Snacking and Your Child: Finding the Healthy Balance

In our home, our children, ages 2 and 4, are not big eaters and daily snacks play an important role in providing them with the nourishment they need. Like all young children, they have a limited stomach capacity and often their caloric requirements are not met with the standard three meals a day.

Smart snacking can help meet these nutritional needs. Unfortunately, if snacking happens too often it can prevent my children from developing an appetite. Similarly, if they are snacking on empty calories, then an opportunity to provide nourishment is wasted.

This is why balance and keen observation is so important for snack time.

I’ve learned it is important to control what is offered as snacks and well as when and how they are handed out. A consistent snack routine, as opposed to grazing or sporadic binging, is an important solution to resolving harmful food habits- both in children and adults! [Read more…]

Weekend Reading

Pizza dough, Pancakes, a Plastic Intervention and more after the jump…

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Spices 101: Common Myths Debunked (recipe: Chai-Spiced Granola)

An ‘Introduction to Spices’ would be an entire module in cooking school if I were the instructor. I think spices are that important to cooking.

Proper selection and addition of good quality spices to a dish can elevate the flavor of a dish with little effort and minimal cost; that alone is reason to learn how to use spices and incorporate them into daily cooking.

What is a spice? Any plant material that modifies the flavor of foods. A spice can be a root, bark, various seeds, dried fruits and plenty of fresh and dried herbs. All of these ingredients appeal to individuals in different ways and that is why the best spice is the one that makes your senses dance. [Read more…]

Spring Clean Your Body With Real Foods

I love warming winter foods, but by the time spring rolls around I have had about as much beef stew as I can take. My body is telling me it is ready for a change of pace, ready to cleanse.

The words detox and cleanse are thrown around in infomercials and magazines and just about everyone is selling the product that will work wonders. But who wants to spend extra money on some products that may or may not work?

Besides, I am all about healing with real foods. You really needn’t look much further than the farmer’s market and your own kitchen to do a little spring cleansing of your own. [Read more…]

Using Containers to Organize Your Kitchen Simply & Aesthetically

We’re jumping right into our theme for this month: organization and productivity in the kitchen. We’ll visit it here and there throughout April and even welcome a Very Special guest blogger, but that’s all I’m going to say about that surprise for now!

I hope you’ll be inspired.

You don’t need to be on staff at Martha Stewart Living to have a properly organized kitchen. There are simple actions everyone can take to stay on top of clutter and keep even the most unruly of spaces in apple-pie order.

Using containers to categorize items is one easy way to establish a degree of orderliness to all areas of your kitchen and pantry.

Containers help organize because they group items and help combat the sprawl that tends to happen behind closed doors – and drawers. By confining items to one place, they make clean-up less of a chore because that container can quickly be removed and washed under. Also, with proper labeling, containerizing can prevent ingredients and items from getting misplaced.

The counter-top canister, like the one pictured above, is an obvious illustration of the practical use of containers for organizing. It has been keeping kitchen counters neat for generations by grouping frequently used utensils together and keeping them handy for everyday tasks.

Choosing an organizing container

Here are three qualities to look for when deciding on the perfect container for the job. [Read more…]