Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bubble Pizza

Pizza Bread

1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 jar pizza sauce
2 tubes refrigerator biscuits
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Brown the beef in a skillet and drain.
Mix pizza sauce hamburger and simmer until heated through.
Quarter the biscuits and place in a 13-in x 9-in x 2-in greased baking dish. Top with beef mixture.
Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheeses and bake 5-10 more minutes.






See more similar recipes for Monkey Bread.



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Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast Layered Pie

Ingredients:
1 pound bulk pork sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shells
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/3 cup chopped green pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cooked crumbled sausage in a large mixing bowl. Fold in both cheeses.  Place pie shell in a pie plate.  Place sausage mixture in the pie shell.   Whisk eggs, milk, onion and both peppers in a separate bowl, making sure eggs are blended in well.  Pour egg mixture over the sausage mixture. Top with second pie shell. Cut slits in the middle of the pie shell to vent. Press edges of pie together with a fork.
Bake one hour or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.   

Breakfast Casserole



Ingredients:
1 package of sausage
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
9 eggs, beaten
2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls
chopped mushrooms, optional

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Crumble and brown the entire package of sausage and pour off any fat. Coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with a non-stick spray and line it with one package of the crescent rolls. Put the cooked sausage on top of the rolls and top with the cheese. Pour in the eggs and top with the second package of crescent rolls. Bake 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Serve warm with a buttery maple syrup.


See more Easy Breakfast Ideas






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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

Chocolate Raspberry Balls

Ingredients:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
15 vanilla wafers with creme, crushed
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
Finely chopped toasted almonds
Toasted coconut

Instructions:
Melt chocolate chips until completely melted and smooth.  Allow cooling slightly. Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Pour melted chocolate over cream cheese and mix together until very smooth.  Fold in vanilla wafer crumbs being sure to cover all the crumbs with the chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until chocolate is firm.  Once firm, shape chocolate mixture into balls.  Roll half the candy balls in the toasted almonds and the other half in the toasted coconut.  Store in the refrigerator to keep them from becoming too soft.


See more Chocolate Truffle Recipes



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Monday, December 9, 2013

Shopping Rebates- a can't miss!

One thing I love to use during the holiday season or even birthdays is Ebates. There is nothing like getting a rebate back when you go shopping, Have you joined yet?

 Ebates Coupons and Cash Back 


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Reindeer Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Dress this yummy Pumpkin Bread recipe up with a glaze and nut topping.  Since we are celebrating the Christmas season we call it Reindeer Bread.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, divided

Icing Ingredients:
1/4 cup powdered' sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add one egg at a time mix well after each addition.  In a separate bowl blend together flour, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and the ginger.  Slowly stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.

Then stir 1/3 of the pumpkin into the sugar mixture.  Next stir in 1/3 of the flour and then the rest of the pumpkin. Finally stir in the last of the flour mixture.  Gently fold in chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of pecans.  Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour mixture into loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake for one hour until a knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool completely.  For the icing stir together the confectioners' sugar and heavy cream. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until smooth. Drizzle icing over bread loaf when completely cooled.

Download some Christmas reading to go with your cooking activity:
 
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Foods that Kids Can Prepare

Christmas is a holiday where the entire family tries to get together. Sweet smells waft from the kitchen as those with the talent prepare meal after meal to everyone’s delight. If you have kids, get them in on the Christmas cooking craze.

It is a common myth that kids don’t want anything to do with the kitchen. In fact, kids love to cook. How do you think we got so many wonderful chefs in the world? When you invite them in and give them something to do, kids will jump at the chance to cook in the kitchen.

No matter what you are cooking (or baking) in the kitchen, the key here is cleanliness. In preparation, buy your child their own apron. Aprons will protect their clothing, giving them a place to wipe their hands. Also, keep plenty of paper towels and hand soap available as they will be washing their hands quite a lot.

