Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arizona Midday

Hello Everyone!

I am very excited to be on Arizona Midday today. I will be talking about getting more veggies into your kids diet.

I am all for just putting the veggies on your kids plate and not giving them the option of eating/not eating what I cooked for them. I believe that if you always give your kids healthy food- there will be no fighting or picky eaters! I only make one meal for my family and if my son decides he does not want to eat what I make him, that is fine. I do not make another meal. He just does not get to eat anything else until I make his next meal. Try this with your kids. I guarantee that they will not skip too many meals...hunger will set in and they will be grateful for any food you put in front of them and eat it up!

However, if you are only now giving healthy foods to your family and making a big switch, it could be hard to go from chicken nuggets and fries to grilled chicken and broccoli. SO- that is when I think that "hiding" healthy foods could be useful. But I do not think anyone should go through the effort of making separate meals for every family member. Hopefully, you can just incorporate some healthy options into the menu and not make more work for yourself!! (Like any Mom or Dad has time to make 4 different meals!?!)

Here are some great sites to help you with healthy food recipes:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Great Recipe Site!

Thanks to my friend Mattie for finding this great website with recipes for healthy meals that your baby and toddler will love and that you can serve to your whole family.

Weelicious is "fast, easy, & fresh baby food and toddler food and recipes for the entire family"

From the Weelicious Website:
"I started modeling and traveling the world at a very young age, tasting and being turned onto foods that were exciting and exotic to my Kentucky bred palette. When I was living in Paris, Milan, New York and traveling to places like Tokyo, Morocco and Sydney, I became obsessed with learning about local cuisine.
Later I went to culinary school, then worked in a few restaurants trying to learn more tricks of the trade.
Whenever people ask me what type of cuisine I like to cook the best, I say “what’s fresh”. The most important part of food is the ingredients you start with. I like simple food that speaks for itself.
When I had my kids, Kenya and Chloe, I realized that I wanted them to be exposed to seasonal, organic food that’s as pure as possible. I want them to know that food shouldn’t have to be pumped with sugar, salt and preservatives to be delicious.
Kenya and Chloe only know what I feed them. If I gave them McDonalds, they’d love it, but if I give them pesto chicken, that’s what they’ll crave.
Parents’ lives are busy, but we also want our kids to have the best. The recipes on this site are delicious, nutritious and easy, but most important, they’re fast. I make cooking fun for all of us. I prop Chloe in her high chair and let Kenya sit on a stool so they can both be part of the process. Who knows, maybe one of them will be a great chef someday. Ahh….a mother’s dream."

There are so many great recipes on this site as well as tips to help your little one eat delicious and healthy foods! Plus- I love that these are recipes that are for the whole family. I rarely, if ever, make a separate meal for my son as I truly believe that kids will eat- AND LOVE- whatever you give them. Especially when they know that there is no other option, hehe.

Click here to visit the Weelicious site!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Need some ideas...

Next week, I am going to be on Arizona Midday. The topic for the segment is "hiding nutritious foods" and "Getting your kids to eat healthy foods".

Now, I much prefer to just give your kids healthy food and not hide it. I think if you always only offer healthy choices, your kids will naturally love them and you won't need to hide anything. BUT I can imagine that there are lots of parents who are now being way more health conscious and making the switch for their families and need help getting their kids to make the switch.

Or maybe, you really do have a child who is picky and doesn't eat much to begin with...

So- I am needing at least 3 different recipes/ideas for how to get healthy foods into your kids meals without them just staring at a plate of brussel sprouts and lima beans.

What are some of your ideas?? Leave me a comment, and I will share your ideas LIVE on Arizona Midday next week!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

GREAT resource for pregnant and breastfeeding mamas!

It is so hard when you are pregnant and breastfeeding to think about taking vitamins/medications/herbal supplements/alcohol. You suddenly realize that every single thing you ingest goes to your baby. (That has been a good thing for me, but also very scary!!)

Until now, there are only a few resources to help pregnant and nursing Mom's know what is safe. My favorite is This website is very helpful for many breastfeeding issues/topics and is very reliable.

There is also the Physician's Desk Reference- but this has only limited and more general information from drug companies.

Widely considered the expert in breastfeeding and medication safety is Dr. Thomas Hale. He wrote the book Medications and Mother's Milk which is very helpful (if you own the book).

GREAT NEWS!! Dr. Hale, along with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, have opened a website, and soon a building called The Infant Risk Center. The research into safe medications and effects of different substances in breast milk to the baby will continue and the best part...they have a hotline that breastfeeding women (and anyone who needs the info) can call and talk to an expert!

Keep this number handy and anytime you are prescribed a medication, or are looking to take a supplement of any kind,  give them a call for the most reliable information on it's safety. 
And...spread the word to other nursing Mama's!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Helping to Relieve Constipation and Diarrhea Naturally

I never in my entire life thought I would be so obsessed with someone's bowel movements...but after having my son, it seems like I think about his poop all of the time.

I mean, when you come home from the hospital, you are supposed to write down every time your baby goes...then you realize that breastmilk is the perfect food, and therefore your baby will go a week without pooping...then they start solids and you freak out if they don't go for a day...

