kale Pesto:

walnut pesto

  • Steam, chop and blanch bunch of kale then chill it in ice water.
  • Pat the kale dry.
  • In a food processor, pulse it together with a handful of each toasted chopped walnuts and grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped garlic.
  • Pulse in a few generous drizzles of olive oil, a couple of spoonfuls of lemon juice and a pinch of each salt and pepper until smooth.

Lemony Kale:

lemony pesto

 

  • Cook garlic slices in a little olive oil until fragrant.
  • Stir in 6 cups of torn, steamed kale.
  • Cook until slightly wilted and dark green.
  • Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice and pinch of each salt and pepper.

Hope you will enjoy this information – please send me your comments, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated.

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