Baking is the easiest thing to start with. Let your kids cut their culinary teeth on breakfast. Cookies are a favorite place where they can learn and not get in trouble for making a mess. As you go from step to step, explain to your kids what you are about to do.

Baking involves most of the work to be done away from the stove. You can set up a work area on the kitchen table or the counter if your kids are tall enough. Let them create there while you prep the stove for the food.

For any recipe, begin by gathering your ingredients and utensils. It will feel like a kitchen show; your kids will love that. Show them how to do each step and then let them take over from there.

We mentioned cookies before. Anything that goes into the oven is a good start for kids:





  • Christmas cookies
  • Breakfast casserole
  • Cakes
  • Dinner 
  • Rolls

  • More holiday cooking activities:

    Learn How to Make Homemade Chocolates
    Homemade Fudge Recipes
    Christmas Candy Recipes
    Homemade Suckers
    Christmas Cookie Recipes
    Gingerbread House Recipes
    Food Gift Ideas
    Dough Ornament Recipes
    Happy New Year Recipes
    Snowman Theme Recipes


    What do you like cooking with your kids this time of year?
    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Sunday, December 1, 2013

    Kids Holiday Cookbook

    This cookbook has been compiled by a group of bloggers to help you teach students about the holidays through the joy of the meals shared during these holidays. It includes recipes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Ramadan and New Year's.

    Holiday Cookbook for Kids


    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Friday, November 22, 2013

    7 Ideas for the Ultimate Family Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it's time to start planning your day! Do you have any special traditions like cooking the meal together or watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning? With your traditions and these eight things, you can have the greatest Thanksgiving yet!

    1. Turkey

    It's just not Thanksgiving without the turkey! Make sure you buy your turkey in advance and be sure to thaw it days before so that it'll be ready. And don't burn it! You don't want to deal with any Thanksgiving disasters like you see in movies.

    2. Help from the kids 

    Get your kids involved with cooking on Thanksgiving. With the main course and all the side dishes and desserts, you'll welcome the help and your kids will love cooking with you! Check out some fun and easy Thanksgiving recipes to share with them.

    3. Football 

    Football is a staple of Thanksgiving Day entertainment. NFL games are on all day long on Thursday. Gather around the TV and cheer on your favorite team.

    4. Healthy side dishes 

    With all the food you'll be eating this holiday, it's important to throw in some healthy options. You'll find endless recipes for healthy side dishes and appetizers. Look for some with your favorite ingredients and get the kids to help make them!


    5. Shopping 

    Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) kicks off the holiday shopping season. Prepare for your trip out by checking the ads online so you'll know exactly what to look for and which stores have the best sales. Or, if you live in a rural area or you're spending the holiday away from home, start your shopping online, wherever you may be.

    6. Desserts 

    After your big Thanksgiving dinner, you might want a break from food – but no big meal is complete without desserts! Make a variety of tiny desserts so everyone can sample a few delicious dishes without getting too stuffed. And don't forget the pumpkin pie and other yummy pumpkin dishes!


    7. Fun activities for your kids 

    Without things planned to do, your kids may get bored. Pick out some movies to watch or board games to play as a family after all the cooking and eating is done. If your kids aren't helping cook, let them play video games or watch fun Thanksgiving movies. Keep everyone happy with some fun activities between cooking and eating.


    Skylar Michelle James is a woman who loves technology. Currently Skylar is a graduate student in the Boston Massachusetts area. She is writing her thesis on the Internet Philosophy. When she is not studying she is freelance writing about family, event planning, current trends and technology. Please connect with her via twitter @SkyJamesWriter or email.
    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Asian Dumplings from scratch-Craftsy Online Class Review and GIVEAWAY

    First off let me tell you about Craftsy

    Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

    Craftsy Logo

    What I like about Craftsy

    I was able to review and choose one of Craftsy cooking lessons and let me tell you I had a hard time narrowing it down to which one I would start with. They have so many wonderful classes that you can buy and watch over and over on your own time frame.

    Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.

    Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

     My Class Review-Asian Dumplings

    My family loves anything Asian food and buying dumplings or won tons can be an expensive outing. So I thought what a great idea to make your own. I've already can make basic fried wontons and we love them. But this class was like taking a trip around China and Japan learning different techniques and recipes in this Asian Dumpling Lesson.

    Favorite Asian Dumplings from Scratch

    Andrea Ngyuen, the Instructor learned how to cook when she was young with rice and wontons. She choices you several ways to cook dumplings such as fried or in a broth. But I think my favorite thing to see was the different ways you can fold and shape your dumplings as well as what to stuff them with. The course comes with 8 recipes to download and experiment with in the kitchen. Recipes like Sui Mai, Potstickers and Korean Dumplings as well as making your own dumpling dough.

    She inspired me to try Pork Sui Mai at home. This was something I had not done before. Basically they are cutting wonton wrappers into circles and filling them and shaping them into "open bags" as Andrea calls them.

    I changed the recipe a bit but used her forming and cooking techniques:
    2 lbs. ground pork
    can water chestnuts, chopped finely
    3 carrots, chopped finely
    4-5 whole mushrooms, chopped finely
    1 garlic clove minced
    1/2 tsp. ginger
    1/4 Cup soy sauce
    1 T. sesame oil
    1 T. rice wine vinegar
    Add all ingredients together until well combined. Add to your wonton wrappers and steam.
    They turned out great.



















    Watch your Own Free Craftsy Food Class

    Now the fun part -Craftsy is offering a Food class to one of our readers for free. There are 19 classes to choose from so the winner doesn't have to choose the same class I did.

    Enter the Craftsy Food & Cooking Class Giveaway!
     
    Winner will be chosen and contacted by Dec. 5.
    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Vegetable Chopper

    I wanted to share a super chopper that works great for cooking.

    1. It is great for kids to use
    2. It makes chopping fruits or vegetables finely so much easier.
    Vidalia Chop Wizard









    I use it to add vegetables to soups, meatloaves, stir fries, salads, and so on. My kids are more apt to eat small chopped vegetables like these then large chunks.


    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Breakfast Puffy Pancake

    Does breakfast get a little monotonous at your house? It sure does at my house. This recipe is good for a weekend meal as it bakes for about 20-25 minutes.  I usually double the recipe to feed my family and use a large round cake pan.

    It is fun to watch the pancake get large and puffy.  As it cools off it will deflate. One time I had the pancake come out looking like an octopus. Super fun right, I used a flower cake pan maybe that was the secret?!




    Oven Puffy Pancake
    In 13x9 dish melt 4 Tablespoons butter by placing in a preheating oven.
    In a bowl, beat together 4 eggs, 1 Cup flour, 1 Cup milk and ¼ teaspoon salt.
    Pour mixture into baking dish over the melted butter.



    Adult should bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes until puffy and golden brown.
    Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with sliced or cut up fruit.

    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Road Trip ideas

    Are you planning some holiday family trips? Plane rides or car rides here are some ideas to help you along the way.

    Have kids prepare an itinerary of the journey. Or at least rewrite it in their own little notebook so they have an idea of what to expect. Something that drives me a little crazy when traveling is having to explain over and over where we are going, layovers, how long it will take it, etc. x3 for each kid. This way they have a good idea on their own what is going on and can consult their own little itinerary.

    Prepare snacks to take along with the kids help. Trail mixes, snack mixes, cookies, homemade granola bars, are all portable snacks. For more snack ideas see these two pages:
    Healthy Kids Snacks
    snacks with 6 or less ingredients

     More Ideas for Car Road Trips

    Making the best of a road trip with Little Passports Travel Tips
    “Are we there yet?” was a term coined by the family road trip! While new technology and toys may have silenced backseat conversations, spending time together in the car can still be a great opportunity for family bonding and learning. Even if you plan on bringing the latest gadget to pass the time, try saving them for the end of your trip when everyone is tired and cranky!

