Thursday, September 16, 2010

Get Toddlers and Preschoolers on the Right Path (Eating wise)

  So my posts have been sparse and I am going to blame it on the fact that I am back in classes for the fall. As some of you know, I am pursuing a second career as a dietician and was inspired to do so by my husband and children. My kids are great eaters and I get complimented all the time on their affinity for vegetables.

How did I do it? I'm not really sure. I did read and re-read the book "Super Baby Food" which was a passdown from my sister-in-law,who's kids are picky eaters, but picky in the sense that they don't want salad dressing on their greens. I wanted my kids to eat like that, so I read the book.

The more I got into preparing foods for my infants and then toddlers, and for my husband who was into some intense physical training, the more I realized we weren't eating optimally. We were eating well, but not optimally. Hence the foray into nutrition and now the second career!

My goal is to help moms, mainly, educate their families. Moms (and dads) need to be the one making the choices for their family's health and well being and passing those good habits and reliable information on to their children. One way we can do that without turning our homes into actual classrooms is turn them into learning laboratories.

The website is a fabulous way to get started. Not only can you figure out if you are even on the right track you get some great, easy to read, analytic tools. My favorite part of the website is the analysis where you get smiley, neutral or sad faces based on your daily intake of certain nutrients. My other favorite page (ok, I have 2) is the one with ideas on how to get 2,3,4 and 5 year olds into the kitchen, safely.

I hope you enjoy these ideas for your little chefs. I will try to keep the blog a little more updated. What is a Whole Grain, Part II should be up on the blog soon!

Happy Eating!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Healthier Brownies (No Spinach Required)

I have been promising this recipe to some friends and now that I have my class schedule for this semester situated, I am back to blogging!

Here is the original recipe:

Grandma Reed's Brownies

1/2 c. Shortening
1 c. Sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 squares chocolate
3/4 c. chopped nuts (optional)
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325F and let it heat for 20 minutes after it reaches temperature.
Mix ingredients in order up to the salt.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Add chocolate and remaining ingredients to the sugar/egg mixture.
Pour into greased and floured 8x8 brownie pan and bake for 30 min or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean!

Ok, so I modified the ingredients and this is what the new recipe looks like:

1/2 butter (even though this has saturated fat, I still like butter better than vegetable shortenings because I can get organic butter)
3/4 c. turbinado sugar (raw, unbleached sugar)
2 eggs (organic or local if available)
2/3 c. Stone Ground Whole Wheat flour (doesn't change the taste or texture too much)
1/4 tsp sea salt OR iodized salt (iodized salt is important for those withh thyroid diseases)
2 or 3 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 c. nuts (almonds or walnuts are best, but I omit because I use this recipe frequently for group gatherings and like to avoid allergy issues)
1/4 c. milk (organic or local if available)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (why go chemical when natural is readily available?)

Follow the recipe as listed above, but instead of using butter or shortening to grease the pan, I use olive oil. Oils that are liquids at room temperature are healthier for us and this is a way to add important fats to our diet that we frequently lack!

This is also a great recipe for your kids to help make. The measurements are small, so if you have an aversion to messes, the ones created by inexperienced hands with these brownies are small! I hope you enjoy the recipe and use it this weekend!