About Shaina

Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family, where she shares recipes, tips, opinions and her philosophy on food as she wades through the process of feeding her family, her friends and anyone else who will let her. She strives to teach her four children how to eat well: seasonally, locally, organically, deliciously and balanced.

strawberry u-pick

6 ways to a balanced diet for your kids

A balanced diet is important for everyone when it comes to your personal health, but it can be doubly important in children. What your child is eating now is laying the foundation for later in life, and your behavior and attitude about food is making an impression on them every time you sit down at the dinner table.

Beyond offering up balanced meals and healthy options at mealtime, sometimes it can be difficult to get your child to actually eat them. Sure, you may be serving them up, but if they’re discarding or eating just a bite or two of their vegetables every meal in favor of their chicken strips or tuna bites, their diet is still lacking.

If your kids are anything like mine, threatening them with the old “you can’t do that until you eat your vegetables” is only going to make them more stubborn about not eating their vegetables. Below I share what I’ve found works best in making sure that my kids are getting nutrition from all areas of the food pyramid and in the right amounts. [Read more…]

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Teriyaki Mahi Mahi with Vegetables and Coconut Rice: Faking Fresh

Three o’clock. As the small clock hands approach the quarter-hour mark, small feet and fingers make their way to the front door. It will open with a chorus of voices as my kids fall inside, all limbs and weighed down with multiple bags (three each: lunchbox, backpack, snow gear bag).

As they tumble in, I’ll direct them to their coat hooks, request that the snowy shoes be stored, and have them meet me in the kitchen with their lunchboxes to clear them out and get a snack started. Then the dinner duties begin.

Outside, the weather continues to remind us that winter is not yet over. These last few weeks are holding strong to frozen temperatures and snow-covered earth. The farmers’ market opening is still months away, and my pantry storage of root vegetables and winter squash from fall is nearly gone.

I dream of asparagus and spring strawberries to come. I plan my garden on scraps of paper while staring at seed catalogs with photos of juicy, plump tomatoes. I water my sad-looking herb garden that rests in the window and wonder how it will ever make it to the warmer weather.
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Whole food inspiration from One Simple Change.

Preserved Lemon Quinoa with Shaved Brussels, Toasted Walnuts

So we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year, which is the time everyone resolves to eat better, get fit, improve their relationships and financial situations, and find an occupation with purpose.

Not one for resolutions myself, I am fond of the clean slate idea. A new year for a more intentional way of living. For me, while I do well feeding my family and friends – I even named my own website to that end – I find it more difficult to take care of myself.

I am more than capable of packing up four separate lunches for the kids and sending them out the door, but when it comes to tearing myself away from work and my to-do list at lunchtime, I am prone to simple snacking or skipping it altogether. It’s almost as if I associate the care and feeding of myself as a social activity best done with others.
[Read more…]

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Apple Pomegranate Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

I‘ve been mourning the lack of produce at the farmers market in the last couple weeks.

It seems as if overnight the overflowing stalls of tomatoes and carrots disappeared, packing up their tables and baskets for the season and leaving a selection of local meat vendors and a few farmers that have access to hoop houses and green houses or specialize in winter squash and root vegetables. Long live the root vegetable.

At home, my garden is in the final days. Just this week we pulled the last bits of ever-hardy kale from the ground, cleaned them, and tucked them into the refrigerator alongside a collection of celeriac, daikon, and turnips. There the pile of evergreen leaves sat on the shelf just above the pomegranates, meeting me multiple times a day under the glaring bare bulb as I pulled breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the depths of the refrigerator.

Finally, after lamenting again over the lack of fresh-from-the-garden lettuces, I spotted the red and green and inspiration hit. It’s time to embrace fully the winter salad season.

[Read more…]

Pepita Parsley Pesto via SimpleBites.net from Shaina Olmanson

Pepita and Parsley Pesto

It began a few weeks ago, that nighttime chill in the air that catches at the back of your throat, lingering against still bare shoulders, torsos clad in tank tops.

The market stalls piled higher and higher encouraging us to stock up for the long months ahead. My garden, still producing, has started to yellow and turn crisp as a result of the longer, colder nights.

In response to the changing seasons, as if a learned behavior turned habit, I purchase bushels of apples and boxes of tomatoes, and I cut back nearly all of my herbs: freezing some, setting others to dry, and pulsing the rest into pesto to be tucked into the freezer for a dark snowy winter day in the months ahead. [Read more…]