    Here are some ideas from Little Passports that are sure to make the time fly by (or at least go by a little faster

    Save your most recent Little Passports delivery from Sam and Sofia for your road trip so your kids to learn and explore during the car ride.
    Say goodbye to your trusted GPS ! Bring back the memory of car trips as a kid and use a map! The night before your trip bring out an actual map (if you can find one!) to show your intended route to your child. Even better, copy the map and pull out a highlighter so your child can follow along – and let you know when you missed a turn.

    Build in time for pit stops – and if time allows, make short stops that incorporate fun activities along the way. Everyone will need a bathroom break and a meal, but if that happens at a place right off the highway and near playground it can be better for everyone! The kids will get fed – and burn off some energy.

    Hit up a dollar store before you leave and stock up on small toys and activities to give to your kids along the way. Every hour let your child choose a surprise – a great incentive for good behavior! You can even wrap the toys for an added element of excitement.

    Use this link to make your next road trip educational: Little Passports Travel Tips

    Little Passports
    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Pumpkin Theme Night

    So I've been collected these cute little pumpkins as I go to the grocery store and I'm thinking of doing dinner in a pumpkin. I think it would be really fun for each member of the family to have their own pumpkin "bowl".

    We could make it a whole fall celebration with dinner in a pumpkin, apple cider and pumpkin bars for dessert. Maybe watching a movie together eating toasted pumpkin seeds.

    Sounds like a pumpkin date!
















    Dinner in a pumpkin ideas


    Here are some soup recipes to try.
    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    Taco Snack Mix

    Try a little flavor in a simple snack mix by adding taco seasoning and cooking in the microwave.
    Here is the recipe: Taco Snack Mix

















    More Snack Ideas

    Kids Healthy Snacks
    List of snacks- print off and add to your fridge for a quick reference
    Preschool snacks
    Snacks with 6 or less ingredients
    More snack recipes and ideas blog posts


    Easy Kids Snacks kindle or paperbac
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    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Add On Healthy Foods -5 a day

    According to nutritionists, we are supposed to be getting at least five services of fruits and veggies a day. Therefore, you need to look for creative ways to add fruits and veggies to you and your kids’ diets.

    Here are some Healthy Eating Suggestions:

    • Prepare scrambled eggs or omelets with chopped veggies.
    • Serve fruit with breakfast.
    • Serve fruit with low-fat yogurt for a healthy snack.
     • Fresh veggies with low-fat dipping sauce, make great snacks too.
    • Serve a fresh cut salad with veggies with dinner.

    What to Eliminate in your Eating

    Now that we’ve covered some ways you can substitute healthy foods in to your kids’ menus, let’s talk about the foods you need to eliminate from their diets.

    • Processed fruit snacks. Replace with real dried fruits.
    • Chips and dip. Replace with baked corn chips and salsa.
    • Cookies and candy bars. Replace with healthy granola bars.
    • Milkshakes and full-fat milk. Replace with real fruit smoothies.
    • White floured products. Replace with products made with whole wheat flour.
    • Sugary desserts. Replace with fresh fruits and low-fat yogurt. Making all of these changes can be difficult, but here’s a few shopping tips to help you get started.
    • Primarily shop the outside of the grocery store, as most processed foods are found in the inside aisles.
    • Get all of your fresh produce prepared (wash, chopped and stored) on the day you bring it home from the grocery store to make it easily accessible.
    • The majority of the items you buy at the grocery store should be in the produce section followed by whole grain products and lean meats.

    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Monday, October 28, 2013

    Fitting Fitness Into Your Family’s Routine

    A lot of families think that in order to get in shape, they have to spend hours at the gym doing various exercises. Although gyms and fitness centers are great options, they aren’t required in order to get in shape. Some people can’t afford these options while others get intimidated at the thought of having to work out in front of a bunch of other people. If either of these situations relate to your family, it’s okay. All you need to do is start out taking small steps to work fitness into your family’s routine. Below are some tips to help you get started.

