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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fruit salsa and cinnamon chips

A great recipe for fruity salsa and homemade tortilla cinnamon chips.


Cinnamon Chips

1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 (7-inch) flour tortillas

Salsa 

**Substitute whatever fruit you'd like and frozen fruit works great also.
1 cup frozen raspberries or berries
2 peaches peeled and chopped or substitute with one can (15 or 16 ounces) peaches in juice, drained and chopped
2 kiwifruit, peeled, sliced and chopped, optional
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar

For cinnamon chips, preheat oven to 400F. In Flour/Sugar Shaker, combine sugar and cinnamon. Lightly brush tortillas with water; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges; place in single layer on flat cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile for salsa, place raspberries in bowl. Chop peaches and kiwifruit. Combine all salsa ingredients into the bowl and mix gently. Serve with cinnamon chips. Yield: 2 cups salsa and 32 chips.


See more snack 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.~

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kids Trail Mixes

Kids Trail Mix Recipes 

Keep these few steps in mind when making trail mix, and you can create different versions over and over.  Better yet the kids can create their own variety and pack them for snacks and lunches!

Simply pick one or two items from each category below and mix it together. Store in air tight containers or baggies and you have a simple snack to take on the go.

Something Salty 

The salty sweet combination is usually what has people eating trail mix. 
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Roasted nut variety
  • Sesame sticks
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pretzels
  • Chex mix- gluten and nut free option *
  • Popcorn - gluten and nut free option *
  • Cheerios - gluten and nut free option *

Something Sweet

This doesn't have to be M&M's or candy you can think dried fruit or chocolate chips of some variety. Here are some ideas for sweet additions:
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Dried peaches, apples or apricots cut in bite size pieces 
  • Shredded coconut
  • Banana chips
  • Cereal
  • Freeze dried berries

Favorite Additions

I know my kids and (mine too!) favorite addition to the trail mix is plain M&M's. While it is true that the kids might just pick out their favorites and leave the rest of the trail mix behind, most kids will eat some of the mix along with it.

It is worth a try, if you find it becomes a problem don't include the extra goodies next time.
  • M&M's 
  • Skittles
  • White or milk chocolate chips
  • Marshmallows
  • Goldfish or small crackers
  • Teddy bear or animal shaped crackers
  •  

Something New

Sneak in a new healthy addition to your trail mix the kids perhaps haven't tried yet.
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Pepitas
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame sticks 
  • Goji berries
  • Butterscotch chips

Here are 5 Favorite Trail Mix Recipes:

Nut Trail Mix

Add your favorite nut and other combinations in this combo.

Cereal  Snack Mix

Use some of your favorite cereal combinations in a trail mix recipe. 

Trail Mix in a Jar

Mix in a Jar - Create a trail mix as a gift.

Taco Flavor Mix

Taco Trail Mix Snack - This recipe takes it a step further.  Starting with a trail mix, add spices and bake it.


Candy Corn Snack Mix

1 Cup Rice cracker mix
1 Cup mixed nuts
1 Cup candy corn or other favorite candy, if not in season
Mix all together and store in a container.



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.~

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5 Tips on Growing Vegetables

Your first step should be planning what type of garden you would like. Then decide how much space you have available. Then draw or map out your plan. Remember to get your kids involved in every step and make this just as much their project or a family project.

These tips on growing vegetables are designed to help you avoid the major pitfalls of vegetable growing. Many first-time vegetable growers think the whole process is quite simple – just throw some seeds on the ground, water them regularly and in a few weeks, voila – you have a vegetable garden, ready to harvest. Those of us who have actually grown vegetables know it’s not that simple. There are a few fundamentals you need to understand first and foremost to ensure you get good results.

1. Know What You’re Growing

Not all vegetables are created equal – this is the first thing you’ll need to understand. Different vegetables have different properties, and you’ll have to do a bit of basic research on any particular vegetable you decide to grow. One of the most basic but important tips on growing vegetables is to understand the nature of what you’re growing.

2. Learn About Seasons

Certain vegetables only grow well at particular times of year, so it’s important to know when you need to plant each vegetable in your garden and roughly how long it will take for those plants to mature. It’s an amateur mistake to go ahead and plant all your seeds for different vegetables at one time. Learn when each seed should be planted and when the finished product can be picked – this will also help you maximize your use of space in your garden throughout the year.

3. Learn About Spacing

Different plants have different root structures, so it’s important to know how much room you’re going to need between each seed you plant. Of course, this differs based on the vegetable you’re planting. You’ll have to think carefully about how you divide up the space in your garden to cater to all the vegetables you want to plant – don’t try to cram too much in, as you’re likely to end up yielding less than you’re hoping for if you plant seeds too close together.

4. Learn About Soil and Nutrients

Understanding the nutrients vegetables need to grow is key to successfully producing edible vegetables on a regular basis. Just as vegetables act as nourishment for humans and we need the right balance of nutrients, vegetables also need the right balance of nutrients in the soil to grow to their maximum potential. The big three macronutrients you need to know about are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, collectively referred to as NPK. Knowing this will help you make sense of the numbers and letters you see on bags of fertilizer.

On top of the nutrients involved, you also need to understand the type of soil you’re working with and what it needs in terms of care, watering and extra fertilization.

5. Learn About Your Climate

Your climate affects the kind of vegetables you can grow in a couple of ways. For one thing, your geography determines the seasons – how long the days are at each time of year, how much sunlight and rain you’ll get, and so on. On top of that, certain vegetables just won’t grow in some climates. Each different climate has vegetables which will thrive there, so if you want the best results make sure you grow plants which are well-suited to the climate of your area.


