Foodie Fun & Recipes

Fun & Healthy Easter Snack

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015 in Fit Pregnancy, Foodie Fun & Recipes, Holidays | Comments Off on Fun & Healthy Easter Snack

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This past Easter, I encountered a new twist on an old favorite. I was dying Easter eggs with my niece and talking to my sister about the future of our colorful creations. My sister asked me if I had ever tried deviled eggs made with avocado instead of mayo. I had not and was excited for the new experience! But, I had to wait until Easter day. So, the big day rolled around and I was finally able to try the new treat. They were so yummy! The kids named the deviled eggs “Shrek eggs.” If your kids are hesitant to try these unusual looking snacks, “Shrek eggs” sure does make them sound more fun and appealing. Not only does avocado add something new to a classic, but it has zero cholesterol, contains vitamins A, C, and B-6, as well as iron and magnesium, and is significantly higher in potassium and protein when compared to mayo. I highly recommend substituting avocado for mayo next Easter. Or, why not try it now? Let us know what you think! Avocado deviled eggs are a healthier option for all ages.

Try this simple recipe:
12 boiled eggs
1 avocado
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Garnish with paprika

Other mix-ins to try:
-Get some extra veggies and flavors by adding finely chopped tomatoes and onions and a splash of lime juice to make guacamole deviled eggs. Top with cilantro.
-To satisfy savory cravings, top with crispy bacon.
-Spice up your avocado deviled eggs by adding roasted red pepper flakes or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Tell us your favorite and share any ideas for future healthier Easter snacks!

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Simple, Fun Ways to Incorporate Games into Your Family’s Daily Routine

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Foodie Fun & Recipes, Toddler | Comments Off on Simple, Fun Ways to Incorporate Games into Your Family’s Daily Routine

Parents Giving Children Ride In Wheelbarrow

An altered quote but important nonetheless reads ‘a family that plays together stays together.’ Oftentimes we think of family fun as a grand event scheduled within our busy lives, such as a trip to the beach or the zoo. Regretfully, we can get stuck in routines or spend too much time in a rush to always make the most of our required daily activities such as commuting, dinner time, or bathing kids. However, with a little creativity you can turn these daily events into cherished opportunities to talk with your children and challenge their minds.

If your children are like most, dinnertime can often be a challenge. Some children have difficulty staying seated at the table or get easily distracted by things going on around them. Depending upon how much time you spend with you family you may not have a lot of new information to share or interesting things to talk about as your family comes together at the table-especially if your children are still fairly young. In moments like these, don’t dart for the television or sit in silence. Try something new that will hopefully keep your kiddos seated, happy and ready to eat.

Incorporate a game such as “What am I?” into your dinner ritual. There are several name brand games on the market that you can keep on demand. However, you can always make your own! You or your children could draw different objects (persons, places or things) onto index cards and use soft headbands to post them to your forehead. It’s important that not everyone is familiar with the images prior to the game so no one will have hints as to what their card may be before the game begins. This game doesn’t require your hands so your children are free to eat but they must remain seated in order to play as not to risk seeing their card. It’s a win/win!

20 Questions-another version of this same type of game can be played while commuting back and forth to school or during bath time when index cards really aren’t an option. Don’t always let your kids pick and you be the one to guess (this can get old very quick!) Require up front that you alternate who picks so it seems fair and everything will run smoothly. You should challenge them but pick things they will relate to or think is funny such as a unicorn or pizza.

Can you think of times during the day you can incorporate these types of games into your routine?

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5 Simple Fall Activities the Entire Family Will Enjoy

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Foodie Fun & Recipes, General | Comments Off on 5 Simple Fall Activities the Entire Family Will Enjoy

autumn

If there’s something we all remember doing as a kid, it’s celebrating the change of seasons – especially fall. Halloween parties, haunted houses, caramel apples, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches are just a few of the many things you can do with your kids to make the transition into winter more fun. Autumn is a beautiful time of year, and although Mother Nature is slowing down, it doesn’t mean your family has to! It’s a great time of year to get outside, embrace the cool weather, beautiful colors, and abundance of apples and squash. Read on for 5 of our favorite activities that everyone in your home will enjoy – then, pick a couple to enjoy this Labor Day weekend!

  1. Make quick and easy apple cider!
    Since the days get shorter and the air gets cooler, autumn is the perfect time for a yummy, warm beverage! Apple cider is a great alternative to candy when your family’s sweet tooth calls, and adding a cinnamon stick to stir with makes the beverage even more fun!
  2. Visit your local farmer’s market and search for the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
    Make a game out of finding the biggest pumpkin, the silliest looking pumpkin, or the skinniest pumpkin, and give prizes to each of your little ones – since of course, they are all winners! And if pumpkins aren’t available yet, check out the fun varieties of silly looking squashes!
  3. Make a scarecrow from the leaves in the yard!
    Scarecrows aren’t just for Halloween – they are the perfect front porch accessory for the entire autumn season. There are plenty of leaves to go around once autumn is in full swing, and what better way to recycle some old clothes and have a blast cleaning the yard but with making your own scarecrow? While you are creating your scarecrow, be sure to jump in a pile of leaves or two – it will be hard for everyone to not participate in the fun!
  4. Create a fall-themed scavenger hunt!
    Start by taking a nature walk with your children and gathering found fall items to use in the scavenger hunt. My favorite items include: pine-cones, leaves, rocks, twigs, and seeds. What a perfect way to get the little ones to solve riddles, puzzles, and learn their ABC’s while having a blast! It’s almost as fun to make the hunt as seeing their grins as they hunt!
  5. Go for a weekend hike!
    All over the country, fall shows in so many different ways. Explore your part of town, or even make a day trip to check out different fields, lakes, forests, meadows, and gardens. Who knows, you may even stop by a corn maze on the way, and enjoy a great detour!

