It’s Fruitcake Time!

It’s Fruit Cake Time!

It’s almost THAT time – time for fruit cakes. What Christmas season would be complete without one or more fruit cakes? But, here is one the kids can easily make and you won’t have to wait until it’s flavors mellow before you eat it. This one takes only 24 hours, or until well chilled, and then, let the sampling begin.

This recipe comes from the newest apple cookbook, Healthy to the Core! All Natural Low Sugar/No Sugar Apple Recipes for Kids by Lee Jackson . She stresses healthy eating and enjoying cooking with kids. You will see this recipe is low on sugar and great on flavor. Try it with your kids and enjoy!

Refrigerator Fruit Cake

Ingredients                             Tools and Equipment
4 cups graham cracker crumbs             2, 8-inch pans or
1 teaspoon cinnamon                              1, 9 x12-in pan
1 teaspoon nutmeg                                  waxed paper
2 cups dried apples or                            rolling pin
mixture of fruit                                        large mixing bowl
1/4 cup dates                                            small mixing bowl
1 cup chopped nuts                                 measuring cups
2/3 cup evaporated milk                       and spoons
1/2 cup frozen orange juice                  scissors for cutting
concentrate                                                  dried fruit

1. Prepare pans by lining with wax paper.
2. Between 2 sheets of waxed paper, crush graham crackers into crumbs with rolling pin (or use food processor, if age permits). Add to large bowl. Sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg. Add fruits and nuts.
3. Mix together evaporated milk and orange juice concentrate. Pour over crumb mixture and mix until all is moistened.
4. Place in prepared pans and pack firmly with hands.
5. Chill in refrigerator for 24 hours. Cut into small squares.

For this and other recipes, order this book, Healthy to the Core! All Natural Low Sugar/No Sugar Apple Recipes for Kids at the Christmas special of only $12.95 now until December 10 and then it will return to its price of $14.95.

Kids love to measure and pour. Give them this experience. Put in your order today and give the kids hours of cooking, eating, and having fun.

Lee Jackson invites you to go to http://caringmomshealthykids.com/ and sign up for the FREE Guide – Healthy Eating:The Formula. She is the author of a Christmas book for children, The Littlest Christmas Kitten,  and three apple cookbooks. See these and other books at http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPublishing.com

 

 

 

Chicken Noodle Soup for the Cold and Flu

Some say the flu is winding down. Whether this is true or not, there are some age-old tested methods of helping reduce the effects of cold and the flu. One of these has to do with an old stand-by – chicken soup.

cocktail bridesmaid dresses online

This soup is known to help alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu. Others say chicken soup strengths the immune system. We know that good health starts with a well functioning immune system.

Here is an easy recipe from Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun by Amy Houts. Yes, even children can make this soup, known as the go-to comfort food.

Amy’s Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

4 quarts water
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 carrot, diced fine
1 stalk celery, diced fine
1 (6-oz.) package fine egg noodles

Bring water to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Adult can add chicken and bouillon, turn down heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pot.

Children can help add carrots and celery; simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, dice chicken. Add noodles and diced chicken. Simmer 5 minutes more.

Makes 6 servings

There is a great deal to learn yet about the healing power of food. In the meantime, if you want to work on staying healthy or feeling better during a cold or flu, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and have a bowl of chicken soup.

See this and other healthy food choices in Amy Houts childrens cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. You’ll want to try some of her other seasonal foods, such as recipes for Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and St. Patrick‘s Day.

To your good health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPublishing.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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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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Bunny Salad Idea for Easter

A pear

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

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Quite Simply – the Easiest Cookie Ever

Beaten egg whites

It’s been a busy week-end, with St. Patrick’s Day and other activities for warmer days. Perhaps you haven’t had time to check your cookbook or creative spirit for healthy snacks made only from the ingredients in the last post.

I want to share a cookie recipe I like that has some redeeming qualities as far as nutrition is concerned. But the time factor is way off the chart as far as “right- now- eat-ability” (if that is a word) is concerned. Check it out. Kids will love making them but they won’t like not being able to eat them right away.

Dream Keeper Cookies

2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup nuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Beat whites very stiff. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. Stir in nuts and mix lightly.  Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheets. Place cookies in preheated oven. Turn off oven and leave cookies in the oven overnight. Next morning, carefully pull each cookie from the paper or foil. Enjoy.

Now I’ll put on my thinking cap for other fast snacks using these ingredients, but with a much, much shorter time-frame. What are some of your healthy snack ideas using these ingredients?

