Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentine’s Day

PinExt Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

I hope you are planning to spend time on Valentine’s Day with your family. Here are some easy tips for quality family time to help you express your love to others in a fun way.

  • Set out paper place mats and decorate them with a Valentines Day theme.
  • Write an “I love you” note with soap on your bathroom mirror.
  • Listen to your children with your eyes and heart as well as your ears.
  • Plan a treasure hunt by leaving little notes around the house expressing your appreciation for something others did. End with a riddle or clue to the next hiding place where they will find a candy or special memento. Have something special at the last hiding place such as a toy or treat.
  • Show your love and appreciation to others. Affirming statements such as “I love you just the way you are; I’m so glad you’re my (son, daughter, mother, father, friend)” need to be given often, not only on Valentines Day.

There are lots more suggestions for this and other special days  in Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids — Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. This is a fun book you can read and use all year long.

Lee Jackson
Family and Parenting Studies

 

 Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

 Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

PinExt Easy Tips for Quality Family Time on Valentines Day

Gift Children a Cookbook for Valentine’s Day

PinExt Gift Children a Cookbook for Valentines Day

Instead of  giving candy for Valentine’s Day, gift your children a cookbook that will keep them cooking and enjoying food all year around. Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun has a section of easy recipes for Valentine’s Day.

Help children celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Tea Party complete with party games. Have them invite their friends and have a game of A-Tisket-A-Basket. Serve red and white food such as Apple Arrows. Slice red apples into wedges. Dip into lemon juice to prevent turning brown and arrange on plate.

A gift of a book will make a special remembrance for a special child. Get it here at Amazon.

PinExt Gift Children a Cookbook for Valentines Day

Childrens Christmas books make perfect gifts

PinExt Childrens Christmas books make perfect gifts

Christmas books make great gifts for children on your list.

Children’s Christmas books get read over and over. The Littlest Christmas Kitten is one such book. The book weaves the story of a lost kitten into the events of the Holy Night when Baby Jesus is born. The big, bold illustrations grab attention and lead the reader right to the stable.

Watch a 39 second YouTube trailer here: 439d0fd4816f5c06ad038bf77cf4de6e 01 260x125r v2 Childrens Christmas books make perfect gifts

Perfect for the holidays.

 

 Childrens Christmas books make perfect gifts
PinExt Childrens Christmas books make perfect gifts

Let’s Count Our Blessings on Thanksgiving

PinExt Lets Count Our Blessings on Thanksgiving
300px Frances Brundage Thanksgiving Lets Count Our Blessings on Thanksgiving

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we approach another Thanksgiving Day, let us give thanks. We are blessed with a great nation, even with its many faults and failings. As a country and as a people, we are better off in the things that matter.

We have peace in our land. We have warm homes and food on our tables. Granted, there are many who do not have these necessities and comforts. But we are a compassionate people, and as a whole, give a great deal of money and goods to needy causes. When there are tornadoes and hurricans, efforts are made to help out our neighbors. It is said that Americans give more money to charity than the rest of the world combined.

Children and families can practice care and concern for others in their own corner of the world. This could be something as simple as a smile or kind word. Even small ways of being helpful to others can make a difference in someone’s life.

We are thankful for our family and friends, each with with its own special joys, satisfactions, and challenges. We’re thankful for the opportunity of being together, especially at holidays.

The men and women serving our country deserve a multitude of thanks for helping protect us and defend our freedom. We remember military families who are missing loved ones from their tables this Thanksgiving.

I want to offer an expression of gratitude to you for being here with me on this journey, and for all the ways you continue to contribute to the world with the gifts and blessings that are you.

Let us give thanks for all our many blessings from Thy bounty and ask God to continue to bless America.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lee Jackson

 

 Lets Count Our Blessings on Thanksgiving
PinExt Lets Count Our Blessings on Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Bread for the Season

PinExt Pumpkin Bread for the Season
300px Pumpkin bread Pumpkin Bread for the Season

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite breads to have on hand during the fall season and on into the holidays. It combines the mellow pumpkin flavor with cinnamon and nuts for a great fall flavor.

