Go Wild for Wild Blueberries!

wild blueberry   We just finished a terrific radio show with Family Food Experts kitchen Radio on www.w4wn.com (there will be a podcast I will post when available) with guest Susan Davis, RD the Wild Blueberry Nutrition Advisor and I just had to come share some of the things we talked about!

Did you know Wild blueberries are packed with twice the antioxidant capacity of ordinary blueberries, and these little guys are supercharged with anti-aging phytochemicals. Hard to believe that the tiny wild blueberries are so powerful but that’s what Susan explained to us today! They are available frozen all year round, and since they are picked at peak and readily frozen they preserve all their nutrients. This is good news for us busy moms that need to rely on frozen fruits more so when shopping once a week!

They are good for the entire family and have powerful properties to help you stay healthy and age well. Their antioxidant and phytochemicals are being studies for their impact on treating, preventing and delaying disease processes such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Wild Blueberries should be a part of your daily healthy diet balanced to prevent common illness like colds and viruses by strengthening your immune system. And if you aren’t sure how to incorporate them in your routine, no worries! We have plenty of recipes and ideas.

 My kids love them in yogurt, so I add 1/3 cup to vanilla yogurt to send in their lunch box and they help to keep yogurt cold (use a cold pack as well) and turn their yogurt purple which my kids just think is so much fun! We also add them to smoothies, they are so sweet and powerful they work great when you are also trying to add some veggies such as spinach to their morning smoothie. 

For recipes please visit our website under recipe tab: www.kidkritics.com/recipes and look for many options made with Kid Kritics Approved products from Wyman's of Mainewymans

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How To Raise A Child Who Likes Vegetables!

Kid Kritics in the kitchen“How did I raise my kids to like vegetables? How did you make them try new foods? I hear these questions at least once weekly, professionally as a registered dietitian, and as a mother.

My proud mom side takes a minute to smile and feel good! After all it is no easy task. We are all so busy that convenience and time-saving are qualities we look for when feeding our children. For me it started when my kids were just babies, with my nutrition background I had a few advantages. Today I combine my experience as a mother and registered dietitian to offer tips and suggestions so that you can have your proud moment too! There is nothing more rewarding than grocery shopping with my kids (which you remember is not my favorite thing to do) in the fruits and vegetables side of the store and hear them beg for broccoli and snow peas.

For brand new mommies I say: start from the beginning. Your baby should have an exclusively breastmilk or formula diet until 6 months of age. Then start with vegetables instead of cereals or fruit, preferably green veggies like peas or green beans. This is when you build a “taste base” for years to come by familiarizing their palates with as many flavors as possible. After vegetables, serve a variety of no added sugar fruits and cereals. Make your own, or choose the ones that have as ingredients the fruit and only and maybe some vitamin C as the preservative. No need to stick to just rice cereal, apples and bananas; venture out to barley, quinoa, avocados or coconut. Avoid refined sugar as much as possible. It has such a powerful impact on our taste buds it can make the naturally sweet taste of fresh fruits disappear. The same goes for salt; there’s no need to add it to fresh food. Use herbs and spices to add flavor. Kids who start off appreciating the natural taste of fruits and vegetables grow into adults who will crave less sugar and salt.

The good news is it’s never too late! At any age encourage your children to participate in grocery shopping, cooking, and setting the table. Give them some control of what you’ll make for a meal; let them feel included in the decision process. Vegetables, whether raw or cooked, can be a challenge. Spark your kids’ interest by telling them where it grows (or helping them grow some of their own!) Let them smell it, touch it (yes, play with it) and taste it! Children are much more likely to try a food after they help prepare it! We recently started a new family tradition of cooking together once a week. My kids look forward to helping out in the kitchen, dicing, mixing, measuring and the final presentation says it all! The more colors on the plate the more attractive it is. After all, plates filled with only brown, beige and white foods are boring. Be sure to add some naturally sourced color! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but how you plate it can make all the difference. My kids love garnishing our dinner plates with fresh basil and mint leaves; they feel like “real chefs.”

We know kids will try new foods, especially if they smell good. (90 percent of why we choose to put a food in our mouth is based on whether it smells good or not.) At Kid Kritics Taste Test, we see this happen all the time. Moms come running in and ask what we did to motivate their son or daughter to eat broccoli or other vegetables. Something about the way it looked and smelled opened their minds to taking a bite. It also helps when their friend dives in and says they love it!

We have a recipe tab on our website with hundreds of recipes that have been taste tested and approved by kids, it is hard to pick a favorite, but here are the links to three that are easy to get you started in the kitchen with your kids:

http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Creamy-Broccoli-Chicken-Bake/260

http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Veggie-and-Cheese-Pasta-Salad/269

http://www.kidkritics.com/recipes/Spinach-Dip/72

… for the health of your family,

Carolina

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Super Hero Veggies. Their Super Powers work for Your Kids.

