Thursday, October 30, 2014

Prapple Butter (Pear and Apple)

        Prapple Butter (Pear and Apple)

Fall harvest brings so many delicious fruits...but they sure can pile up after a while!  The next time you have a big batch of overripe pears or apples (or both), try our pear/apple "Prapple" butter recipe below.  It is really easy and fun to make, plus the whole house will smell amazing while it cooks!  It keeps well in the fridge and makes for a great topping on whole wheat toast, oatmeal, or even frozen yogurt.  You can make this recipe with any combination of pears and apples you have on hand, but our favorite combination for this recipe is half McIntosh apples with half D'Anjou pears.

Prapple Butter (Pear and Apple Butter)

8 medium sized pears and/or apples, sliced thick (cores/seeds removed)  
1 cup apple juice or apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  
1 tablespoon cinnamon  
1 teaspoon allspice

Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir to blend well.  Set on low for 10 hours.  Blend in the blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.  Let cool at room temperature and then keep refrigerated.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Family Meal Plans- Busy Week, Easy Meals

It's Halloween week, which means that we are BUSY! This week's menu is all about preparing delicious food with plenty of leftovers to repurpose throughout this crazy week loaded with activities. Everyone, get your crock pots ready!!

Pea and Ham Soup in the Crock Pot  (Taste of Home)
Leftovers for lunch through most of the week, pour over brown rice to make it last longer.

Slow Cooker Chicken  (The Little Kitchen)
With 100% whole wheat bread from the bakery slathered in coconut oil and served with salad. Salad: avocados, pine nuts, goat cheese, dried cranberries on romaine lettuce with balsamic vinegar.

Chicken Fajitas
Using left over chicken from the night before, sauté onions and peppers with chili powder, garlic powder and cumin. Use whole wheat tortillas and top with sour cream and cheese.

Flank Steak  (Epicurious) with Cauliflower & Potato Mash  (Food Fit For Kids)
Flank steak is a fantastic weeknight choice because it's fast and there are always plenty of leftovers. 

Steak and Cheese Sandwiches with Salad
No recipe needed, just add leftover steak to traditional grilled cheese sandwiches before the trick or treating begins! Side of salad, left over from Tuesday night.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Checking Labels- Is the Food You're Eating Healthy?

Misleading Advertising

We all want to do what's best for our kids, but it seems these days it's harder than ever to figure out what is healthy and what is not.  So many cereals, bars, protein powders, crackers, yogurts and pouches are all advertised as healthy.  They include buzz words and phrases like organic, natural, made with real fruit, made with whole grains, multigrain, enriched wheat flour.

This kind of marketing is purposefully misleading and confusing.  Advertisers want us to believe that something like fun fruits aka 'fruit snacks' labeled with the words organic and 'made with real fruit,' will fool us into thinking that cheap candy is a healthy snack.

The best way to ensure that your food is undeniably healthy is to shop the perimeter of the store. That's where the real foods are located like produce, diary and meats.  Ideally, these products should be bought organic when affordable.  If you have to pick and choose organic ingredients due to finances, buy regular fruits and vegetables (be sure to wash thoroughly) and go for organic dairy and meats which exclude antibiotics and hormones.

What to look for on the label

When you do need to shop for something that is packaged or canned check the ingredient list on the label.  The ingredient list is the most telling piece of information on the packaging.  Look for products with the least amount of ingredients, preferably less than 5.  All ingredients should be words you recognize.  If long words that remind you of high school chemistry begin to pop up, WALK AWAY.  It's amazing what you'll find on the ingredient list- even for things such as salami, which will often include caramel coloring.  Yogurts are often loaded with sugar and/or corn syrup and seemingly healthy bread is often mainly white flour with other grains.

Still confused by a label? Check out the 16 most misleading healthy food labels and buzz words.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Family Meal Plans

Here's our meal plan for the week with links to the recipes below, some from our site and some from other favorite sites.  What are you making this week?  Share with us @foodfitforkids on instagram, #familymealplans.

Garden Vegetable Soup (Alton Brown, Food Network)
The chicken broth can be swapped with vegetable broth for Meatless Monday.

Chicken and Rice with Mushrooms (Cooking Light, My Recipes)
Budget friendly and flavor packed.

Hungry Ghoulash (Food Fit For Kids)
It's the season for something spooky, and from the slow cooker.

Paleo Crock Pot Balsamic and Cranberry Pork Tenderloin (Our Full Plate)
Another slow cooker recipe everyone loves.

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Roasted Potatoes (Food Fit For Kids)
Flavorful and crispy deliciousness!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

        Healthy Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

Seriously, we cannot get enough pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING.  This blog contains other fall time goodies, like this spooky soup and pumpkin overnight oats, but we had to throw in a pumpkin smoothie.  Everyone has their own recipe for this sweet treat, but ours has added fiber and omega 3's. Perfect way to jump start everyone's day this fall, including your littlest of tots- infants over 6 months can enjoy this too!  Great choice for kids who aren't big breakfast eaters.