    Look Around and Take Advantage of Your Surroundings – If most people would only look around, they’d see a lot of opportunities for exercise around them. For instance, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, walking a little further in a parking lot, riding a bike to visit a neighbor or going on a walk with the family.

    Plan It Out – If you want physical fitness to become an ingrained part of your family’s routine, you have to plan it out. Otherwise, you’re likely to waste your day away in front of the computer, television or even cleaning or reading a book. Therefore, think about the time you will have to spend with your family this week and plan fun physical activities to do together during some of these times. For example, you could all go on a hike, walk, outside to play Frisbee or a number of other things. Make sure you plan these family activities on a weekly basis to ensure they become routine.

    Have Fun – When you begin searching for things to do during the “off” times of all your family members, make sure you plan fun activities that everyone will enjoy. Things like playing tag, backyard soccer, bad-mitten, etc. are all fun games. Also, consider when you are going to do these activities. Some games are better played after dinner while other are perfectly fine to play before dinner. You can also play interactive video games now too for exercise!

    Interests are Important – Take time to think about each member of your family and what they enjoy…as well as activities that everyone has fun doing together. When choosing family activities, it’s important that everyone finds them fun and interesting as this keeps motivation up. Here’s an example: If you have two kids and they both love airplanes, consider making paper airplanes or purchasing toy airplanes for them to race outside. This can be fun as everyone will be chasing them!

    Another example is to plan a family trail ride if your family enjoys horses. Or, you can all sign up for karate lessons if you recently watched “The Karate Kid” and all enjoyed it. Basically, look for any interest that can be turned into a physical activity. This will ensure everyone has fun and stays motivated.




    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

    Unhealthy Eating Habits to Avoid

    Unhealthy Habits  to Avoid

    There are a lot of unhealthy eating habits that we unknowingly teach our children because we learned them from our parents. In many cases, it’s these unhealthy eating habits that contribute to the woes we suffer in regards to our children’s eating habits. Below are some unhealthy eating habits to avoid teaching your children. Later in the article, we’ll look at ways to promote healthy eating habits.

    1. Bargaining for Dessert. 

    When our children are little, using dessert to get them to eat their veggies seems like a pretty smart (and easy) way to get the nutritious food down them.

    However, kids learn quick and they will begin to bargain with you all the time for dessert. They’ll use this technique to ensure they only have to eat the minimum required before they can have dessert. Therefore, don’t get this practice started!

    2. You Must Clean Your Plate

    While it sounds like a good rule to have to teach children not to put more on their plate then they can eat, this actually contributes to childhood obesity. Don’t force your children to eat everything on their plate, instead let them eat until they feel full. You can always start with small portions and give them seconds if they want it.

    3. No Eating Before Mealtime

    Most likely, we’ve all been told not to eat something before mealtime or our meal will be ruined. Of course, you don’t want your kids filling up on candy before a meal, but snacking between meals is often necessary for kids nonetheless. To remedy this problem, set daily snack times and feed your kids healthy snacks to subside their hunger until mealtime.

    4. Repetitively Serving Food. 

    Many parents will save food their child didn’t finish eating and serve it repetitively until it’s been eaten. This is not safe as bacteria grows on food easily. It also isn’t good, emotionally, for your child to make them sit at the table until everything on their plate has been eaten. This can create a lot of stress at mealtimes, and even contribute to an eating disorder later on.

    5. Feeding Jarred Baby Food. 

    Believe it or not, many nutritionists have suggested that feeding babies jarred baby food can actually ruin certain foods for these children for years to come. So, instead of buying the pureed baby foods, make your own by mashing up healthy adult foods like steamed carrots, mashed potatoes, bananas, etc. for your baby to eat.


    Create Healthy Habits

    Above are just five unhealthy eating habits that we teach our children. Below you will find some healthy habits you can use instead of those listed above.

