What’s Cooking with YOUR Kids – Tips from a busy mom

Michelle asked me to put together a little post about the kids in my kitchen after I commented on her some-time-ago entry regarding what young children can reasonably do in the kitchen.  In tossing around the idea, I thought it might be useful to highlight some of the things that helped me start cooking with my twins when they were two.

Although I’m talking up a few specific items here, there’s no paid endorsement involved and your mileage may vary.  What you don’t need is to spend a lot of money or redo your kitchen.  Obviously, every home and every family will have unique circumstances and needs.  These were important for me and my own children.

A kid-size table.  It’s really important for children to have a sturdy surface that they can easily reach, bearing in mind that they are often more comfortable standing to work.  For us, an IKEA table & chairs similar to this worked really well (it’s in retirement now, but we’ll pull it out again when our new baby is old enough to need it).  This surface could also be a Lego or train table with toys removed and flipped to the flat side (cover w/newspaper or a dedicated tablecloth if needed), or the kitchen table or counter if you have a way to get the kids up there.  These days my children (first-graders) do a lot of their kitchen work standing next to a counter-height stool, with the bowl or cutting board or whatever on the seat.

Sturdy utensils.  You want tools, not toys (though if you can find something that’s scaled down in size without sacrificing quality, it’s worth considering).  You don’t want your tools to fall apart, and you definitely don’t want to have to worry about your preschooler breaking something in his/her enthusiasm.  Let them use the regular utensils that you use, with appropriate precautions in place.

Aprons or messy shirts.  Aprons are cute, and I’m a big fan of the chef’s hat concept, but a largish T-shirt or smock for your child to wear when doing messy work (not limited to cooking) will clear your mind and let your kid focus on the task at hand.

Good resources.  We have cooked a zillion times from Mollie Katzen’s Salad People and Pretend Soup cookbooks.  They feature a standard copy of each recipe for adults to read and use for prep, and then each recipe is transcribed into a picture format on two pages, so that children who can’t yet read are able to do the cooking themselves. The helpful adult is really the sous chef.  We just got Katzen’s Honest Pretzels, which is for older children who are able to read and follow a recipe, and I’m excited to dive in.   I also really appreciated Mary Ann Kohl’s First Art, which focuses on toddlers and twos; it helped me focus on process and to understand what my very young children were capable of in terms of motor skills.

Preparation.  Have your ingredients, utensils, dishes ready to go.  Premeasure, unless your child can handle that and would benefit from it.  If you have to scramble around finding things, you will lose your audience.  Don’t forget a damp cloth in a bowl, for wiping sticky fingers without having to shift gears too dramatically.  When you’re working with more than one child at a time, it’s helpful (though not strictly necessary) to have more than one set of measuring cups and spoons available.

Patience.  I have one child who wants to finish the project at all costs, always, and one child who has about three minutes to devote to any given thing before taking off.  Let them go when they need to go, and be prepared to finish it yourself if necessary.  This is supposed to be fun for them, remember?  Understand that most children will probably want to smoosh fingers into the flour and smell the nutmeg and eat the sugar with a spoon.  (Use your own judgment on that one.)  Cooking with children takes longer than doing it yourself because they are exploring as they go; allow lots of time for the process and for cleanup.  I’ve found, too, that preparing the food is not a guarantee that the child will EAT the food.  My son loves to make glazed carrots, but he doesn’t really like eating them; for a long time, my kids would happily spin the salad greens and complain mightily when the salad appeared on the dinner table.  Have them try it and move on.

We enjoy cooking together, and I’m seeing that my children are more adventurous about food as they grow (they do eat the salads now, for example).  I hope this information helps someone else get started, and I’d love to know: What has been useful in your kitchen as you work with your children?

What Are The Benefits Of Organic Food

There is much conversation today about the benefits and drawbacks of organic food. Individuals wish to know whether natural food is better than non-organic food. They question whether the term “natural” is absolutely nothing more than the current profitable advertising term being thrown about. They question the regulatory oversight bodies that identify whether the food that’s identified natural truly fulfills all of the criteria. These are hard questions to answer with certainty particularly because the responses typically rely on who is asked. Regardless, there are several extremely real advantages of consuming organic food. Right here is a summary of the most typical.

Organic Food Tastes Better

The people who eat natural food case that natural food is more flavorful and studies have really been performed that verify this belief. The chemicals that are made use of in the manufacturing of non-organic food absolutely have an effect on taste.

