The International Baccelaureate program encourages kids to think independently, drive their own learning, become more culturally aware, and engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world. Our family is very lucky that we live in an area with public IB schools that begin at the kindergarten level.
When you are serving vegetarian or want a tasty, light and healthy dinner, our harissa cauliflower steaks are always a huge hit!
This beach-ready buttermilk fried chicken was fun to make and completely delicious.
After eating these at a baby shower, I dubbed them the world’s best crabcakes. I quickly pulled out my cell phone to write down the ingredients as the baby’s grandmother named ingredients. I had to figure out the recipe myself……
Adorable and fun to make with the family, these Chocolate Garden cups are perfect for kids parties or an after school snack. Topped with yummy organic Choco Chimps cereal, the deliciously simple, eggless chocolate pudding is light, easy to make, and not too sweet.
Chocolate Garden Cups Ingredients
Easy Chocolate Milk Pudding
1 ¾ cup chocolate milk, room temperature
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 tbsp. maple syrup or sweeten to taste
1/2 cup Choco Chimps Cereal
crushed Sprig of mint
Directions 1. Combine cocoa powder and corn starch in a small pot. 2. Gradually stir in milk and whisk until smooth. Stir in maple syrup. 3. Stirring constantly, bring to slow boil. Whisk for 1 minute until pudding thickens. 4. Remove from heat and pour into small mason jars or jam jars, leaving space for topping. 5. Chill for 1 hour until cooled and thickened. 6. Top with crushed Choco Chimps Cereal and garnish with sprig of mint and popsicle stick.
This spring, the UrbanMommies team has been focusing on health. Jogging, extra water and vitamins have all been part of the routine. With the gardens not quite in bloom and stores of frozen fruit and veggies depleted, I started doing some digging on other options for getting nutrients through food. Canned cling peaches. Who knew? They are actually better canned than fresh and are readily available in stores – even in school lunch snack sizes.
Myth: Canned peaches are less nutritious than fresh peaches.
Fact: Canned peaches are actually more nutritious than their fresh and frozen counterparts. Canned peaches have 3.5 times the vitamin C, 10 times more folic acid and 1.5 times more antioxidants than their fresh counterparts. (And they are in stores all year round when there is nothing growing in your orchard!)
Myth: Canned peaches are full of sugar.
Fact: Canned California cling peaches have no added sugar in the juice or water that they are packed in, other than the natural sugar in the raw product.
Myth: Canned peaches lose their flavour and colour through the canning process.
Fact: Canned peaches retain their flavour, colour and firmness even when cooked or baked in entrees, appetizers or desserts.
Because California cling peaches are picked and packed usually within 24 hours, they retain their appearance, texture, flavour and nutritional content.
So… I need snacks after my runs. I need some great family meal ideas, and after 6 months of making school lunches, they were getting rather boring. Enter California Cling Peaches to remedy all of these situations!
Disclosure: This article was sponsored by California Cling Peaches. And we bet you learned a thing or two!
The garden is thriving and the kids have been eating poorly since school got out. Well, mine have anyway. Time to hide some veggies in their favourite foods. When we made these summer zucchini muffins, we tripled the recipe, baked one pan of muffins and saved the other two batches in large ziplock bags in the freezer. A perfect start to the school year. Simply defrost the dough the night before and fill 12 tins for fresh breakfast treats or lunchbox snacks.
3 cups grated fresh zucchini (no need to take the peel off. The green adds depth.. and saves you time.)
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose whole wheat flour (or replace 1 cup with wheat germ)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
You don’t need a mixer for this recipe.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.
2. Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.
If you’re used to picky eaters or chicken finger lovers, kid friendly crab cakes make a great healthy snack. And it’s not necessary to catch the crabs and shell them like we did (for authenticity). You can grab the cans. You also have the option of frying or baking. The baked version is of course healthier, but you could do a flash fry at the end using olive or grapeseed oil (which has a higher temperature threshold to prevent burning). Served with veggies or a robust salad they make a great dinner as well.
Kid Friendly Crab Cakes Ingredients:
4 T. finely crushed whole grains (kamut, wheatgerm, wholewheat flour – whatever you have)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning/cocktail sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pound fresh crabmeat, well drained
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (try to use whole grains seasoned with just salt and pepper)
2 tablespoons butter
3T cut chives
6 T finely diced apple (optional)
- Mix grains, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, seafood seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
- Stir in crabmeat until mixture is combined but still chunky. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs on a plate.
- Shape chilled crab mixture into 4 small thick patties; coat completely with bread crumbs.
- Grease a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip crabcakes at 10 minutes.
- Optional: flash fry for 30 seconds/side in a skillet before serving.
This kid friendly crab cakes recipe is also great for making shapes – the letters in the kids’ names, hearts, stars and geometric shapes. Have fun!
