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Monday, April 29, 2013

Cooking with Kids Video with Pioneer Woman

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Snacking Savvy for the Busy Mom

What is it about snacks that we like? They can be salty or sweet or both but we are drawn to them and that includes moms. When you are on the run or working on your computer, reach for a healthy snack every time and enjoy it.

1. Bite size fruit and veggies – If it is easy to hold in one hand, it will work for the mom on the go. Slice up carrots, celery, cucumbers, bananas, strawberries, apples and pineapples. These are just a few suggestions. Any fruit or veggie that you like but is easy to handle would make a good choice. Place them in a sectioned container so you can carry along dip.

2. Granola bites – They sell something similar in the store, but why pay for what you can create on your own? Create your own granola bars and cut them up into bite size pieces. They will keep in an airtight container for a week (if they last that long). Vary the ingredients to meet everyone’s taste.

3. What kinds of healthy snacks are made for kids? They are easy to grip by tiny hands so they would also work for moms with a shortage of time and free hands. Try yogurt in a tube, cheese sticks, sandwich crackers with lunch meat and nuts.
Make your own yogurt tubes

4. Turkey wraps – Including a bit of protein in each snack will help with controlling hunger. Wrap a slice of turkey or ham around a cheese stick or other combination. Be sure to keep it cool if you are on the run during snack time.

5. Smoothies – Want to get your daily fruit in a tasty shake? Mix a few ice cubes with fresh or frozen fruit and some fat free frozen yogurt. Place a scoop or two of frozen yogurt and fruit in a container and freeze. Whenever you are ready for a smoothie, pull out a container and mix with ice cubes in the blender.


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 paperback




~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, April 20, 2013

Garnishing Ideas

Add a little flair to your meals with a little garnish

Here are some quick ideas:
  • Garnish soup with toppings such as chopped avocado, sliced almonds or add a swirl of cream or sour cream to the top before serving.
  • Sprinkle baked goods with chopped nuts or streusel topping before baking. 
  • Add powdered sugar to baked goods after they come out of the oven. You can do this by sprinkling sugar with your fingers or using a sugar shaker.
  • Add chopped fresh herbs to soup or salads
  • Add a sliced lemon or lime to a drink.
  • Cut fruit or vegetables into flowers. You can get really fancy by learning how to cut flowers out of radishes, carrots and tomatoes.
  • Add a fruit kabob to a smoothie or milkshake by adding sliced fruit to a skewer or long toothpick.
  • Some fruit shells can be used as a bowl. Scrap or cut the fruit out and use as a serving bowl. Watermelon is often used as a serving bowl but don't forget even oranges can be mini sized serving dishes. Try coconuts, pineapples, lemons or limes.
  • Serve dips or condiments in hollowed out colored peppers.
  • Add fresh sliced fruit. Not only does fruit add a little more nutrition, they are colorful and they can easily be added on the side of your plate or decorated in a flower shape or whatever you choose
  • Add chocolate curls to cakes, cream pies or milkshakes. These are easily formed by using a grater on a candy bar.



~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.~

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Easy Snack Ideas

I try to divide as much as possible into individual servings for convenience and to ward off any possible sharing issues from the get-go. I use zippered baggies and those cloth grocery bags that most stores carry now.  These snacks will also fit in your diaper bag nicely.

Healthy Snack Ideas:

• Slice apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from turning brown
• Seedless grapes, removed from the vine
• Goldfish crackers
• Crackers with peanut butter inside
• Graham crackers
• Nuts
• Cheerios or other cereal
• Raisins
• Any dried fruit
• Trail Mix
• Pretzels
• Wheat Thins
• Pickles
• Animal Crackers
• Fruit Snacks
• Cereal Bars
• Granola Bars
• Pudding Packs

Easy to Tote Beverages:

• Juice boxes or pouches
• A water bottle for each person and a box of the individual powdered drink mix tubes
• Small sports type beverages such as Gatorade

The key is to keep the weight down, make them easily accessible and divide them up for individual servings. Using these suggestions will help make your outing a happy and less stressful one!

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 paperback

~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, April 13, 2013

Breakfast- how to start the day out right

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And, you want to make the most of your breakfast to get you going. Your body needs fuel to get moving in the morning. Breakfast revs up your metabolism and also gives nutrients. To that end what you choose for breakfast is also crucial.

Here’s a tip: Avoid sugary foods at breakfast. Remember what happens when you eat a candy bar for a boost in the afternoon? You feel good like the Energizer Bunny for about an hour and then you sink into the floor. The bottom drops out and you are more sluggish than you were before.

This is what can happen in the morning. You don’t want to run out of steam mid-morning when you are just getting going. Besides, sugary foods set up a vicious cycle. The more sugar you eat, the more your body wants. Examples: donuts, cookies, high-fat muffins, candy bars, Danish pastries and the like.

Here are better ideas for your morning nutrition

And, they provide the boost you need. In fact, choosing carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index slowly break down throughout the morning to give you a constant source of energy without sugar spikes.