Summer Gardening Ideas

As it is the beginning of the summer soon, now is a great time to be thinking about planting a garden.

Try these ideas for planning and growing your own food.
Growing an Italian Pizza Garden
Growing an Herb Garden
Grow your food scraps

Also check out our Kids Cooking Camp Growing and Cooking as it is the perfect time to get started with this ebook.


This unit gives you tips on growing different vegetables, recipes to try for each vegetable and food facts about vegetables. We've included 10 vegetables and herbs with information on planting and why you should plant a vegetable garden with your kids. Each vegetable or herb includes at least 4 recipes to cook.

Unlike other summer camp curriculum this one is designed to plant your seeds and watch them grow, then harvest them and try the recipes.
~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, May 16, 2016

Garden Fresh Gumbo



2 slices bacon, diced
12 Roma tomatoes, diced small
1 lb fresh okra, cut up
2 small eggplant, washed and diced
2 small yellow squash, washed and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup diced smoked sausage, your choice
1 cup cleaned shrimp, small to medium size
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
**Add or take away vegetables as you have available or like at your house. Green beans, Carrots, mushrooms all make good substitutes.

In a large pot, fry the bacon until crisp; remove, but leave bacon fat.
With heat on medium, add all the cut up vegetables and the seasoning and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then immediately turn heat to low and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often. Put a lid on the pot, but keep it tipped slightly.
Add the sausage and let heat for 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and let heat for 3 to 5 more minutes or until just pink.
Serve in large bowls, skipping the traditional rice to avoid added carbs.  Between the eggplant and okra, you'll have plenty of body in the soup to not even miss the rice.
~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, May 10, 2016

Benefits of Growing your Own Food With Kids

There are plenty of benefits of growing your own food when you have kids. You should try to get your kids involved in the growing process as much as possible. This helps teach them many important things at once, such as the need to work in order to get results, and the types of nutrients contained in different vegetables.

Educating Your Kids About Food 

Obesity is considered an epidemic in many countries around the world now, and this is largely due to poor education about food. Many children needlessly suffer from diabetes and other weight-related problems as a result of not being provided with education and guidance when it comes to food.

In Western countries in particular, we’re constantly bombarded by advertising for foods that aren't healthy – and much of this advertising is targeted directly at children. Getting your kids involved in a home food growing project will help them learn the differences between healthy and unhealthy foods and develop a better understanding of their body’s nutritional requirements. This is possibly the biggest benefit of growing your own food with your kids – you can teach them about eating healthy.

Putting Food on the Table Requires Work

Most kids grow up expecting there to be dinner on the table every night, without ever developing a full appreciation for the fact that their parents work hard to put it there. Getting them involved in the process of growing food will help give them a greater appreciation for the fact that the food they enjoy every day doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It either has to be bought, or grown and tended to personally. Either way, kids will develop a greater appreciation for what they eat.



How to Get Kids Interested

The idea of growing food at home with your kids might hold great appeal for you – but not so much appeal for your kids. In this case, you might have to sweeten the deal a bit in order to get them interested – this is particularly true with older kids. One way to do this is to offer them some sort of extra reward in exchange for help in the garden. Try to keep this separate from any chores they do for pocket money, though – you want it to eventually become a fun and positive thing.

Benefits of Organic Food

There’s another benefit to you and your kids when it comes to growing food at home. You know exactly what kind of fertilizer you’re using in your own garden. You can make and use your own organic fertilizer, and you don’t have to worry about your kids ingesting chemicals sprayed on their food by huge commercial food producers.

Saving Money

Of course, don’t forget the other big benefit of growing your own food. With world food prices skyrocketing, a little vegetable patch can plant the seed for a healthier bank account!

Summer Gardening Ideas

As it is the beginning of the summer soon, now is a great time to be thinking about planting a garden.

Try these ideas for planning and growing your own food.
Growing an Italian Pizza Garden
Growing an Herb Garden
Grow your food scraps

Also check out our Kids Cooking Camp Growing and Cooking as it is the perfect time to get started with this ebook.


This unit gives you tips on growing different vegetables, recipes to try for each vegetable and food facts about vegetables. We've included 10 vegetables and herbs with information on planting and why you should plant a vegetable garden with your kids. Each vegetable or herb includes at least 4 recipes to cook.

Unlike other summer camp curriculum this one is designed to plant your seeds and watch them grow, then harvest them and try the recipes.

~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, May 3, 2016

Mother's Day Fun Recipes

Fun ideas of what to do for Mom

May 8 is Mother's day! It's a great time for the kids to prepare breakfast in bed, Mother's Day Tea Party or an easy dinner. You can find our Mother's Day cooking ideas here.

Here are 5 more Fun Mother's Day Ideas

  1. Plan a getaway even if it is only pretend. You can present her with a menu, homemade card and feed her with Dad's help. You can find international recipes for your pretend trip.

  2. Have a potluck party with Mom, other family members and friends.

  3. Create Mom a handmade gift she will cherish no matter what it is. You can get ideas in our Craft Recipes or Kids Sewing Projects

  4. Help with Chores. This is a free way to get mom really excited about Mother's Day. What mom doesn't like to be surprised or even have a helping hand in cleaning, gardening, washing windows or washing her car.

  5. Pamper her. How about giving mom an at home spa. Manicures, pedicures or facials are all easy to do at home and fun!

More Help on making Mother's Day Special

 Find recipes for breakfast in bed, a Mother's Day Tea Party and/or a Mother's Day Spa here.
7 great Mother's Day Cooking Gift Ideas
Tea Party Theme 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.~