Bread baked in the  smaller miniature loaves are great for gift giving. Children like to make cupcakes using this recipe. Just  pour batter into muffin tins about two-thirds full and viola..a tasty snack.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk or water
2 cups (16 oz. can) pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; add the rest of ingredients. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Fill two well-greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans one-half full. Bake in 350 degrees oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on cooling rack.

Makes 2 loaves

This bread is high in sugar and oil so keep the slices thin and without butter!  But pumpkin is loaded with much
nutritional value and I like to think the high sugar and oil consequences are overshadowed somewhat by the
pumpkin’s nutrients! Again, moderation is the key.

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant,
beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.

Current research indicates that food containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of
cancer and offers protection against heart disease. It has also shown to be effective against the degenerative aspects of aging.

Here are the nutrition facts for 1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, pumpkin without salt:
Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg

This is the wonderful season of glorious colors and tempting foods.

May you enjoy good, healthy foods.

Lee Jackson
Books for cooks and apple lovers
children, families and parenting professionals
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

 Pumpkin Bread for the Season
PinExt Pumpkin Bread for the Season

Reflecting on Flavors of Early America this 4th of July

PinExt Reflecting on Flavors of Early America this 4th of July

Leafing through Fannie Farmers 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book casts a light on earlier foods and methods of preparing it.

300px United States Flag RFK DOJ Building July 2010 Reflecting on Flavors of Early America this 4th of July

If you found the following terms in an Early American cookbook, or receipt book, what would it mean? Answers at the bottom.

Match the definitions to the following terms:

A. spider

B. slump

C. hoecake

D. mush

E. love apple

F. trifle

G. chow-chow

H. dropped egg

I. eggs ala goldenrod

J. Kornlet

K. tripe

L. Indian Pudding

M. gruels

N. junkets

You would also find helpful directions on such jobs as

“How to build a fire” and “How to bone a bird” and many others necessary in an early kitchen.

Definitions

1. tomato

2. pickled vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, caulifour, celery, onion heated in a brine for pickling

3. fry pan

4. unleavened Johnny cake made of cornmeal, originally baked on the blade of a hoe over an open fire.

5. dessert dish made from thick or often thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or getatin, and whipped cream arranged in layers.

6. poached

7. stomach part of animal such as oxen or cow prepared as food

8. sweet dumpling mixture dropped onto a boiling sugar and fruit mixture

9. canned green corn pulp. Today’s substitution would be sweet baby corn.

10. custard made basically of sugar and milk.

11. hard boiled eggs in a white sauce served over toast.

12. starch, such as flour or cereal, mixed with liquid

13. corn meal left-over from breakfast and fried.

14. baked mixture of milk, meal, molasses, and seasonings

Are you having any of these foods this 4th of July?

May God bless America on this holiday and every day.

Lee Jackson

Books for kids, families, and parenting professional

http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

A)3; B)8; C)4; D)13; E)1; F)5; G)2; H)6; I)11; J)9; K)7; L)14; M)12; N)10

 Reflecting on Flavors of Early America this 4th of July
PinExt Reflecting on Flavors of Early America this 4th of July

“Let Freedom Ring”

PinExt Let Freedom Ring
300px USA Flag   Hyannis   Massachusetts Let Freedom Ring

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

 Let Freedom Ring
PinExt Let Freedom Ring

Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?

PinExt Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?

Did the Easter bunny come loaded with candy to your house? Or did he have some non-sugar related treats instead, such as

300px Chocolate Easter Bunny Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?

A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

new socks, new shirts, or fruits and nuts?

If your bunny was like most bunnies I know, he packed a high sugar load. As parents, how to handle the high influx of sugars into young bodies? As well as, how to get back into a schedule of healthy eating?

Studies have shown that high sugar intake not only can add pounds but plays a role in a wide range of health problems such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Long-term sugar addiction can also produce a weakened immune system, chronic fatigue, hormonal problems, and gastrointestinal issues as well as anxiety and depression.

There is conflicting evidence over sugar-producing mood altering swings in children. But many parents have seen the changes in their child from a sweet, fun-loving child to one of a hostile, out-of-control “brat”. Too much sugar causes different reactions in different people.

Some view the never-ending “need” many have for sugar as a powerful addiction not unlike that of alcohol. With sugar addiction, individuals are no longer able to use their body’s natural abilities to control their food intake. Reportedly, some parts of the world still keep sugar under lock and key believing it to be a narcotic.

