Healthy 27 March 2019

Creating Healthy Eating Habits

(Family Features) When it comes to eating, it can be difficult to find foods that kids can enjoy while also introducing them to valuable nourishment and health principles.

Instead of giving in to ice cream for every meal or forcing children to eat something their taste buds don’t agree with, there are tasty recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast and Flower Salad that can quench their appetites without giving up nutritional value. These fun recipes can give kids a chance to help in the kitchen, learning important life skills while spending quality time with family.

To find more fun, kid-friendly recipes that include both taste and nourishment, visit culinary.net.

The Classic Kid-Favorite

When mealtime hits and bellies start growling, turn to a classic to keep your kids full and satisfied. Chicken Noodle Soup has always been a favorite among children, so keep tradition alive in your family with this scrumptious recipe. For more delicious chicken recipes, visit eatchicken.com.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Recipe courtesy of National Chicken Council

  • 1 chicken (3 pounds), liver discarded
  • 2 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 onions, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 4 pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Soup:

  • 1 cup small pasta, cooked
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. To prepare broth: In large pot over high heat, bring chicken and all remaining broth ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low; skim surface of broth to remove foam. Let simmer 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally, and turning chicken. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken submerged.
  2. Remove chicken with tongs and cool. Strain broth through fine sieve. Discard celery, herbs and spices. Reserve onions and carrots. Remove any excess fat from top of broth with spoon.
  3. Pull chicken meat from bones and discard skin and bones. Dice chicken and reserve. Quarter cooked onions, if desired.
  4. To prepare soup: In large pot over high heat, return strained chicken broth and bring to rolling boil. Add reserved onions and carrots. Reduce heat to low; stir in reserved chicken meat, pasta and frozen peas, cooking until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with dill and parsley.

Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits

More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.

Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, recipes like this Flower Salad can help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.

For more kid-friendly recipe ideas and content exploring where food comes from, visit cutiescitrus.com/our-story.

Flower Salad

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Servings: 1

Flower:

  • 1 Cuties clementine
  • 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 grape tomato
  • 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
  • 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced

Dip:

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
  2. Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
  3. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
  4. Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.

Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.

A Memorable Morning Meal

Whether it’s before school or after sleeping in on a Saturday morning, breakfast is a popular meal for children of all ages. Next time you and your family rise and shine, go with this recipe for Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast to keep the whole gang happy. Find more kid-friendly recipes for every meal at nutrition.gov.

Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast

Recipe courtesy of the USDA

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 teaspoon soft margarine
  • 4 teaspoons light pancake syrup
  1. In flat-bottomed bowl, crack eggs. Thoroughly whisk in milk and cinnamon. Dip bread slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, wetting both sides. Re-dip, if necessary, until all egg mixture is absorbed into bread.
  2. Meanwhile, heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Place dipped bread slices in skillet. Cook 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.
  3. Drizzle with syrup. Serve when warm.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 8 g total fat; (3 g saturated fat); 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 215 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Chicken soup photo and French toast photo)

Source: Culinary.net

Snacks 21 March 2019

Making Munchies Matter

Better-for-you snacks kids will love

(Family Features) Kids love to snack. But left to their own devices, most kids don't always make the healthiest snack choices. A new study of long-term eating patterns in children, from researchers at the University of North Carolina, shows that kids today are getting nearly one-third of their daily calories from unhealthy snacks such as chips, crackers and candy.

Nutritious and delicious snacks are as close as your produce aisle. Watermelon is practically a multivitamin unto itself - and its natural sweetness is something kids love.

Did You Know?

  • A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C.
  • Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health.
  • Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.
  • Vitamin C in watermelons can help to bolster your immune system's defenses against infections and viruses, and is known to stimulate the immune system and protect against free radical damage.
  • A 2-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps. A 2-cup serving has less than 10 percent of the daily reference value for potassium.

Try these fun recipes as after-school and post-activity snacks. For more kid-friendly recipes and healthy eating tips, visit www.watermelon.org.

Send some healthy lunch munchies to school - watermelon chunks are an easy way to brighten up a sack lunch and give kids a tasty nutritional boost in the middle of the day.

