Young Chefs as Food Critics, Food Writers, and Culinary Enthusiasts

Young Chef

Young Chef (Photo credit: Javier Delgado Esteban)

Interesting story and slideshow about 10 young cooks who already have promising culinary careers in their future. http://www.thedailymeal.com/10-most-famous-kid-critics-and-cooks

Kid can never start too young to get interested in food and cooking.

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Secrets of a Blog Writer

I'm at an apple orchard event.

I’ve been writing this blog for the past 3-4 years. I know a little about you – that you’re interested in kids and cooking. But you probably don’t know a whole lot about me because I’m usually on some topic about eating tips and helping kids stay healthy or about Mom’s helping kids stay well – my top passions.

Today I want to include some things you may not know about me. Yes, I’m a long-time blogger, but here are 5 other things about me:

1. I taught high school family and consumer science classes for over 20 years.

2. In my first year of teaching, I taught all the “home ec” classes, biology classes, and PE (physical education) classes.

3. Love apples. Growing up, we had an apple orchard on our farm –  this whetted my appetite for that bountiful fruit.

4. I was a child-recipe-clipper. While my young friends cut out paper dolls, I cut out recipes.

5. I just sent out a large mailing for my apple cookbooks this week. If you’re one of my customers, expect some mail. If you’re not, just email me at Lee at images unlimited pub.com and I’ll send you a charming flyer with all our books illustrated in full color. Be ready for apple season.

I know I’m off topic today but I thought this might be fun – besides, it’s too hot to think too deeply. Please continue to visit  here– share your thoughts and concerns and ask questions. What are some topics  about which you’re needing more information? I’ll try to help by searching for answers. Let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson
Food Writer
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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12 Food-Related Kids Projects

Recipes

Here are 12 fun, food-related projects you and your children can work on this summer. This will help them further explore their interest in food and cooking. Who knows, your children’s skills and enthusiasm for working with food may be taken to another level.

Children can:

  • begin a food journal by listing favorite foods. Include best food and holiday memories.
  • plan certain meals or menus for a week, then note results in journal.
  • collect favorite recipes and create own cookbook.
  • take a field trip to the farmers market with family.
  • grow radishes, green onions, and/or lettuce.
  • learn new cooking skill, such as how to cream, whip, or knead.
  • find recipes to try from different cookbooks.
  • make a list of proper table etiquette and include in journal.
  • clip coupons from newspapers and magazines.
  • sketch out the grocery store’s layout to help know where items are located.
  • when shopping, compare organic food prices to other food prices. Discuss advantages and disadvantages.
  • try some dishes with a regional or international flavor.

Here I have included a seafood recipe taken from the cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Food Activities by Amy Houts. Her cookbook shows how different cultures in America came to co-exist, yet continue to celebrate their uniqueness through food. This recipe comes from the section on “Cooking in New England“, which describes the region and includes recipes from the  breads, soups and salads (like Manhattan Clam Chowder), main dishes/meats, vegetables and side dishes (such as Boston Baked Beans), and dessert categories.

Shake and Bake Scallops

1 egg
1 pound fresh scallops or 1 pound package frozen scallops, thawed
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan. Children can beat egg in a medium-sized bowl. Add scallops and stir until coated with egg. Measure bread crumbs and pour into a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Using a slotted spoon, scoop scallops into bag with crumbs. Pour into prepared pan in one layer. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Variation

Peel and chop 1 small onion. Seed, rinse, and chop 1 small green pepper. Rinse and chop 1 rub celery. Saute onion, pepper, and celery in a skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes. After drizzling breaded scallops with butter, top with vegetables. Bake as directed above. Serves 4.

One way to keep children active and interested this summer is through food focused activities. Let this be the start of an engaging summer.

To your health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson, CFCS

http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

Books for kids, families, and parenting professionals

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“Let Freedom Ring”

Flag of the United States at the memorial to P...

Today on Memorial Day we in the USA remember those who have gone before us to defend our freedom. We honor the fallen heroes and

pay them our respects. May our country continue to enjoy freedom, peace, and prosperity.

