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Performance Food of the Week. Pumpkin

Are you surprised to learn that pumpkin is filled with nutrients that feed your brain, blood,eyes, heart, lungs, mouth, teeth, nose and skin?  We should eat it more often.  Pureed pumpkin can be used to make soup, ravioli, pasta sauce, bread, pudding and of course pie.  Add a little citrus juice to mellow the flavor and serve it mashed as you would another squash.  Don't forget the seeds. Plain or baked in a little tamari sauce, they are crunchy yummy major sources of minerals, protein and good fat.  Make pumpkin a more frequent visitor in your kitchen.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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Natural Colors for Baking Goodies

At last, there is a way to decorate your holiday cakes, cupcakes and cookies without using those dyes made from derivatives of coal tar and oil. Go to www.NaturalCandyStore.com to buy little jars of your color choice. They won't be as bright as the others which is your cue they are all natural, made from real food such as beets. And, the colors are still beautiful, safe and fun to use. While you are there, look for the Sunbursts candy coated sunflower seeds and ChocoRocks. All in their Natural Baking Decoration section. Have fun!

(For more about natural candy, go to iTunes-Podcast-BetterFoodChoices and list to Dawn Van Hee)

… for the health of your family,
ellen

Speaking of all natural, fill your pantry with Puffin Puffs Fruit Medley Cereal by Barbara's Bakery. Colorful, safe and crunchy yummy. Enter to win a case. Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today.

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Cereal is Made to Float 3 Minutes

Three is "the number of minutes frosted oats must stay float in milk and keep their sweet taste."*  This is how food companies spend a lot of money in a food lab so you will think they have the best sweet cereal. Do you think that is money well spent?  And, what do you think they do to product to keep it afloat?  Would you buy a cereal that didn't float for three minutes?  Can't wait to hear from you.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

* Julie Jargon, " Less Sugary Cereal that Still Floats," Wall Street Journal, 10/11/11. p. B1

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Best Test Breakfast

The one tried and true breakfast food for best mental performance is real oatmeal.  It's slow-digesting properties, thanks to its fiber content, provide a "sustained flow of glucose to the brain."* Add a little more protein to your meal in the form yogurt, nuts and seeds, or a slice of chicken and you are ready for brain work.  (Course you need to have studied and slept well to ace the test.)  Please avoid sweet instant versions and do not add tons of sugar to your oatmeal. Fruit toppings offer you a winning combination. What did your kids have for breakfast this morning?

… for the health of your family,
ellen

* Sue Shellenbarger, "Toughest Exam Question: What is the Best Way to Study?", Wall Street Journal, p. D1

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Recipe: Yo’mores. Out of this world delicious.

When it's time for a treat, this is a fun one. Make sure your treats are made with real ingredients. Organic graham crackers, 60% chocolate bar and vanilla yogurt all fit this bill. The ingredients do have some redeeming health benefits but also enough sugar to keep Yo’mores in the “Treat” category. Your kids will love this healthier version of traditional S’mores. It is featured on the home page of www.KidKritics.com. Fast and easy healthier fun.
… for the health of your family,
jaimie and ellen

How long would a case of Puffin Puffs Fruit Medley cereal by Barbara's Bakery last in your house?  Enter this week's sweepstakes to find out.  You may win!  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today.

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Performance Food of the Week – Brown Rice

Brown Rice is an inexpensive way to feed your brain, ears, hair, heart, lungs, muscles, nerves and skin.  It's slightly nuttier flavor than white rice makes it a great side dish for meats, fish, beans, and veggies.  Use is in casseroles and soups.  It mixes well in many recipes and can be a stand alone flavored with garlic, herbs and or spices.  In so many countries rice is a staple.  Serving brown instead of white takes the nutrients levels up several notches.  You can buy it in bulk to save money.  Either way, brown rice is your answer for quick and easy meal fillers.  Always have some in your pantry.

… for the health of family,
ellen

Today is the last day you can Win a Case of Assorted Almond and Rice Cheese Chunks and Shreds by Lisanatti Foods.  Great tasty cheese alternative.  Go to www. KidKritics.com/sweepstakes now.

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Eyes and Sugar don’t Mix Well

Learned something today.  Sugar also bad for you eyesight.  Excess glucose floats around in your blood stream and goes to your eyes which have small delicate blood vessels.  It disrupts the flow of blood by compromising the lining.  Since nutrients are carried through your blood, this disruption causes your eye mechanisms to "shut down since they are not being fed."  Just one more reason to not eat too much sugar – as little as possible.  As Dr. Healthy Manley continued, she reminded us to eat "whole colorful real food."  Feed your eyes with phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and protein – avocados, blueberries, cinnamon, carrots for starters! Listen for more eye health tips from Dr. Heather Manley. www.iTunes.com/Podcast/ Better Food Choices.  Your eyes will be so glad you did!

… for the health of families,
ellen

Have until Sunday night to enter to Win a Case of assorted Almond & Rice Cheese Chunks and Shreds.  Looks, cooks and tastes like mild cheese.  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today!

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Eyesight is Precious. Learn the ABCs of eating for Sharp Eyes.

How often do you eat Avocados, Blueberries and Cinnamon? Carrots are not the only food that feed your eyes.  Find out why it is important to enjoy eye nourishing foods, especially during your childhood.  It is never too late.  Dr. Heather Manley will fill you in on what, how and  why you can make a 20/20 sharp eyed difference.  Tune in Friday, Noon eastern time, www.BetterFoodChoicesRadio.com.  Since this is also a podcast, you can listen later on iTunes, Podcast, Better Food Choices.  Looking forward to you joining us.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

A whole case of assorted Almond and Rice Cheese Chunks and Shreds (Lisanatti Foods)!  Enter to win this cheese alternative delicious prize – looks, cooks and tastes like regular mild cheese. Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes.  Up your odds by entering more than once. Hope you are the one I call on Monday to announce, "You won!"

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Top 3 “Cleanest” Vegetables and Fruit

  Number One "Cleanest."

Onions, Corn and Pineapple, in this order, are the top three "cleanest crops." (foodnews.org)  Cleanest indicates they contain the least amount of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other unwanted chemicals.  It also means you can feel comfortable buying and eating commercially grown, avoiding the extra expense of organic. Notice how each has naturally protective skins.  That helps.  What they also have in common is they have nutrients that feed your brain.  Fuel you family economically with fresh onions and pineapple, and,  fresh or frozen corn all year round.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

A whole case of food is up for grabs.  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes and enter to win Almond and Rice Cheese Chunks and Shreds by Lisanatti Foods.  They look, cook and tastes like mild cheese. YUM!

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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.