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Recipe. Black Bean Chocolate Fudge Brownie, flourless

Recipe,BlackBeanBrownies,flourless,Jaimie

Surprised? Mixing black beans with chocolate? We worked with this recipe until it knocked our socks off! Added protein, less sugar, no flour, no dairy, and lots of dark chocolate. Gluten-free, Wheat-Free, Dairy-free. Jaimie, our R.D. chef, figured out how to make this combination into a fudge brownie. Try it. It is the featured recipe on www.KidKritics.com - easy to find, easy to prepare. Make it your family's Valentine Day treat – cut them into heart shapes.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

How would you like a case of Chocolate Walnut Cookies, Sugar Free, by Joseph's Lite Cookies delivered to your door? Enter to win by going to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today!

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Parmesan Cheese. Performance Food of the Week.

Did you know that Parmesan Cheese feeds your Bones, Muscles, and Nerves?  Every time you sprinkle some on your spaghetti, salad, vegetables such as green beans, or eggs, you are not only adding pungent flavor to your food, you are fueling three important body parts. Since Parmesan cheese, is higher in sodium (1 cup has over 1500 mg sodium), use a little, just enough to replace the taste of salt.  That's what we have been doing for years in my home. 

Parmesan cheese is made from skim cow's milk in Italy and is usually is aged 12 to 16 months. They say the best comes from the Parmigiano-Reggiano area of Italy. I find it most cost efficient to buy a hard chunk and then grate it myself.  Why pay for someone else's labor? Just make sure you have a good grater and put your kids to work. Remember, the better the Parmesan cheese, the better the flavors, the less you need.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

 

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Teenage boys now swear by “Real Food.”

junk-food-vs-healthy-food-1

They went from Junk Food to Real Food and now swear by it. One boy was 16 and always "starving."  The other was an overweight college kid.  And they have a dad with Type 2 diabetes.  Mom thought she was feeding her family good food but after a dinner with me, she realized Jello and other processed foods she was serving were counter-nourishing her family. Her turnaround story is brilliant. A first bit of advice is, "You can't tell them. You must show them."  If you want to be inspired and learn how overnight everyone of them voluntarily bought into her changes, listen to Vickie Peaire tell her story.  Go to www. BetterFoodChoicesRadio.com (date: Jan 27, 2012) and listen or find it on iTunes, Podcast, Better Food Choices.  You will be SO glad your did!

… for the health of your family,
ellen

Save money and Win a Case of Classic Macaroni and Cheese by Annie's Homegrown.  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes before Sunday night.

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Please, don’t go down this road with your kids.

"Hooked on chicken nuggets: Girl, 17, who has eaten nothing else since age TWO rushed to hospital after collapsing." *

Apparently this teenager has never eaten fruit or vegetables.  Now she is in hospital with  swollen veins in her tongue, has anemia and has been warned that she was killing herself.

You say, no way this can happen.  I say, "Yes Way."  Too many times I have has parents tell me, "My son/daughter will only eat chicken nuggets so that's what I give him or her.  They refuse to eat anything else."  I simply look at them and wonder who's the boss.  Moms and dads, you have to guide your children away from the wrong decisions and to the right ones.  Sometimes that is easier said than done, yet, the alternative can be deadly. 

Keep in mind you may be working against addictions.  Unfortunately, ingredients put in some foods are purposely habit forming.  Take charge now and avoid disaster later.  I am using strong words.  Don't underestimate the consequences.  Steer your kids into making better food choices today and tomorrow.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

P. S. Please pray for this girl.

* This is a report from the U.K.

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New School Lunch Nutrition Requirements Announced

The government is setting new school lunch nutrition requirements:  Establish maximum calorie and sodium limits.  Serve a fruit and vegetable every day in larger portions.  Offer a minimum number of leafy green vegetables, red-orange vegetables, starchy vegetables and legumes each week.  After 2 years, all grains must be rich in whole grains such as brown rice.  Breads, buns, cereals and pastas must list whole grain as 1st ingredient. Milk must be either low-fat (1%) or fat-free.  Flavored milk must now be fat-free.  No trans- fats.

Cost – 11 cents more per lunch. Who is going to pay for this?  Government will give schools 6 cents more per lunch.  The additional 5 cents will have to come from states and local taxes it seems. What are you paying for each lunch at your children's school?

We are pleased with these positive changes.  There are two possible problems to address.  One: the government has no money.  We are in serious debt.  Two: kids have to like these foods.  With the right cafeteria managers and chefs, this is possible.  To limit their other choices is critical.  Kids will eat healthier foods if they taste good.

Best possible school lunch – probably the one you make at home for your kids to take to school.  That is why we give you Lunch Box menus in our Family Food Newsletter.  Sign up to receive it twice a month. www.KidKritics.com.