Organic Food is Much better for the Body

The United States Environmental Protection Agency now details many of the chemicals made use of in the production of pesticides and fungicides as prospective cancer-causing elements. It makes good sense then, that when non-organic foods are eaten, so too are these cancer-causing components. Because these kinds of chemicals can not be used to expand natural foods, they just are not present and as a result, they can not be consumed. Eating organic foods will not sadly prevent cancer since there are a lot of genetic and environmental elements that can cause it to develop. Nevertheless consuming natural food significantly lowers the possibility that particular cancers will establish.

In addition, organically-grown products consists of up to 50 % even more of the vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants the body needs to stay healthy and carry out at optimum capacity. If you’re attempting to add even more vegetables and fruit to your diet plan, you can double the advantages by consuming natural ones.

You Can Feel Excellent about What You Eat

When you eat natural food, you understand exactly what you’re not getting. You understand you’re not eating food that’s been genetically changed or skyrocketed with growth bodily hormones and antibodies. You understand that the skins of your vegetables and fruits aren’t a thick covering of chemicals and various other hazardous ingredients. The bottom line: You understand that you are sustaining your body with healthy fuel. Centuries ago, individuals did not have as many health-related issues as they finish these even more modern-day times. Plenty of people feel it is our food that is eliminating us.

You Assist Protect Environment

When pesticides and fertilizers are put on plants, there is no chance to keep the chemicals utilized in their manufacturing from covering the ground. Rain and irrigation cause these chemicals to be absorbed into the ground. As they take it in into the ground, they percolate down to the underground water tables. Eventually, the chemicals leach into neighboring water bodies. The dirt along with the water starts to be infected. In time the birds, fish and various other pets living in these environments become afflicted. Since natural foods are expanded without utilizing these hazardous chemicals, their development will never influence the environment in this way.

Figuring Out Tips

The Raw Vegan Diet – 3 Reasons Why It Is Great For Weight Loss The raw vegan diet, one of the increasingly popular type of diet is a strong slimming tool in means of losing weight and getting healthier fast. This is a powerful diet partnership because it is a combination of the two healthiest diet there is, it’s benefits are unbeatable and modern diets can’t even come close to compete with it. Before it’s too late, people should be concerned of their eating habits and their lifestyle, with the weight issues on the rise, it is best to keep healthy bodies to avoid possible illnesses in the future. What more can be better that losing the unwanted weight healthily through raw vegan diet? Below, you will see that there are 3 strong reasons why raw vegan diet is the best weight loss diet. Fact Number 1: Fatty, saturated meats are not allowed in raw food vegan diet. Meat is filled with saturated fats and high in cholesterol, this can clog your arteries, it can also make you obese. It’s hard to lose weight when you’re a heavy meat eater, it makes you feel groggy, sluggish and lazy. Your stomach can’t digest meat right away, thus making weight loss extra difficult for you.

The Essential Laws of Tips Explained
Fact Number 2: All foods that are hard to digest, including dairy products are omitted in the raw vegan diet.
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Dairy products can almost always have a similar effect with meat when it comes to digestion, thus making weight loss a bit more trickier. One very fattening type of food is cream and cheese, they give off so many extra calories, even a tiny portion can add up unwanted calories. Unlike cows, we don’t have four digestive stomachs that can digest cow’s milk very well, this is why cow’s milk can be fattening to people. Unlike cows, humans only have one stomach to digest food, and human’s couldn’t exactly break down lactose as easily as cows do. This will always result to flatulence, bloating and weight issues. Fact Number 3: The raw vegan diet is composed of low calories and low fat foods. When it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, they can be consumed in large amounts because they have such a low caloric content that it won’t make anyone gain weight. Avocados, seeds and nuts have high caloric content because of their fat content, but the kind of fat that these foods have can help out in weight loss. The body needs polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in order for it to function well. These kinds of fats are healthy for you, unlike those that you get from cheeses, oils and meat. Raw living foods are packed with nutrients which helps people crave less.

Green Drink

Boring, non-descriptive title, I know but that is what my daughter and I call our daily morning drink.  Only four ingredients, but it really helps to get us going in the morning and, I believe, has helped to keep us healthy through the cold/flu season.  We drink this about 20-30 minutes before we have breakfast to give our bodies time to absorb all the goodies this drink contains.

MagmaPlus is a powdered barley supplement from Green Foods.  It contains vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals, active enzymes, amino acids, and much more!   I like this powder also because it has NO added sugar, salts, coloring or fillers.  If you’ve never tried a barley powder or if you have and thought it tasted too much like grass, giveMagmaPlus a try.  With all the fruit and veggie powders you don’t get the overpowering grassy taste you get with other barley grass products.