 



 

 

 

This is an excerpt from our recent Veggie Tales "The League of Incredible Vegetables" radio show.  Jaimie Proctor, R.D., our Nutrition and Education Manager wrote it. Thought is was so good, decided to share her words of wisdom with you. If you want to listen to the whole interview with Larry the Cucumber (hilarious!) and Veggie Tales founder, Mike Nawrocki, please listen Tuesday 9am EST on W4WN radio. Or, look for Family Food Experts radio on iTunes.

CUCUMBER: (Larryboy aka Larry the Cucumber)

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘cool as a cucumber’ Well, cucumbers could have the super hero ability to stay cool under pressure.  They truly have a cool and refreshing taste – try adding a few slices to your drinking water or blending some with honeydew melon and you’ll see what I mean.  Their high water content plus the electrolytes they contain, make them great for hydration and also for your heart and muscles. Cucumbers also provide vitamin C and silicon important for healthy skin and strong nails and bones.

TOMATOES: (Thingamabob aka Bob the Tomato)

Next are lightning fast tomatoes!  Their speed comes from potassium, a mineral needed for muscle contraction.  Of course, when you move really fast your heart rate and breathing rate also increase.  The lycopene in tomatoes acts as an antioxidant to protect your heart and lungs.  And in case you didn’t know, the lycopene content of tomatoes actually increases when tomatoes are cooked!

ASPARAGUS: (Ricochet aka Junior Asparagus)

The next Super Hero veggie is asparagus, which has the power to create a protective shield like a force field.  This shield is made of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, which protect the body from free-radical damage.  And asparagus also contains glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful antioxidant defenders.  In fact, glutathione can help get rid of toxins that may have slipped through that protective shield.

RHUBARB: (Vogue aka Petunia Rhubarb)

Rhubarb has the power of disguise.  If you have ever tasted raw rhubarb then you know it is quite tart!  That’s why it is often combined with fruit such as strawberries and cooked into sauces or pies.  With a little sweetness from fruit and some added fruit juice or sugar, you may just think rhubarb is a fruit!

SQUASH: (S-CAPE aka Mister Lunt, a guord)

There are so many kinds of squash.  Winter squash varieties such as butternut or acorn squash are very popular this time of year.  And you may not know this, but they have super night vision (without any special goggles!) You can tell by their deep yellow and orange colors that they are some of the best sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into active vitamin A.  Vitamin A is very important for vision, especially at night or in low light situations.  And winter squash are also a good source of protective vitamin C.

BROCCOLI:  Super power: Bones of steel.  Broccoli ounce for ounce has as much calcium as milk!  Plus broccoli supplies a number of minerals important for bone health such as magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.  The vitamin C in broccoli is needed to form collagen, a component of bone (and connective tissue).

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Super power: they are smart and have super fast reflexes.  They contain choline and folate important for development of the brain and nervous system.  And they are also a good source of B vitamins, copper, manganese, and potassium needed for nerve signaling.

PEAS: Super power: super strength.  They supply iron and B vitamins for blood supply and delivering oxygen to muscles.  And they also contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium needed for muscle contraction.

SPINACH & Dark leafy greens: Dark leafy greens are packed FULL of nutrients and could probably have all of the super powers listed above.  But they could also have x-ray vision and a heightened sense of smell and hearing.  Their high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin protect your eyes, especially the retina, by absorbing certain types of light. These carotenoids are also associated with a lower risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.  Dark leafy greens are also a great source of B vitamins, manganese, and copper for a healthy nervous system – to send signals from the eyes, ears, and nose to the brain.  And all of the antioxidants in dark leafy greens protect the ears, nose, and nerves from damage due to free radicals.

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Olympic Breakfast for Kids

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I was looking to see what Olympians eat for breakfast… no not cheeseburgers.  They know the science of  eating for performance.   Their breakfast food depends on the time of day they are competing.  Let’s say they are up at 6pm and their race is at Noon.  This would call for great grain carb sources and some fruit for energy, not a lot of protein.  The staple for most is oatmeal – better to have cooked rolled or steal cut oats.  Along with this I recommend our recently Kid Kritics Approved Breakfast Banana Split.  You simply cut a banana in half.  Spread some vanilla yogurt over the halves. Top it with freshly cut strawberries, pineapple and some blueberries.  Place a dollop of some vanilla yogurt over the fruit.  Sprinkle ground nuts of choice on top (or not if you have nut allergies in your home).  Serve.  This combination, with oatmeal lightly sweetened with 100% pure maple syrup or fair trade honey, prepares your kids for hours of  high performance.  FYI: all fresh produce contain some protein  – a little of a lot adds up.  Of course, include a tall glass of spring water.