    1. Encourage Snacks 

    Snacks aren’t bad, so encourage snack time and serve healthy foods instead of high-fat, high-sugar snacks.

    2. Stop Eating When Full 

    Teach your children to “listen” to their stomachs at mealtime. When they start to feel full, it’s time to quit eating. Serve your child smaller portions to help them get used to this.

    3. Do Away with Dessert 

    If you want to stop the dessert bargaining, do away with dessert. Or, you can serve dessert an hour after dinner is over…or, you can start preparing healthy “desserts” that can be served with the meal (fruit salad, fruit jello, low-sugar baked apples, fresh fruit with yogurt dipping sauce, etc.).




    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Tips for Getting Kids Active

    Perhaps you have children who you feel sit around too much, but you don’t know how to change that. Changing your kids’ habits can be difficult, but below are a few tips to help you out.

    Get Active with Them – You may find it easier to motivate your kids to get active if you join in on activities with them. For instance, sign up the entire family for swimming, tennis lessons, martial arts, golf or even horseback riding. Going together as a family can make it much more fun!


    Invite Their Friends – A lot of kids prefer to do things their friends are doing. Therefore, if you know some of your kids’ friends and they would like to do a particular activity with your child, call his/her parents up and see if they can join. You can also encourage your child to sign up for a sport that some of his/her friends play. Many kids are insecure about new activities, but the reassurance of having a friend to do it with can help.


    Limit Electronic Devices – Our society, and children in particular, have gotten dependent on electronic devices whether it’s video games, computers, cell phones, televisions, etc. Even though these devices can be useful, they hinder physical activity. Therefore, it’s best to limit how much time your kids can spend on them each day.


    Talk to Your Kids About What They Like – Many parents have their own idea of what activity is best for their children and don’t ask their kids before they sign them up. This can have a negative effect on them. Therefore, take the time to talk to your kids first. Ask them what kinds of physical activities they would enjoy getting to do on a more regular basis. Then, go from there! You’ll discover that your kids will have much more fun and be a lot more motivated to participate in physical activities if they choose to do them.


    Include Physical Activities into Daily Routines – The best thing you can do for you and your kids is to make physical activities (fitness) a part of the daily routine. Once you and your kids get used to it, it becomes a “must-do” thing as you will feel (and look) better! Obviously, you will have scheduling conflicts from time to time, but getting adequate physical activity every day should be something you, and your kids, want to do!


    Try to Avoid Harping – Try not to “harp” or nag at your kids regarding their body shape, weight, etc. This is not a good motivational technique for getting them motivated to get active. Instead, be positive and talk about how physical activity and exercise improve overall health, which is far more important than how one looks.

    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Why Fitness Is Important for Children

    Basically, the reason our children are struggling more than those of generations past with personal fitness is because lifestyles have changed. Instead of spending a lot of time outside playing with friends, climbing trees and playing tag, kids are spending more time inside doing homework, watching television, playing video games and texting their friends.

    Kids don’t have to go outside and meet their friends in order to socialize with them anymore, which means they don’t have to be as physically active as kids used to. Therefore, we need to deliberately incorporate fitness routines into our children’s lives.

    Personal fitness for children is important because it involves their health. Yes, they will look better, but more importantly they will feel better and have better chances for living long and fulfilling lives. Too many children suffer from the physical effects of obesity – things like liver disease, cardiovascular problems and diabetes are just a few of the side effects obese children face.

    Finally, obesity in children also affects the economy. The cost for health care is going up because of the obesity rate in children has increased so drastically in the past 20 years. Some of the health issues obese children face are issues that didn’t used to be a concern into one was an older adult (high blood pressure and heart disease, for example).

    How to Help Children Get Fit 
    First, if you have a regular fitness routine that you do, try to get your kids involved in it. If you don’t, then it’s time to start! Talk to your kids about what physical activities they enjoy to do and see if there is a way to incorporate it into their daily lives. There probably is.