Ingredients (makes enough for two servings):

  • 8 oz. of organic orange juice
  • 8 oz. of filtered water
  • 2 Tbl. of MagmaPlus
  • 4 Tbls. of Bluebonnet Nutrition, Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate Plus Vitamin D3, Natural Orange Flavor (this is optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into a shaker (or blender..or even just mix with a spoon but I find that the shaker does a better job of mixing it all together).
  2. Pour into glasses.
  3. Enjoy!

Benefits and Downfalls of a Gourmet Coffee Bean

Choosing a gourmet coffee bean over a regular coffee bean for your daily coffee routine can have both positive and negative results. If you know the good and the bad that can come with purchasing gourmet coffee, you can know if it is the right decision for your coffee needs. While there are multiple aspects of the coffee to consider, there are four major points to take note of.

Flavor

The flavor of gourmet coffee is the obvious benefit of the purchase. The gourmet coffee has more robust flavors and more interesting, unique flavors than other types of coffee. Gourmet coffee often has a stronger taste and feel than other types of coffee. People will pay for the more intricate flavor of gourmet coffee. Gourmet coffee has a higher quality than other types of coffee.

Smell

Smell is an incredibly important part of coffee. People will often set their coffee makers to make their coffee at a specific time. People like to wake up to the smell of coffee. Why would you purchase gourmet coffee if you did not like the smell? Gourmet coffee has a strong odor that is perfect for waking up in the morning.

Brand

When you purchase gourmet coffee, you are buying into a brand. You are buying into a brand that is known for having a high quality ingredient. You are buying a brand that is known for consistency. A large reason that people pay top dollar for gourmet coffee is for the brand name alone. People want to spend their money on a product that has the best quality. Gourmet coffee offers those brand names.

Cost

There is only one major downfall when it comes to gourmet coffee. This coffee is much more expensive than other types of coffee. Those who can tell the differences between the flavors often do not mind the extra cost. Those who are not coffee aficionados often fail to see the purpose of the higher price. The flavor, smell, and brand name of gourmet coffee brands and varieties come at a high price. The process is more expensive. The ingredients are more expensive. Often, the company raises the price to make their brand more prestigious than another. If you are not looking to spend a large amount of money on coffee, gourmet coffee beans are not for you.

The flavor of the coffee is the most important in terms of benefits of gourmet coffee. The flavor is often stronger and more intricate with a gourmet coffee bean. The smell of the coffee follows suit. The better tasting the coffee, the better smelling the coffee is likely to be.

Some people purchase gourmet coffee just because of the brand name. This highlights the major downfall of gourmet coffee: cost. The cost of gourmet coffee often turns people away. If you can afford gourmet coffee, it will be the best purchase for your morning brew.?

Choosing an Espresso Coffee Bean

Espresso beans are simply coffee beans that have been pressed to make a specific type of coffee, known as espresso. Often, the beans are roasted to a darker level, giving it a more bitter flavor. This bitterness creates the flavor of espresso that many have come to love. Trying to choose an espresso coffee bean can be somewhat confusing. If you know the simple steps to choosing an espresso bean, you can easily fin the best bean for your coffee.

Flavor

Although the term “espresso bean” is used, it is possible to make espresso from any coffee bean available. You simply need to think about the flavor of coffee that you enjoy. If you like a more bitter taste, you will want a bean that has a darker roast. If you want a more subtle flavor, you should choose a lighter roast. Again, any coffee bean can be pressed to make espresso.

Power

How much strength do you want in your espresso? The stronger the flavor of the bean, the stronger your drink will be. The more the caffeine in the bean, the more the caffeine in the espresso. It is important to remember that espresso comes in shot sizes. If you want a more powerful drink, you cannot look at the coffee bean. You simply need to add an extra shot of espresso to your drink.

Cost

When you are choosing beans to make espresso at home, you need to consider cost. How much are you willing to spend on coffee? While the more expensive beans and roasts may have good flavor, are they necessary for the drinks that you are making? If the drink that you make is heavily diluted with coffee and milk or cream, you may not want to spring for a more expensive coffee bean.

Availability

If you are making espresso at home, you are looking to make your favorite drink. If you have a favorite drink, you want to make it taste the same each and every time you make it. This is why the accessibility of your espresso coffee beans is so important. If it is easy to find your beans, you will know that you will not run out. Your espresso will taste the same each and every time that you make it.

