Recipe

As American as….

Every year we make a trip right over the border to visit our favorite Wisconsin apple picking spot.  We load up on apples and cider doughnuts, say hello to the goats and visit the famous “Big Cheese.”

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It is a wonderful tradition shared with my husband’s family.  We get there as soon as it opens in the morning and get out before the crowds get out of hand and the bees attack.  There are always more apples than I intended so we eat a lot of apple dishes in September and October!

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Baking an apple pie is another part of the tradition.  I try to make the crusts the day before we go so we can have a homemade pie the same day we pick.  My lovely sister-in-law gave me an apple peeler/corer/slicer which makes prepping the apples go much quicker. I highly recommend using one if you have lots of apples that need peeling.

It is always a great day and a great way to welcome fall in our home.

The recipe I use is adapted from The Joy of Cooking, All About Pies and Tarts, cookbook.

 

 

Apple Pie

 

Family Feeding

Starting Good Eating Habits Early

I am asked many times for “tricks” or “tips” to get kids to eat more healthy foods.  Unfortunately, a simple trick won’t do it.  Besides, the goal is for children to develop lifelong healthy eating habits.  If we trick them into eating right,  they will never have really learned what it takes and what it means to eat healthily.  I do believe we can set them up to make better choices and develop tastes for healthier foods, but parents need to be engaged and committed to this idea.

Children are constantly growing.  Their nutrition needs are much greater than adults.  Growing is a lot of work, and work needs calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.  This means they can be hungry quite often.  Think about how frequently a baby nurses or bottle feeds.  They are at the most rapid growth stage in their life.  Children do slow down as they get older, however they still need to fuel those bodies for growth.

So if kids are growing so much and need so many calories, why is there a current health issue related to overweight and obese children?  Many factors play into this, including food and exercise but we will save that topic for a later post.  The point I will make is that kids need lots of healthy foods and guidance from family to try new foods.  Nutrient dense foods should make up the majority of their diet.

In an ideal situation, kids would be offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein sources (animal or plant), healthy fats and whole grains everyday, in a no-pressure, comfortable, reliable setting.  Treats or desserts would be included from time to time in moderate amounts.  Foods would not be used to reward or punish behavior.  Children would learn to serve themselves and listen to satiety signals from their bodies.  This is a great model to follow and can be the basis for a very healthy view on food and feeding.  This also takes work, as most parenting does.  It is completely worth it though.  Nutritionally, socially, and emotionally, this is worth it.

There is a lot to know about family feeding but it is attainable. The time you put in now to help your children develop healthy eating habits will benefit  them throughout their life.  I would love to help your family get on track today.  Follow my blog, instagram and facebook.  Send me an email to ask questions about nutrition education and if it is right for you. Make an appointment with me, we can discuss your family’s needs and put together a plan that will work for you.  We will talk about portion sizes, reading labels and healthy choices. All families are different and need different care.  I hope to hear from you soon!

Cheers

Rachael

Book an appointment today!

Food Allergy

Teaching Kids About Food Allergies

It is officially Food Allergy Awareness Week!  This is a great time to remind friends and family about the seriousness of food allergies, practice administering epinephrine,  try new allergy friendly recipes and educate your community.  This week I am lucky enough to present to some of the classes in my children’s school.  I think it is so important for the kids (and adults!) who do not live with food allergies to understand what they are and how to help.  Here are the basic topics I review:

What is a food allergy?  I think this is obviously the starting point for any talk on food allergies.  I explain that eating even a small amount of the allergen can cause a harmful reaction.  I talk about the top eight food allergens and how some of them hide in many of our everyday foods. I explain cross-contamination and the importance of hand-washing. With smaller kids, that is about how much I delve into it.  With older  kids, I explain more about the immune system and get more specific about what happens in the body during an allergic reaction. I really want the kids to understand that allergies are serious and their friend is not being “picky” when they say they cannot have even a small bite of the food.  I tell them that their friend can get sick very quickly and may need their medicine and possibly to go to the hospital.  Again with the older kids, I will go more in depth about what happens during a reaction.

