Friday, June 26, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : Gummy Blueberry Snack


That dreaded day has come. You know, the day your daughter falls in love with another man. I should have seen it coming. I mean, the clues were all there. She stopped asking me to pick her up. She no longer wanted to hold my hand in public. She became increasingly distant. One day I was the only man in her life that mattered. Now, I have to put up with that other guy.

Admittedly, the other guy is pretty stiff competition. He's dark and handsome. He has an incredibly chiseled physique, with block like arms. And yet, he's also flexible and giving. Bottom line is he just makes her happy.

To top it all off, he tastes good too! I knew I would eventually lose out to another guy. I just didn't know I'd lose out to a gummy LEGO man!

Recently, Cailya has taken to playing at the kitchen table. Sometimes she gets so absorbed with playing with her Legos that she forgets to eat. So, I decided to let her eat her Legos. I picked up these fun Lucentee LEGO molds and made a healthy gummy snack out of blueberries. 

I altered the recipe a bit by using a generic gelatin brand and using two-thirds cup water with one tablespoon of lemon juice, rather than two-thirds cup of lemon juice. Not only was I able to get Cailya to eat, she had fun doing so! The only problem is now I have to fight this LEGO guy for her affections!

Friday, June 19, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Sicilian Pesto Pasta

My mom likes country music. Growing up, whenever I would climb into her car and play the preset music stations, "Take me Home, Country Roads" would blare out of the car speakers. The fact that my mom is a Taiwanese immigrant who neither grew up in the country nor spent any significant time in the countryside is besides the point. She just liked the tuneful melodies and the driving rhythms.

It turns out that my mom was before her time. Country music has now crossed genres into contemporary and pop music, making it more popular than ever. When I saw that Lady Antebellum was coming to town, I jumped at the opportunity to take my mom to her first country concert.

We walked amongst a sold out crowd of 32,000 and found our seats in the massive Jiffy Lube Live theatre. I had never before been to this amphitheater, and I was impressed with the enormity and scale of the venue. As the sun began to set, the cool night air settled in and the stage was set for an amazing performance. The drumbeat began and Lady Antebellum took to the stage as the crowd cheered on.

Melodic with perfect harmonies, we couldn't help but stand up and dance. I turned towards my mom, who had a beatific smile on her face. The balance between the vocals and instrumentals was just right. The chemistry of the trio was palpable, and leading man Charles Kelley did a good job of being playful and interactive with the crowd. Because we could easily see the trio on the two gigantic screens flanking the main stage, we felt like we were seeing them up close and personal.

All and all we had a fantastic time seeing Lady Antebellum at the Jiffy Lube Live theatre. The only let down was after twenty minutes of searching for our car in the dark, we were subsequently pulled over by the police for a mandatory DUI check point.

Just like music that crosses genres and broadens appeal, you can try twists and variations on the food you cook for your kids. For instance, my kids already find pesto pasta appealing. I tried a slight variation called Sicilian pesto, which includes a little crushed red pepper and tomatoes. I made the pesto with a combination of basil and swiss chard to incorporate some highly nutritious dark leafy greens. This variation on a classic had the kids singing praises!

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Get Picky Kids to Eat Their Greens - Cook Perfectly Poached Eggs

I like to keep up to date with my medical and nutritional knowledge. I have been informed by various thought leaders in the field of medical nutrition, from Dr. Mark Hymen, author of The Blood Sugar Solution, to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat to Live. And as prolific as these doctors are, no doctor has been as influential as the great Dr. Seuss. 

In his seminal work, Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss introduces the compelling character, Sam I Am. First of all, thank you for a character who truly knows who he is. Secondly, Dr. Seuss sends a clear and coherent rhymed message to all parents who deal with picky eaters--be persistent. Despite many rejected invitations to eat green eggs and ham, Sam I Am eventually breaks through and entices his friend to try the novel breakfast. And like many obstinate kids, his friend surprises himself when he realizes that he actually likes trying new foods. 

Just like many kids, my kids are quick to reject green food. However, they sure do like eggs. So, taking a page from Dr. Seuss, I decided to try this recipe for green grits and eggs. The key to this dish is to make a perfectly poached egg. I learned how to do so by following a great tip from Jamie Oliver. First, wrap your egg in plastic cling wrap, then drop it into a gently simmering water bath for about three minutes. The result is a poached egg with a gooey yolk and a perfectly smooth border.  Give it a try!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Easy Grilled Tomatoes on the Grill and the Power of Elmo

"Mommy!" Pure joy and excitement wash over my kids' faces when they see their mommy. Do you know who else can evoke that kind of elation from my children? Well, certainly not daddy. My kids love Elmo. In fact, "Elmo" was probably one of the first words my kids learned. And so, we packed our sleepy children into the mini-van at 5:30 in the morning, and made the pilgrimage to see the red, furry deity.

After a remarkably pleasant three hour drive, we arrived at Sesame Place. Although it's called Sesame Place, a more apt name would be Elmo's Place. Although the park is replete with all the classic Sesame Street characters, Elmo is most prominently featured. And let's face it, he is the main attraction. That's why we reserved a special seat at the appropriately titled, "Breakfast With Elmo & Friends." 

Taking your kids to Breakfast With Elmo scores major points with the little ones. Cailya immediately brightened up once she was greeted by the Count. The young girl inside the Count outfit gave Cailya  a warm hug and even offered to hold our selfie stick so we could take a proper family photo. In addition to the Count, the kids met Abby, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and of course, Elmo. 

As an added bonus, reserving a spot for breakfast entitled us to early admission into the park. This is a huge tip for those seeking to beat the massive crowds that build up at the 10 o'clock opening. Because we were able to beat the bottleneck into the park, we were able to breeze through many attractions without having to wait in extended lines. Everything is perfectly geared towards young toddlers. We went on several rides including Elmo's Cloud Chaser, witnessed the musical styling of Elmo the Musical, and took in a show called, "Let's Play Together", featuring Elmo. The highlight of the trip however, was Sky Splash, a large family water slide. 

I learned a few things from this trip. Go early. Don't overschedule your trip. Freeze water bottles and carry popcorn with you at all times. And, Elmo is God. Elmo's influence is so powerful, he can even help your kids develop healthful eating habits. For instance, children rated broccoli more favorably when an Elmo sticker was attached to a picture of broccoli. I enlisted Elmo's help to encourage the kids to eat grilled tomatoes in the following video:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...