Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What we've got: First installment.

What we've got, is a whole lot.

I mean it. When it comes to our work and family lives we all have a lot on our plates. I wanted to take a minute to touch on some tactics that might make tackling life a bit easier for you ... well, as far as food goes. I can't help you with much else. All of these issues are similar to those I encounter with my clients. Most of these solutions require your time. If you don't have any of that to spare, I'm happy to come in and help finish the job.

Problem #1: Babies.

Okay, babies aren't a problem. They're wonderful! But, they require a ton of attention, energy, and care. New moms: I see your panic. If this is your first baby, I can imagine all the stress that goes in to raising your first being. Lots of moms end up relying on store-bought baby food. It certainly cuts down on time, but it can get really expensive. Plus, do you really know where that food was prepared and exactly what goes into it?

Why not make your own? There are only a few rules to remember:

*Always serve food no warmer than body temperature.
*Avoid nitrate carrying foods until after 3 months of age: beets, carrots, green beans, squash, and spinach for example.
*If you're worried about nitrates, buy frozen vegetables and fruits first.
   **When in doubt, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for resources (www.aap.org) or www.foodsafety.gov is a great spot to learn how to keep you and your baby safe when it comes to food.
*Cook food until it is soft.
*Never sweeten baby food. Babies are sweet enough.
*Don't be afraid to use spices! This will help you deal with picky eaters later in life. Trust me. They can handle it. Just avoid the really hot stuff ... like hot sauces and habinaro peppers. That just seems like a bad idea anyway. You're the one that has to deal with diapers.

If you have a food processor, you're already ahead of the game! Though small blenders like The Magic Bullet work well. If you want to go all fancy, you can buy legit baby food makers in a lot of places. They have handy storage stuff, freezer kits, it's a sweet deal. If you're expecting, why not register for one? Then, when kiddo is grown up, pass it along to a friend.

Problem #2: The Fussy Eater

I'm really throwing down the hammer, huh? Kids are great, it's picky eaters we have trouble with. You just want them to eat right! And they won't do it!

Chicken nuggets are not a bastion of nutrition. So, how do we conquer the dinner table? Hide stuff ... reinvent the usual favorites ... oh, there are ways.

Usually if a child doesn't like something, it means they don't like the texture of it. Think of it ... they love the crunchy, creamy, smooth stuff ... not the grainy, chunky, different stuff. That's how most of us adults are, too. So, if you want to create a meal your kids will at least try, work on the texture of things first. There are countless resources for mothers with picky kids. An organization I love, Cooking Matters, is a great resource for healthy recipes that kids will gravitate toward. It's their job to get kids to be excited about nutrition and they are very good at what they do. For example:

Do your kids love chicken fingers? This is a great recipe to get them to enjoy them without turning to the processed stuff:

Cooking Matters Baked Flaked Chicken

You will need:
Chicken tenderloins
Corn Flakes
Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
Canola Oil spray (like Pam or the generic brand)

Okay, first pound those corn flakes into corn crumbs- I like putting them in a big ziplock and smashing them with my fists. It's a lot of fun. Then, set up your assembly line: a bowl/deep dish of flour (seasoned with garlic powder, s & p, and paprika), then a bowl of egg wash, then a bowl of the corn crumbs.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with some canola oil. Send the tenderloins down the line, first in the flour, then in the egg, then the crumbs, and arrange them on the baking sheet. When they're all set up, do one more spray of canola oil over the top, then bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Bam. You have a new family favorite that tastes crispy without frying!

I could go on and on- and I will- but this is a fairly long read for now. I'll be working on another installment for the end of this week. Do you have a food problem you want addressed? Add it to the comments section and I'll see what kind of magic I can work!

Thanks for reading. May all your food frustrations turn in to lessons on how to enjoy life. xo

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