How can you help someone with food allergies?  This is where I explain what signs and symptoms to look for and to get an adult quickly.  I like to reinforce that they need help fast and to tell the adult that their friend has a food allergy.  I also discuss bringing non-food treats for birthdays and including everyone.  I explain how it feels to be the only kid who can’t have a special treat at parties, gatherings, etc.

I think these are the main things to review, especially with the younger kids.  You can absolutely go into more topics, especially with the older ones.  If you know there is a bullying issue or just to reinforce an anti-bullying theme, that is another good idea.  I touch on that in my “including everyone” part of the speech but it can be elaborated on for sure.

 FARE has some free downloads on their site for presentations and handouts.  I like to give them one of the coloring sheets to take home and I send a letter to the parents in case there are questions later.  Kids are such sponges and can learn so much from even a 20 minute presentation.  The earlier on they understand this stuff, the better!

I would love to hear what you are doing for Food Allergy Awareness Week!

Rachael

Recipe

Homemade Granola Bar Recipe

Delicious and easy!  

I have found it is safer to make my own granola bars as so many store bought varieties are processed in facilities with peanuts.  I also like the fact that these have much fewer ingredients, and all ingredients I can pronounce!  The less processed the food is , the better.  I used soy nut butter, but you can use any nut butter or nut butter substitute.  The nutritional information will vary but should be fairly similar.  Also if you are not avoiding nuts, you can add some in too.  I recommend chopping them up a bit though.  The nice thing about these bars is that you can add in whatever you like- dried fruit, nuts, seeds, flax, etc!  These take no time to make and do not involve the oven. I recommend storing in the fridge.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Granola Bars: 

2.5 cups rolled oats

.5 cup coconut oil, melted

.5 cup honey

.5 cup soy nut butter (or other nut butter)

3T mini chocolate chips

1.63 oz package Enjoylife Not Nuts seed and fruit (or other seed and fruit mix-ins) 

 

Combine melted oil and honey in large bowl.  Add rolled oats and nut butter.  Mix until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and seeds.  Press mixture into a glass 9×13 pan. (No need to oil pan) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours.  Cut into 24 bars and store in airtight container in fridge for 5 days.

Nutritional Info:  Per 1 bar (about 1/24th)

Kcal: 168, Fat: 10g, CHO 18g, Protein: 3g, Fiber: 2g

 

 

 

Family Feeding · Mini-series

Mini-Series Part 3: Healthy Kids

Welcome back for the final post in my mini-series.  Since this is just a mini-series, I am going to keep it short and simple with my top ten tips for feeding healthy kids!

 

Ten Tips for Feeding Healthy Kids

  1. Teach your kids to cook and let them help!  I mentioned this before but it truly is the foundation for healthy eating.
  2. Make dinner (or any other meal that everyone is home for) a priority as family time in your home. Eating together has an amazing impact on families nutritionally, emotionally, and socially.
  3. Offer variety, and try new foods.
  4. Do not force children to finish their meal.  They are learning to listen to their body signals.  If they are truly full, they should not have to finish everything.  This can lead to many eating issues down the road.
  5. Snack on fruits and vegetables and do not allow snacking close to meal times.
  6. Do not make foods “for the kids.”  Everyone should be eating the same foods at meals.  Kids may take a few tries before liking a new food, but they are very capable to eating and liking “adult food.”  Do not become discouraged when you offer something 5 times and they do not like it.  It can take many more attempts.  Just continue to offer new foods.
  7. Lead by example- eat healthy foods yourself.  Kids are very good mirrors…
  8. Allow treats from time to time.  If you restrict certain foods, there becomes a greater desire to indulge in them.
  9. Exercise!  Playing outside is exercise- promote physical activity.
  10. Menu plan- when you take the time to plan your weekly menu, you will have healthy choices ready every night, instead of grabbing that frozen pizza at the last minute!

 

Thank you for reading, and watch for my May posts about the upcoming Food Allergy Awareness Week, May 14-20.

Cheers,

Rachael