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

2 frozen bananas  
1 cup milk (whichever type your family likes)
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree  
1 teaspoon allspice  
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed (optional)  
1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Blend all ingredients until smooth. For us adults, sub 1/2 cup of milk for cold coffee for that extra morning kick. Enjoy! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Family Meal Plans

Here's our meal plan for the week with links to the recipes below, some from our site and some from other favorite sites. (Really excited for those paleo pancakes!) What are you making this week?  Share with us @foodfitforkids on instagram, #familymealplans.

Classic Pot Roast
Perfect recipe for the slow cooker.

10 Spice Vegetable Soup (Oh She Glows)
Gluten free and vegan- make a big batch over the weekend and freeze for busy weeknights.

Paleo Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Elana's Pantry)
Breakfast for dinner and chocolate? Woohoo!

Garlic Chicken with Caramelized Onions
Flavor packed and perfect served with pasta or a bed of brown rice and steamed broccoli.

Paleo Mini-Meatloaves (Paleo Spirit)
So fun to make together and loaded with nutrients.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Classic Pot Roast

This recipe is perfect for fall when the weather gets cool and schedules get busy.  There are several cuts of beef that roast well and are affordable options for this recipe.  A couple of our favorite cuts are chuck roast and brisket.  The vegetables in this dish can be switched out with your family's favorites as well (carrots and potatoes are a popular choice).  Served with couscous or quinoa, it makes for a very easy family dinner.

3 lb. boneless pot roast
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 cup broth
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 onion, diced
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 cups brussel sprouts, halved

Salt and pepper the meat then dust with the flour.  Pour the broth into a large roasting pan and arrange the meat in the center.  Drizzle the meat with Worcestershire sauce and top with onions.   

Cover tightly and let cook in the oven* at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 1/2 hours, until tender.  About 30 minutes before the roast is done, add in the butternut squash and brussel sprouts, cover and let finish cooking.

*Pot roasts cook even better in a slow cooker on low for ~10 hours (about half that time on high).  Just add the vegetables in 2 hours (1 hour if using the high setting) before the cooking time completes.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Family Meal Plans

Here's our meal plan for the week with links to the recipes below. What are you making this week?  Share with us @foodfitforkids on instagram, #familymealplans.

Short Cut: To make life a little easier we cooked a big pot of brown rice and froze portions to reheat for later in the week. We also prepped a side salad of veggies that make for easy finger foods for the little ones that we can add to any meal along with frozen broccoli and green beans as a quick side.

Vegetarian Lasagna
A light and healthy twist on the classic comfort food-even Garfield would approve!

This is a traditional Cuban dish made with ground beef over rice that is delicious and super easy to prepare.

Pork Tenderloin (Ellie Krieger, Food Network)
Juicy and flavorful, the whole family will love it!

Crispy Black Bean Tacos (Smitten Kitchen)
Served with feta and slaw, yum.

Baked Tilapia
A fool-proof fish recipe that isn't 'fishy' tasting.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

10 Ways to Stop Making Multiple Meals for your Family at Dinner (Short Order Cooking)

     1. Limit snacks right before dinner. If they are hungry (not starving) they'll be eager to eat.  Kids who snack all day tend to eat poorly during mealtimes because they aren't hungry.

     2. Include foods in the meal that your kids like. One or two familiar and beloved ingredients always helps.

      3. Have them help you prep and cook a portion of the meal. Kids are more interested in food they've had a hand in making.

      4. Get your little kitchen helpers to help you meal plan. Look through cook books together!  Give them a couple of options and see if something catches their eye.

Cooking together makes even the most foreign ingredients seem approachable to a child.

Don't be afraid to get messy! 

      5. Talk about the transition with your kids in advance. "We're all going to eat the same thing. You get to eat what we eat, yay!"

      6. Create a positive, stress free, environment; eating is fun, not something to be forced or dreaded. Keep the mood light. Focus on being present with your kids and upbeat even through their initial resistance.

      7. Have realistic expectations, this transition may take a while. That's ok! Sometimes as parents we get super excited for change and unrealistically expect for things to work out right away. This only sets us up for frustration and irritability. Mentally prepare.

      8.  It's harder for us than it is for them. Accept that making one meal is easier for you and that your kids WILL eventually eat it.  Often we feel guilty if we don't make something our kids will automatically gobble up, it's our job as parents to offer a healthy variety of food and give our kids a safe place to acquire the taste.

      9.  If your kid is begging you for junk food or treats during mealtimes or after and it's becoming a problem, stop buying them.  Save them as treats that are specifically purchased to be eaten that day.

      10.  After the family meal, avoid giving processed foods (crackers, cookies, cereal), many kids will save their appetite for dessert. These desserts essentially become the second meal you were unwilling to make.  Stick to fruit after mealtimes except during special occasions.