Healthy Eating Tips

Healthy eating habits start at home. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to be a role model for smart food choices. Here are some simple things you can do to help your kids develop healthy lifelong habits.

  • Shop for food together and take time to examine, discuss and select fruit and vegetables that catch your child's eye. Allow your child to help you to prepare these healthful foods. For example, let your child use a melon-baller to create melon balls from watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew to create a festive, nutritious and visually appealing dessert.
  • Make healthy snacks available at all times for your children by keeping the fridge filled with flavorful, nutrient-rich treats such as grapes, cherries, carrots and watermelon cubes.
  • Simple changes are easier for your child to get used to. Try switching from full fat milk to non-fat milk, serving sherbet, sorbet, ice milk or fruit juice bars, or adding fresh fruit to his or her cereal in the morning.
  • Serve your children colorful, deeply pigmented plant food. These foods tend to offer tremendous nutritional value. For example, red peppers, carrots, broccoli, oranges and watermelon are all packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Start each day with breakfast, preferably fruit with low-fat yogurt or granola. Make a fruit smoothie by blending watermelon cubes and a banana with crushed ice.

Watermelon Kebabs

Makes 6 servings

  • 1-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
  • Smoked turkey breast
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Coffee stirrers or beverage straws
  1. Cut watermelon, turkey and cheese in cubes and skewer on stirrers or straws.

Watermelon Nachos

Serves 6 to 8

  • 12 to 16 1/2-inch thick watermelon triangles with 3-inch sides
  • 2 cups Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A few drops almond extract
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Arrange the watermelon triangles on a serving platter or glass cake stand. Mix yogurt with extracts and spoon yogurt over the watermelon in the fashion of nacho cheese sauce. Sprinkle craisins, white chocolate chips, and almonds over the yogurt and dust with cinnamon.

Watermelon Dippers

  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Watermelon sticks or small wedges
  1. Blend together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small serving bowl. Use as a dip for the watermelon.

Watermelon Cut Outs

  • Seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • Yogurt
  • Granola or similar cereal
  1. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut shapes out of watermelon slices. Frost with vanilla or other flavored yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.

Watermelon Berry Slush

Makes 6 servings

  • 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries
  • 1 12-ounce bottle sparkling mineral water
  1. Place watermelon in a single layer in shallow pan; freeze until firm. Remove from freezer and let stand 5 minutes. Drop watermelon through food chute of a food processor or blender with the motor running. Add frozen raspberries alternately with mineral water, processing until smooth.

Watermelon Jelly Logs

Makes 6 servings

  • 6 3-inch x 2-inch x 5-inch watermelon rectangles
    3 flavors all fruit or low sugar preserves
    6 ginger, molasses or peanut butter cookies
  1. Using a melon baller, cut 3 divots into a long side of each watermelon rectangle. Fill each divot with a different all-fruit or low-sugar preserve. Serve each rectangle with a cookie.

Source: National Watermelon Board

Meal Ideas 21 February 2019

Fresh, Filling Family Dinners

(Family Features) When busy mornings give way to a hectic workday followed by homework and after-school activities, a fresh, simple meal is often the only option. Before you hit the drive-thru or settle for an equally unhealthy alternative, check out these delicious dishes you can prepare and serve without the hassle.

Find more ideas to make your busy weeknights easy at Culinary.net.

Savory and Scrumptious

Take a nutritious dish to the family table that still brings a flavorful bite. This savory lasagna recipe boasts meaty eggplant, fresh zucchini and lycopene-rich tomatoes. Whole-wheat noodles pack fiber and natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals. Find more better-for-you recipe ideas at AICR.org.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Servings: 12

