Do you have a picky eater at home? It’s always a challenge to get kids to eat healthy, but studies have shown that if you involve your child in the meal prep, they are more likely to eat what they prepare. Plus it gives them something productive and fun to do during times while they are homebound.
In this video, Juliauna (age 5) makes Zucchini Pizza Boats with just a little help from her mom. And, at minute 2:31 you can see how much she loved what she made.
FoodHero.org is a fantastic website where you will find kid-approved, budget-friendly and healthy recipes. Plus you will also find meal ideas and shopping tips. Funded by Oregon SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education), they help Oregonians improve their health by increasing their consumption of nutritious foods.
Their website makes it easy to search for recipes that incorporate foods you already have in your home with a section where you can search recipes by ingredients. While supervision by a parent or caretaker is necessary for cutting and cooking, many of the recipes are easy for kids to make with very little help or direction. They also have coloring pages to help your children learn about the ingredients they are using.
We will all remember the Spring of 2020 because of the stay at home restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of disease. To make the most of the time, we offer you these tips to stay healthy while staying home.
Eat Well. Our bodies need the best fuel every day, and this is a great time to focus on healthy food choices. Eating a balanced diet, which includes lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, can help keep you healthy. And, it’s easy! Use the USDA’s MyPlate app as your guide. Think about food groups when planning meals and snacks. Try for at least two food groups for a snack – fruit and cheese, for example – and at least three for a meal – whole grain pasta, tomato sauce with added vegetables, and lean ground beef. Pour a glass of milk to round out the meal.
Drink plenty of fluids. Your body depends on fluids to survive, and most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. Water is recommended, but when you want something different, consider drinks that won’t add unnecessary sugars to your diet, like milk. Milk not only tastes great, it also is an affordable, excellent source of 9 essential nutrients. And, did you know that three of the nutrients – vitamin A, vitamin D, and protein – are essential for a healthy immune function?
Get fresh air. While doctors don’t typically prescribe sitting on your porch to cure an ailment, they do say that stepping outside can help to impact both our physical and mental health. Open a window, take a walk, or sit on your porch. “Taking a short break outdoors can leave you feeling refreshed and more energized to get back to your daily tasks,” says Dr. Jimmy Johannes, a pulmonologist at Long Beach Medical in this article. Plus, it’s easy to keep a safe “social distance” outdoors!
Keep moving. Just because the gyms are closed doesn’t mean you should stop your exercise routine. Use this time as an opportunity to try something new. Many gyms are offering online classes, and many at home programs are offering free trials. Who knows? Maybe now is the time to start training for your next 5k or marathon. It starts with the resolve to keep moving. Need to get started? The Department of Health and Human Services offers physical activity guidelines and practical ways to be active on their website.
Get plenty of sleep. Getting a good night of sleep not only helps you feel and think better, it can also help you manage stress. Start with a healthy evening routine. Turn off the screens, including your phone, an hour before bed and pick up a good book, meditate, write, play music or find another relaxing activity that will settle your brain. Being “stuck” at home does mean you have an opportunity to binge-watch your favorite television show, just consider that getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep will help you stay healthy.
Do something good. Times are stressful. People are uncertain, confused and cooped up. A great way to help manage your own stress is to take time each day to do something for someone else. Check on a neighbor, share a roll of TP, call a parent or grandparent, sew some masks for healthcare workers, or donate funds to your local food bank. While you are at it, thank a farmer for continuing to produce food for your family. Even doing something small for someone else will boost your mood- and theirs too!
Food Hero has a wealth of easy to make, nutritious recipes to liven up your summer days. Here is an easy summer lunch idea for the kids … or yourself.
Dietitian’s Tip: This recipe is a great addition to a healthy diet serving up dairy protein, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Come up with your own combination using different fruits and vegetables.
4 medium whole wheat tortillas
1 cup grated cheese (try cheddar, jack, or pepper jack)
1 cup pear slices (fresh or canned/drained)
½ cup finely chopped green or red peppers
2 tablespoons minced onion (green, red, or yellow)
Lay two tortillas on two plates.
Divide the cheese between the two tortillas.
Divide the pears, peppers, and onion between the two tortillas.
Top with remaining two tortillas.
Heat a skillet or griddle to medium (300 degrees in an electric skillet). Place one quesadilla in pan. Cook 2-4 minutes, or until bottom of quesadilla begins to look a little brown.
With large spatula, gently turn the quesadilla over and cook the other side until a little brown, 2-4 minutes.
Gently slide quesadilla onto a plate. Cook the second quesadilla.
Cut each cooked quesadilla into 4 pieces and serve.
Per serving: 250 calories, 8 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 400 mg sodium
Word on the street is there’s going to be a pretty big football game televised this Sunday. One might even call it “super,” with the express written consent of the National Football League, of course.
No plan yet for your big game watch party? Kick it off with this artichoke dip that’s sure to score points with your guests. It’ll be super in a bowl, or on a plate, and will stand apart in a crowded field of game day snacks and appetizers.
Yields 2 cups
Scoop onto crunchy carrot sticks, cucumbers, radishes, or jicama
Serve with whole grain crackers
Dip left over? Spread on whole grain toast for a healthy snack
1 ½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt or plain yogurt, strained*
1 cup canned water-packed artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry, chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh jalapeno chili, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Mix ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate a couple hours before serving.
Follow the link to LiveBest for directions to strain plain yogurt.
Per ¼ cup serving: 57 calories, 1 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 6 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 1 g fiber, 228 mg sodium, 168 mg potassium, 16 mg magnesium, 123 mg calcium