Just as with any other addiction, sugar craving needs to be controlled. This includes cutting out artificially sweetened foods as well as natural sugar foods. Getting the sugar habit under control is especially important for children for health reasons as well as weight control.

How can parents help their sugar-craving kids?

  • Help make Easter candy less readily available. Perhaps making a game out of choosing one piece and then hiding the rest. Often “out of sight, out of mind” helps. Stock cabinets and refrigerator with fruits and vegetables that are within easy reach.
  • Start your kids off with a good breakfast. This could consist of a vegetable omelet or oatmeal with chopped almonds or quinoa flakes and fresh fruit. It could also include last night’s meal of chicken or roast beef with veggie sticks.
  • If you are the chief meal planner and preparer, eliminate sugars and any sugar derivatives (honey, molasses, corn syrup, high fructose syrup and the like) from the menu. Plan  meals in advance, shop intentionally, based on what you need, and prepare the meals at a set time.
  • Pack the meals with plant-based foods from the vegetable group, the fruit group, and high-quality protein sources from animal or plant protein sources such as seafood, poultry and lean meats.
  • Set a good example by not eating foods with sugar. This means eliminating any “diet” soft drinks and other processed, sugary foods as well.
  • Take your kids shopping and ask them to help you make dinner or prepare their school lunch. Praise them for their good choices.
  • Have pitchers of water handy so your kids can drink this anytime. Kids should drink water rather than any soda or other sweetened drink.
  • One of the biggest helps is to teach kids the value of staying active and exercising. When they are playing baseball, hiking or biking they are not as apt to want a piece of candy. Then, have some healthy snacks when they are through, such as nuts or peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread, rice cakes and peanut butter, carrot sticks, apples, bananas, grapes, etc.
  • Your child may be tempted to eat sweets, just as you, perhaps, are tempted. Try to get past the temptation by focusing on another activity. Perhaps on some hobby you have, or a pleasant experience you had.
  • Some like to use visualization when this happens. They imagine and visualize how much healthier they will be without the sugar, or they will see a firm, slender body if they don’t indulge.

Getting past the sugar craving is not easy. Having candy and other sweets out of sight is the first step. Stocking up on healthy foods is the second. What your children eat or don’t eat relates to how they think, act, and feel so it is in everyone’s best interests to help them eat healthy.

To your success,

Lee Jackson
http://healthykidseatingtips.com

 Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?
PinExt Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?

Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

PinExt Bunny Salad Idea for Easter
PearPhoto Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

A pear (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is an idea for a bunny salad kids will love to create. Children enjoy working with food, especially if provided with encouragement and inspiration. Carrying out the bunny theme with food is not difficult and they will be pleased with their results.

Bunny Salad

1 fresh pear cut in half, remove seeds and stem
or use canned pear halves
Raisins
Red cherries, candied or maraschino
Shredded cheese
Marshmallows
Lettuce

Prepare fresh pear or drain juice from canned pears.
Wash lettuce and put a lettuce leaf on individual plate.

To make bunny:

Place pear halve face down on lettuce leaf.

Put 2 raisins on the pear for the eyes.

Use a red cherry for the nose.

Put several pieces of shredded cheese on each side of face for whiskers.

Cut two marshmallows in half and use for ears of bunny.

Add a marshmallow for the bunny’s tail.

There you have it – one sweet bunny. These salads multiply well for any number of guests. Recipe taken from Amy Houts first book in the Food and Fun series, Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. See more at Cooking/Calendar.

To your childrens’ creativity,

Lee Jackson
Nutrition advocate and author

http://healthykidseatingtips.com

 Bunny Salad Idea for Easter
PinExt Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

PinExt Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
51H62ZFCJML. SL300  Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cover via Amazon

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. On January 16 we honor this man who is best known for securing progress on civil rights in the United States and around the world. He is remembered as a non-violent advocate of equality for all men and women.

Dr. King‘s “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered on August 28, 1963, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. He was a ray of light and hope at a troubled time in our history. It is important that we honor him with a national holiday, but perhaps he would rather want us remember him by remembering and living his dream!

 Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
PinExt Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.