  • 2          eggplants (about 3 pounds), quartered lengthwise
  • 6          medium zucchini (about 3 pounds)
  • canola oil cooking spray
  • 1          pound whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 15        ounces low-fat ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2          eggs
  • 1/2       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3          cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 4          cups low-sodium tomato sauce, divided
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Grease 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. Slice eggplant and zucchini in 1/2-inch slices. Layer on two baking sheets and coat both sides of vegetables with cooking spray. Roast 20 minutes. Toss vegetables and continue roasting until well browned and soft, about 20 minutes more. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 375° F.
  4. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Separate noodles and let cool slightly.
  5. In medium bowl, mix together cheese, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg and garlic powder.
  6. To assemble: Spread thin layer of sauce over bottom of prepared pan. Cover with layer of pasta (noodle strips slightly overlapping). Spread with one-third of ricotta mixture.
  7. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella over ricotta. Spoon 1/3 of roasted vegetables on top. Top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and continue assembly as directed until there are four layers of pasta and three layers of filling. Spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
  8. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Quick, Flavorful Meal Idea

It’s not always easy to make healthy food choices. When time is of the essence, look for delicious recipe ingredients that are convenient and easy to prepare while also offering great taste and health benefits.

In fact, 40 percent of American consumers said shorter cooking times are especially important when buying grocery items such as rice, grains and pasta, according to research from Statista, and 83 percent said taste is an important factor when purchasing food.

Ready in 10 minutes with flavor infused in every grain, Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions rice is ideal for those looking for quick and healthy meal options. With its one-step cooking process, it makes it easy for families to cook with their kids and quickly get dinner on the table. The resealable pouches ensure freshness for multiple uses, and any of the five flavors can be combined with fresh vegetables, proteins and herbs for a simple meal that’s ready in less than 20 minutes.

Simple recipe options using Flavor Infusions, such as Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad, are quick meals the entire family can enjoy, even when short on time. Find more meal ideas at UncleBens.com.

Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad

Servings: 4-6

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4       cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1-2       tablespoons hot water

Salad:

  • 1          cup Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions Roasted Chicken
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1          cup shredded carrots
  • 1          cup sliced pea pods
  • 1          cup sliced red pepper
  • 1          avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 4-6       red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2          tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 2          tablespoons chopped green onions
  1. To make dressing: In small glass bowl, stir together coconut milk, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, red curry paste, cayenne pepper and hot water; set aside.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
  3. In center of individual plates, place about 1 cup rice. Arrange chicken, carrots, pea pods, red pepper, avocado, radishes, peanuts and green onions around rice then drizzle with dressing.

Fish with a Twist

Add a little variety to your dinnertime protein with a smart, heart-healthy option like fish. Fillets cook quickly and a slightly sweet white fish like farm-raised catfish has a mild enough flavor to entice picky young eaters. White fish is also quite versatile; it can take on other flavors such as this citrusy topping with ease. Find more family-friendly fish recipes at USCatfish.com.

Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Recipe courtesy of The Catfish Institute
Servings: 4

  • 4          U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets, grilled or baked
  • 2 1/2    tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • smoked paprika or chili powder
  • 1          small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2       red onion, diced
  • 3/4       cup whole corn kernels
  • 1          teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 4          flour or wheat tortillas (10 inches each)
  • 1          can (16 ounces) refried black beans
  • 2          cups grated pepper jack cheese

Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream:

  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2       lime, juiced
  • lime zest
  • salt, to taste
  1. Lightly brush fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika or chili powder. Prepare fish on grill or bake until done. Place in refrigerator to cool. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Saute red pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add corn, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to incorporate and saute 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl and add cilantro.
  3. Heat pan large enough to hold flat tortilla to medium heat. Lightly brush pan with remaining olive oil.
  4. Spread tortilla on work surface. On half of each tortilla, spread refried beans and vegetables; top with fish.
  5. Place in heated pan and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on other half of tortilla. Heat until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly crispy. Fold cheese side over vegetable side and remove to plate.
  6. Using serrated knife, cut each tortilla into four pieces. Serve with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream.
  7. To make Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream: In small bowl, mix all ingredients until combined.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Roasted Vegetable Lasagna and Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream)

Photo courtesy of Uncle Ben’s (Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad)

Source: Culinary.net

Breakfast & Brunch 21 February 2019

Master Your Family's Morning Routine with Protein

(Family Features) As the weather cools down and routines ramp up, parents know it becomes increasingly challenging to keep the whole family on track. While most people know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many don’t realize that protein in the morning is key to starting the day off right.

