It’s time to gear up for another school year which at our house means getting up a little earlier, remembering to do homework, and packing lunches. There’s lots of fun and nutritious lunch ideas out there (check out the #healthylittlelunchbox and #poweryourlunchbox hashtags on Instagram) but what’s often overlooked is how to keep the food safe. Here’s five tips on how to keep those lunchboxes safe once they leave the house.
Before I became a parent, I thought I would never cook separate meals for different members of my family. “What a waste of time!” I thought. “I’ll never become one of those short-order-cook parents!” I told myself. “Our kids will eat anything we put in front of them!” I told my husband. Fast forward 13+ years and I have eaten my words. Many times. And in many ways.
Back to school. Those words can evoke both anxiety and excitement in the hearts of parents. Anxiety as we shuffle off to the store to buy all those school supplies and the dreaded adjustment back to the days of stricter schedules, dinnertime stress and homework. But we have a sigh of relief at trying to figure out camp schedules, fridges and pantries stocked with snacks, and exclamations of, “I’m bored!”
Eating leafy greens and vegetables can be a challenge for many families, especially those with young children who are still discovering new foods. Over the years, I have tried several different approaches and as my children have grown, their interest in trying new salad ingredients has grown too. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Oh, how I long for the days when my kids ate what I put in front of them. They weren’t strong enough to open the fridge, couldn’t reach the cookies in the pantry, and had no money of their own and no transportation to get to the nearest fast food restaurant. There are zillions of books, websites and blogs dedicated to feeding our babies, toddlers and preschoolers healthy foods. But what happens when they become tweens and teens and make many of their food choices when we aren’t there to help them make wise decisions?
Did you know that Produce for Kids is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year? Fifteen years ago, in 2002, our president and founder, John Shuman, began a mission to bring the produce industry together to support children’s non-profit organizations. Little did he know that Produce for Kids would grow from a simple in-store campaign to raise money for local children’s hospitals to a year-round healthy eating resource for families (all while still hosting in-store campaigns to raise more than $6 million for children’s charities).
Oooey gooey brownies with a good nutrient profile?! Yes, please! These double chocolate brownies are so good it’s hard to just have one. They are oil free and contain no flour. How is this possible? Black beans. Yes, black beans – and no, you can’t taste or see them! This ingredient might sound odd, but black beans are a fantastic flour replacement, making this recipe gluten free and giving it an extra boost of protein.
Feeding a child is one of the most stressful parts of parenting for me. One minute my kids all enjoy a spaghetti dinner with homemade meatballs and green salad. The next minute that same meal is launched across the dining room table. Is this behavior picky eating? I’d like to think so. I also think there comes a time when children learn food is one of the only things they can control so they test their limits with Mom and the laws of gravity like Bill Nye the Science Guy. From what I’ve researched and witnessed in my own kitchen, handling picky eaters is just another step in the parent-child relationship most if not all families experience.
Today, we welcome guest blogger, Jodie Fitz. She is the creator and personality of the Price Chopper Kids Cooking Club and author of ‘Real Food Fast” and the ‘Better Bites’ program. When she is not on the road or in the kitchen, she’s wife & mother of three.
Every once in a while, you just have to play with your food! Here’s a great way to take salad to a whole new, memorable level while packing in a bunch of veggie fun.