Unofficially, today also kicks off summer vacation season. I hope, wherever you are, you can spend extra time with family and friends.

If your children need a break from whatever they are doing, why not get them started on some projects in the kitchen with Kids Cooking and Learning Through Food Activities.

This will whet their appetite for more “work” in the kitchen.  Who knows, by the end of summer, they may be super chefs!

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson, author and nutrition advocate
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Successful People Read

Best Viewed Large

It’s inspiring to hear how books still change lives. Here are uplifting stories from student’s viewpoints http://bit.ly/L0aydU Reading does make a difference in people’s lives.

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A Food and Health Connection

Dr. Terry Wahls, a professor of medicine and clinical research, survived progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) through therapeutic use of a nutrient rich food plan, outlined here http://youtu.be/KLjgBLwH3Wc

After traditional medicine failed to help her, Dr. Wahls researched everything she could get her hands on about the disease, and was led to this diet plan. She attributes her remarkable progress to this way of eating and neuromuscular electrical stimulation, which uses an electrical current to promote muscle growth.

Dr. Wahls is now educating others about food as medicine and is studying whether this treatment could work for others with MS or Parkinson’s disease.

I think you will find much association here between food and health.

As stated by others, “Yes, we’d like to have a donut and coffee for breakfast and pop a vitamin pill“, but she’s advocating going back to our hunter-gatherer days. How does this resonate with you?

To your health,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition Advocate

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6 Tips for Shopping Smart at the Grocery Store

Going to the grocery store with a plan will save time and impact the health of your family. In order to eat healthier, spend less

veggies

veggies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

time in the store, and possibly save more money, you need to have a market plan.

A good place to start your list is with vegetables and fruits. The emphasis here should be on green and yellow vegetables and citrus fruits. Five or more servings per day are the recommended amounts.

These are often the very foods we choose to skip while adding the snacks, soda pop, and sweets to our shopping carts. Not good. If we are to live healthier lives, the emphasis should be on real food.

Here are tips for shopping healthier when going to the grocery store:

1. Do most of your shopping along the outer perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find the fresh produce and other fresh foods.

2. First, stock up on plant-based foods such as yams, squash, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and garlic.

3. Choose a good variety of salad vegetables, such as raw spinach, romaine lettuce, radishes, peppers, green onions.

4. Select fruits that are in season. These will be the choicest and generally the least expensive. If you can preserve seasonal fruits through canning or freezing, this may be a good way to incorporate fruits into your family meals later in the year.

5. Add rice and beans unless they are already in your pantry or food storage area. You may want to even pick up prepackaged (not canned) bean soups. Choose brown rice over white. (Yes, here you may have to use an “inside aisle”).

6. If possible, buy local and organic. This is not always possible, but if this is available in your area, more power to you.

Before you go to the store you have checked your cupboard for needed items and have checked the ads to see if any of the specials are what you need. Armed with your list of healthy foods and suggestions, doing your grocery shopping should be a breeze.

Here’s to your health,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition Advocate
http://healthykidseatingtips.com

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3 Best Ways to Get Kids Cooking

Do your children like to help in the kitchen? Have you asked them and encouraged them?

Most children love to “help” in the kitchen. This help may not always be appreciated but their enthusiasm should be encouraged. Being excited about working in the kitchen is a good trait for any child.

Here are three excellent ways to get kids cooking:

1. The #1 way to get kids cooking is to encourage and involve them in the work of the kitchen.  Give them simple chores to do, depending on the age of the child. Setting the table, mixing ingredients, and washing food, such as lettuce in a colander are jobs even preschoolers can do. It may take a little more time and patience sharing your kitchen with young ones, but the smiles on their faces will more than compensate for a little flour on the floor or other spills.

2. Give children choices. The #2 way of getting kids in the kitchen is to give them choices in what they can do. For example, “Do you want to grease the pan or measure the sugar?  Or you can ask “Would you like to put the napkins on the table or the silverware?” Eventually you may get them interested in doing both chores. Just make it sound interesting! Let them know this is a special job just for them. You may say: “You’re the only one in this family who knows where the knives, forks, and spoons go.”