A protein-rich breakfast including milk can help energize your morning. Plus, protein at breakfast can help you feel full and satisfied, so you won’t feel hungry by mid-morning, which helps the whole family tackle work, errands, school, extracurricular activities or whatever else the day has in store.

One easy way to increase your family’s protein intake at breakfast is to simply add a glass of milk. Each 8-ounce serving has nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality, natural protein. If mornings in your household are chaotic, plan ahead by making protein-rich breakfasts the night before that are easy to pair with milk, ensuring that the whole family can get out the door on time and fed in the morning.

“As a mom and a pediatrician, I’m focused on what I feed my kids each day,” said Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and author. “Milk is a simple, nutritious way to make sure they get high-quality protein at each meal, plus other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and more.”

When thinking about the week ahead, consider tasty, protein-rich recipes the whole family will love that can be prepared in advance and eaten on the go – like these PB and J Protein Power Muffins. For more recipe ideas and morning inspiration, visit milklife.com/morningprotein.  

PB and J Protein Power Muffins

Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 3/4    cups milk, divided
  • 1          cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed according to package directions
  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2       cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2          large eggs
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4          tablespoons creamy reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/4       cup strawberry preserves
  1. Heat oven to 350°F and grease 12-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In medium saucepan, stir together quinoa and 1 cup milk. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender and milk is absorbed.
  3. In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. In medium bowl, combine remaining milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in cooked quinoa. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  4. Drop 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry preserves into center of each muffin tin on top of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 8 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 91 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 520 mg sodium; 517 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Leidy HJ, Lepping RJ, Savage CR, Harris CT, Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast-skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. Obesity. 2011;19:2019-2025.

Leidy HJ,Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009;101:798-803.

Source: MilkPEP

Kids 01 August 2018

Make the Grade with Back-to-School Lunches

(Family Features) Back-to-school time means it’s back to being busy before, during and after school, so it’s time for parents and kids to create new routines. From early wakeup calls to shuttling kids to school and activities, ease the morning mayhem by incorporating a simple meal-planning strategy.

As a parent, look for fresh, make-ahead options your kids will enjoy. Serve up lunchbox love by mixing up the classic sandwich with a spin on sushi in this Bento Box Lunch recipe. It’s a creative way to deliver nutritious, wholesome ingredients that will make the whole lunchroom drool. Plus, it’s something you can take for lunch too.

No matter what meals you’re prepping, a store like ALDI can be your solution for packing tasty and better-for-you choices for lunches and on-the-go snacks. With high-quality ingredients at affordable prices, ALDI offers what you need to get ready for the days ahead.

For more recipes and meal prepping ideas, visit aldi.us.

Bento Box Lunch

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Sushi Roll”:

  • 4          slices SimplyNature Knock Your Sprouts Off Sprouted Low Sodium 7 Grain Bread
  • 4          slices Lunch Mate Never Any! Turkey
  • 1          teaspoon Burman's Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2       avocado, sliced
  • 1          mini cucumber, cut into 3-inch-by-1/4-inch sticks

Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 1 bunches green onions, sliced
  • 1          teaspoon Carlini Pure Olive Oil
  • Stonemill Iodized Salt, to taste
  • Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Broccoli Salad:

  • 1          large head broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 1          teaspoon Fusia Soy Sauce
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Cinnamon Apples:

  • 1          Granny Smith apple, sliced
  • 1          tablespoon Nature's Nectar Lemon Juice
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cinnamon

 

  1. To make “Sushi Roll”: Trim crust from bread. Using rolling pin, roll out bread slices to 1/8-inch thickness. Top with turkey, mustard, avocado and cucumber. Roll into cylinder, wrap with plastic wrap and cut in half.
  2. To make Quinoa Salad: In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds, oranges, cranberries, green onions and olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. To make Broccoli Salad: In medium bowl, combine broccoli, almonds, cranberries, soy sauce and yogurt; season to taste with pepper.
  4. To make Cinnamon Apples: Toss apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Place in sandwich bags and wrap tightly.
  5. Organize equal amounts of “Sushi Rolls,” Quinoa Salad, Broccoli Salad and Cinnamon Apples in separate bento box compartments.