Flavor is always important when talking about an espresso coffee bean. Some want their espresso more bitter than others. You simply need to taste the various beans and their espresso to understand what you like. You also need to think about power. How strong do you want the espresso to be?

You also need to consider cost when you are purchasing espresso beans. The more expensive the bean, the better the flavor will be. When considering cost, you should consider availability. Will the espresso coffee beans be easy to find? Choosing an espresso coffee for your coffee needs relies on these various aspects. When you can find a bean that meets your flavor, cost, and availability needs, you have found the perfect bean.

Organic Meats From Online Organic Food Stores And Suppliers

Not everyone knows about the fact that you can get not only organic produce but also organic meats. This enables you to change your entire dietary lifestyle if you so wish, without having to compromise on such things as organic meats and organic dairy products, substituting the non-organic stuff instead.

In fact, if you do your grocery shopping in a place where organic foods are readily available, you will find the organic meats and dairy products to be readily available alongside their stock of organic fruits, vegetables and processed foods. This is also true, maybe especially more so, of online organic food stores and suppliers.

So what is the deal with organic meats? Well for one thing, organically reared animals are treated to a different regimen than animals reared on normal farms. For one thing, these animals are only fed organic foods.

This means that they don’t have any non-organic foods in their diets at all from the very beginning. They are only fed on high quality organic produce. There is also the small factor of not having any antibiotics pumped into these animals as well as not being subject to other potentially harmful toxins.

Just because you prefer organic foods, it doesn’t mean that you have to become vegetarian or even vegan. You can still enjoy the same sumptuous foursquare meals that you’re used to without loss of vital ingredients. This is where knowing where to get your organic meats can come in handy.

And part and parcel with organic meats, come organic dairy products. Since animals reared in an organic farming environment will also produce organic dairy products as well, you have that assurance that you can still enjoy your port and cheese!

All that aside, when you’re looking at organic meats, you will also want to look at the various processed organic foods as well, that contains meat. Unless it has been specifically stated that the ingredients within the packaging s 100% organic you might find yourself faced with only some of the items being organic.

This applies to any meats to be found in the product as well. Unless it has been stated specifically that the meats contained are organic meats you might want to think twice before buying these types of processed foods.

If you’re having trouble finding not only organic meats but organic fish as well, you might want to try your hand at finding an organic foods supplier online. You will more than likely have better luck at these places finding, and purchasing, your organic meats, fish and dairy produce.

The Antioxidising Benefits of Green Tea

People have been drinking green tea for centuries now. This is probably one of the oldest beverage preparation in history. Have you ever wondered why people drink green tea until now? Well, studies have proven that drinking green tea has a lot of health benefits. For one, it is well known to have antioxidising benefits. The animal kingdom needs oxygen in order to survive and that includes the humans.

Body processes need oxygen. This element is abundantly found in the air and with proper intake, it burns the glucose and fat present in the body to supply the needed heat and energy. So you see, oxygen is an essential element needed by the body but anything in excess is harmful and too much oxygen can also have negative effects.

The byproducts of oxidation are free radicals. Sometimes, other molecules interact with the free radicals and so these molecules are also turned into free radicals which can disrupt the normal functioning of the said molecules. If this continue to happen, it could lead to tissue damage and finally, cell destruction.

There are even times when the abnormal functioning of molecules can lead to certain degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, artherosclerosis, cancer, heart diseases, and Parkinson’s disease. Humans are quite fortunate because their bodies are equipped with the right defenses in order to prevent the free radical’s harmful effects.

By eating a lot of fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants, the free radicals are prevented from causing any harm to the human body. Aside from fruits and vegetables, you can also get antioxidants from green tea. As you can see, by drinking green tea and eating the right amount of fruits and veggies, you can prevent diseases and cell damage.

The tea plant or Camellia Sinensis is popular for its antioxidants which fights diseases. The Chinese people have been using the tea plant for centuries and you can usually find green tea in every household. The Chinese believe that the tea is a very healthy beverage whic promotes good health and well being. Aside from China, green tea is also widely used in Thailand, India, and Japan.

Traditional Chinese and Indian medicines usually contain green tea because it can serve as a stimulant, an astringent (to heal wounds and control bleeding), as a diuretic (to promote the excretion of urine), and an agent that can improve the heart’s health. Green tea is rich in polycatechins which is responsible for the many health benefits. The tea also contains other ingredients which further enhance its antioxidising properties.

Catechins are powerful antioxidants. Aside from it, green tea contains vitamins C, E, and A. It also has properties which makes it anti-carcinogenic, neuro-protective, cardio-protective, and anti-microbial. Green tea is well known to prevent cancer because of the antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate.