    Even if you child prefers playing video games, you could easily purchase a Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move and their corresponding games that require physical movement interaction in order to play. You could also consider taking them to play laser tag or go paint balling with friends as these games are similar to video games too.

    The important thing is that you listen to your child and pay attention to his/her interests when trying to find an appropriate physical activity for him/her to get involved in. If it’s something they enjoy, the focus isn’t going to be on getting fit but on having fun, which is what physical fitness should be!




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    Friday, October 18, 2013

    How to Teach Kids Healthy Habits

    It’s important to teach your children healthy habits because these habits will often follow them into adulthood and establish how they raise their families. This is also true for the physical fitness activities you raise your children around. Below are some tips for incorporating health habits and fitness routines into your child’s life.

    1. Get Started! The most important thing you can do is start working a healthy routine into your daily lifestyle. Your kids will follow your lead, therefore, it all starts with you. And, you have to get started before it will work!

    2. Take Small Steps. You don’t have to take a giant leap into family fitness by purchasing expensive gym memberships. Instead, take it in small steps. For example, take a walk or hike as a family once or twice a week. You could also take a once-a-week martial arts class together. Basically, the point is that whatever activities you do, your family has fun doing them. When your kids see that physical activities can be fun, they will continue to do these activities as they get older.


    3. Teach Them How to Cook. Another aspect of living a healthy life is to cook healthy meals. This isn’t something that comes naturally, so you will have to teach your family how to do this too. Get your kids in the kitchen when you cook and show them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Point out the various colors of different herbs, spices and vitamins. You can also get your kids involved by allowing them to help you shop for (or even grow) food. As they get older, begin letting them help you prepare the meals and once they are old enough, allow them to cook a meal or two a week for the entire family!

    4. Snacking is Okay. Teach your kids that it’s okay to snack throughout the day. It has long been said that it’s better to each five or six small meals per day than it is to eat two or three large meals. However, stress the importance of snacking on healthy foods.

    To promote healthy snacking habits, keep healthy snacks such as raw veggies, nuts, yogurt, seeds, fruit and whole grains on hand. You can also take your family’s favorite fruits, puree them and freeze for yummy frozen treats! Not only can snacks be healthy and fun, but they can also help health-related issues such as stabilizing blood sugar levels in kids.
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    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Breakfast Burritos

    Looking for ideas for breakfast on those busy school days?

    Microwaved Healthy Breakfast Burrito
    6 Tbsp egg whites (equals 2 eggs, separated)
    1 Tbsp favorite salsa
    1 Tbsp finely shredded Cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese
    1 small whole wheat or low-carb tortilla

    Spray a small microwave-safe bowl with cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, salsa, and cheese, then pour into the oiled bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes (will vary depending on microwave.) Remove when egg mixture is solid. Spoon egg mixture onto a small tortilla and roll up. Serve with a little more salsa if desired.

    Find more breakfast recipes and ideas here!
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    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Cooking at Home vs Eating Out

    In the past, many people didn’t think twice about going to a restaurant for dinner or swinging through the drive-thru on their way to soccer practice. However, with the condition of the economy and the impact it’s had on people’s bank accounts, many people are now opting to cook at home instead of heading out for meals. Not only does it save money, but it’s also a healthier alternative too. Below are a few benefits associated with cooking at home.

    1. There are no “mystery” ingredients. When you begin to cook meals at home for your family, you become aware of all the ingredients that you and your family are eating. This isn’t the case when you go out.

    Not only are there no “mystery” ingredients when you cook from home, but you can also control the levels of sugar, sodium and other caloric content too. Additionally, when you cook at home, you don’t have to worry about whether a meal really is “whole/multi-grain” as advertise, because you can switch up the ingredients yourself to make sure it is!