Lee Jackson
Thinking Healthy Eating
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

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Search Your Recipe File – and Creative Abilities

On another blog, someone asked for suggestions and recipes on what to make with only ingredients as listed at the end here. They were hungry for something sweet and wanted it to be fast.

I would like to challenge you to see what you could come up with, but we’ll turn it up a notch and see who can use those ingredients for the healthiest recipe.

If you had these ingredients on hand, what would you make? I would really like to hear from you to see what you would make. Let’s bring on the healthy recipes using these ingredients only and post your suggestions.

Eggs
Milk
Self Rising Flour
Cocoa Powder
Sugar
Flour
Orange, Yellow and Red food coloring
Orange and Lemon food flavoring
Chocolate chips
Raisins
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Nuts
Oatmeal
Corn flakes

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Thinking nutrition

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Getting Kids in the Kitchen – Preparing and Eating Food

It’s important that children not only learn to appreciate food, but also learn to cook for themselves. Even preschool children can learn how to help with meals and prepare or help cook simple foods.

Teaching children to cook is probably the best way to get kids to eat right and respect food. The whole point of getting them in the kitchen and involved is to get them to feel and taste the food. Let them use their sense of smell, taste, and touch. Children need to be exposed to different foods several times before they will taste it. Preparing it themselves increases their interest and desire to try it.

Children love the experience of mixing, stirring, and chopping, depending on age. Let them discover the joy of creating delicious, healthy dishes by encouraging them to help you.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get dinner going with your young help, is to work together preparing roasted vegetables. For this you and the children scrub the vegetables well and then cut them up into about same-size pieces. This can be foods such as potatoes (white or sweet), carrots, onion, garlic, green and red pepper, celery, mushrooms, squash, broccoli and others.

Then the children can dribble a little virgin olive oil over them, stir well to distribute the oil, and splash a little balsamic vinegar over them, along with a little salt and fresh ground pepper.

Spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or other large flat pan. Roast in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Using a long handled spatula, you need to stir them periodically to keep them from sticking to the bottom.

They will come out with a nice dark color, perhaps more brown in places, but crispy, and oh, so good.

Even though you start with a large quantity of vegetables, the children will be amazed how much  smaller the portion is after roasting. Take time to explain here the reason for this.

Grilled vegetables

You may want to add a protein to the meal, such as cooked chicken, hamburger, or roast beef. Or you can just sprinkle shredded Parmesan or Cheddar cheese over the vegetables and you and your helpers have just prepared a one dish meal for your family.

Let’s stay healthy,

Lee Jackson
Child nutrition advocate, author
http://www.HealthyEatingTips.com
http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPub.com

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Veggie Recipe for Kids

English: A pack of organic cherry tomatoes, fr...

Image via Wikipedia

Vegetables have received a bad rap when it comes to being accepted by kids. But what other food is as colorful and as varied in taste and texture as vegetables? As parents we need to get across to kids that vegetables are really a most interesting and colorful food.

The way vegetables are presented and talked about in the family makes a real difference. If big brother or sister says that some food is yucky, then chances are, that is what the younger child believes. It’s amazing what lasting effect words can have on children. Then there are the positive words you can use as well: It will make you grow big and strong. It will make your hair shine. It will give you rosy cheeks. What a difference words can make!

Here is a recipe from the childrens cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun by Amy Houts, that shows kids just how good and juicy and fun vegetables can be – if you believe tomatoes are a vegetable, otherwise, go with the fruit definition. Botanically, a tomato is a fruit; however, it has a much lower sugar content than other fruits, and is therefore not as sweet. It is considered a vegetable for most culinary purposes.

Cherry Tomatoes with Dip

Cherry tomatoes

Dip:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon seasoning salt

Combine all ingredients for dip in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

When ready to eat, wash tomatoes and cut in half. Stick a toothpick into the tomato. Give each child a small container of dip.

You can also use carrot and celery sticks, cauliflower or broccoli, or other vegetable with this dip. If children are very young, you will need to cook the vegetable a short time to soften them slightly.

Let’s keep them healthy,

Lee Jackson
Child nutrition advocate, author
http://www.healthykidseatingtips.com

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Book Special Ends in Nine Days

Last few days for the January Special on the book Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. You know, this is the book that helps your kids with their “what should I cook?” episodes, all year long. This hardcover book usually sells for $24.95 but now through the end of January you can get it for $16.95 plus free shipping.

Yes, it is a real book, something you can hold in your hand. Personally, I still like that concept.

The author of the book, Amy Houts, has lots of suggestions for this time of year, including Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and many more. Just go here for your January Special. Save yourself money by getting it now – and help get your kids excited about cooking again.

Lee Jackson
Food and Family Living

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