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Performance Food: Tomatoes fuel your Heart, Muscles and more!

It's fresh tomato season!  The good news is that this fruit, commonly referred to as a vegetable, is filled with nutrients that feed your brain, ears, eyes, hair, heart, lungs, mouth, teeth, muscles, and nerves!  It is a high performance food, one which most kids say they don't like.  I think this is because commercially grown tomatoes found in grocery stores are mealy and tasteless.  This is due to their poor growing environment and the fact they are picked before ripened.  The sun sweetens red tomatoes. Find a Farmer's Market.  Buy locally sun-ripened tomatoes or better yet, grow your own!  Organic ones are tastier because they have been grown in mineral rich soil.  To meet your budget needs, buy local or organic and cut it into small pieces, making one tomato go farther. Remember, in a nutrient-packed food, a little goes a long way.  Thank heavens kids love tomato sauces.  This absolutely is a great way to go.  Yet, please, keep introducing your kids to tasty fresh tomatoes.

…. for the health of your family,
ellen

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Farmer Jay says, Start with Lettuce – so fast and easy to grow!

Did you know that 70 years ago 70% of families grew some food? Today, only 1% do. We've lost our way. Only 1 % means you probably have never planted a veggie seed. Farmer Jay said start with lettuce in a pot. It needs no more than 4 inches of soil. From seed, in 6 weeks you'll have food, or earlier if you pick baby tender leaves. At this time of year, look for Slow Bolt. Have fun and save money! For more tips, listen to Farmer Jay on iTunes "Better Food Choices" (7/29)

… for the health of your family.
ellen

Pizza Veggie Stix is this week's sweepstakes food prize – a case of 6oz. bags.  Because Veggie Stix has partnered with Veggie Tales, you'll also receive a DVD, The Princess and the Pop Star.  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes to enter today!

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Did you know – Chicken McNuggets contain a “deadly” chemical preservative?

We are starting a Did You Know series.  This first one is a whopper.  It is reported that Chicken McNuggets are 50% chicken and 50% "corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.  Two include: dimethylpolysiloxane anti-foaming agent made of silicone, and, tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) "a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you."  Holy smokes.  Well, you say, there aren't  5 grams of TBHA in a serving.  That's no excuse.  Every bit adds up. How many times a week do your kids eat Chicken McNuggets?  How many weeks a year?  PLEASE, take a stand for your children and vote NO with your pocketbook…

… for the health of your family,
ellen

Win a Case of 6oz. bags of Pizza Veggie Sticks and the DVD, "The Princess and the Pop Star" by Veggie Tales.  This Veggie Stix & Veggie Tales sweepstakes series is more than half way over.  Don't miss out.  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today.  Enter more than once to up your odds!

SOURCE:  "The Chicken Which Should be Banned," posted by Dr. Mercola, www.Mercola.com, 11/8/2010

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Do you Eat Salad more than 3 times a Month?

I have a question for you.  Does your family eat a salad at a mealtime more than 36 times a year?  A report came out today that "the average American eats a salad only about 36 times a year."*  I find that shocking – less than 10 percent of the year.  Please tell me they are wrong.  How often do you serve your family a salad with some leafy greens over a year? (Potato salads don't count.)

… for the health of families,
ellen


* Sarah Nassauer, "The Salad Is in the Bag," Wall Street Journal, 7/27/11, p. D1

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WINNER! Joanne from New York won this week!

Joanne from New York won the case of Hot Veggie Stix and the Veggie Tales DVD.  "WOW!"  It's so fun to call the winners. Hope I'll be calling you sometime.  We are half way through the Veggie sweepstakes series.  Everyone loves every one of these products.  Don't miss out.  Enter to win their latest  – the Pizza Veggie Stix 6 oz. bags.  Better hide some for yourself if you win… the kids will devour them!  Also, Veggie Tales is giving away another DVD, "The Princess and the Pop Star." Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes to enter today! 

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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How to Humble your Summer Sugar Cravings

It's summer so why not cave and eat that ice cream cone, strawberry shortcake, drink lots of ice cold pink lemonade?  After all, its hot out and don't you deserve some sugar fun?  I would agree that an occasional summer treat is in order.  My choice is real, not dyed green, mint chocolate chip ice cream.  However, I don't want to play with fire, the diabetes and debilitating related diseases consequences.  Problem is, sugar is not just in treats.  It is a dominant player in processed foods such as ketchup and flavored yogurts.  How much should you have?  Woman, about 6 teaspoons a day.  Children, about 4 teaspoons daily. Sound reasonable?  Note: 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon.  BBQ sauce (1/2 cup) has 33 grams = more than 8 teaspoons of sugar.  A fat-free fruit yogurt may have 47 grams – almost 12 teaspoons of sugar.  And that delicious pink (dyed) lemonade?  1 cup contains 25 grams or over 6 teaspoons, more than you daily limit.  How many of you drink just one cup on a hot day?  Get my point?  So how do your humble your sugar cravings?  Be aware and eat less.  By the way, protein is known to diminish your desire for sweets.  Eat nuts, seeds, cheese, slices of meat or hummus to manage your sugar intake.  Then once in awhile, have that ice cream cone!

