Healthy Meals – SOS September Challenge

PinExt Healthy Meals   SOS September Challenge

applesapples Healthy Meals   SOS September Challenge Now with school started and cooler weather upon us, thoughts turn to re-setting goals again. One of our earlier goals, “eating healthy” may have slipped a little with cook outs, reunions, picnics and other activities. Fall also makes us think of different foods to prepare.

Let September be a time to link back to those good resolutions. Are we making sure the family is eating well balanced meals? Are there enough fruits and vegetables in the meals? Planning is the key. When the kids were young I liked to have the week’s menu on the refrigerator so whoever came home first could see what was supposed to be for supper and could get it started.

Yesterday I wrote about apples, one of my favorite foods and a good fall food. Today I want to share with you one of the recipes from the cookbook, Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards. This one comes from The Ridge Orchards in Bourbon, Missouri. It is a great way to begin the day – with a healthy and sustaining dish.

Breakfast Apples

8 to 10 tree ripened apples, sliced (not peeled)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup water

1 to 2 cups oatmeal

honey or maple syrup (not necessary as tree ripe fruit is really sweet)

Place apples in frying pan and add one cup water. Cook gently on stove-top until apples are tender. Add cinnamon. Place apples in four bowls and top with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal, either quick or old fashioned, according to your taste.

Makes 4 servings.

You can order this cookbook with over 150 apple recipes here. This recipe comes from the Main Dish section, but there are also recipes for Beverages, Breads, Salads, Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Desserts, Jams, Preserves, etc. and Special Treats.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter coming out soon. See who the new cookbook winner will be!

Lee Jackson Books for cooks and apple lovers, kids, families and parenting professionals

 Healthy Meals   SOS September Challenge
PinExt Healthy Meals   SOS September Challenge

Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices

PinExt Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices

Parents should help children make good food choices. Food preferences in children are largely developed by age five. Therefore, it’s important that parents help their children develop a taste for nutritious food early.

Here are ways you can involve your children in making good food choices:

Talk to your children about the categories of foods that are most important. These would include: fruits and vegetables, meat or protein alternatives, breads and cereals, and milk.

Help them cut out pictures of foods from magazines or newspapers. Make sure they have foods from all the groups. When they find pictures of cookies and ice cream, ask whether those have a place in their “good food choice” list? You can tell them they are not “bad” but there are other foods that are better for growing strong bones and muscles.

Have children paste the foods on file cards or construction paper. You can use different colored paper for different food groups: green for the vegetable and fruits, white for the milk group, red for the meat and protein group, and blue for the bread and cereal.

Let children decide which foods from each group they would like to eat. This is a good way for them to see that choosing one food from each group works toward having a balanced meal.

Another card can be made up of “special treat” foods. These are foods eaten only once in a great while. This will probably include pictures of frozen yogurt, cookies, and other sweet and/or high fat foods such as French fries and potato chips.

Here is a recipe for a “special treat” food, granola, which can be a breakfast food with milk or eaten plain as a snack food. It has many ingredients that are very nutritious.


4 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using any salted nuts)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup

Extra suggestions – may be added when oat mixture has browned:
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup of any dried fruit such as raisins, cranberried, pineapple, cherries, etc.

Preheat over to 350 degree F.

In a large bowl, combine oats, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt butter in small saucepan or microwave, add honey or syrup. Pour this mixture over the oatmeal mixture until all is coated.

Spread this on a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking and stirring often until flakes are light brown. Watch carefully as they can over-brown easily and the honey will burn and taste bitter. Go light, rather than dark.

When slightly cool, add any of the extras. Mix well. Store in airtight container. I like to use a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Then I place a scoop inside for easy access. Works well to store in a large glass canister, too. This looks inviting sitting on your cabinet. This granola has much more substance to it than many of the already-prepared products on the market. Enjoy.

Lee Jackson
Home and Family Living

P.S. Another issue of my newsletter is coming soon. Sign up and get entered in the drawing for a free cookbook to be given away.

 Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices
PinExt Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices