January 26th, 2013
How’s your healthy family snacking resolution going? I’m trying to support you, really I am! Have you checked out my coconut chia pudding? When you do, be sure to look through the comments for an amazing adaptation suggestion. And what about these apple oat bars? Yum!
Let’s also talk store-bought snacks. I recently discovered these awesome healthy snacks that are, well, awesome. Meaning they actually taste good. And not just to me. My boys have been munching on these healthy snacks, too. That’s right: kid tested, mother approved.
January 22nd, 2013
I’m a little late to the party, but officially obsessed with chia seeds. And with Downton Abbey, too, for that matter.
I resisted both for a while. In both cases, my reasoning—part skepticism, part rebellion against their popularity—unraveled after just one try. Chia is pretty damn cool: it is nutritious, works as a killer substitute for egg in my waffles (recipe coming soon!) and just plain makes me feel good. Downton Abbey is also pretty damn cool: rich and layered, dramatic and well acted. My life is anew with both. I look forward to starting my day with chia (blended into my smoothie) and ending it with an episode (or two) of Downton. Pathetic? Perhaps, but I’m feeling energetic and highly entertained, two of my favorite things.
Thank you ch-ch-ch-chia and Lady Mary.
This recipe, a no-cook pudding made by mixing a few ingredients in a bowl and letting chia seeds do their thing, is a revelation. The texture is similar to tapioca pudding, but it has way less added sugar, way more nutrition (chia seeds are packed with amino acids and are a complete protein!) and—the best part—is way easier to make.
January 18th, 2013
I was recently invited to host a second week of “Perspectives” posts on the site of famed “green” pediatrician—and one of my most trusted parenting experts—Dr. Alan Greene. Given my deepest respect for Dr. Greene, you can imagine how honored I was to be asked back. (Plus, I could wipe the sweat off my brow: It’s always good to know that you didn’t botch things up the first time around!) Instead of focusing on recipes this time, I contributed a series of content on parenting towards healthier and more adventurous family eating. My favorite piece is on a topic that we haven’t talked about in a while: bringing global foods to the family table.
Serving global cuisines at the family table is more than just having fun with food. Beyond the opportunity to expand your children’s palate, serving global foods is an opportunity for them to build an understanding of the larger world around them. An openness to global cuisines creates a range of experiences from a willingness to try new flavor combinations to a curiosity about other peoples and cultures.
If your child is not accustomed to eating ethnic foods, introducing them can be a challenge. After all, they often look, smell and taste completely unfamiliar. Hop on over to Dr. Greene’s site for my 7 tips for successfully introducing global foods.
The good news is that my tips work for introducing ANY new foods, from a Middle Eastern Mujaddara to a very simple and straightforward Lemony Pasta with Ricotta, Peas and (their least favorite vegetable) Asparagus.
January 7th, 2013
I’ve got a quick tip—just one—that will help you stretch your dollar, eat healthier and make the most of your food. Just one change in the way that you buy chicken and you get all three benefits. Before I tell you what it is, though, let’s quickly talk about organic meat.
I’ll keep it simple: it’s worth the extra upfront cost. Once you learn how to stretch your food and reduce your food waste, in the end, you’ll find that more expensive, organic meat doesn’t have much more of an impact on your wallet than conventionally raise meat. With smart choices, there’s serious value to be had.
The health value is clear. While I know that you’re wary of labels (with good reason!), the hard truth is that conventionally raised and processed meat is simply less healthy and, even worse, often unsafe. I talk about this at great length with clients and while speaking since lots of folks don’t realize that, especially for adults and older children who’ve shifted to a meat-heavy diet, buying natural meat, eggs, milk and other dairy like butter and cheese can be even more important than buying organic produce. In his recent piece “Pesticides and Herbicides in Children” published on the site of famed pediatrician Dr. Greene, Dr. Ty Vincent explains that animal products have much higher pesticide content than fruits and vegetables because animals eating nonorganic feed for their entire lives will bio-accumulate toxins to much higher levels.
There can be value in buying organic meat for your budget as well, but you have to decide that your budget is there to support your health. It’s not the other way around: in 2013 let’s challenge ourselves to stop thinking that our budget limits our ability to get healthy! Smart choices make it possible for people on any budget to eat more healthfully and this year I’m determined to help you figure out what those “Eat Smart” choices are specifically for you. We’re going to make it work! (And, yes, I am channeling Tim Gunn.)
Step one for you meat eaters is buying healthier meat. You’re going to spend more money upfront, which means that you’ll have to eat less meat to stay within your budget. This is good news! Eating less meat is healthier. If that didn’t really feel like good news, though, a) it will when you start to feel better and b) you’ll be highly motivated to stretch your meat so that it won’t feel like less.