Source: ALDI

Kids 03 September 2018

Pack a Healthier Lunchbox this School Year

(Family Features) When school is in session, it's the perfect time to renew your family's healthy eating habits by getting in a groove of lunchbox packing.

While packing a healthy school lunch day after day can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be. By taking the free Power Your Lunchbox Promise, you can gain access to customizable, make-ahead lunchbox inspiration like Black Bean Empanadas and Rainbow Bento Boxes, which creatively include servings of fruits and veggies to keep kids' brains charged all day.

Making the promise not only signals a commitment to making healthier meal choices this year, it also helps those in need. For every promise made, health-focused partner brands will collectively donate $1 to Feeding America programs that support families and children. In addition to kid- and registered dietitian-approved breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner recipes, the promise website features coupons, health tips to help your family during the school year, lunchbox ideas and giveaways.

Additionally, teachers have a special section of the site where they can make the promise as a classroom and download free fruit and veggie themed classroom decor and lesson plans.

To find your lunchbox inspiration and make the promise, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.

Rainbow Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 red mini sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 mandarin, peeled and segmented
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
  • 1 large spinach wrap
  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 ounces low-sodium deli-sliced turkey
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
  1. Assemble two lunchboxes each with half of the peppers, mandarin, kiwi, snap peas, blueberries and grapes.
  2. Lay wrap on flat surface. Spread with hummus and top with cheese, turkey and spinach. Roll up tightly and slice into 1-inch thick rounds. Add half to each lunchbox.

Black Bean Empanadas

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings 6

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 mini sweet peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 12 frozen empanada discs, thawed
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • 6 guacamole minis
  • 6 packages crispy fruit
  1. In skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add black beans and taco seasoning. Cook 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 375 F.
  3. Lay empanada dough out on parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill with black bean filling and 1 tablespoon cheese. Fold dough over filling to create pocket. Use fork to press down sides to seal. Brush with egg whites. Repeat with remaining dough, filling, cheese and egg whites.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Serve two empanadas with guacamole, for dipping, and crispy fruit on side.

Source: Produce for Kids

Kids 03 September 2018

Back-to-School Seafood Favorites

(Family Features) With a new school year beginning, it’s important for parents to be prepared and help their children start forming good habits. For example, most children function better on a routine. They wake up every day at a certain time, they practice the same sports and eat nutritious, fresh foods that fuel their bodies.

One healthy option for kids is seafood. When kids eat at least two servings of seafood each week, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, they can receive big benefits. Fish and shellfish supply nutrients such as vitamins B and D, choline and essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are all needed for strong bones, brain development, healthy immune systems and cardiovascular systems.

In fact, research published in “Acta Paediatrica” shows an association between kids who eat fish at least once a week and better grades.

With a new routine in place, it can sometimes be hard for parents to keep up, but with fast-cooking seafood like thin fish fillets and shrimp, a healthy dinner can be ready in minutes. However, since some kids can be picky eaters, consider these tips from Joe Urban, director of food and nutrition services for Greenville County Schools, to add seafood to your family’s table.

  • Start creating meals featuring seafood early in their lives, as children who are exposed to seafood at an early age may develop a fondness for the cuisine.
  • Introduce them to mild varieties such as cod, pollock and haddock, then have them try other species as they become accustomed to the taste.
  • Seafood can be substituted in nearly any dish that normally calls for chicken, beef, pork or other proteins. Serving seafood in familiar dishes like tacos, enchiladas, soups, salads, burgers and baked dishes can be a beneficial way for kids to eat more seafood.
  • Canned seafoods like tuna and salmon make for quick, budget-friendly options when time is short, plus they can be mixed in with a variety of recipes.

For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.

