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

 Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?
PinExt Too Many Chocolate Bunnies?

Search Your Recipe File – and Creative Abilities

PinExt 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.

Self Rising Flour
Cocoa Powder
Orange, Yellow and Red food coloring
Orange and Lemon food flavoring
Chocolate chips
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Corn flakes

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Thinking nutrition

 Search Your Recipe File   and Creative Abilities
PinExt Search Your Recipe File   and Creative Abilities

Healthy Tasty Treats Remind You of Mom’s Love

PinExt Healthy Tasty Treats Remind You of Moms Love
3923340651 195082c224 m Healthy Tasty Treats Remind You of Moms Love
Image by pamplemoussen via Flickr

We have a guest post today, especially for those of you with children “leaving the nest”. Read some of the recommendations given by Edina Jones, our guest blogger for today.

Are you wondering how your grown child will get along living on his or her own? He or she may be at college now or away working at a job. You remember how they depended on you; how they asked you for favors; how they could never do a thing without your help. You hope you have given them a good foundation and taught them basic skills, including how to cook. However, once your son or daughter leaves home, you start fretting about him/her.

Stop worrying! Instead, focus on how to convey your love to your young adult. You can email, phone, write a letter or send some photos. Do you know what they would really love? Yes, you are right, care packages full of their favorite foods! In addition, you can include healthy recipes in the packages.

Delightful goodie baskets

Here are a few ideas to try out.

Organic food basket
– Put together a selection of organic fruits that your child loves. Choose fruits like apples, pears, oranges, peaches, and others. Include dry fruits like cashews, strawberry flavored fruit preserves, whole-wheat crackers, tortilla chips, peanut butter, green tea, and other easily packable items. Who said health and taste didn’t go together? Your health conscious son/daughter is sure to love this gift.

Chocolate basket - Opt for an assortment of chocolates, dark chocolates, milk chocolates, cupcakes, or whatever he/she likes, to put in this basket. Add chocolate-coated almonds, raisins, walnuts, and chocolate cookies, chocolate dips, chocolate snack mixes, and others. It will be a welcome sweet treat for your son or daughter.

Pizza basket – Want your child to really be impressed? If they have a way to do some baking, send a collection of bread baking mixes for pizza making. Include some tomato basil sauce, smoked pepperoni, and spices like peppers, onions, and garlic and herbs to make a delicious pizza. A nice gift along this line would be to include a pizza stone and rack to make the baking process easier. Every time they bake a pizza, they will be reminded of home and, of course, mom’s special touch.

Seafood basket – Is your young adult a connoisseur of seafood? Student care packages filled with smoked salmon, mackerel, herring, mussels, oysters, etc. are sure to delight a seafood lover. You may also include tasty treats like clam or lobster chowder, oyster crackers, sauces, and many other related foods. Just make sure that the package will maintain the correct temperature for the safe eating of its contents.

Ice cream basket - Most young people love ice cream. The idea of this basket is to enhance the experience of enjoying a scoop. No, you are not going to send ice cream; as delivering it would be a difficult job. Add contents such as colorful sprinkles, cones of different flavors, chocolate or raspberry sauces, almonds, peanuts, cookie crumbles, banana chips, chocolate crunch, etc.

You can prepare the food baskets yourself. Or, you can choose one ready-made or order custom gift baskets. There are many companies online and in catalogs that deliver the type and kind of basket you specify at the appointed time.

Edina Jones is a self published author and food critic. She writes articles on many food themes such as Dessert Recipes, Picnic Recipes and similar topics. For more information on Healthy Recipes and Salad Recipes she recommends you visit:

 Healthy Tasty Treats Remind You of Moms Love
PinExt Healthy Tasty Treats Remind You of Moms Love

Valentine’s Day Sweets

PinExt Valentines Day Sweets

Need chocolate? Here is a delightful combination of chocolate and strawberries for Valentine’s Day from Amy Houts new book, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities9780930643201 233x300 Valentines Day Sweets. Her new book encourages children re-engage with the history of the United States by preparing foods typical of different regions of the country.

The following recipe, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, comes from the Pacific coast region. This region’s climate is influenced by the surrounding mountains. Because of its fertile area and rainfall, the Pacific Coast States produce more vegetables and fruits than any other region of the United States.

It’s a little early yet for strawberries, but this recipe just made my mouth water and I had to share it. It’s a very good recipe to make with children.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

1 (6 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 pint fresh strawberries

Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish or in a double boiler on the stove. Melt on low power or over low heat to prevent burning. Meanwhile, children can help rinse strawberries. Dry completely. Leave strawberries whole with the stem intact.
Pour melted chocolate into a bowl. Children can help dip strawberries by grasping stem and dipping half of strawberry in melted chocolate, so that part of the pretty red color of the fruit is still showing. Place on a cookie sheet lines with wax paper. Refrigerate to help chocolate set and to keep strawberries fresh. Store covered in refrigerator. Eat within two days. Enjoy!

 Valentines Day Sweets
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Last Minute Valentine Suggestions

PinExt Last Minute Valentine Suggestions
202px Pancake and crumpet Last Minute Valentine SuggestionsImage via Wikipedia

I hope you are spending time with your family and special friends today.  Here are some easy suggestions you can do to express your love in a fun way on this Valentines Day.

  • 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.
  • 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.

 Last Minute Valentine Suggestions
PinExt Last Minute Valentine Suggestions