This is where today’s tip comes in.
January 3rd, 2013
That was fast.
2012 is behind us, but I hope my upswing isn’t. See, nearly exactly one year ago I wrote a post fessing up. I had been keeping a big, scary secret from you guys and, instead, hid behind a barrage of cheery holiday food posts. I had been encouraging you to take it easy, relax and enjoy your family while I’d been a mess, completely unable to do the same since it seemed that my little hungry one, then just 2 years old, was very sick. Thankfully, that post marked the end of the drama. Just a couple of days after I wrote it, on Jan 7th, it was confirmed that the hungry baby did not have a bone tumor as we thought he might. And things have been non-eventful since. We’ve had a few follow ups, blood work and such, and all’s good they say. He hasn’t limped in over a year, his tests keep come out clean and he’s growing like a monster. In a good way.
As the pressure, worry and anxiety eased, our family life returned to normal. 2012 brought family trips (two without the kids!), a summer in the country, first grade (!!!), the start of school for my little one, long weekends—some good, others when Monday couldn’t come fast enough, brotherly fights, some screaming (okay, a lot of screaming), a lot of love, and healthy food that nourished us through it all.
These recipes are my healthy standouts from 2012. They got us through the good times and bad, the same way that they will in 2013. Put these recipes in heavy rotation in your home and they will see you through, too. No talk of resolutions here, just foods to keep you healthy and ready to face whatever the new year has in store.
Bring it on 2013.
December 30th, 2012
We hemmed and hawed into the night, at least into what our kids consider the night, and finally decided. This time it was a real decision. One we called final only after physically separating. All “decisions” before that had made in face-to-face conversation. We’d been together way too much for way too long for that to work.
I packed up my computer, knocking someone’s phone off the charging hub around which I’d been huddled. “Sorry.” I could barely choke it out. Though I really was sorry (and am generally pretty concientous), the day had drained me completely of good will. I marched from the depressing food court to the terminal where all the hungry boys were waiting patiently, steeling myself the whole 150 feet.
I locked in on the hungry boy, fixed on his gorgeous pale blue gaze. I had no idea what to expect. That never happens—I always think I know what’s coming, even when I don’t.
December 23rd, 2012
Still looking for a Christmas pie? Look no further than this Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger Pecan Crumble.
Clearly, I’ve been in the mood for crumbs and crumble. First is was a Chocolate Crumb Pear Pie and now this. I may have a problem, but I’m not complaining. If you’re not either, then start roasting potatoes, baby, because this pie needs to be part of your holiday dinner.
Your holidays have already passed? I suggest that you get roasting anyway. As much as you think you won’t fall prey to the annual healthier-eating-in-the-new-year fad, chances are you won’t be baking deliciously decadent pies next week. And oh what a shame if you miss out.
December 22nd, 2012
I do declare: Let the Christmas
festivities drinking begin!
What? Monday is Christmas Eve, it’s not like we’re going to actually work. Why not get a head start?!
If you’re with me, I want you to save the fussing and fancy bitters for next week (or, even better, for New Year’s Eve). This weekend is about relaxing by the glow of your tree after last minute shopping, sipping cocktails while wrapping presents and hanging with family and friends through it all. Forget the signature cocktail and mix up a simple elixir using the apple cider you already have in the fridge. It’ll be festive, easy, and you can use nearly any booze you have in the house. In fact, you can skip the booze all together.
At Cool Mom Picks, I’ve rounded up 5 apple cider cocktails that make killer mocktails, too. These drinks are what you need to be sipping on this weekend.
(And while we’re at it, I’ve also rounded up 10 easy edible holiday gifts that the kids can help make. Suggestion: bake and then drink. Unless, of course, you’re skilled at buzzed baking!)
December 21st, 2012
Crunch time! I hope you’re not feeling it but, truth be told, I am. I’m working on something new (can’t wait to tell you about it in the new year), getting over being sick, trying to prep for Christmas, getting ready for a vacation, taking care of the boys while my sitter is out of town. You get the picture.
I’m working hard to carry myself with grace and gratitude. I’m not always successful—in fact, I’ve had a few recent epic failures—but I know that I’m exactly where I want to be. Lucky enough to have two healthy, happy boys by my side. Grateful to be able to give my loved ones gifts and make them a big holiday dinner. Blessed that we can travel. Happy that my health is on the mend. And excited (so excited!) about new opportunities ahead.
I’m overwhelmed, for sure, but thankful. So very thankful. And, honestly, that’s all I have for you today. Well, that and this Chocolate Crumb Pear Pie.
December 19th, 2012
This is long overdue. I know.
Those days are over. I’m finally ready to share my simple pie dough. Just in time for Christmas!