The best part is when it becomes a natural and normal part of you and your husbands conversation..."how was your day? Did he poop this afternoon?"

Well- if you are looking for a natural solution to your pooping issues- look no further than the BRAT diet!

For diarrhea, you stick to only BRAT foods. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. The BRAT diet is also good if you are throwing up. This works for anyone and even the littlest babies since those are mild foods that are usually introduced first.

For constipation, you reverse the BRAT! Stay away from the BRAT foods since they are good for binding you up. Try plums, prunes, pears, apricots, peaches, peas and spinach. You can also do tummy massages, bicycle legs (hold your babies feet and move them like they are riding a bicycle). Read more on constipation in babies here.

Of course, talk to your doctor for all health issues and leave a comment if you have a go-to solution for digestive issues!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Agave Nectar Cake Recipes

So my son's SECOND birthday is upon me and I am oh so excited to make his cake. Last year I made him this no sugar, no egg Pumpkin Spice Cake.

This year, I intend on sticking with the no refined sugar recipes but am happy that I can use eggs. (That was definitely a challenge!)

So, I have decided upon using agave nectar instead of refined, white sugar. There are so many wonderful looking recipes out is hard for me to pick! Here are a few finalists...I will be making them all in the next few weeks and deciding on the best tasting. (Last year, I made "normal" cupcakes for the rest of our guests to enjoy with plenty of sugar. This year, I am only making the healthier version...shhhh! Don't tell!!)

I also want to substitute organic whole wheat flour, but my husband thinks it won't taste as good...I won't tell him which I use and we will see what he thinks of the final product!


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe courtesy of Ania Catalano (author of Baking with Agave Nectar)
Makes 2 cups (frosts one 9” layer cake)
Ania says, “This is my favorite frosting.  It’s a real buttercream, rich and creamy, but not too sweet.  It’s great on any cake or cupcake.”
½ cup unsalted butter
6 tbl. Madhava's Light Agave Nectar
1 cup nonfat dry milk
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
4 tbl. Whole milk
pinch of sea salt
Cream the butter with an electric mixer until light in color.  Slowly add the agave nectar and beat until fluffy, about one to two minutes.
Gradually add the dry milk and beat again.  Add the vanilla extract and the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until completely blended.  Add the salt, turn the mixer to high speed, and beat about two minutes, or until very fluffy. 
 Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Cake Recipes:

Basic Cake Recipe

from Dining in the Raw by Rita Romano
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
½ tsp. Sea salt
2 Tbl. Baking powder
½ cup canola oil (I will substitute applesauce here)
1 cup Madhava’s Amber Agave Nectar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp. Dried orange peel
 Combine wet ingredients.  Combine dry ingredients.  Mix together.  Bake at 350 degrees in two oiled 9in. cake pans.  It takes 30-35 minutes.  A knife should come out clean when cake is ready.  Cool the cake completely and glaze/frost if you would like. 

2/3 cup soy milk (or regular milk)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil (I would substitute applesauce here)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl; allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle. Beat in agave, oil, vanilla and almond extract. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until smooth. Fill liners two thirds full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean; don't overbake or cupcakes will be dry.
  3. These cupcakes need to cool at least an hour before topping or filling, and alsoto develop the flavor and texture properly.

Pumpkin Bread with Spiced Cream Cheese

This pumpkin quick bread is moist and sweet and very easy to make. I took the test loaf to a business seminar I was attending and it was all eaten while the plate of sugared donuts just sat there. One man said, "On a scale of one to five, where five is the best, this is a six! You should sell this!"
This pumpkin bread can also be made into muffins.
You can use canned or freshly roasted pumpkin for this recipe (for roasting instructions, see Pumpkin Custard and Pie).

Makes one standard loaf

1/2 cup butter
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup mashed or pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup water
2 eggs
2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour a glass loaf pan.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan and allow to cool until slightly warm.
  4. Add--mixing well after the addition of each--agave, pumpkin, water, and eggs.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking soda and mix to blend.
  6. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  7. Add raisins and nuts.
  8. Pour batter into pan and bake for about one hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (in my oven it was an hour and 10 minutes).
  9. Allow to cool at least until it is lukewarm before slicing.
  10. Serve plain, with butter, or with Spicy Cream Cheese.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
about 1/4 cup sweetener (any works fine, and adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Stir together ingredients and serve.

Let me know if you try any of these!  Or if you have an agave nectar cake recipe you love!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fruit and Veggie of the Month!

Hello! I am back after a short vacation to California.

I just found a great resource to help incorporate a fruit and veggie into your diet each month. On the CDC website, you can click a link that takes you to the Fruit and Veggie of the Month website. This website gives you a list of each month and a showcased fruit and vegetable for that month. It gives you lots of great facts and a recipe for each.

This is a fun way to make sure you get lots of variety and could even get older kids into trying the veggies- you could make it a big deal each month and have the kids help make something incorporating those ingredients.

For July: Nectarines and Garlic- Yum!

There is also a recipe database with many more selections.

Click here to discover the Fruit and Veggies of the Month Calendar

Click here to visit the CDC website for "Fruits and Veggies Matter" (This site has tips for saving money, recipes, benefits and more tools for you to use)