(Family Features) With a lot of parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right.
Consider these simple suggestions from Melanie Marcus, MA, RD, health and nutrition communications manager for Dole Food Company.
- Healthy Snack Time Taste Tests – Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious.
- Purposeful Playtime – Many households have a play kitchen or some kind of play food. Use this as an opportunity to act out how to create a healthy kitchen with activities like making salad, setting the table, peeling bananas and washing dishes. This can help young children become more independent, learn what to expect and grow into little helpers at family mealtime.
- Sensory Activity – One idea that can work for school and at home is making a sensory box. Simply place a fruit or two inside a tissue box and have children put their hands inside then try to guess which fruit it is by feeling it.
- Recipes for Fun – If you’re preparing a meal, it could be a good time to teach children of reading age how to review a recipe. Evaluating ingredients to learn how food transforms from raw to cooked or how a dish is created can help kids learn kitchen skills. For example, try this fun, fruity recipe for Kids with Almond Toast.
- Food Groups Focus – Get kids involved in making dinner by setting a rule that each food group must be represented. Give them a warmup activity by asking which food groups are found in family favorites like chicken soup, lasagna or meatloaf. Asking kids to guess which ingredients are used in these dishes and identifying which food group each ingredient belongs to can help them understand dietary balance. Find more at-home tips in the free, downloadable Healthy Eating Toolkit from the nonprofit organization Action for Healthy Kids.
- Reading Time – From food labels to children’s books to cookbooks, there are plenty of reading materials to choose from that reinforce healthy eating habits. Exposing children to fruits and vegetables outside the kitchen is a subtle way to show that nutritious ingredients are part of everyday life.
- Explain the Bathroom Routine – Make sure to wash hands and explain that this is a way of washing away germs to stay healthy. Also explain why brushing teeth is important by reminding children that food can get stuck in teeth and cause cavities.
“Kids” with Almond Toast
Total time: 10 minutes
- 4 slices whole-grain bread
- 6 tablespoons unsalted almond butter
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- 1 DOLE® Banana, peeled
- 2 Dole Strawberries, trimmed and halved
- 4 chunks (1 1/2 inches) fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
- 2 Dole Blackberries
- 2 teaspoons toasted flaxseed (optional)
- Toast bread slices. Spread with almond butter and drizzle with honey, if desired.
- To make “kids”: Cut eight slices and 32 matchsticks from banana. Arrange one strawberry half and one pineapple chunk on two slices toast; arrange remaining strawberry halves and blackberries on remaining slices. Place one banana slice “head” at top of each piece of fruit and arrange four banana matchsticks around each “kid” for arms and legs. Sprinkle flaxseed along bottom edges of toast under kids’ feet, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (mother and daughter)
(Family Features) Kickstart the new year by making meaningful changes for yourself and your family. Finding nutritious recipes can help you stay on track when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle.
As you look to start 2020 off right, opt for fresh ingredients. No matter what your goal for the year is, start at a store like ALDI. From making Mondays meatless to cutting out refined carbs, you can find a healthy haul – for less – complete with high-quality products for these delicious, nutritious and affordable recipes from ALDI.
Find more recipe ideas at aldi.us.
Morning Oasis Overnight Oats – If busy mornings prevent you from starting the day with a nutritious breakfast, try overnight oats. They are easy to prepare a day in advance, then top with fruit, coconut, shaved chocolate and quinoa when it’s time for breakfast.
Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl – Add more fruit to the “most important meal of the day” with this smoothie bowl bursting with flavor. Blended blackberries, blueberries and banana provide a nutritious start to your day, and it can be topped with additional fruits, almonds, chia seeds and more for added texture.
Citrus Popping Kale Salad – Whether it’s for lunch or served as the first course for dinner, a salad is a way to combine a healthy serving of veggies with toppings you crave. The flavors of this tasty recipe create a perfect marriage of quinoa, baby kale, onion, mango and cranberries.
Fruit and Avocado Salad – This crisp and refreshing salad combines oranges, grapefruit, onion, avocado, blueberries and pecans for an option that’s both nutritious and delicious.
Grilled Herb Chicken Skewers – Put a spin on grilled fare and place seasoned chicken skewers on a bed of arugula. Save time and marinate the night before to infuse the chicken with the savory taste of herbs.
Cauliflower-Quinoa Pizza– When the family wants a classic, serve this better-for-you pizza, complete with a crust made from cauliflower and quinoa. Top with tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, peppers and other veggies for a nutritious twist on the traditional slice.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bar – You don’t have to completely remove dessert from your menu to live a healthier lifestyle. This baked dish features peanut butter as the base, so you can enjoy a protein-packed treat without the guilt.
Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding – It only takes five ingredients and 15 minutes in the kitchen to please your sweet tooth when cravings strike.
(Family Features) Eating a high-protein breakfast can help provide energy and focus to keep your day on track. While many experts now recommend 25-30 grams of protein at each meal, the average breakfast plate only contains 13 grams. One way to help close the gap is to add an 8-ounce glass of milk to your meal. Whether organic, flavored or white, each variety provides nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounces to help start the day on the right foot.
Get ahead of the game and prep breakfast the night before so you have something delicious and satisfying to look forward to each morning. Now is the perfect time to update your routine with these powerhouse breakfast ideas. These recipes are all made and paired with milk, helping you get protein and nutrients you need to fuel your day.
Once you try these delicious recipes, you’ll never go back to your old, lackluster options again. For additional breakfast inspiration, visit milklife.com.
(Family Features) When the school year rolls around, switching from pool to school means finding simpler ways to kick off the day with healthy and nutritious options.
Preparing feel-good breakfasts can be as easy as picking and putting together the right ingredients, if you know where to buy them. At grocery stores like ALDI, parents can conveniently find choices they can feel good about feeding their families, including fresh produce and organic, non-GMO and gluten-free options. Parents can also shop easier knowing ALDI private label items – which make up 90 percent of its products – are free from certified synthetic colors, added trans fats and MSG.
After the shopping trip, try these make-ahead breakfast ideas to give the busy mornings a boost:
- Homemade energy bars are an easy breakfast option that can keep you fueled until lunch. For simple bars, heat coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan until combined then transfer to a large bowl and mix with cashew butter, oats, dried fruits and granola. Press the mixture between two cookie sheets to flatten, refrigerate 2 hours and slice into bars.
- Portion out produce for daily breakfast smoothies. Seal each weekday’s smoothie ingredients in separate plastic bags and simply toss the ingredients in a blender each morning. Enjoy your smoothie in a tumbler or try something new, such as this Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
- Use your slow cooker to make oatmeal. Before heading to bed, simply add milk, vanilla and your favorite sweetener to rolled oats and cook on low 7-8 hours. Include dried fruit to soak up moisture and provide a sweet, juicy addition. Or try these Morning Oasis Overnight Oats for a no-cook variation on traditional oatmeal for a quick, crunchy start to the day.
Make school mornings a breeze with more quick recipes at aldi.us.
Morning Oasis Overnight Oats
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups Millville Quick Oats
- 1 teaspoon Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- 2 cups Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/8 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey, divided
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, toasted
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Whole Almonds, toasted
- 1 mango, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped coconut
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, shaved
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, melted
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
- In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds and remaining honey. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove, cooling completely and crumbling. Store in re-sealable bag overnight.
- The next day, stir oats and pour desired amount into serving bowl. Top with mango, coconut, shaved chocolate and candied quinoa. Drizzle with melted chocolate.
Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 3/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 3/4 cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- SimplyNature Flax Seed
- Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
- Lime zest
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.