3. Prepare simple foods with them and let them sample when it’s ready. Children feel good about the food they prepare and want to taste it. This is a good time to give them a little more information about the food. You can tell them where it is grown and some of the processes it went through to get to the stage it is now. Let them feel the food and talk about the color and the shape. What else do they know that is that color or that shape? How does it smell?  Is it hot or is it cold? When they taste it, is it salty? Is it sweet? Have them describe how it looks and tastes.

By following these suggestions you will have excited and willing help in the kitchen  –  perhaps even promising young chefs. Many great cooks attribute their skill and interest in cooking to their earlier years when they were encouraged to help their parents or other adults prepare food.

For help in selecting recipes to prepare with children, check out the children’s cookbook, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities by Amy Houts. This cookbook helps parents and children work together in celebrating America’s cultural diversity through foods from different regions of the country and shows where food is grown or harvested.

To your health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition Advocate
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

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Copyright (C) 2012 www.cookingandkids.com Lee Jackson, CFCS  All rights reserved.

Books for Kids About Character Building

Here is a another book I want to share with you – although it is not a cookbook. Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures, by Bob Bohlken is an insightful book for kids which received the Mom’s Choice Award from The Just for Mom Foundation. It is a story about the lives of Mukies living in the land of Mukies and how they overcome obstacles through patience, cooperation, and understanding.

In the story, The Happy but Unhappy Mukie there lived a Mukie farmer named Marvin. He and his wife and three children lived comfortably farming and harvesting melilot, the Mukies’ favorite food. One night a wondering Mukie, the Old One, came along and was invited to share a meal and spend the night.

The Old One told of far away places of gentle streams and rolling hills where everyone was truly happy all the time. It was a place of real contentment and happiness, free from cares and responsibilities. This got the farmer thinking that his life wasn’t as good as he thought it was. He now viewed himself as a poor, unfortunate person who had missed his opportunity for “true happiness”.

Throughout the trials of Marvin seeking true happiness, children can discuss how “grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence” and other influences. They can discuss what makes the greatest difference in a person’s happiness and even role play what might happen in Marvin’s home if he decides to leave and search for happiness. This might even lead to a discussion on the rights and responsibilities of family members in making a happy home.

This is but one of the eight short stories in the book, Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures. Parents and teachers have told us it is a good way to begin an exchange of thoughts, feelings and ideas about values and other issues.

This book can be ordered from Snaptail Press or through Amazon.

Feel free to forward and share this email with your friends and family.

WANT TO USE MY ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it.
Copyright (C) 2012 www.cookingandkids.com Lee Jackson, CFCS  All rights reserved.

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Chicken, Anyone?

Say “chicken salad” and immediately a soggy chicken salad comes to mind. People have the notion that this is a way to use up left-over chicken by just adding some mayo.

Well, chicken salad can be anything but soggy when you add in a few veggies that not only add nutrients but increase the crunchiness and fiber.

Kids can help with the chopping and grating of vegetables and become part of the kitchen crew – which might also tempt them to try something new.

Here is a recipe for Crunchy Chicken Salad taken from Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids by Amy Houts. It is a perfect spring-time recipe, especially if using new green onions and lettuce just out of the garden.

Crunchy Chicken Salad

1 cup cut-up chicken
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup cut-up onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (1.7 oz.) can shoestring potatoes
Lettuce

Children can help with chopping celery, grating carrots, and perhaps cutting up the onion. Mix vegetables with chicken and mayonnaise.

Just before serving, mix in the shoestring potatoes. Serve on lettuce leaf.
Yield: 4 servings

Need more springtime recipes? Order Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids for more springtime and anytime recipes now.

Best to you,
Lee Jackson

Feel free to forward and share this email with your friends and family.

WANT TO USE MY ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?

You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it.

Copyright (C) 2012 www.cookingandkids.com Lee Jackson, CFCS  All rights reserved.

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