… for the health of your family,
ellen

Another sweepstakes prize combination: Win a Case of 6 oz. (large) bags of Pizza Veggie Stix with the generous addition of the Veggie Tales DVD, "The Princess and the Pop Star."  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes.  Enter more than once to up your odds!

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Performance Food: PINEAPPLE fuels your eyes, hair and more!

Pineapple, an anti-inflammatory food, is filled with nutrients that feed your brain, ears (hearing), eyes, hair, mouth/teeth, nails and nerves!  How can something so sweet be so good for you?  Is there anyone on this planet who doesn't love it?  Lucky me, I can grow some in my yard here in Florida!  Pineapple is so versatile. You can even grill it on kabobs.  The Simply Delicious Fruit Pizza recipe uses it. (Don't forget to make this and comment about it on facebook.com/kidkritics so you can possibly win a card game and packets of Fruit Dip.)  Also, the Pineapple Mango Parfait recipe uses pineapple yogurt. For these and more recipes, go to www.KidKritics.com.  Put pineapple on your weekly grocery list.  I buy it whole – usually cheaper.  Plus, I can then use the top to plant another pineapple.  Enjoy! 

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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Valerie’s 8 Chill Tips

In the heat of the summer when the weather is irritating enough, it’s easy to get all hot under the collar when the kids are adding to the stress. So just keep your cool. Here are a few things that can help:

1. Take a mini vacation in the heat of the moment. Turn on the TV  let them watch it while you take a 30 minute reprieve put -  on the radio,  sit in a bath, sit down  away from them and pour yourself your favorite cool refreshing beverage. For moms with young ones even playing hide and seek can give you a break away for a FEW MINUTES!

2. It's summer and you still have a lot to do but even you deserve a break. When you can, stay in bed an extra 30 minutes all by yourself.

3. Plan a family activity first thing.  When the kids get their needs fulfilled, you’ll have more of a chance to get your stuff done.

4. A family that can do things together including help with chores and house needs will be a stronger close knit family than if you are trying to do it all.  Many hands make for light work and more time to chill!

5. Allocate a day a week (it does not have to be a whole day) when everyone else takes a back seat to what you need to do for yourself.  This really works.  Your kids learn that you count-  what matters to you actually matters. No one but you can do this! When you do this,  it feels like a slice of heaven – very empowering!

6. Take a trip to the store buy what 's needed for your kids to make their own ice cream sundae. Nothing like ice cream to keep it cool, or, have them make their own ice pops… it’ll also keep ‘em busy for an extra few minutes.

7. On really hot days, keep ‘em inside, when they are hot and uncomfortable they tend to want to make you the same, let them play a board game or set up an obstacle course inside the house.

8. Buy a few little gadgets at the dollar store and put them in a bucket let the kids pick their own activity that can keep them busy while you get just a few more minutes to be free…!

I look forward to speaking with you Sept. 23rd on Better Food Choices Radio.  Until then…. Be Cool!

Valerie Berkowitz, R.D.
Co-author: The Stubborn Fat Fix
Mother of Four young ones!

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Win Card and Fruit Dip!

   

Simply Organic Foods has upped the prize for trying their Simply Delicious Fruit Pizza recipe now featured on www.KidKritics.com.  Now you can win packages of Fruit Dip plus the fruit and veggies card game, Makin' Faces.  All you have to do is make this recipe and write a comment on www.Facebook.com/KidKritics.  You have until August 1st, the day of the drawing for the winner. Take photos.  Get your kids involved.  Have fun!

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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Turn on your Brain with Blueberries!

Did you know that blueberries are known to increase the blood flow to your brain?  Start your day with some.  Better yet, start your whole family's day with some fresh, frozen or dried blueberries.  Put some in smoothies, on cereal, in yogurt or simply serve them by the spoonful.  Don't you love it when you find out how easy and delicious it is to feed the command center of your entire body?

… for the health of your family,
ellen

Enter to win a case of Hot Veggie Stix (6oz. bags) by Good Health Natural Foods plus the Veggie Tales DVD, The Princess and the Pop Star!" Go to 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.