Enjoy yourself and the smiles that fall brings with these great ideas. Here’s to hoping they inspire your own. Happy Fall!

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5 Tips for Eating During the First Trimester

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Foodie Fun & Recipes, General, Toddler | Comments Off on 5 Tips for Eating During the First Trimester

fruits and veggies

Expectant moms get a lot of advice about what and how to eat during pregnancy, from the old “eating for two” saying to recommendations that you eat at least 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, to people telling pregnant women to eat whatever they crave, whenever they want it, in however big a quantity they want. Most pregnant women experience a greater appetite during the blissful second and cumbersome third trimesters than the first, when the effect of raging hormones is at its most potent, so it is usually easier during the latter 2/3 of pregnancy to plan out meals and eat as healthy as possible. However, because a significant amount of pregnant women experience nausea during their first trimester, making it difficult to want to eat anything at all—let alone carefully planned meals and the fridge full of healthy groceries she’s purchased. Read on for a 5 tips on how and what to eat during your first trimester.

#1: Get Clear on Necessary Calories
As any doctor will tell you, pregnancy is not a time to diet. That said, the old “eating for two” saying, implying that pregnant women need and should consume twice the calories they did before pregnancy, just isn’t true. During the first trimester, it’s now recommended that you eat instead for 1.1, meaning that you should consume about 10% more calories than required to maintain your weight before pregnancy. This may come as welcome news to expectant moms who can’t keep meals down during their first trimester. If your appetite has been unaffected by pregnancy, shoot for filling that extra 10% with nutritious, whole foods like fruits, veggies, lean meats, or yogurt.

#2: Avoid Forbidden Foods
All pregnant women are advised to avoid a few foods, mostly because of the the potential for contracting food-borne illnesses, which can negatively impact mom and baby. Among these are unpasteurized foods, raw or undercooked meats, poultry, and eggs, alcohol, more than 200mg of caffeine per day, lunch meat, foods with nitrates (hot dogs and bacon), foods left out at room temperature for long periods (like buffet foods), and shellfish. Some doctors will add or remove foods from this list, but these are the generally recommended foods to avoid. Be sure to ask your doctor for a complete list and when in doubt, don’t eat it.

#3: When You’re Nauseous, Eat What You Crave
If you’re feeling so bad that all food turns you off and you literally can’t eat a meal without tossing it back up, start by following the advice to eat what you crave when you crave it. Many cases of morning sickness are worsened by blood sugar imbalances, which occur most drastically when mama isn’t eating. If there’s anything you’re able to get down—even a croissant or some saltines and ginger ale—start there. Little by little, you may be able to calm the nausea enough to eat something more nourishing or at least with a few more calories. The term “morning sickness” comes from the fact that most women experience their worst nausea of the day first thing in the morning, after spending 8-10 hours without eating (while asleep). If you’re getting hit with nausea first thing in the morning, fill a little container with almonds and keep it on your nightstand. When you wake up to pee (because you will!), eat a small handful of almonds and take a few sips of water. Doing so will help regulate your blood sugar and as a bonus will lower cortisol and help you sleep better.

#4: Shop for a Few Days at a Time
You’ve done your research, carefully planned the week’s meals, and filled your fridge with an expensive load of healthy, organic veggies, meats, and dairy products, only to find that the thought of eating any of them the next day completely repulses you. While it is generally recommended that pregnant women eat nine or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, the truth is that many women are so turned off by food that they simply can’t. Instead of throwing out food and wasting money by buying lots of groceries you won’t end up eating, shop for a few days at a time. Better yet, if he’s willing, have your partner pick up a few groceries or hit a salad bar on the way home from work so that you don’t have to smell or look at your food before you eat it—many pregnant women feel fine preparing and cooking dinner but have been exposed to the sight and smell of it so much that by the time they sit down to eat they don’t want it any more!

#5: Give Yourself a Break
Even the best intentions to eat well can’t beat nasty, lingering, round the clock morning sickness. If you truly can’t eat at all, or are living off of energy bars, muffins, and Vitamin Water, know that you’re not alone! Talk with your nurse or doctor about possible medications to help you ease your nausea (never take medications during pregnancy without consulting a doctor). If all else fails, give yourself a break. Many women with crippling nausea who have been unable to eat a full calorie load during their first trimester have been able to make up for it during their second and third trimesters, put on the required weight, and deliver healthy babies. Just make sure that you check in with your health care provider if you’re truly unable to stomach anything.