Fruit and grains

Both of these are antioxidant super foods. What does that mean? They help the body fight the signs of aging as well as boost the immune system and help your heart. This is all in addition to providing a great fuel source. Create a fruit parfait with berries, low-fat yogurt, and granola or rolled oats. You get the crunchy, the sweet and the nutritious. Try a granola recipe.


Omelets

There’s a lot of good stuff here. You can add chopped spinach (Florentine), sliced or diced veggies, lean cubed meats and low-fat cheese to your eggs to create a power breakfast that is sure to get you through the morning. If you are short on time, combine the ingredients together the night before so all you have to do is spoon them into the omelet during cooking.

Hot cereal

This is your farina (Cream of Wheat), grits and oatmeal. Use sugar substitutes to add sweetness without empty calories. Also, throw in a few super food berries (blueberries, strawberries). It is a hot meal that satisfies.



So what do you eat for breakfast? Please, share your breakfast meal ideas!

~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.~

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

7 Easy Dinner Ideas

At a lost to what to have for dinner or just need an easy dinner idea? Here are some ideas for an easy dinner each night.

7 Easy Dinner Ideas

  1. Taco Salad Bar. You can change this taco dinner up several different ways. Try using either ground hamburger, turkey or  chicken. Also include traditional taco salad toppings, such as shredded cheese, multi grain tortillas, chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce. For more nutrition and variety include black beans, kidney or chili beans, olives and top with low fat sour cream or cottage cheese.

  2. Chicken. The ever used and loved meat for dinner is chicken. However it can be served and used so many different ways it is no wonder. Try a simple grilled chicken seasoned with seasoning salt and serve with vegetables. Or bread your chicken with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and wheat germ and bake in the oven. Another easy chicken dinner could be roast chicken.

  3. Pizza. Make a homemade pizza and your kids will be happy to help in the kitchen. A family size pizza, calzone, stromboli or mini pizza bites all can be made with homemade pizza dough. Or if you don't want to make pizza dough buy a loaf of French bread or Italian bread and create a French Bread pizza.


  4. Meatloaf. Using ground chicken, hamburger or turkey or a combination of meat you can quickly create a meatloaf. Serve with vegetables.


  5. Chicken Casserole. Another idea for a quick dinner is to put together vegetables, meat and create a casserole.

  6. Roast Beef or Pork Roast. We love this meal because it is something that doesn't need a lot of preparation or work. We stick a roast in the crock pot in the morning and forget about it until dinner time. Just add a quartered onion and season with salt and pepper, the crockpot will do the rest. Add potatoes and carrots as well if you'd like.


  7. Chili. You don't have to cook chili in the crockpot, it can easily be put together and cooked in less than 30 minutes.
See more easy meal ideas


~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, April 6, 2013

Veggie Layered Dish

This is a recipe that you don't really need a recipe for, LOL!

Cut slices of zucchini, potatoes and tomatoes.
















Layer in a flat baking dish.

















Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning or parsley or any other spices you prefer at your house.

Bake for 30 minutes covered in foil at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes take off foil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese or other cheese you'd like. Continue to bake another 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

















It's that easy and delicious. I'm going to try this again using different vegetables such as carrots (as my kids like cooked carrots), yellow squash, eggplant or sweet potatoes.
~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.~

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Make Ahead Meals- preparing early in the day ideas

Make ahead meals are prepared ahead when you have time. When my kids were toddlers and small babies I would always prepare dinner in the morning. The baby would have a morning nap and my kids were just in better moods and happy to play in the morning hours.

I would do all my prep work and make my meals ahead so when dinner came around, and life got more hectic, all I had to do was stick dinner in the oven or do very little work to get dinner on the table. Most salads and side dishes can be prepared ahead or at least partially done, as well.

To plan make ahead meals, start thinking in terms of what can I do know to speed dinner along later. Chop vegetables for a salad, marinade meat, cut up onions or peppers into strips for fajitas. How about grilling or baking your chicken in the morning so you can easily put a chicken salad together at dinnertime? Or you can ground your hamburger for tacos so at dinnertime it just needs warming up and everyone can assemble their own tacos.

5 Make Ahead Meal Ideas

  • Prepare dinners that you can make now and freeze the other half or an extra for another day.
  • Try freezer meals and recipes
  • Select recipes that are easy to make with 6 or less ingredients.
  • Put together casseroles or soups the night before so all you have to do is bake or warm them up the next day.
  • Cook something that will give you leftovers creating 2 meals from one dish. If you cook a pot roast in the crock pot one day use the leftover meat to create shredded barbecue sandwiches another day.


 

A Month's Worth of Meals to Prepare Ahead


These recipes are not all freezer meals, they work great for preparing the night before or in the morning.  Then cover and place in the refrigerator and then cooked as directed. Many of these recipes such as Sloppy Joes or soups can be cooked in the crock pot. 

Preparing ahead really makes easy meals for later. 

So try this method in your next meal planning.

~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.~