Hearty Salmon Skewers over Brown Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound salmon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • 8          skewers
  • 1/4       cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1          cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1/2       cup canola oil
  • 1          lemon
  • 2          cups cooked brown rice
  1. Coat salmon with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika, to taste. Slide piece of salmon onto skewer, followed by tomato and then pineapple. Repeat three times on each skewer, or until skewer is full.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 cup canola oil 1 minute.
  3. Place skewers in pan and turn every 2 minutes per side. Squeeze lemon on skewers while cooking.
  4. To serve, place 1/2 cup rice on each plate and two skewers on top. Squeeze hint of lemon over each serving, if desired.

Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Seafood 12 February 2019

Creative Seafood Solutions

(Family Features) When it comes to cooking up creative meals for the family, finding inspiration for new flavors while maintaining nutrition is typically a primary goal.

One solution is incorporating more seafood into weekly meal planning, which offers nutritional benefits like protein, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, iron and selenium. In celebration of National Seafood Month, consider these tips from Bumble Bee to add more seafood to your family’s diet:

  • Change the Protein. Try substituting seafood for the meat or poultry in meals like shrimp tacos, salmon burgers or tuna nachos.
  • Boost Nutrients. If you enjoy classic tuna salad, consider swapping mayo with mashed avocado or Greek yogurt, and try flavorful options like this Chipotle Tuna and Avocado Salad Sandwich.
  • Make it a Bowl. Personalize mealtime with creative bowls, like Quinoa Bowls with Tuna, using a whole-grain base layered with seafood, veggies and toppings like guacamole or teriyaki sauce.

Find more recipes to add seafood to the table at BumbleBee.com.

Chipotle Tuna and Avocado Salad Sandwich

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1          can (5 ounces) Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained and broken into chunks
  • 1/2       avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2       cup sweet corn, cooked or thawed from frozen
  • 1          tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon red or white wine vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4       teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4          slices whole-grain bread
  1. In medium bowl, gently toss tuna and avocado until combined.
  2. Add tomatoes, corn and parsley, tossing gently to combine.
  3. In small bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, chili powder and salt. Drizzle over tuna mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Divide tuna evenly among bread slices to make two sandwiches.

Quinoa Bowl with Tuna

Recipe courtesy of Cookie Named Desire on behalf of Bumble Bee
Prep time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2

Thai Peanut Dressing:

  • 1          cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1          teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/4       teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2          tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4       cup water, divided, plus additional (optional)

Quinoa Bowls:

  • 2          cups water
  • 1          cup quinoa
  • 1          can (14 ounces) chickpeas
  • 1-2       tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          medium zucchini
  • 1          carrot
  • 1/2       cup red cabbage
  • 1          can (5 ounces) Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water
  • 1-2       tablespoons onion, diced
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • cilantro
  1. To make Thai Peanut Dressing: In mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, ginger paste, fish sauce, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon water and whisk well. Continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is consistency of heavy cream.
  3. Note: You may not use full 1/4 cup water and could use more depending on preference of thickness.
  4. To make Quinoa Bowls: Heat oven to 400° F.
  5. In medium pot, heat water and quinoa. When it boils, turn heat to low and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and remove from heat.
  6. Drain and dry chickpeas. In bowl, combine chickpeas with olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Spread chickpeas on baking sheet; bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
  8. Spiralize zucchini at medium thickness. Using potato peeler, slice carrot in thin strips. Chop red cabbage. Drain and chunk tuna.
  9. In two bowls, split cooked quinoa evenly. Top with carrots, zucchini, cabbage, roasted chickpeas onions and tuna.
  10. Season with lime juice, cilantro and Thai Peanut Dressing.

Source: Bumble Bee

Meal Ideas 01 August 2018

Reserve the Rind

(Family Features) Watermelon rinds make for more than just attractive containers for serving cold dishes and beverages. The rind can also be used in creative, edible ways and is good for your heart.

Watermelon, both the flesh and the rind, is a good source of a compound called citrulline, an amino acid that raises levels of arginine in the blood, which in turn helps maintain blood flow, healthy blood vessels and heart health. 