What’s your favorite first trimester snack? What’s helped you make it through to the so-called free-and-easy second trimester?

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4 Tips for Homemade Baby Food Success

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 in Foodie Fun & Recipes, General, Toddler | Comments Off on 4 Tips for Homemade Baby Food Success

Baby food

Making your own baby food offers so many benefits to both you and your baby. You’ll save money, nurture a love of home-cooked, healthy meals, and decide exactly what goes into your baby’s mouth. That said, the thought of embarking on the homemade baby food journey can be overwhelming for new moms with a million other things to do without having to set aside an afternoon to make purees. Read on for 4 tips to help ensure success.

#1 Invest in a Baby Food Blender
Buying a blender that is specifically made to process baby food (or purchasing a food processor to designate solely for this purpose) is important for a couple reasons. First, it’s recommended that you introduce new foods to baby every 4-7 days only to allow time for an allergic reaction to show up. If you’re using the same food blender for baby food as you are for smoothies, pestos, and refried beans, your baby could have an allergic reaction to a food whose leftover residue flew under the radar and made it into your baby’s puree. This is especially important for babies who have known food intolerance. Second, it’s no secret that making your own baby food can be time consuming. The beauty of baby food blenders is that most brands build in a steaming feature so that you can throw a cup of frozen veggies in, turn on the steam, and come back to puree them once they’re cooked. This eliminates the step of cooking veggies in the oven or on the stove-top and makes less dishes to wash. While you’re at it, buy a few sets of silicone baby food freezer molds or silicone ice cube trays for portioning and freezing.

#2 Buy Organic and Local
Babies who haven’t yet tried solids don’t yet have mental preferences for certain foods (though as you’ll learn their taste buds will still gravitate towards some foods and not others). The introductory, mashed-food phase is a great time to introduce healthy, organic, local vegetables to get your little one’s palate attuned to the healthy stuff. Additionally, babies’ little systems are so much more susceptible than adults’ to the endocrine-disrupters found in pesticides and GMO foods, making it essential to buy only the best ingredients for their food.

#3 Make Enough…But Not Too Much!
While it’s tempting to buy an extra freezer to fill with frozen purees just so you don’t have to spend more than a few weekends making homemade food, resist the urge to make enough at one time to feed a baby army. You don’t yet know what foods your baby will favor, which ones will cause an allergic reaction, and which just won’t turn out well. It’s best to make a medium-sized amount—say two to three baby food freezer trays worth—first to see how the foods you’ve chosen go over.

#4 Learn to Accept Rejection
So many new moms slave over elaborate purees, perfecting the texture, portion size, and food combinations only to be met with tears and tight lips when their creations are offered. Because babies don’t yet have ideas about what they “should” eat, they tend to follow their intuition—their gut response if you will!—when it comes to what they put in their mouth. This is a good thing and if nurtured will become a skill that will serve them in so many ways later in life. At least one of your homemade creations will be rejected; the best thing to do is try another recipe or food and move on. Now that you know this, you can relax and let the baby food fly!

Have you tried serving your baby homemade purees? What was her favorite? What’s your best baby food blooper?

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Healthy Toddler Snack Recipe: Popsicles Made From Fresh Berries

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Foodie Fun & Recipes | Comments Off on Healthy Toddler Snack Recipe: Popsicles Made From Fresh Berries

Baby's Own Room is sharing two different ways to create your own delicious popsicles homemade from fresh berries. Everybody loves me, I’m a Popsicle!

 

If you’re looking for a fun way to get your toddler to eat more Vitamin C rich fruit, then you will love these recipe ideas for popsicles made from fresh berries! What’s more, they’re so easy to make. You can buy specialized popsicle molds in cute shapes (like animals, stars or moons) if you wish, but any small container that you can put in the freezer will do.

 

Just in time for the warmer weather, Baby’s Own Room is sharing two different ways to create your own delicious popsicles homemade from fresh berries.

 

The first step is to make fresh fruit juice and then freeze it. Blend a cup of raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries. Pick fruits with plenty of natural sugars for a sweet taste, such as blueberry. Now you will have a bunch of fruit mush. Sieve the mush into a saucepan until it is smooth and seed-free, and mix with a cup of water. Pour into popsicle molds, place a wooden popsicle stick half in to the mold, and place in the freezer until set. The fruit juices make wonderfully vibrant natural dyes, and the result is delicious!

Baby’s Own Room Quick Tip: What fruit you end up using is all up to you–all fresh fruit is a great source of vitamin C. If you are going for antioxidant properties, though, pick something dark blue like blackberries or blueberries. Strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C, with 160% of your daily allowance per cup (compared to around 50% for raspberries and blackberries).

The second way to make fruit popsicles is simply to fill a popsicle mold with plain water and whole berries (choose small ones like blueberries, or alternatively dice up some strawberries). Insert a wooden popsicle stick as above, and freeze. Your toddler will have so much fun licking the popsicle to get to the berries inside.

What’s your favorite homemade snack recipe? Share it in a comment and we’ll feature it in our Facebook Community for moms and dads!

 

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