A penny for your thoughts!

… for the health of families,
ellen

Mac and Cheese – all natural, no artificial anything, no Trans Fats. Win a whole case by Annie's Homegrown.  Add some carrots or peas and a few parsley and paprika flakes. Put some in thermos for school lunch.  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today!

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Grocery List. Chocolate Chip Snackimals

Snackimals,ChocolateChipKids Kritics logo with R

There are cookies and then there are cookies!  Snackimals are made with your children's health  in mind.  No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or trans fats.  Full of natural, organic and non-GMO ingredients.  Also full of flavor! The animals are so well carved you can easily identify them providing major kid appeal. They come in lunch box sizes for travel snacks.  Healthier Recipe Moms have used cookies in parfaits and as pie crusts… take a look at some of their recipes, www.KidKritics.com. When it is time for treats, Snackimals are a great choice.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

What would you do with a whole case of Classic Macaroni and Cheese by Annie's Homegrown? Enter to win and then let us know!  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today and tomorrow… until Sunday night.

Reminder: After products and recipes meet our Family Food Experts Ingredient Standards set by our board of noted health professionals, kids blind taste test them and decide which ones to award their Kid Kritics Approved Seal.  Because they are now deemed healthier and kids like them, we feel compelled to share this news with you.  Now you can serve your family healthier foods odds are they will love.

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Recipe. Spice Almond Milk

Oh Boy is this good!  All you do is blend almond milk, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg until frothy.  Serve cold or warm.  Cinnamon alone feeds your brain, blood, bones, eyes, heart, lungs, and skin.  Add all the nutrients from nutmeg, almond milk and raw honey (that's the kind of honey we recommend) and you have a blockbuster new drink for your kids and you!  For details, go to www.KidKritics.com where this recipe is featured on the home page – easy to find. We have Healthier Recipe Mom, Emily, to thank for this delectable drink!

… for the health of your family,
ellen

Ready to Win a Case of Classic Macaroni and Cheese by Annie's Homegrown?  "No artificial anything" – a good thing.  Go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes today.  Enter more than once to up your odds.

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Beets. Performance Food of the Week

Bet you rarely or never eat beets.  Am I right or wrong?  Here's why you should – they feed your Blood, Heart, Lungs, Mouth/Teeth, Muscles, Nerves and Skin. The easiest way to favorably prepare and serve them is to shred them raw.  Those little slivers add fabulous color to salads and sandwiches.  Yet, the taste is very mild since you they are reduced to little strands.  Roasted and grilled beets can be delicious.  Again, the key is to serve them in small slices.  My latest favorite salad is one with small chunks of purple and golden beets accompanied by greens, bits of walnuts, goat cheese and here's the drum-roll, roasted garlic bud. Please, open your mind to bringing beets into your monthly menus for flavor and nutrient variety.

… for the health of your family,
ellen

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Nut Butter Buying Tips

Artisanaproducts  Yes, they are as good as they look! 

How to Choose Nut Butters:

ADDRESS ALLERGENS by reading for peanut butter ingredients or exposure during processing.  This helps those with and without PB allergies. 

ORGANIC or NATURAL: Certified Organic means fields, plants/trees and processing meet strict organic standards… as good as it gets.  Natural may or may not mean void of unhealthy ingredients.  Know your source.

READ INGREDIENTS: one or two ingredients is enough for good nut butters. Avoid added stabilizers, sweeteners and oils. 

RAW or ROASTED: Raw means no heat application which alters nutrients such as essential fatty acids – essential for your body's cellular production.  Roasted uses heat for this adjusted flavor.  The less the better which is why Lightly Roasted is a good choice.

NUT VARIETIES: Almond, Cashew, Walnut, Pecan, Macadamia and even Coconut are alternatives to Peanut Butter. Those taste tested by the Kid Kritics were big hits!

This and so much more was shared by today's radio guest, Co-Founder and President of the Artisana brand, Santiago Cuenca-Romero.  Listen to all he had to say, www.iTunes, Podcast, "Better Food Choices." Very interesting guy!

… for the health of your family,
ellen

Be the one who Wins the Case of Chocolate Energy Bites by Greens+.  Enter by going to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes.  They are perfect for kids… just ask the Kid Kritics.

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Best Buy? Granola Bar or Banana

granola bar  OR  banana,peeled

Are your paying more or less for a granola bar than a banana?  Which one has better nutrient value?  Your answers lead to the ultimate question, "Which is the Best Buy?" Look forward to hearing your opinion!

… for the health of families,
ellen

Want to Win a whole case of Chocolate Energy Bites by Greens+?  Then go to www.KidKritics.com/sweepstakes.  Enter more than once to up your odds!

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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.