This is a fresh salad with clean and bright flavours. For the best flavour, let the salad stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
We’ve all been there: unloading the backpack at the end of the day and throwing away half-eaten sandwiches and mushy bananas.
We’re almost there – the home stretch towards summer. It’s the time of year where once-nutritious school lunches become cold pizza and granola bars seem like a good choice for breakfast as you rush the kids out of the house.
These savoury school lunch muffins can be made in batches and kept in the freezer. You can swap out your child’s favourite cheese and meat.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup finely diced ham or sausage
1 red pepper, de-ribbed and diced
1/4 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
150g butter, melted
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12 cup muffin tray with cupcake liners.
- In a bowl, place the flour, cheese, capsicum, mushrooms and ham.
- In a jug, combine the egg, milk and butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour into liners and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Photo Credit: Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife
One day they like mustard and the next, it’s only BBQ sauce.
And while one kid loves gnocci the other will only eat pasta.
Sandwiches with cheese are gross but macaroni and cheese is a favourite.
Smoothies aren’t real food, but when frozen into popsicles they are perfectly good sustenance.
Dealing with fickle picky eaters can give moms and dads a bunch of extra grey hair, and at times it is hard to remember that fussy eating is a normal stage for kids when learning about themselves. Experts constantly weigh in on methods to ensure healthy eating and Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook about hiding healthy foods within meals sold millions of copies and Elizabeth Pantley’s No-Cry Picky Eater Solution is also a great resource that flies off the shelves. So you’re not alone if you’re a tad frustrated!
Personally, I’m a really (really) busy mom, and while sometimes I cook up a storm, I can’t always guarantee home cooking, nor can I ensure that the kids will eat their painstakingly prepared school lunches. (One with mustard and one with BBQ sauce). When they were babies I knew if they were eating too many carrots and squash because they’d have an orange hue to their skin. Now, I have no idea if their calcium levels are adequate, their iron is ok and in Canada (especially on the East coast this year) I can pretty much guarantee that the kids have a vitamin D deficiency. Research shows that up to 85% of people do not have adequate vitamin D levels and Vitamin D deficiency is at its peak after the winter season.
Our family has been taking Iron Kids and Adult Essentials gummies for a few months, and we are all loving it. With a wide selection of nut and gluten-free options, I give them a few per day based on what their diet has been like recently. The multivitamin is great, but usually I toss them a calcium as well. IronKids Calcium is also fortified with vitamin D to ensure that your kids can absorb and utilize the calcium they need for bones and teeth. Calcium intake can decrease significantly without daily intake of vitamin D
The boys won’t leave the house until they’ve had their vitamin treats, and they compare shapes and flavours with each other in delight. This begins my day knowing that I’ve covered the bases in case they forget to eat their lunch because the school soccer game is too distracting, and my stress level about their nutrition has been dramatically reduced.
We have a summer full of sailing, golf, soccer and tennis so the whole family needs all the nutrients we can get!
You can learn lots more about nutrition and health on the Iron Kids website, and they also have a great bi-weekly newsletter!
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Science Nutritionals blogger program with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
These Chocolate Garden Cups offer the perfect combination of crunchy and smooth, and they are packed with nutrients. Just make sure you have the face wipes handy!! 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 cereal, the deliciously simple, eggless chocolate pudding is light, easy to make, and not too sweet.
We all want to be healthier, stronger and hit the ideal ratio of body fat to muscle. But since when have we actually been ‘rewarded’ for being healthy? Sure – you feel better within yourself and may get a few more whistles when walking past a construction site, but it is typically pretty challenging to become healthier. Personal trainers are expensive, deep-fried in restaurants seems to cost less, and finding a healthy meal on the go is a challenge. But being healthy has its rewards.
As many of our readers know, I have been training for a Run Disney event. Not having run more than a few feet and only when necessary (like being chased by a rabid dog), this was a huge challenge for me. Sure it was personally rewarding when I completed the run, but it took so much mental strength to force myself to train and be healthier. Perhaps I shouldn’t need a reward other than feeling good or personal satisfaction, but….
Part of becoming healthier has been my diet, and as a busy entrepreneur and Mom, washing lettuce leaves and chopping veggies is not always in the cards. I’ve always loved to stock my freezer with Lean Cuisine meals so I have something well balanced, filling and healthy when I need to eat in a hurry. Only now have I discovered that I can get rewarded for pulling this healthy trick out of my back pocket.
The Lean Cuisine Rewards program allows you to pop onto the internet and enter a PIN number found inside your favourite Lean Cuisine meal. The more you enjoy, the more you earn. Rewards range from coupons for free Lean Cuisine entrées to exercise balls, weights and home appliances.
Embarking on this new way to feel rewarded, I pulled a Thai Peanut Chicken out of the freezer. (This is where I admit that I didn’t eat breakfast and ate it at 9am after dropping the kids to school.) After four and a half minutes in the microwave, the veggies were still crisp and the chicken was tender. There seemed to be a ton of chicken for a meal that only has 300 calories, 6g of fat and 40% of my daily vitamin A. I was delighted. And energized. I think I may actually go for a run! Ha!
Excited to check out my rewards, I went to the Lean Cuisine website and registered. There are healthy lifestyle tips, a rewards catalogue and you can also create a meal and exercise plan in order to reach specific goals. I, of course, got sidetracked by the rewards and made a wishlist: a Spafinder gift certificate, iTunes music credits, Best Health Magazine and a Hamilton Beach blender. Not that personal satisfaction isn’t enough (ahem) but that makes me want to get healthy.
How do you reward yourself? We can help out a bit – want to enter to win a free Lean Cuisine BONUS PIN code (good for one entrée or to start you off for larger rewards)? Just use this handy rafflecopter form. Canada only, ends 30. May, 2014. Good luck!
Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Stouffers Lean Cuisine Rewards, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit Lean Cuisine Rewards.
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!
I had a panic attack last week about the kids going back to school. Our summer has been hot and full of learning. Also a fair bit of goofing off. And now I must think about fall clothes, proper shoes and (ugh)… school lunches. Healthy school lunch ideas for picky eaters are hard to come by, so we’ve scoured our resources and assembled a comprehensive list for you.
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!