Enjoy this Olympic Power Breakfast!  (Recipe details Click Here)

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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4th of July Hot Dog Bun Sub Recipe

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If you are not a hot dog fan but love the buns, make this recipe!  "Amazing… Best in the whole entire universe…I taste a bunch of flavors floating in my mouth… Thought it was a delicious masterpiece… Crunchy bacon with soft bread – it was a great combination… I just loved it!"  The plus of a hot dog bun is its size… not too big, not too small – just right for kids.  You may want to warm it on a grill for a few minutes… take a look CLICK HERE

                              KidKriticEatingHotDogBunSub  KidKriticEatingHotDogBunSub,Boy

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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Recipe. Egg Salad Kids Love!

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Trick to making egg salad… chop everything finely, especially the hard boiled eggs. Make it a bit mushy.  We spread it between two rice crackers.  The kids couldn't get enough!  "More,  seconds, PLEASEEEEEE…. I like it a lot… Yes, I loved it – it is a crunchy delight… It was Egg-squisite!"  The added taste touch of Parmesan cheese steps this up to the rank of a favorite food.  What a great way to get you kids to eat eggs, the perfect brain food!  CLICK HERE for RECIPE

        KidKriticsCooking,EggSalad   KidKriticsEggSaladKidsLove

Invite your kids to help you make it.  Bet half  is gone before you serve it.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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Recipe. Veggie Stix Salmon Cakes – out of this world!

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How clever of this Healthier Recipe Mom, Shonda – she used the new Veggie Stix with their retained nutrients from seven vegetables (broccoli, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, beets, potatoes, shitake mushrooms) to create this kid friendly nutrient power- packed recipe.  CLICK HERE.  If you question whether kids will like them… here's your answer (photos below)!

KidKriticEatingSalmonVeggieCakes KidKriticEatingSalmonVeggieCakes,boy

Yes, they ate the broccoli, tomatoes and carrots, too! Their mom put each cake into a roll for eye and texture appeal.  It worked!  Try it and let us know if your kids loved these salmon cakes as much as these kids did.

… for the health of families,
ellen

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Recipe. Blueberry Lemon Muffins

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Thanks to a mom of two, we have another great muffin recipe, using our Kid Kritics Approved product of the week, Fair Trade Honey (Wholesome Sweeteners).  How can you miss with Blueberry Lemon Muffins? The kids loved these. Click Here for this recipe.You and your kids will be so glad you made these for breakfast, lunch and snacks. They are great as pregame easy to digest energy food.  Make a bunch in the mini size. 

… for the health of your family,
ellen

NEW Sweepstakes Prize this week: A case of Yummi Bears Organics Super Vision by Hero Nutritionals. Enter to win! New www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes.

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Recipe. No Fry Chicken Nuggets

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These No Fry Chicken Nuggets are better than the best! So easy.  Key: buy taste chicken breasts from naturally raised chickens.  Cut them into nuggets sizes, sprinkle both sides with paprika, dip them in egg and then into a bag of  a crumbled crackers (used Annie’s Buttery Rich) mix with a little olive oil. Bake and Voila! Make a lot because you kids will be popping and chewing as many as they can. Recipe

Recipe creator, Healthier Recipe Mom, Shonda, said, “The chicken came out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The subtle buttery taste of the crackers added a nice flavor. My daughter LOVED them! We will definitely make these again!”

… for the health of your family,
ellen

New Sweepstakes Prize: win a Case of Sugar Free Coconut Cookies by Joseph’s Lite Cookies.  If you are going to eat sugar-free cookies, we recommend Joseph’s as he uses a proprietary sweetener formula.  www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes.  Enter more than once to up the odds!

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Grocery List… add Gluten Free Mini Pretzels

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The crunch sold these pretzels; kids love the feel and sound of crunch. In fact, we had fun with this and put a mike to their mouths for all to hear.  You could say kids love the taste of crunch. “Fantastic!”

We think everyone should eat less wheat so these Gluten Free Mini Pretzels or Sticks by the world famous pretzel maker, Snyder's of Hanover, are great treat picks.  And, they can be used as dippers in nutrient filled dips such as hummus.  Try them!

… for the health of your family,
ellen

And why not win a whole case of these pretzels?  Enter the Kid Kritics Approved Food Giveaway Sweepstakes today,  www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes.

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DISCLOSURE: Once a product passes ingredient standards evaluation followed by a blind Kid Kritics taste test, a company can opt-in to the Kid Kritics Approved marketing program. Though monetary compensation for marketing is involved, this does not affect the nutrition evaluation or taste test results.