Sunday, September 30th, 2007
If you have a toddler, you probably spend a lot of time preparing and serving snacks. Toddlers have tiny tummies and need lots of mini meals to stay energized (and happy) throughout the day.
Right now, we are working on a magazine article featuring healthy snack ideas for little kids — especially those between the ages of 2 to 4. Although we have plenty of yummy and nutritious suggestions — fruit smoothies, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, apples dipped in peanut butter, whole grain cinnamon swirl toast — we are on the lookout for even more ideas. What are your favorite go-to snacks? What do you pack when you’re on the run and need a portable nibble for your toddler? What’s your child’s favorite after-school “treat?”
Share your snack suggestions by posting to our blog!
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins (or 24 Mini Muffins)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup 1% lowfat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine the bananas, eggs, sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins are light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins and cool an additional 5 minutes before serving. To make 24 mini muffins, bake about 14 minutes.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 220 calories,10g fat (2g saturated), 140mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein
Thursday, September 20th, 2007
What’s the difference between whole grain and fiber?
A. Whole grain and fiber are the same
B. Whole grain is a type of fiber
C. Fiber is just one part of the whole grain
D. Difference? There is no difference
If you answered C, fiber is just one part of the whole grain, you’re right. But most people get this question wrong. In fact, a recent survey found that 64% of consumers don’t know the difference between whole grain and fiber. Although many whole grains provide fiber, whole grains contain a host of other important nutrients including several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate) and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and selenium. Experts recommend eating three or more whole grain servings per day for a healthy digestive system, to help with weight management, and to lower the risk of heart disease.
To learn more about whole grains, watch our video clip on Whole Grains.
You can also check out the USDA MyPyramid website at http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/grains_why.html
Wednesday, September 12th, 2007
This week, the American Egg Board launched a new advertising campaign touting the health benefits of eggs. “Healthy!” you say? “Aren’t eggs bad for my family, and shouldn’t I be tossing all those yolks in the trash?” NO!!! We’re huge fans of eggs (especially omega-3 eggs) and hope the following egg facts will change your opinion about this incredibly nutritious food:
- The yolk gets its color from the yellow-orange plant pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to reduce the risks of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in those 65 and older.
- Egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, essential for healthy bones.
- One egg has 13 essential nutrients in varying amounts – including high-quality protein, choline, folate, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, D and E … all for just 75 calories.
- When shopping for eggs, look for Omega-3 eggs. They come from chickens fed a special dietof algae, fish oil, or flaxseed. Omega-3 eggs may cost a few pennies more, but we think it’s well worth it for the heart-health benefits.
For more information on eggs, visit http://www.incredibleegg.org/. Also, be sure to check out our Pantry Tip/Omega-3 Foods video clip at http://www.mealmakeovertv.com/
Wednesday, September 5th, 2007
As a mom of two rambunctious boys — 12-year old Josh and 8-year old Simon — Liz knows how frustrating it can feel when kids burp, whine, diss the meal and get up and down during dinner. That’s why she put the kibosh on bad manners and roudy mealtime behavior when her kids were young. With realistic and enforcable food rules, family meals are now a pleasurable daily ritual. Visit Meal Makeover TV to watch our Food Rules video clip featuring simple strategies for implementing the following rules:
- Practice Good Manners at the Dinner Table
- Mom is the Executive Chef, Not the Short-Order Cook
- Drop Out of the Clean Plate Club
- Let Them Eat Cake … Sometimes