The new year is a perfect time to start each day with a shot of health. We give this Go-Go Green Juice to our kids too, and if yours don’t like the colour, calling it ‘Monster Juice’ can help. If all else fails, add frozen blueberries and call it a milkshake! The fab recipe is from our healthy food contributor, Alyssa Schottland-Bauman of Nourished.ca.
1 cup Kale
1 cup Spinach
1/2-1 stalk celery
Thumbsize of Ginger, more for extra zing
Half an apple
***EDIT*** Thanks for your interest in the Goldfish Pretzel screening of Finding Nemo 3D in Vancouver. We’ve officially hit our maximum capacity for this screening – yup, the event is now sold out! Check back later for your chance to win great prizes from Goldfish!
If we asked you to name a favourite childhood snack, survey says Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish will pop right to mind. Of course you might know them by other illustrious names such as fishy crackers, cheesy guppies or swimming snacks. (Or maybe that’s just me). When we ask you what keeps the kids grinning and quiet during road trips and are easy to vacuum off the floor even when squished, you might come up with the same answer. Or what snack you can take straight out of the box and still be fun. One of my ‘back to school’ resolutions has been to make lunches exciting. Cutting a sandwich into a boat shape, adding an apple ‘sail’ and a bunch of Goldfish swimming around the hull has been scoring me some Mommy-love. And the lunches are getting eaten too. And the teachers think I’m uber-dedicated. (Until I don’t show up for the PTA stuff.)
Now there is more choice than ever with Goldfish. The new Pretzels contain no artificial colours or flavours, no saturated fat and no trans fat. They are baked into the same fancy fish shape that kids know and love. Unfortunately the other thing they don’t come with is a vacuum for the back of the car. (You’ll have to drop Mother’s Day hints for that one.)
In celebration of the new variety of Goldfish Pretzels, we are inviting Moms and Dads in the Vancouver / Coquitlam area to bring the kids and enjoy a free screening of the movie Finding Nemo: 3D where you’ll get to try new Goldfish Pretzel snacks together with the UrbanMommies team.
Location: Silvercity Coquitlam (170 Schoolhouse St, Coquitlam, BC)
Film: Finding Nemo: 3D
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Maximum Tickets: 5
Deadline to RSVP: Tuesday, September 18th.
# of children
# of adults (they must include themselves in this number)
See you there!
Disclosure: UrbanMommies received a stipend from Campbell Canada, the makers of Goldfish crackers, for my participation. Campbell Canada has provided all prizes in relation to this feature and we are the administrator of the promotion. As always, our opinions are our own.
One of the biggest nutritious hits in our family are zucchini muffins: they’re tasty and nutritious. If your kids find the spice levels in this recipe aren’t appealing, adjust as needed. Your kids can help in preparing these zippy zucchini muffins from beginning to end, from measuring both dry and wet ingredients, stirring, pouring the muffin mix into the pans…and of course, eating them! You can also try this recipe with grated carrots, too.
This year we have illustrious plans. Lunches will be made the night before, they will include fun, healthy options, and ‘litterless‘ will be a huge goal. Ok, even if we only bat one for three, here are a few tips that may make coming up with healthy school lunch ideas a bit easier.
1. Substitute avocado or hummus for mayo – avocado serves as a healthy fat source plus provides a creamy spread for sandwiches.
2. Use your slow cooker overnight to have healthy hot thermos food ready and waiting in the morning. Hot lunches are a treat in the winter. (Or you could just reheat leftovers). Our Slow Cooker Pinterest Board is a great source for recipes.
3. Pep up your plain old PB&J with almond butter and fresh fruit slices –fresh fruit means natural sugars. Check with the school if ‘peanut-free’ also means ‘almond-free’. Stores like Whole Foods have great peanut butter alternatives.
4. Margaret Ng, Health and Wellness Manager, at Pacific Blue Cross recommends always using whole grain breads or tortillas – wraps are a fun change of pace especially when they are packed with veggies. And when you’re not around to hear the kids complain, we bet they’ll forgo the white bread – especially after a busy morning of school.
5. Swap processed chips and snacks for healthier homemade options like trail mix with dried fruits and nuts, homemade fruit roll-ups or granola balls.
6. Keep it petite: Little people enjoy little portions so they can snack through the day. Out: the double-decker hero sandwich. In: A stylish Bento box filled with flavours and colours.
7. Play with their food. It needn’t take a ton of extra time to cut their sandwiches with cookie cutters or insert raisin eyes into a celery/cream cheese caterpillar. If you want more fun ideas we are always updating our school lunch Pinterest board.
8. Add fun with finger foods: Experiment with nutritious dips and spreads for veggies and crackers. Alternatively, boil an egg they can peel themselves.
9. Consult your kid: There is no better way to ensure they eat their lunch than by getting their buy-in. Find out what their favourite snacks are and shop accordingly. If they are older, give them an assignment at the grocery store to find 5 healthy options they will want to take in their lunch and send them down the aisles. (Make sure you get veto-power though).
Good Luck and Happy Lunch-making!