Now that you know the benefits of drinking green tea, don’t you think it’s also time that you start taking it? Let healing wonders of green tea improve your overall health. There are now a lot of green tea products sold in the market at very affordable prices. aside from the green tea drinks, you can also find health supplements which contain extracts of green tea. For optimum health and well being, try to incorporate green tea to you diet.

If you’re trying to lose weight or you simply want to maintain your current weight, it would also help a lot if you make it a habit to drink green tea before, during, and after meals. But always remember, too much of anything can also be harmful. So just take green tea in the right amount.

Organic Food Vs. Non-organic Food A New Age Argument

Just a few years ago, there were a limited number of categories for food: there was food according to taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter) and there was food according to what it is made of (meat, fruit, vegetable, fish). In recent years, however, a new category was introduced, that is, food according to how it is made. With this, the term organic foods comes into the picture.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic foods are those foods that are made or grown without the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, growth hormones or any form of biotechnology. They are those foods that grow at a natural pace, are plucked when ripe and are taken as is. In contrast, non-organic foods are those that are grown for commercial consumption and are hence aided by pesticides, artificial fertilizers, growth hormones and biotechnology to grow faster, become plumper and appear more appetizing. In line with this new distinction among foods, a new age argument has (literally) been placed on the table: which is better, organic food vs. non-organic food?

Powerful arguments support each side. For those who believe that organic food is better than non-organic food, they adhere to the belief that all the pesticides, artificial fertilizers and chemical enhancers that go into non-organic foods are the reason behind many human ailments and diseases. While this belief can be backed up by some research, this research is still not conclusive and hence cannot yet be considered as fact. In addition, those who are supporters of organic food also pride themselves in the fact that creating organic foods is far less expensive and friendlier to the environment. For those who do not believe in buying organic food, they stress on the points of organic food being far more expensive to purchase and much harder to keep because of the lack of preservatives. They bank on previous studies linking organic foods to no more health benefits than non-organic foods and they also point to the fact that organic foods are not necessarily 100% free of artificial additives as the USDA still permits the use of some chemicals in growing them.

Because research on the topic has not yet completely been verified, the difference between organic and non-organic foods rests primarily in ones preference; at least for now. What scientists and most doctors are urging people to do is, rather than focusing on how healthy organic foods might be compared to non-organic foods, they should take a closer look at their daily diets and determine the health of their lifestyles from there. It is said that it happens all too often these days that people obsess over organic foods and yet have diets loaded with artificial flavouring, trans fats and processed sugars, i.e. junk. Before joining in on the argument of organic foods vs. non-organic foods, one must first make the necessary changes in ones diet in order to be able to call oneself truly healthy and health-conscious. As for organic foods vs. non-organic foods, let that be the next step.

Why not learn more about Recipes?

For The Love of Food Since time immemorial, people are very much aware that they do so many things every single day. People should come to an understanding that many individuals are fully aware of the desire that they have in terms of eating different food cuisines. Ever since people were born, eating had practically become one of the many things that they love to do every single day. You have to realize that eating is actually a way for people to survive in this world. You need to bear in mind that people are starting to get fat because of the idea of eating too much. One of the things that you need to know is that people find it hard to be in their ideal weight due to their obsession to food.

The sad truth is that improvements are not visible nowadays even if there had been a lot of fitness programs being introduced already.

You have to know that food is actually very powerful that it can lure any human being in this world. The power of food is actually the same as what drugs and other substances can do. If you had been reading articles in the web, you would come to realize that food can actually make people acquire certain complications along the way. Due to people’s selfish desires on food, they have been at risk with so many complications along the way. People should bear in mind that eating food must come in moderation.

Every single time you eat, there are so many parts of your body that are being affected by the digestion of food. You have to realize that when people to take in too much food in their body systems, it may endanger the processes of the body as a whole. It is important for you to make sure that you watch the carbohydrates that you take in your system. Since you are trying to be very careful with the things you eat, you have to make sure that you assess the things you buy for your groceries.

People should bear in mind that eating must be put into control because it may possibly create so many problems along the way. If you want to know if you are having food addiction, there are a lot of manifestations that you will get to witness within yourself. Salivating, inability to focus, and even your heartbeat will tell you that you are currently suffering from food addiction. You need to make sure that you know how to hold back when it comes to eating too much. Given the fact that you are fully aware of the consequences of food addiction, you will be more in control of yourself in the coming days.