Parents: don't give up and accept your kids' poor food choices

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm sure I've said this before, but I'll say it again: no matter where you're starting from, you can encourage a change in your child's eating habits. Even if you feed your children everything out of a can, bag, or package, even if your children are on a steady diet of hot dogs and chicken fingers, don't think you can't inspire and create change in them.

My little guy has always been a good eater. That kid could barely say "more" (actually it was like "moh! moh!") when he would demand bbq'd vegetables until he was stuffed full. He's always been pretty easy to negotiate with. He understands the concept of balance now too- in order to be allowed to have treats, first, we eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies. THEN we can have treats. My wee lass, on the other hand, has been tougher. For a long time, she just didn't like fruit and veggies. But after years of sticking with it, she is finally turning the corner. As a matter of fact, I was just blending a green smoothie and before I had even instituted my usual trick of adding blueberries to cover up the look of the greens (parsley in this case) she was asking for a taste. Amazing.

In addition to not giving up, and always offering healthy choices -- even if you think they won't eat it -- I have only one additional piece of advice from someone far more eloquent than I:
"Be the change you want to see in the world." 
Mahatma Ghandi

You simply cannot inspire your children to be healthy, eat healthy and care about achieving their own balance, if you are not leading them. "Do what I say, but not what I do" will never work. Eat with them, show them you're committed, and keep trying.

Recently, a Twitter friend asked if anyone had any great successes in inspiring their kids' food choices. I'll ask the same: what healthy food have you encouraged and been successful in getting YOUR kids to eat? No success is too small. It's your turn to pat yourself on the back. Anyone want to share? (recipes also welcome) :)

Crappy gluten free bread makes great croutons

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm sorry for posting so infrequently. My schedule has been a bit insane lately, trying to fit in my "regular life" as well as 3 or 4 runs per week, plus a Zumba and a hip-hop class. For those of you tried and true "fitties", this might be old news, but for me, who is gone to work from 6:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Thursday, plus coming home to my other job, then juggling the kids full time all weekend, I'm trying to adjust.

I am making good strides (runners' pun- did you catch that? groan...) with my exercise. I can now easily run the 3K at 4:1 (run:walk) ratio, and I managed to do the 5K at the same pace. My goal is to get to a 5K with fewer walk breaks by early summer. We'll see how that goes, but for someone who hadn't run in years until the end of March, I'm pretty stoked with my progress. I ran on Friday and it's a good thing: the rain this weekend is oppressive and terrible. Looking forward to the sun and my next run.

Okay, on to the recipe.

You know when you buy gluten free bread, and discover that it tastes TERRIBLE (most do, let's be honest) or make a loaf that ends up totally flopping? Don't throw it out: it is a new batch of croutons waiting to be discovered. :)

Gluten free croutons
"Not my favourite" gluten free bread, cubed
Grapeseed/coconut oil (or whatever you have)
Dried oregano
Dried basil

Cube your bread and place in a large bowl.

Sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper, and herbs (you could also choose rosemary and thyme or other combination).

Spread the croutons out on parchment paper and put them into your oven at a low temperature for a long time, checking and moving them around every 10 minutes or so. This may take a 1/2 hour to really dry them out, or if you'd prefer, you can toast them at a higher temp in less time. I chose 250 degrees. If you're in a hurry, you can go higher but be close by- they go from soft to burnt in minutes. Cool, then store in an air-tight container in your pantry. I use a large mason jar. If you've successfully dried them out, they should last a few weeks. Enjoy!


Tortilla pizzas- another quick GF, CF, vegan meal

Friday, April 8, 2011

 So...This seems to be a theme with me lately, huh? Quick nutritious ways to feed your family. Because of my pre-cut veggies (that I only had to then dice), I think this took me about 20 minutes start to finish.

Yes. Pizza. Glorious easy, so yummy, so quick. 

Then you squash up an avocado, and use it for dip. YUMMY!!!

This is yet another very simple recipe:

Ingredients (per person)
Some kind of base (tomato, pesto, garlic sauce)
a sprinkling of Daiya "mozzarella" (maybe 1/3 cup?)
vegetables- chopped, whatever kinds you like (we used tomatoes, green and orange peppers, celery, asparagus)

Assemble each pizza, place on parchment paper (not wax paper, parchment paper is the PERFECT baking companion) on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees and bake until the edges brown slightly. 

SO unbelievably good...that I may have made myself two. Now I am extremely full...but WOW that was yummy...


Hectic Friday dinner: fried rice (gluten free, easily vegetarian or vegan)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

So Fridays are a little crazy at my house - at least at dinner time. I am home with the kids on Fridays, but then hubby comes in at 5:30, and I leave for my 6pm Zumba class, so I try to have food ready for when I go. Hubby usually feeds/bathes them and I come back at story/bed time. Dinner often ends up being "Friday fried rice".

  • Kitchen tip: Whenever you make rice, make LOTS. Take what's left over and freeze it in ziplock bags (flattened, for easy thawing). Then when you need rice, submerge the bag in warm water and you'll have workable rice in minutes.

Friday Fried Rice
Fried rice has any ingredients you find in your fridge. Here's the breakdown:

1) Leftover rice (doesn't work the same with freshly cooked rice- that's too sticky)
2) Any chopped veggies
3) Cooked meat/shrimp/nuts/seeds/egg/tofu
4) 1 Tb grapeseed/coconut oil
5) GF low-sodium tamari sauce or any other fun additions (try curry powder, pineapple, coconut and raisins for an "island" feel)

Last night's dinner was simple: I had the rice, and a leftover chicken breast (one was enough for the dish), lots of fresh veggies and two farm fresh eggs from "happy chicken". :)

1) Dice your veggies (think green onions, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, carrot shreds, etc)
2) Heat pan to medium and add oil (skip step 3 obviously if you're making vegan)
3) Crack your eggs into the pan and stir them around with a spatula
4) Once eggs are almost cooked/scrambled, add your rice and stir to spread out the egg and to dry out the rice a bit.
5) Add your veggies, and any of the following: cooked meat, cooked or raw shrimp (shrimp cook in seconds so it's fine to put raw in at this point), tofu, or nuts/seeds, and lightly saute them. If you've used raw shrimp, make sure they are bright pink and fully cooked before serving.
6) At this point, you could add some tamari (soy sauce) but you could also wait until it's plated and add directly to the plate. I have a feeling you'd use less if you did it that way.

That's really it. My kids will eat whatever veggies I want to put in this as they're all diced so small that the kids can't really tell what they're eating. :)

Any other ideas for simple last-minute dinners?

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