If you want to keep your kids healthy, start by guarding your pantry. At the grocery store, avoid the center aisles popping with a rainbow of packaged food.
Beyond buying wholesome food, we have to have it prepped. Fast-food drive-thrus are never more tempting than at the end of a long day and we face an empty kitchen with nothing prepared.
Dish up baby carrots, celery sticks, cucumber slices and red pepper strips on plates before kids walk in the door. Serve plain yogurt with honey before the kids start digging through the fridge. Have individual servings of almonds in baggies on the pantry shelves.
For all our best efforts, kids still beg for junk food when we haul them to the store. Here’s a recipe that might appeal to their cravings.
10 corn tortillas
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1)Preheat oven to 350°
2) Brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Stack and slice into triangles.
3) Mix cheese and spices. Set aside.
4) Spread triangles on two greased cookie sheets.
5) Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp.
6) When chips are crisp, toss immediately in spice mixture.
Pricey when purchased ready-made, hummus is quite easy to make. The hardest part is finding a store that carries tahini.
2 cans chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped
Toasted pine nuts (optional)
1) Blend first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Place in serving bowl.
2) Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan. Add pine nuts and stir until golden.
3) Top hummus with nuts and parsley.
Use hummus as a dip for Homemade Nachos, or as a delivery vehicle for crudités, such as cucumber slices and celery.
Maple Snow Cones
Kids love snow cones in the summer. But the sugar and dyes in traditional snow cones are cringe-inducing to a health conscious mom.
This recipe requires an investment is an ice shaving/snow cone machine, about $25 online or at Target—find them for much less on Craigslist—and 100 percent pure maple syrup, around $10. Your investment will last through the summer.
1) Shave ice directly into a tumbler.
2) Top with 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
3) Add spoon.
4) Serve outside all summer long. Enjoy!
Edited by Jody Smith