Whether you’re eating for good health or good taste (or both), you can use the rind to make pickles and relishes, grate into salads and slaws, toss into stir-fry and add to smoothies and juice. The key to chowing down on watermelon rind is knowing how to prepare it. These three preparation methods can help you put that rind to good use: 

Pickled: Watermelon rind is similar to a cucumber, which is why it’s no surprise that pickled watermelon rind is a popular option.

Juiced: Most people know you can enjoy juice from red flesh of the melon, but you can juice the rind, too. Just like the watermelon flesh, the rind is loaded with water and nutrients.

Stir-Fried: When it’s cut up, watermelon rind is just like a vegetable, which means it can be tossed in a pan and stir-fried right alongside broccoli and carrots.

Look for more creative ways to use your watermelon rind at watermelon.org.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

  • 4          cups water
  • 1          tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2          cups peeled watermelon rind, cut into 1-1/2-by-2-inch pieces (leave thin layer of pink)
  • 3/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          allspice berry
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 4          peppercorns
  • 4          whole cloves
  • 1/2       teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1          long slice of fresh gingerroot
  • 1/4       teaspoon celery seeds
  1. In large pot over medium-high heat, bring water and salt to boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
  2. In saucepan, combine watermelon rind, sugar, berries, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, gingerroot and celery seeds. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 1 day. Transfer to glass jar and keep sealed in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Watermelon Rind Stir-Fry

  • 2          teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2          cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of seedless watermelon)
  • 1          cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2       cup chives, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          piece (about 1 inch) ginger, minced
  • 1/2       cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4       cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4       cup mint leaves
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. In wok over high heat, heat sesame oil. Add watermelon rind and carrots and fry, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat 1 additional minute without stirring. Add chives and stir to combine.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour sauce over watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Transfer to serving dish. Add basil, cilantro and mint, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Healthy 06 February 2019

5 Recipes that Can Help Improve Your Health

(Family Features) When it comes to nutritious eating, finding and creating tasty yet healthy recipes is key for many people.

One delicious and nutritious ingredient to add to a variety of dishes: U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries, which are abundant in anthocyanins – a natural compound that contributes to the ruby-red color, distinctive sweet-tart taste and is also behind the potential health benefits.

Consider these five ways to incorporate Montmorency tart cherries into your daily routine to help with sleep, inflammation, exercise recovery, heart health and gut health. Find more information and recipes at ChooseCherries.com.

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  1. Have that good gut-feeling:

    Gut health has been the focus of multiple studies in recent years to maintain digestive health. In a first-of-its-kind study published in the “Journal of Biochemistry,” Montmorency tart cherries helped positively impact the gut microbiome – a collection of trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestinal tract. To help shape and maintain your gut health, add an 8-ounce serving of Montmorency tart cherry juice to your daily diet or try blending this Montmorency Tart Cherry Matcha Smoothie.

 

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  1. Catch more zzz’s:

    With more than 50 million adults in the U.S. suffering from sleep or wakefulness disorders, a natural and flavorful remedy may help. One study, published in the “American Journal of Therapeutics,” extended sleep time by 84 minutes after study participants consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice for two weeks. This Tart Cherry Moon Milk is one way to add tart cherry juice before bed.

 

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  1. Make workout gains, not pains:

    Muscle soreness and pain associated after a tough workout is no longer something to dread. A study from “Medicine in Science and Sports Exercise” showed a reduction in muscle damage after intensive strength training from participants who consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice in comparison to a placebo. Whip up some Tart Cherry Power Gummies for a snack to power up before or after workouts.

 

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  1. Help ease arthritis and gout:

    Many Americans seek natural ways to help manage pain that don’t evoke potential side effects. Research indicates that U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries, like those found in this Tart Cherry Granola Smoothie Bowl, may help naturally reduce inflammation related to arthritis and gout.

 

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  1. Keep your heart on beat:

    Adding more fruits packed with heart-healthy compounds is a great way to help your heart keep beating at its best. Montmorency tart cherries are a natural heart-healthy fruit that may lower blood pressure, reduce risk of stroke and decrease cholesterol levels. Incorporate them in a lunch like this Kale Quinoa Montmorency Tart Cherry Salad.   

Source: Cherry Marketing Institute

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