    2. It’s a lot healthier for you and your family. As mentioned above, you control the ingredients when you cook your own meals at home. This means that you are able to feed your family much healthier foods than you would if you went to a restaurant. You can ensure the meals you cook include fresh produce and healthy, whole foods…this is a rarity at restaurants and fast-food chains. Additionally, not only are families who eat home-cooked meals generally healthier in body, but studies have shown that they are also healthier socially and emotionally because they’re spending more family time together.

    3. You’re able to plan out meals in advance. Cooking at home allows you the ability to plan out dinner in advance. Instead of eating “on the fly” and choosing a restaurant at the last minute, your meals are thought out and planned in advance. Many people even cook several meals at home at one time and then reheat them in the oven on the night they want to eat them. This is often great for busy families who are always on-the-go.

    4. There really isn’t that much time involved. A lot of people dislike the idea of cooking at home because they think it takes a long time. However, cooking from home actually takes less time than going out to eat does. Just think about how much time it takes to load everyone up, drive to the restaurant, be seated, order the food and get served. The majority of home-cooked meals only take 30 minutes to an hour to prepare and clean-up doesn’t take long when you get the whole family to help. When you compare the two scenarios, cooking from home actually takes less time than eating out.

    Learn more about planning meals with a 3 months recipe plan
    - Kindle Ebook
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    Saturday, October 12, 2013

    Kids’ Favorite Foods Made Healthier

    Once some parents take a closer look at their kids’ favorite foods, they are appalled to find out just how unhealthy these foods really are. The good news is that most of these foods can be made/bought in healthier versions. Below are some examples of these unhealthy foods and how you can find their healthier versions to keep both you and your kids happy.

    1. Hotdogs

    The majority of kids love hotdogs and parents do to because of how convenient they are to serve. So, how are you supposed to keep hotdogs in your house when they’re so unhealthy? First, go to the freezer section at your local grocery store or even the natural health food store.

    Most of time, you’ll be able to find the healthy hotdogs here – these hotdogs shouldn’t contain any preservatives, so be sure to read the label. You can also purchase “turkey dogs” instead, since turkey is a very lean, healthy meat. Finally, some grocers carry tofu burgers and hotdogs – these products are kept refrigerated, but not frozen. Ask your grocer before you go searching for these as they can be hard to find.

    2. Pizza

    Pizza is like hotdogs – so good and so easy to prepare, yet not the healthiest for you and your family. To fix this problem, make your own pizza. Start with a whole wheat crust and vegetable rich spaghetti sauce (you can buy or make your own sauce). Next, cut back on the meat toppings and include more veggies. Use only 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese mixed with ¼ cup of parmesan cheese for the cheese and try to find a vegetarian version of pepperonis and you’ll have a healthy pizza in no time!

    3. Bread 

    The best kind of bread for you and your family is whole wheat bread. You can make it yourself or you can buy it at the store. If your family still isn’t a fan, then consider eating sandwiches, hamburgers, etc. on whole wheat tortillas, pita bread and/or bagels.

    4. Candy Bars and Cookies

     These “junk” foods are hard to replace, but thankfully, we have granola bars now. Just make sure the granola bars you give your kids are little sugar and high protein content. There are some granola bars that are just as bad as candy bars and cookies.
     

    5. Macaroni and Cheese 

    Most of us buy our macaroni and cheese in a box at the grocery store, which is fine. Switch to a healthier boxed version or make your own healthy version of mac and cheese with hidden vegetables.

    6. Cereal

    I’m not sure what it is about cereals but most kids are attracted to the ones containing the most sugar. Slowly start introducing your kids to the healthier cereals containing more granola and other natural ingredients to help turn their taste-buds around. Oatmeal is another great alternative.

    7. Fish Sticks and Chicken Nuggets

    A popular alternative to the unhealthy frozen fish sticks and chicken nuggets is to make your own. Simply cut up fish fillets or a whole chicken breast into strips or pieces and bread them however you prefer. Then, bake them in the oven. You can also find vegetarian fish sticks and chicken nuggets too.




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